All My Children actor builds thriving acting school in Franklin
By Bryan Stuart, for the Herald
Alan Dysert, founder of The Actor’s School in Franklin, speaks to students. Photo by Josh Johnson
Williamson County has earned an excellent reputation for the quality of teaching in both public and private education. However, the county also houses excellent acting schools, including The Actor’s School founded by Alan Dysert.
The private school, which has operated in Franklin for about eight years, has earned an excellent national reputation, for both the quality of its teachers and the success of its students. The Actor’s School is the largest training center for film and television in the Southeast and has trained more than 3,000 actors and singers, including three Disney Stars, a Glee cast member, and hundreds of other working actors.
Over 20 million people in the U.S. have known Dysert as Sean Cudahy from the ABC soap opera All My Children, playing the role for about five years and performing in over 500 episodes.
However, his latest project is a movie titled The Senator set for release later this month.
Although Dysert has had the opportunity to train actors and performers throughout the country, he chose to make his home and establish his school in Franklin.
“I was coming to Nashville on a monthly basis for a music project and writing with local songwriters,” Dysert said. “The executive director of the Screen Actor’s Guild asked me to do an acting workshop. It started with that first workshop and has been growing for 22 years.”
With a career that includes prime time television, films and national commercials, Dysert brings his thirty years of performance and twenty years of teaching experience to the community.
One of Dysert’s commitments is ensuring that students learn in a positive and safe environment, which he believes is the key to their future success. He says this approach encourages risk taking and spontaneity in the performer.
“A performer needs to work with a net, so they can take chances and not worry about ‘the fall’ during the development stages of their training.”
This perspective comes directly from his own experience with stage fright, a challenge he dealt with for much of his career. He now shares his own personal techniques in dealing with anxiety with his students.
“It has worked for hundreds of my actors, and I am proud to say they no longer have this problem,” Dysert said. “Many of these frightened actors are some of my greatest success stories.”
When asked his thoughts on the current climate of our local acting industry, especially in light of the ABC TV series Nashville moving production to Tennessee, Dysert was optimistic.
“Film and video production is now available to most everyone, so the need for believable actors is only going to increase,” Dysert said. “I encourage my students to buy a camera and start shooting their own projects.”
“I think the Nashville series phenomenon has been great for the actors here, as well as what it has done for the city of Nashville, and surrounding communities,” Dysert said.
“The recognition that a major series can be filmed here with the support of the Nashville film and acting communities will no doubt bring other projects. Filmmakers and actors love this town. It is easy to shoot here, and everyone wants to help make it work. That is one of the many reasons I have stayed here.”
The school is located at 1227 Lakeview Dr., Ste. 2 off Royal Oaks Boulevard in Franklin.
Posted on: 12/19/2013