Sonya Cooke brings to the table an extensive background in teaching and acting technique pedagogy. A proud member of SAG-AFTRA, she has acted in TV, film, New York theatre, regional theatre, musical theatre, webseries, commercials, print, and voice-over media. She trained at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and UC-Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts.
Her teaching career began when she apprenticed as a coach in 2001, started coaching actors in New York in 2008 and launched a blog on acting technique: www.sonyacooke.com, where she writes about her ideas and exercises on acting. In addition, she has worked with many institutions as a teacher and program developer: Relativity School in Downtown LA, the Guthrie Theatre, UCI’s Summer Academy, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and Brazos Valley Players.
In 2016, her article, “The Seven Pillars Acting Technique: Circumstances,” was published in The International Journal of Arts Education. Her book, Seven Pillars Acting, which is the full manifesto on her acting technique was published in 2017. And she opened the LA branch, Seven Pillars Acting Studio in May of 2017, which is now located in North Hollywood.
Her students are booking national tours, lead roles in films, and acting in countless other projects: from commercials and webseries to New York theatre, industrials and television. Represented by Elev8 Talent Agency and managed by Larry Hummel, Sonya stays creative by acting and directing in Los Angeles.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
“The 7 pillars technique is really unique and quite helpful in digging deeper into work. It's especially helpful when you find material that you can't relate to. Sonya really is a caring teacher and makes the atmosphere fun yet very challenging. Definitely a studio that fully prepares actors to WORK.”
“Sonya caters to your needs, without you having to ask. If you need to work out the process yourself, she allows you to do that. If you need a more focused and direct type of teaching, she will give you that as well. We are all different, and Sonya has found a way to reach each of us in our own way.”
“Sonya is one of the smartest, talented, charming, gifted, patient, caring, creative person I have ever met. She has a wonderful way of keeping class moving along and making sure to include everyone in class and she truly is a wonderful teacher of the craft.”