Meet The Acting Out Studio Team | what sets us apart
What Sets Acting Out Studio Apart From The Rest? All of our instructors are professional working actors. Check them out on set!
Kamber Hejlik | Owner
Kamber has been passionate about acting her whole life. She was working with her first talent agent and doing commercials by the age of 10. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree with an Emphasis in Performance at The College of Film and Television at San Diego State University. Along with being an actress during college and producing student films, Kamber worked at a Talent Agency and an Extras Casting Office in San Diego. She wanted to experience all aspects of the business so she could be a well rounded actress.
After college Kamber got her first job as a reporter for a show "Good Morning Vail" and was promoted to Co-Host for the show "Apre Vail" where she produced her on segments in Vail, CO.
Kamber started teaching acting so that she could bring her passion for acting to her students. Kamber opened her first acting studio in 2007 in California, Acting Out Studio. She moved the studio to Charlotte in 2008 where she now has hundreds of students in three locations. She coaches actors in acting for the camera, improv, scene study, monologues, commercials, and audition technique. She also consults actors who are breaking into the business and place actors in the Southeast, NYC, and LA, as well as tapes actors for auditions. She still coaches in LA every summer and brings her LA knowledge back to the Southeast in her classes and workshops.
Elizabeth Byland | Director Of AOS Improv | Improv & Acting Instructor
Elizabeth Byland (EB) is beyond thrilled to be teaching at Acting Out Studio. EB grew up as a competitive level 9 gymnast. After injury upon injury, she decided to hang up her leotard and devote time to her high school drama and improv team. It was then when she discovered how much cooler it is for her to be in theater than wear a leotard, but every four years during the Summer Olympics she can be found in her leotard, glued to the tv, eating cheetoh's. EB received a BFA in Acting from Northern Kentucky University and trained at Improv Olympics in Chicago. She left the Windy City to attend SCAD, where she earned her MFA in Performing Arts with an emphasis on Acting and Improv.
EB takes great pride in being a working East Coast actor with three agents! Not only does she work regularly in the film and tv industry, but she just finished up being a company actor and directing intern with CAST. EB has been teaching acting, dance, and improv for nine years, but every once in a while you might catch a glimpse of her flipping around and doing handstands!
PJ Barnes | Acting Instructor
Although his film life has been in the foreground for the past 7 years, PJ has never left his love for the stage. Over the years he's directed and choreographed several musicals and theater productions across the country (integrating his hip hop background with his broadways and show tunes styles) as taken the stage to perform stand-up comedy whenever he gets the chance.
PJ is excited to be apart of the Acting Out community, and is thoroughly enjoying teaching students, and helping them grow in their respective crafts. As a teacher, PJ feels he can not only influence, but also gain new information and learn from the unrestrained minds of the students, as they come into their own, and put their teachings to use.
Michael ruff | Acting Instructor
Michael Ruff began his acting career as a preteen doing community and regional theatre. As an adult he realized his dream would include all aspects of storytelling. His experiences have helped him to broaden his skill set to include writing, directing, set design and construction, beauty and SFX makeup, as well as sound recording and mixing. His horizons expanded when he worked for two weeks as a principle actor for Steven Spielberg in the movie “Lincoln”. He also occurs as a recurring character on the AMC tv show "Turn:Washington's Spies". Other film projects Michael has worked on include “Night Feeders”, “Never Feed the Troll”, and “Cold Storage”. He is described as infectiously enthusiastic and he strives to be a valuable asset in any team environment.
Logan Stamey | Director of Musical Theatre and Instructor
Logan is excited to combine his passion for teaching and his years of theatre experience to AOS! Born and raised in the mountains of North Carolina, his love for musical theatre begin at a very early age with his Great-Grandmother, watching musicals together as early as he can remember. Throughout his high school and college years he spent his time performing in community and professional venues as well as directing children's musical theatre. Logan began his professional theatre experience as a performer at Carowinds back in 2010, during his time at there, Logan began to take interest in performance quality and management positions. Missing the stage Logan traveled back up the mountain to become a live-entertainment performer at Tweetsie Railroad, there he performed in live train shows. Logan then brought his live entertainment and theatre experience back to the Charlotte area. His other passion is teaching, Logan is currently a middle school teacher in Charlotte and has been teaching for over 5 years. His desire to empower, encourage and engage students of any age to be their true self is his life’s joy. His love of teaching and theatre lead him to AOS! Logan also thanks his biggest supporter, Lindsey, for pushing him back into theatre. Logan is proud to have built the musical theatre program here at the studio and see it grow so quickly.
Elisabeth Guptill | Modeling InstructoR
Elisabeth began her career modeling locally in Charlotte, North Carolina and soon after started acting. Two years into her career, she followed an offer to New York City and began to live her dream! Her publications range from The Charlotte Observer to The New Yorker. She has walked for an extensive list of designers in runway shows, and has been featured in NYFW. Elisabeth has also been in short films, commercials, and Off-Broadway productions. After a year and a half of working and living in NYC, she decided to return to her roots in North Carolina. Now working locally, Elisabeth keeps busy between teaching and her other adventures!
Tomeka Leaphart | Music Director
Tomeka has diverse experience in the music, acting, and modeling industries. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Vocal Performance from Columbia College and in 2006 completed her Masters in Arts Education. Tomeka is classically trained and has experience teaching musical theatre, country, pop, gospel, R&B, reggae, and jazz. Tomeka has worked with vocal coaches Elizabeth Briggs, Richard Veal, and Donald Grey. Her theatrical work includes performances with Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Workshop Theatre of Charlotte, and Two by Two Productions. Modeling credits include work with Ron Chappel Studios, Jeffrey Mccullough Photography, and Swag Photography. She's also appeared in commercials for Carolina Volkswagen of Charlotte and in print work at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Joanna Dendrovlivanos | Voice Instructor
Joanna is a graduate from the New England Conservatory of Music with a degree in Vocal Performance. She has performed with The Portland, Maine Opera Company, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and in Europe. She has also had many solo vocal concerts in the Boston, MA area. Joanna has been teaching for over 20 years and is skilled in various genres of music, including musical theatre, jazz, pop, classical, and opera. Her love of music is expressed in her style of levels of skill. She teaches vocal techniques into song preparation and also works on acting skills in which she prepares her students for auditions.
As well as teaching, Joanna currently performs musical theatre, jazz, and spiritual songs at assisted living facilities throughout the greater Charlotte area. She is married and has a 10 year old boy and 8 year old girl and lives in Matthews, NC.
Sara jackson | voice instructor
Columbia, SC native Sara Jackson is a recent graduate of Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where she completed her MM in Voice Performance. Sara was recently a cast member in the regional tour of Queen Boudicca: A Metal Opera, an original work by Berklee Professor Schlink, playing the principle role of Lannosea, the Queen's daughter. Before attending the Conservatory, Sara lived in Southern California for two years, where she studied opera, performed with Redlands Opera Theatre, attended Songfest at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, and taught musical theatre at the Arts & Learning Conservatory in Santa Anna. Sara also holds a BA in Music and Theatre from the University of South Carolina, where she performed with Opera at USC and worked as an actor for Columbia Children's Theatre. Additionally, Sara has studied vocal pedagogy both at the Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy, and at the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Workshop at Shenandoah Conservatory. Sara enjoys singing and teaching a wide variety of music including classical, musical theatre, pop, r&b, and rock.
MATTHEW BARNES | PIANO AND GUITAR INSTRUCTOR
Matthew Barnes is a local to the Charlotte area having been in the first graduating class of Ardrey Kell High School. He has a passion for the multi-disciplinary arts with a strong love for music. He received classical lessons with the Ukrainian trained and accomplished pianist, Julia Krapivnik before taking fundamental jazz and harmony lessons in Philadelphia with the established pianist Tom Lawton while attending University of the Arts. While in school, he was introduced to the guitar as a supplementary instrument to aid him in his international travels and quickly added it to his 'personal package'. In recent years, he has moved toward a modern approach to popular styles ranging from pop to punk to country and is eager to give both his students and the world his broad background with the instruments.
Karla Dingle | Social Media Director & Improv Instructor
Karla has spent her life on the stage performing in a variety of productions including Arsenic and Old Lace, Grease, The Sound of Music, Annie, Bye Bye Birdie, Barnum and Snoopy. She began taking theater classes at age 5 and continued to study acting until receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Georgia in Theater in 1998.
Karla began performing improv in Charlotte in 2009. She is a resident cast member with Now are the Foxes Improv Comedy and Charlotte Comedy Theater. In addition to performing, Karla runs a short form improv team Off the Cuff Comedy, provides coaching to improv groups and was instrumental in setting up the Queen City Comedy Festival. Most recently, Karla was one of the founding members of Background Noise; Charlotte's first musical Improv team.
Currently, Karla takes the stage each month at the Blumenthal Stage Door Theater as part of the Queen City Improv Room. When asked what she does when not on stage, she said: "I'm married with a teenage Son. I'm obsessed with Broadway, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, my Mini Cooper, Melissa McCarthy, Ireland & exclamations!!!!!"
Karla also serves as our Social Media Director, coordinating our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for the studio as well as our Improv Program and Team pages. Karla would love for you to share your photos, videos, bookings or other studio related materials at: email@example.com.
Liz branca | Taping insructor
My goal is to create a great audition for all my actors. Having been in this industry for over eleven years, I love being in-front of the camera as well as behind it. Educating my actors on what I’ve learned as an actor is key to their trust in my coaching. It’s so rewarding when my clients will tell me that they have booked the role we’ve worked on. I also provide headshot sessions and love bringing out my clients personalities as I shoot. I’ve worked at Acting Out Studio for many years and have enjoyed watching how successful our students become through their hard work.
Anissa Jenness | Studio Manager
Anissa is the AOS Studio Manager. She can be found most days behind one of our studio desks responding to your calls and emails, scheduling appointments and helping to manage the AOS Talent. Anissa graduated from The University of North Carolina Charlotte with a B.A. in English Literature and a Minor in Art History and Sociology. When not at work Anissa enjoys writing, exploring the city and hanging with her cat.
Want to know more about our studio manager? The following contains two truths and one untruth – see if you can spot the lie: Anissa does not know how to ride a bike, shares the same name & birthday as her cat, and has won several pie eating contests in her youth.
ALYSSA CLAYTOR | Administration
Acting is something Alyssa has been passionate about from a young age. Alyssa began her acting career at seven years old performing with her local community theatre in Hawaii. After moving to the East Coast as a teen, it was there that she was firstintroduced to film acting and fell in love. Alyssa has been seen in several commercials, short films, and TV shows. Alyssa has a strong passion for acting, and loves being around such talented actors at ActingOut Studio! Alyssa truly believes that acting brings out the best in people. “It challenges you, pushes you far beyond your limits, and brings you to do things you never knew possible.” Alyssa is currently a working actor on the East Coast and in the U.K.
JASMIN WHITTINGTON | EVENT MANAGER
Jasmin Whittington is a Theatre graduate from George Mason University. She has worked on multiple commercials as well as television shows and short films. Although she has experience working in front of the camera, Jasmin is more passionate with working behind the scenes. She aspires to be someone who changes the world for the better through her writing, acting, and singing.