ABOUT AAF

Actors Academy Finland has been born from a passion for the craft of acting. Our mission is to create more avenues and possibilities for growth and expansion for both professional and starting actors, performers, directors and the ones who are looking for new ways to expand their creative and emotional expression and growth. 

We at AAF share a firm belief in every human being's natural talent. It is often not only about learning more skills but unlearning patterns that are disconnecting us from our creative freedom and flow.

We are here to help you do just that. Supporting you to learn what you need to learn, but most of all - help you unleash your unique talent. 

When you learn to work off what is really there, it isn’t work at all. 

- Ashlie Walker

 
NITA ARPIAINEN
Founder, CEO

Nita Arpiainen is an actor and acting coach, yoga teacher, holistic coach and the founder of Actors Academy Finland. In her previous career, she has also worked as a TV presenter and producer. 

Nita's deep passion and curiosity for acting, learning and personal growth is the underlying motivation for AAF to come alive. The vision for AAF was formed while Nita attended numerous acting schools and workshops in London at the Actors Studio, Giles Forman Acting Studio, City Academy and the Actors Temple to name a few, ultimately falling profoundly in love with the Meisner Technique, and it making a powerful and lasting impact on the way she viewed acting. Nita has been studying the Meisner Technique since 2015.

AAF has put together the One Year Actors Training as the optimal training course. It combines the expertise Nita has gathered on the subject around the world and eager to share it with her fellow actors.

OUR COACHES

ASHLIE WALKER
Acting Coach

A wealth of experience as a professional actress for 20 years and extensive training in Meisner Technique, Ashlie is a highly respected international teacher, tutor and personal coach. As a tutor, she especially focuses on unlocking the actors' instinct for truth, elevated by dramatic choices in performance. She guides actors to deepen their understanding of the craft, experience emotional freedom, build their actors' faith and, perhaps most importantly, to take risks. ​Alongside teaching, Ashlie has numerous directing credits and holds a Bsc (Hons) in Psychology and Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy, both of which expand her capacity to work with and empower her actors on and off stage. As a personal transformation coach, Ashlie guides those living in fear, anxiety and stress to discover a life of freedom, purpose and joy. Ashlies soul calling is to guide others back to love and into their light.

TOM SAWYER
Acting Coach

Tom has trained and worked extensively both in the UK and the US. Training in London includes The Poor School, The Actors Centre and The Actors Temple and the Margie Haber Studio In the US among others. 

He has worked as a professional actor for over 20 years on stage and screen at the highest level for institutions such as BBC (Eastenders), Channel 4 (Hollyoaks), ITV (The Bill) and on stage has worked at the famous Edinburgh Festival and with companies such as Pilot Theatre Company (Sing yer heart out for the lads) appearing in some of the UK’s most prestigious theatres including Hackney Empire, Salisbury Playhouse, Soho Theatre and York Theatre Royal. 

He is a founder and tutor at the Screen Actors London and a tutor at The Actors Temple where he specializes in the Meisner Technique, and also works with actors at Mountview Academy, International School of Screen Acting and the London Film Academy

BEN JOINER
Voice & Movement Coach

Ben is an actor and a vocal coach. He trained as a dancer in the early nineties, touring internationally with various ballet and modern dance companies before retraining as an actor in 2000. Since then he has worked extensively in theatre, film and television. He coaches on the MA in Voice Studies at The Royal Central School of Speech of Drama and is one of approximately 200 vocal coaches worldwide trained by Kristin Linklater to teach her method Freeing the Natural Voice. Since 2010 he has been coaching at The Oxford School of Drama, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, Arts Educational Schools, The Giles Foreman Centre for Acting, The Actor’s Temple, plus numerous theatre companies, independent groups and individual clients.

TIM KENT
Acting Coach & Director

Tim Kent is a multi-award winning director with over 25 years experience working at the forefront of the British film industry. After running a successful talent agency in London's West-End for 12 years, representing many household names, in 2008 his focus shifted towards directing and producing films and coaching screen acting. Tim has directed over 200 projects including showreels and award winning films for which his talent has been recognised internationally. In 2016 his film 'Prowler' won the prestigious Best British Film at the Portsmouth International Film Festival gaining victory over 500 other entries, including feature length films. In 2013 'Two Persons Max' won the Award of Excellence at the Los Angeles Movie Awards and in 2012 'At Your Service' received a Best Film nomination at the London Independent Film Festival. Based at the legendary Pinewood Studios, Tim is surrounded by a thriving community of some of the most influential filmmakers in the world including Academy Award winners. He has worked as a producer on a number of high profile films including Hollywood features. His debut feature 'Sparrow's Call' is set to commence filming in Romania in 2018 with a crew led by some of the best creatives working in the film industry today.

In 2008 Tim founded the Actor's Studio as an international training ground for actors to develop their on-camera skills whilst working with a professional crew. He has taught thousands of established actors as well as provided coaching to politicians, sports stars, professional singers and TV personalities. Actor's Studio is globally renowned as one of the best places to study the craft of screen acting. Tim's experience in front of and behind the camera as well as in the casting room, has meant that students travel from around the world to attend his training academy. The school is one of the first to offer a Diploma in screen acting and Tim's highly regarded training films are sold in the UK at the National Theatre Book Shop and Samuel French. Alongside his coaching, Tim has been directing and producing dynamic and innovative films including a number of award winning short films, commercials and training videos.

GARY CONDÉS
Director & Acting Coach


Gary Condés has 30 years of extensive experience as a professional actor. Having worked in Mainstream, Independent and Low Budget Films, TV Dramas and Soaps, West End, Off-West End, Repertory and Touring Theatre, he knows what it takes to be a professional working actor. His career highlights include working alongside: Sam Rockwell (Moon), Helena Bonham Carter (Wings Of The Dove), Colin Firth (Fever Pitch), Ray Winstone (Five Seconds To Spare).

Actors who have trained with Gary or currently coaching with him include: Stacy Martin (Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac), Ed Speleers (Outlander), Cavan Clerkin (The Capture), Freddie Fox (White House Farm), Fola Evans-Akingbola (Game Of Thrones), Benedict Wong (David Copperfield).
During the last 5 years, Gary has moved into directing, with plays at West End & Off-West End Theatres, as well as writing and directing short films, which have won a number of awards at international film festivals in London, Los Angeles, Berlin and Barcelona. His work is deeply rooted in the principles and techniques pioneered by Sanford Meisner, but he is also very much inspired by selective practices developed by Stella Adler and Mike Alfreds. Standing on the shoulders of these giants, Gary has developed a way to train actors to work from the personal passions of the heart and guts, to create acting that is alive and kicking, totally committed & fully behavioral. Characterizations full of meaningful behavior is always the goal.

PIA RICKMAN
Acting Coach

Pia Rickman trained as a director at Drama Centre CSM in London and complimented her writing and directing experience with an actor training and coaching degree from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama where she focused on the contemporary screen actor training. Rickman, originally from Finland, worked as an assistant director and production manager in film & TV in the years 2002-2014. Rickman coaches actors for their auditions and on set, and has taught at various HE performing arts institutions e.g. Arts Ed, Rose Bruford, London Film Academy, Screen School/ UAL, St Mary’s University as well as ELO, TeaK and NäTy in Finland. Rickman is currently working towards accreditation as an Intimacy Coordinator at IOS. She is a full-time Lecturer in BA (Hons) Acting & Performance at University for the Creative Arts in Surrey.

KIMBERLY GRAHAM
Casting Director & Acting Coach

Kimberly Graham has been the Associate Casting Director with Judy Henderson Casting since 2003. She casts for film, television, commercials and theater. Her office was the pioneers for voice over casting for video games, primarily the Grand Theft Auto series. Her office casts for Off-Broadway theaters such as The New Group, The Play Company, The Director’s Company and Pig Iron Theater Company in Philadelphia. Judy and Kimberly have cast such films as AVATAR, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2, and Rick Linklater’s BEFORE MIDNIGHT among others. Kimberly's work on HOMELAND for SHOWTIME has garnered numerous awards, including ARTIOS and EMMY AWARDS for outstanding casting in a drama. Kimberly frequently teaches workshops in NYC, Boston, DC, Savannah, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Miami, Paris, Berlin and London among others.

ELIZA SIMPSON
Accent Coach

Eliza's recent dialect coach credits include Netflix's Tall Girl, the upcoming sequel to Fantastic Beasts, and Justin Chon's new film Blue Bayou with Alicia Vikander.

Eliza is a dialect coach for production and private clients, as well as a certified teacher of Knight Thompson Speechwork. She coaches performers from across the globe for film, TV, stage, voiceover, spokes-modeling, and corporate events. Eliza is a proud graduate of Rutgers University and a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association. When she's not on set or at rehearsal, she works in conjunction with acting conservatories like HB Studios, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYU, and the New School to assist actors in mastering accent skills.

TY GLASER
Acting Coach

Ty Glaser is an actor, director, acting and accent coach. She originally trained in professional dance at The Northern Ballet School, Manchester, going on to train extensively in acting at The Actor’s Temple, London, under the guidance of Master Teacher, Simon Furness. Ty has also completed courses at: - Lesly Kahn & Co, Los Angeles, - Anthony Meindel, Los Angeles, - Improv Olympic, Los Angeles, - Upright Citizens Brigade, Los Angeles, and - The Free Association, London. She has appeared in numerous television shows, films and theatre productions including: Secret Diary of a Call Girl (ITV), Holby City (BBC), The IT Crowd (Channel 4), Father Brown (BBC), Eliminators (WWE Studios), Hard Boiled Sweets (Universal), Bones (Fox, USA), The Blue Room by David Hare (The Garrick Theatre, Litchfield), ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Yerma (Hull Truck Theatre & Notting Hill Gate Theatre). Ty wrote and directed the short film Spark in 2016.

Ty has been teaching screen acting at The Playing Space in London, and Meisner, Casting Workshops, American Accent and General British Accent at The Actor’s Temple, London. She has also taught at The London Met Film School and The Young Actors’ Studio.

ANNA TAVAILA
Acting Coach - Youth Academy

Anna Tavaila is one of our teachers at the Youth Academy. Anna is a Theatre and Performance professional. She graduated from the University of Leeds in 2019.

During her studies she fell in love with the richness of performer training, she has studied techniques by Stanislavsky, Chekhov, Meyerhold, Strasberg and Meisner.

She has performed on-stage from a young age. Her theatre credits include productions such as Legally Blonde the Musical and Equus. Alongside acting, she has worked as a dance teacher both in the UK and Finland.

MONIKA LINDEMAN
Acting Coach - Youth Academy

Monika is an international actor with credits in the UK, Norway and her home country Finland. 

Over the last six years, Monika has been working solidly on television. 

With a Masters Degree in Acting, Bachelors in performance art & pedagogical studies and a diploma in physical theatre acting, Monika has studied her craft for more than a decade. 

She works mainly on television but is still connected to her theatre background. 

DARREN MCSTAY
Acting Coach


Darren initially gained a certificate of distinction in Speech and Articulation from LAMDA before studying for an MA in Acting at East 15 Acting School. He also has an equivalent MA in Radio from the same school.

 

As a stage actor, Darren has worked at The National Theatre, The Royal Opera House, ENO (English National Opera), and has also performed in Warhorse in London's West End. As a film actor, he has appeared in over twenty-five films and he continues to work in both fields.

 

"I have been fortunate enough to have appeared before almost three and a half million people live worldwide. This has successfully led me to become an effective voice & performance coach, reaching over half a million people, in not only improving their voice and communicative potential but making positive changes to their lifestyle, beliefs and habits."

OUR TEAM OF COACHES IS GROWING

If you have a favorite coach you would like to recommend to us, please email us.