Staff Bios

Steven Tompkins, Long Island

stevenheadshot1Tenor Steven Tompkins is distinguishing himself as a versatile leading man singing roles from Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème to Argento’s The Man With A Paint Box in Postcard from Morocco. Known for his clear ringing top, OperaNews described his voice as possessing an All-American sweetness… that blossomed heroically in the role’s highest phrases.”The Naples (Florida) Sun Times describes his voice as “fused with power and passion.”  The Ann Arbor News simply calls his voice “outstanding.”  

Mr Tompkins has performed extensively through out the United States and Europe singing the title roles of Faust, Fritz in L’amico Fritz, and Albert in Albert Herring.  Other lead roles include Alfredo in La Traviata, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Jeník in Prodana Nevesta, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Macduff in Macbeth, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Don José in Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen.  Noted venues include Carnegie Hall, Opera Santa Barbara, Fresno Grand Opera, Caramoor, Mercury Opera, Amore Opera, The Eastman Kodak Theater, The Sheen Center, WQXR The Green Space, Trealto Bramante, Opera in the Ozarks, The Connelly Theater, Teatro Caio Melisso,  and The Garden State Opera.

Oratorio and Concert works include Handel’s Messiah, Beethoveen’s 9th Symphony, Bach’s St John’s Passion and Cantata No.4,  and both Schütz and Dubois’s The Seven Last Words Of Christ with The International Symphony Orchestra, The Life Science Orchestra, and the Michigan Sinfonietta among others

Mr. Tompkins received his Masters of Music and Artist Diploma from the University of Michigan of full merit scholarship and his Bachelors of Science in Vocal Performance from Roberts Wesleyan College.  As well as performing Mr. Tompkins maintains an active teaching studio in NYC, Long Island, and Berlin.  Students with whom he has worked with have booked leads in Musical Theater and Opera both professionally and regionally as well as going on to conservatory.  

Diana Lieziert, Studio West

DianaDiana Lieziert has experience in both national and international print modeling, runway, live television, promo, commercial modeling, and extra work. From being awarded First Place Top Model in Fashion Week San Diego to carrying a live 6 foot python on the runway, Diana is revered by her peers for having an unwavering zest for life and contagious spirit. Groomed and mentored by the legendary Jim Crawford, Diana has worked for some of the biggest names in fashion such as Betsey Johnson, Nicole Miller, Rocky Gathercole, and Bloomingdales, as well as international designers Pineda Covalin, Ines di Santo, and many more.
In addition to her modeling experience, Diana brings a passion for teaching and helping others reach and achieve there goals. Diana‘s constant positive attitude has allowed her to foster lasting relationships in the modeling industry with producers, designers, artists, photographers, and agencies. As a working model, Diana is excited to bring real time insight from the industry straight to her students, sharing the necessary tools and helping them get their foot in the door as much as possible. One of her biggest joys in life is helping those around her to not only succeed, but become their best selves.

Michael Maury, Studio West

michaelmaury

Michael Maury is an actor, singer-songwriter and improv-comedian living here in San Diego. Some of Michael’s past television credits include “That 70’s Show” and “Passions”, as well as a recurring role as Deputy Lloyd on “Heroes”. He has performed in numerous national commercials including Miller Genuine Draft, ESPN, Goodyear Tires, Brinks Home Security, 7-11, Buick-Lacrosse, and IBM, just to name a few. Michael is a big fan of staged musicals and has performed in many over the years, including some of his favorites like “The Fantasticks” as Matt, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” as Charlie Brown, and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as Joseph. He can currently be seen performing regularly with the mainstage cast at the National Comedy Theatre home of the longest running show in San Diego, as well as with his musical improv troupe “aChording to Us” on various Thursday nights. Michael is thrilled to share his talents and energy as a teaching artists with the many skilled performers here at Tower Talent.

Whitney Shay, Studio West

fullsizerenderWhitney Shay is a soulful international touring vocalist and entertainer based in San Diego, California.  She began performing at the ripe age of three acting and singing in theatrical productions, and made the leap to belting blues & jazz in 2009.  Since then she’s been in high demand, singing at a myriad of venues performing more than 200 shows per year.  Whitney Shay has been nominated by the San Diego Music Awards for Best Blues Artist and Best Live Performer, and her debut album Soul Tonic was also nominated for Best Blues Album.  Whitney Shay graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre, emphasis on performance from San Diego State University; and with her combined experience in musical theatre, studying classical voice technique, and extensive experience singing everything from Soul to Pop to Jazz to Blues with bands she has a lot to offer the budding young vocalist/performer!

Nichole Macak, Studio West

1ywsdnlv8db91bgyyqmzknhlqdj_tv-fuodudm84lNichole Macak was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and studied at Grand Canyon University for theater education. She worked as an intern and lead teaching artist for three different theater companies around the valley,  such as Phoenix Theater,  Valley Youth Theater and Theater Works. Nichole has developed curriculum for classes and directed a few children’s shows such as The Totally Almost True Story of Hansel and Gretel and The Giving Tree.  Alongside teaching, Nichole is active in community plays and musicals as well as a designer for sets and costumes. She has a passion for developing characters and truly understanding the tools for acting. To work with kids on how to act and how to expand their imagination, can always be a challenge but, if you can understand what it truly means to be an actor and how to utilize those tools, it’s a wonderful experience. Nichole recently moved to San Diego and is a student currently at San Diego Mesa College studying secondary education and Theater. She hopes that you get to join her fun filled acting or musical theater classes, so that you too can expand your imagination.

Stephannie Weakley, Studio West

stephannie-biopicStephannie began her modeling career at the age of 15 after moving to San Diego from the island of Guam. She has many experiences walking in fashion shows all across San Diego and Los Angeles. She has had the opportunity to work with established fashion designers and producers and has become a “routine” model for many of them. In 2014, Stephannie walked in Fashion Week San Diego and to date continues to support up and coming designers in the San Diego area. Having started teaching children at the age of 16, Stephannie has a passion for working with kids whether it be for Sunday School, modeling, confidence, self-image, styling, or makeup; She always comes up with creative ways to keep the students up to date with the newest trends and runway routines.

Amelia Browning, Studio West

instructor-amelia-browningAs a classically trained vocalist and graduate of Berklee College of Music, Amelia specializes in utilizing contemporary repertoire as a vehicle for teaching solid technique. She has a wealth of teaching experience from preschool music to vocal workshop classes and private instruction, and focuses on helping students hone their personal style while building a foundation of healthy vocal technique.

Amelia also leads a jazz quartet that performs throughout San Diego and offers a fresh take on Jazz expression with an unconventional repertoire and a sound all their own. In addition to the usual jazz standards, interpreted by many groups, this band offers creative arrangements of contemporary popular songs in order to present jazz to new audiences in a way that makes it feel familiar and accessible while honoring the innovation that defines the genre.

Jim Crawford

instructor-jim-crawford-002Studio West

Model, producer, lecturer and teacher, born January 27, in Santa Monica, California, Jim Crawford began his career in the fashion industry more than 36 years ago.  In the late ’60s Jim worked in sales and management for local retail clothing stores.  He moved to San Diego in 1968 to complete his degree towards a teaching career.   He started working for a chain of men’s clothing stores where he became their image representative, modeling for print, TV, and fashion events, his first signed modeling contract and modeling for all major stores, special events, major print ads in National magazines.

In the late ’70s, he started his own production company, coached modeling in the early ’80s, produced events for Saks 5th Avenue, major charity events, PSA Airlines grand openings, Monte Carlo Nite, Jewel Ball and much, much more. In addition, he was the Special Consultant for Macy’s, a large department retail chain, coordinating their fashion events in southern California.  He has produced “The Golden Hanger Fashion Awards” Gala, benefiting the Make a Wish Foundation for 15 years running.

Today, Jim continues coaching for modeling schools, for the pageant circuits and major agencies in southern California. In 2014 he was named the official coach of Miss California USA after years of success coaching so many of the talented women competing in Miss California USA, Miss California Teen USA, Miss USA & Miss Teen USA. To name a few, Miss Teen USA 2013, Cassidy Wolf, Miss California USA 2013 Mabelynn Capeluj, Miss USA 1st runner up 2009,  Carrie Prejean and many more.

He recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the field of fashion and helping others achieve their dreams.  There is nothing that Jim cannot accomplish and we are very proud and honored to have him at our school.

Drew Felton, Long Island

DREWDrew Felton is the owner of the Felton Group agency in New York City. Prior to establishing his own agency in 2010, he was a booker for various agencies. Felton Group has several different divisions, including men, women, children, plus size, high fashion, and commercial. He trains those who are interested in pursuing a career in modeling by teaching them the necessary skills for auditioning and interviewing. He coaches for Miss Universe and is currently working with models for the Trinidadian & Tobagonian fashion show.

Drew is a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a stylist for celebrities like Nick Cannon and Isaac Hayes. Drew also designs clothing for his own fashion line, Andrew by Andrew Felton. He is a fierce, fabulous, and fun designer who enjoys showing off complete looks. 

Cassidy Foley, Long Island

instructor-cassidy-foleyOur Modeling Instructor Cassidy Foley is a Long Island Native who started modeling at age 11. She is currently signed with Elite Model Management. Her career credits include print for companies like Target, L’Oreal, Kohls, Burlington Coat Factory, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Party City, Xerox, Color Siete, Liz Fields, Steinmart, Peacocks Department Store, McCalls Patterns, US News and World Report, Soho Publishing and many more. Brands like Coco-Cola are at the top of her commercial credits while Louis Vitoun remains her most memorable of Runway and Showroom credits. She has graced the covers of 5 books, including Under The Never Sky and Clean. It definitely takes a special person to become a model, but to teach modeling and image development to others and to truly build their confidence and skills for modeling and/or life is a gift. Cassidy Foley definitely possesses that gift and we hope you will have the chance to work with her at some point during your own career.

Devin Hennessey, Studio West

Devin HennesseyDevin Hennessy is a producer, director, actor and sometime radio personality thankful to have returned to his roots here in San Diego.After finishing JRP training as a teenager, Devin enjoyed over a decade of work in the entertainment industry, including appearances on film, television, radio and stage before starting his own company to produce feature films. Devin’s more notable commercial credits include work for Radio Shack, Sprint, Wendy’s, KFC, MTV, IronMan, Subway, Gatorade, NAPA, Nintendo, BMW, Nissan, Infinity, Harley Davidson, Heineken, Bud Light and Pepsi… even an appearance as Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes.

Shewan Howard, Studio West

Shewan Howard HS1Shewan was born and raised in St. Louis, MO where he also attended Washington University, double majoring in Drama and Psychology. He started with a talent agency in the Midwest where he was asked to develop a new acting curriculum for the agency and take over the acting department. After working in the local industry of theater and commercials for a few years, he went on to attend Indiana University-Bloomington where he taught acting at the collegiate level and earned his MFA in Acting. He played the roles of the Player King in Hamlet and Howie in Rabbit Hole among others, all culminating in his thesis role there as Leontes in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. He has recently completed his first feature film serving as writer, director, producer and actor, which is just starting to make its way around the film festival circuit. He is currently writing and work-shopping a new sitcom which he hopes to start production on in the coming months.

Sharif Ibrahim

Sharif IbrahimSharif began acting in 8th grade in the heavy hitting role of the French Pastry Chef in the “King’s Creampuffs” He began preparing for acting at a much younger age, though, by watching TV. He was especially inspired to entertain by Sesame Street, Mel Blanc and Looney Tunes and the lady who read stories at the library. After continuing with drama in high school and a year in college, in 1996, Sharif competed at an international convention and won top honors as Male Talent of the Year. He then signed with Mitchell Talent Management in San Francisco, CA. After booking national commercials, roles on Nash Bridges and America’s Most Wanted, and commercial and print ads with MTM, he now lives in Los Angeles where he works as a writer/producer, and from where he travels the country coaching 2-day acting workshops, training actors to put forth their best efforts during their opportunity of a lifetime. He’s appeared on Days of our Lives several short films and commercials, including 2007’s Academy Award Winner for Best Live Action Short, West Bank Story.  Sharif is also the author of five volumes of comedy monologue books titled, “Are You Laughing At Me?” As a comedy writer, he has performed stand-up comedy in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. He is currently in pre-production of two film projects. Shareef also earned a B.A. in Pre-Physical Therapy with a minor in Holistic Health from San Francisco State University.

Lindsey Parker, Studio West

Lindsey ParkerLindsey began her dance instruction at the age of seven in Gilbert, Arizona.  She grew up performing in parades, at basketball halftime shows, and also competing nationally in dance competitions.  In high school, Lindsey began choreographing and staging pieces and was featured in concerts each semester.  Her dance education continued at The University of Arizona, focusing on modern dance technique, while obtaining a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  Lindsey has also performed in musical productions including “Guys and Dolls,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Wizard of Oz,” and “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.”

In 2013, Lindsey was hired as an original cast member in “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” at Sea World San Diego.   She has since been promoted to dance captain and is integral to the training of new dancers for the show.  Additionally, Lindsey was selected to perform at the “2014 Golden Ticket Awards,” an international awards event for the entertainment and theme park industries.  Recently, she was awarded a Beyond Excellence Award at Sea World for these and other invaluable contributions to the talent department.  Lindsey is excited to be teaching at JRP and to pass on her love of dance!

Bryan Radtke, Long Island

bryan-radtkeBRYAN RADTKE started his career at Second City in 1995. He co-wrote, directed and produced his first comedy revue in 1996. He has studied at Jeff Daniel’s Purple Rose Theater in Michigan. In NYC, he has studied with Alan Arkin, Brian Keeler, Adrienne Weiss and Bob Krackower. He has acted in many plays, commercials, improvisational comedy troupes, films and industrials. He has cast and directed a number of projects in the NYC area including plays, short films and sketch comedy. He also wrote, directed and co-produced 2 short play festivals in NYC.

Bryan has also written many monologues, scenes, plays and industrial scripts. Bryan has been teaching both adult and child actors since 2001. His students have appeared in COMMERCIALS (MasterCard, American Express, MTV, Kmart, Target, Kodak, Maxwell House, Gap, Hess, Nickelodeon, Ovaltine) TELEVISION (Sopranos, As the World Turns, Law and Order, Law and Order:SVU, Sesame Street, The Carrie Diaries, Eastbound and Down, Hawaii Five-0) FILM ( Deck the Halls, Little Manhattan, The Departed, The Good Shepard, The Changeling, Gran Torino) THEATER (The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, A Civil War Christmas, Anna of the Tropics) and have AGENCY CONTRACTS (Buchwald, KSA, Innovative Artists, JMM, Abrams, Ford Modeling Agency)

Megan Tower, Director

megan-towerMegan Tower has a passion for achieving big dreams both for herself and those around her.

Born the youngest of six children, Megan has always been an extremely outgoing and hardworking young woman. She graduated from High School 19th in her class out of over 450 seniors of whom had elected her as their Vice President four years consecutively. In addition, Megan was captain of her High School Dance team, which competed nationally and had received a number of distinctions under her leadership. She was awarded the Grace J. Fippinger Scholarship in 1999, the largest scholarship presented to any one person that year, based upon outstanding academic achievement and commitment to community service. With that, Megan would go on to receive a bachelor’s degree from Marist College in 2003 specializing in Communications, more specifically, Radio, Television and Film. During her time at Marist, Megan studied at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia for a semester abroad. She was awarded Magna Cum Laude at graduation.

Having grown up just 40 minutes outside New York City, Megan began working for MTV at age 19 with the casting department for Total Request Live, a live music video count down show filmed each day overlooking Times Square. Shortly thereafter, Megan moved to the upper west side and began working for the video department at Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records. With her experience in casting, production and the entertainment business, she transitioned into scouting fresh talent for acting and modeling at age 23. She has traveled both nationally and overseas scouting, developing, and marketing new and upcoming talent. She works with some of the biggest names in television, commercial, print, and film casting, has countless success stories under her belt, and absolutely thanks God everyday for her opportunities in life.  Megan is blessed to be able to build confidence in others and change lives everyday.  She hopes that in working with her, clients walk away with a greater sense of empowerment.