Success Stories

In past years, we are proud to have helped so many actors attain their goals of working in television and film. Many former students have leading or recurring roles such as To All The Boys I Loved Before, The Thundermans, Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Every Witch Way, Disney’s Jessie, Lab Rats, Kickin’ It, Austin and Ally and KirbyBuckets. On major networks, you can find other former prep actors on CBS’s Madam Secretary, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, NBC’s Splitting Up Together to name a few. Numerous actors have also frequently recurred or guest starred on other popular shows.

While we can’t take credit for the amazing actors who come to us, we are confident that our classes, training, workshops, camps and personal coaching play a significant role in the evolution of their careers.

Hendrix Yancey

Hendrix is a private student of John’s who has been coaching with him for years! Her growth in the craft has been tremendous, and she has booked roles in Showtime’s George and Tammy, Netflix’s Unbelievable, and more notably, can be seen as 013 in Stranger Things and Jan Broberg in Peacock’s acclaimed series A Friend of the Family. We could not be prouder!

Reyn Doi

Reyn is a comedic genius who came to us after an agent recommendation. He not only took classes and private coaching, but rocked our Sketch Comedy Workshop. He became a breakout from the film Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar and can be seen in shows including Nickelodeon’s Drama Club, Side Hustle, and Netflix’s That 90’s Show.

Jacob M Wade

From good ol’ Oklahoma, Jacob started private coaching with us in 2018. He then frequently attended our classes and workshops including our Episodic Prep, Sketch Comedy Workshop, and Camp Hollywood. We were ecstatic to hear that the film Minari, in which he plays the friend of the lead, was not only a Sundance selection, but was also an Oscar nominee for Best Picture! Jacob can also be seen in the family film Family Camp.

Dallas Dupree Young

After wrapping his role as Stuart on Nickeleodeon’s Cousins for Life, Dallas attended our classes to refine his skills. He can be seen in shows like Sydney to the Max, 911, and most notably as the character Kenny Payne in the popular Netflix show Cobra Kai.

Orli Gottesman

A Florida native, Orli and her sister Arielle first worked with John in Miami in 2016. Afterwards, she attended our Camp Hollywood twice as well as private coaching. Orli can be seen in movies including Adeline and 1-800-Hot-Nite as well as Paramount+’s acclaimed series Yellowstone.

Jake Satow

Originally from Ohio, we met Jake through his agent in 2017. He frequently attended our classes, specialty workshops including Episodic Prep and Sketch Comedy Workshop, and our Camp Hollywood! You can see him in Hulu’s The Dropout as Amanda Seyfried’s younger brother and the films Adeline and AMC+’s Saving Christmas.

Walker Scobell

The Power of Partnership! Thank you Casting Director Paul Weber for recommending Walker Scobell to our PILOT PREP workshop in 2019. Walker had a great performance and was highly sought after, with our friend April Baker from Stagecoach Entertainment launching Walker’s career in tandem with A3 Artists. You can catch Walker as the younger version of Ryan Reynolds in The Adam Project, Paramount +’s Secret Headquarters, and Percy Jackson in Disney +’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians!

Ethan William Childress

Ethan William Childress is a young talent who was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was enrolled in a charter school for the arts and began to thrive as an actor, eventually realizing that this was his calling. He decided to give up playing on a competitive soccer team to focus on acting and began his AW journey as an online student of John’s. Childress starred in two short films: Happy Place, written and directed by B. Gordon Stovall and Darryl Pugh; and The United States of Tomorrow, written, directed and produced by David Keith. He took classes weekly, and later booked a series regular role as Johan Johnson on ABC’S Mixed-ish! Other credits include Diary Of A Wimpy Kid and more!

Aubrey Miller

Aubrey was referred to us through her agent and began her training in our on-camera classes in addition to private coaching. Aubrey is most known for her roles as Hannah Parker-Kent on Amazon’s original series Just Add Magic, Megan Simms on Disney’s Austin and Ally, Ellie on Nickelodeon’s Sam and Cat, and Emily on Shameless. Aubrey also wrote, produced, and starred in her youtube series, ME.

Lilla Crawford

Lilla Crawford came to AW as a referral from her agent. She began her journey in our ongoing classes and through private coaching. Lila was a series regular on Netflix’s The Who Was? Show, starred in the ABC pilot, Relatively Normal, and voiced the lead role of Sunny in Nickelodeon’s animated series, Sunny Day in addition to joining the cast of Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. Lilla made her feature film debut as Little Red in Disney’s film adaptation of Into the Woods opposite Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp. She made her Broadway debut as Debbie in Billy Elliott and then was cast from a nationwide search of over 5,000 young performers in the title role of the 35th anniversary revival of Annie directed by James Lapine! Other credits include the Musical anthology TV series Fairy Tale Forest and more.

Owen Atlas

Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada Owen has been training with AW for years! He has taken our summer camps, ongoing classes, and private coaches with a variety of our teachers.
He is best known for his lead role of Lucas in Little Evil. He can also be seen in Bunk’d, The Starling opposite Melissa McCarthy, and more.

Jack Griffo

Jack Griffo is an American actor, musician, singer, and model who starred as the lead antagonist-turned-anti-hero, Max Thunderman, in Nickelodeon’s hit show, The Thundermans. Originally from Orlando, Jack moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in AW classes in addition to private coaching sessions. Post-Thundermans, Jack then began a recurring role as “Dylan” on the Netflix Emmy nominated show, Alexa and Katie along with roles in several feature films including Sid is Dead Butter and more.

Liana Ramirez

Ever since she could walk, Liana Ramirez has had a passion for performing and storytelling. At fourteen, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and she has been very successful, appearing multiple times on such networks as the Disney Channel, CBS and Netflix. Ramirez also stars in Star Light, a horror feature by the producer of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot series. She came to AW through a referral, and took our Pilot Prep Workshop, Camp Hollywood, and private coached with John.

Ramirez can be seen in Power Rangers Beast Morphers on Nickelodeon as Evil, The Yellow Ranger. In the midst of auditioning, graduating at sixteen, and working hard in her latest TV show, Liana also wrote her first novel “The Secrets Within Me”. She started creative writing before she was ten and aspires to one day have her own section in Barnes and Noble, dedicated to her books.

Siena Agudong

Siena was born and raised in Hawaii and began her career in early 2013, booking the recurring role of Lulu Parker on ABC’s Texas Ranger drama, Killer Women. During her time with us she took classes, workshops, and attended our summer camp. Other credits include Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn, Upside Down Magic, Resident Evil, and more.

Siena is most known for her title character role of Nick, a street smart con artist with a secret agenda, in Netflix’ original series No Good Nick, starring alongside Sean Astin, Melissa Joan Hart, Lauren Donzis and Kalama Epstein.

Siena has earned several Young Entertainer and Young Artist award nominations in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. In the spring of 2017, Siena Won her nomination and was awarded “Best Guest Starring Young Actress 12 & Under” for the Young Entertainers Awards held at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California.

Kylie Cantrall

Kylie Cantrall is an actress, writer, singer, and dancer known for Gabby Duran & The Unsittables, Just Roll with It, and Kylie Cantrall: No Reason. Kylie took classes with AW in addition to private coaching. Be sure to check out Kylie’s Youtube channel as well!

Josie Totah

Josie Totah is an immensely talented actor, writer and comedian with a gift for bringing dynamic characters to life. Totah has been recognized by numerous prestigious publications including being named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 30 Stars Under 18, Forbes 30 Under 30 (Hollywood), Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21, Out Magazine OUT100 and Seventeen Magazine’s 6 Women Under 21 Who Are Changing the World. She was referred to AW and took classes, summer camps, and private coaching.

Totah is most known for her starring role in Peacock’s Saved By The Bell. Totah can be seen in ICARLY, MOXIE, MAGIC CAMP, NEW GIRL, THE EXES, SOFIA THE FIRST, as well as recurring in the Netflix series, NO GOOD NICK. She also starred in ABC’s comedy BACK IN THE GAME.

Totah is also an LGBTQ activist who regularly appears on panels discussing LBGTQ rights and inclusion of LGBTQ characters in film and television. Totah was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign who honored her with the prestigious Visibility Award in 2018 and the Upstander Award in 2019. She was named by Out Magazine to Out100. Totah is also a celebrity ambassador for GLAAD and GLSEN where she serves as a member of the GLSEN Game Change Council.

Connor Falk

Connor Falk was born in Trondheim, Norway. At four years old, Connor moved with his family to Vail where he continued to live until the age of 12. During his time in Colorado, Connor was an avid rock climber, skier, and gymnast, and participated in martial arts. However, after being dragged to Denver on the weekends for his older sister’s acting classes, and after attending numerous of her musical theater performances, he became fascinated with the performing arts. At the age of 10 he began participating in local musical theater, and taking classes with his sister in Denver. When Connor was 12 years old he booked his first television role as ‘Young Chase’ in the Hulu/Marvel series Runaways. This on-set experience solidified his love of acting, and in the fall of 2017 he moved to Los Angeles with his mother. Since moving to LA, Connor has starred in Criminal Minds, Forever, Black-ish, and can be seen in Sydney to the Max, and the Disney+ show Diary of a Future President, RITA and more. Connor took our Pilot Prep Workshop.

Anais and Mirabelle Lee

Anais and Mirabelle Lee are twin actresses who radiate every room they walk into!

The girls are in our on-going classes in addition to private coaching on their auditions.

Anais and Mirabelle began their careers at three years old as print models and have appeared in numerous advertisements for major retailers. Anais and Mirabelle shared the role of “Janie” in the crime-thriller movie Blood Ties directed by Guillaume Canet and both performed in Debbie Allen’s musical Brothers of the Knight.

Most recently, Anais can be seen on Netflix’s THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB, The Upshaws, and Danger Force.
Mirabelle can be seen in Sydney To The Max, B-Positive, Spalface, Saturday’s and more.

Reed Horstmann

Reed is a rising star who came to AW as an online student. He attended our Pilot Prep and Camp Hollywood. Reed recently booked a leading role in The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia and can also be seen in Netflix’s Our Souls at Night and Disney’s Meet the Mayhems.

Max Ivutin

Max began acting at an early age and was born in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to acting, Max enjoys parkour, running 5Ks, riding his unicycle and playing baseball.

Max attended our Pilot Prep Workshop, Casting Intensives and private coached with our staff where he booked a role in the HOME ALONE remake. Other credits include: Robbie (Comedy Central), Love to the Rescue (Hallmark), Superpower Dogs, MacGyver (CBS), and The 15:17 to Paris and more.

Lotus Blossom

Lotus Blossom (and her younger brother Phoenix) were long time students in our Monday On-Camera class. Lotus was the type of student that showed up every week ready to work and learn. It’s safe to say that her success is a testament to her dedication. You can catch Lotus on Netflix’s We Can Be Heroes and more!

Chase Vacnin

Chase met John D’Aquino when he was 10 years old, and later reconnected with John in 2020. Chase enrolled in numerous AW courses in addition to coaching with John on auditions where he secured 5 callbacks in 3 months. Most recently, John coached Chase on his latest audition where he booked a Series Regular role on Nickelodeon’s Drama Club. Chase can also be seen in The Many Saints of Newark and more!

Storm Reid

The incredible Storm Reid took classes and privately coached with the school in 2012. Storm knew she wanted to be an actress since she was just three years old and landed her first feature film role opposite Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender in the Academy Award winning film Twelve Years a Slave directed by Steve McQueen for Fox Searchlight. Storm has gone on to appear in several other tv & film projects including Sleight, A Happening of Monumental Proportions, A Wrinkle In Time, The Invisible Man, and Euphoria. Her young career is just beginning!

Rio Mangin

Rio Mangini is a classically trained pianist, actor, and film composer. Rio made his Carnegie Hall debut at 9 years old, and is known for his portrayal of the acerbic “McQuaid” on the acclaimed Netflix Original Series Everything Sucks. He can most recently be seen in Apple’s Home Before Dark. He took classes & private coached with the school starting in 2012.

Rio has won 7 Young Artist Awards and Young Entertainer Awards with 12 nominations in total

Brighton Sharbino

Brighton Sharbino was just six years old when she began starring in commercials and landing roles in television shows. Born and raised in Texas, Brighton comes from a strong support system including older sister Saxon Sharbino and younger brother Sawyer Sharbino who share the same love for acting. A private student of John’s, credits include spots on NCIS, The Walking Dead, & True Detective. In 2016, Brighton starred as Jennifer Garner’s on screen daughter in Sony’s Miracles from Heaven (2016) which won a Teen Choice Award. In 2017, Brighton’s movie Bitch (2017) where she stars opposite Jason Ritter and Jaime King premiered at the Sundance film festival. Most recently, she starred in Players, a snap original.

Jillian Shea Spaeder

AW student Jillian Shea Spaeder is an actress and singer-songwriter. She stars with Jillian Bell and Isla Fisher in the Disney + original film, Godmothered and performs two songs on the movie’s soundtrack, “Rise Up (Joy to the World)” and “Hero.” Known primarily for her lead role as Bailey on the Disney XD series Walk the Prank, Jillian also appeared as a guest star on the Netflix series No Good Nick alongside Sean Astin and Melissa Joan Hart and Disney’s Just Roll with It, and had a supporting role in the film To the Beat 2.

Elisha Henig

Elisha Henig grew up in Portland, Oregon, and became interested in acting after taking a Shakespeare class at the age of eight. Elisha first came to AW in 2015 where he attended classes.

Elisha found success in guest roles in various TV productions at the age of 10, such as Grey’s Anatomy, Adam Ruins Everything and Mr. Robot. Henig was a main cast member playing the protagonist role of Julian in the second season of the USA Network drama The Sinner and alongside Zach Braff in Alex, Inc. Other roles include Miles in Season 2 of American Vandal, young Ramy Youssef in an episode of Ramy, and Cipher.

Sean Ryan Fox

Previous student Sean Ryan Fox has been performing since he was two years old, putting on shows with his sister’s karaoke machine. When he was six years old, he would put on his own made-up plays for his family to watch in the living room and at eight and half years old he got his first agent. He booked his first commercial job for AARP/The Hartford on his ninth birthday, and, after that job, he knew he loved acting and that he wanted to have a career in acting.

Sean can be seen playing the lead role of Jasper Dunlop in Nickelodeon’s longest running hit series, Henry Danger. Sean can be seen in Christmas All Over Again, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Kickin’ It. He has starred in the feature films David’s Dinosaur, Field of Lost Shoes, and Sex, Death and Bowling. Aside from acting, Sean has completed his first album and released his first single and music video, “Indestructible,” with great reviews, along with his second song “Perfect Crime” with over 4.5 million views on YouTube.

Bryana Salaz

A private student of John’s Bryana has found success in shows including The Voice and Urban Cowboy!

Natalie Coughlin

Natalie began her love of acting by watching her older sister perform in local theater. She quickly followed onto the stage beginning at 4 years old and is a long time student here at AW where she’s taken classes, workshops, camp, and private coaching. Natalie has found great success in projects including The Casagrandes, Mr. Church, Henry Danger and more!

Lizzy Greene

John first met Lizzy after watching her in a play in Dallas, Texas. Lizzy privately coached with John and she made her television debut on the Nickelodeon sitcom Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn in the title role of Dawn Harper, the only girl of quadruplets. In addition, she can be seen in the ABC drama A Million Little Things.

Nick Robinson

Nick blew us away the first time he attended class at AW. Nick has had great success and credits include Melissa & Joey, Jurassic World, The Kings of Summer, The 5th Wave , Everything, Everything, Love, Simon, and Native Son. In 2020, Robinson co-starred in the FX miniseries A Teacher. In 2021, he co-starred in the Netflix miniseries Maid.

Isabella Gomez

Isabella Gomez is a Colombian-American actress, best known for starring in One Day at a Time. Isabella attended several AW classes, and can now be seen starring in HBO Max’s reboot of Head of the Class!
In 2020, Gomez was awarded an Impact Award by the National Hispanic Media Coalition for her “Outstanding Performance in a Television Series” on One Day at a Time.

Dior Goodjohn

Dior is a private student who has been training with John since 2016. Her growth throughout the years has been remarkable, and has booked several series regular roles including HBO Max’s reboot of Head of the Class, Nickelodeon’s Are you Afraid of the Dark, and Disney +’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians!

Noah Centineo

Noah headshot

Noah began his journey in our weekly on-going classes. He private coached on auditions and also took our Camp Hollywood where students gain valuable on-set experience. Noah booked a few guest-roles on shows like Austin and Ally and quickly took off when he landed starring roles in movies such as To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Charlie’s Angels, and DC’s Black Adam! Noah was also a series regular on Freeform’s The Fosters and can be seen in Netflix’s The Recruit.

RJ Cyler

RJ headshot

RJ Cyler, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, has always been an entertainer in some way or form He attended Camp Hollywood, where John asked his parents to consider relocating to California in order to support a possible future as an actor. In 2013 the family took a leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles. RJ quickly found success when he booked the indie hit Me Earl and the Dying Girl. He can be seen in shows such as Black Lightning,Scream, Rap Sh!t and as the Blue Ranger in 2017’s Power Rangers.

Madison Iseman

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Originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Madison Iseman is best known for her role on the CMT comedy television series Still the King, where she played the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus’ character. After making the move to LA, Madison enrolled in John and Japheth’s ongoing classes, attended our summer camps, and privately coached with John and team.

Other credits include Modern Family, Henry Danger, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Goosebumps: Slappy Halloween and more!

Jumanji: The Next Level, Goosebumps, Still The King (CMT)

Kira Kosarin

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Kira met John in Florida at a weekend workshop and knew she wanted to come to LA for Camp Hollywood. She never went home.  Kira starred as Phoebe on Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans for five years and 106 episodes. More recently she did season three of Hulu’s Light as a Feather, was in Good Trouble with Damon Wayons Jr. and several other movies and guest appearances. She now focuses most of her time on her music, having released an album called Off Brand and an EP titled Songbird.

Katelyn Nacon

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We met Katelyn through our friends at Catapult Acting Studios in Atlanta. When she relocated to the west coast, Katelyn trained with us in our classes, workshops and camps. She is most know for her recurring role on the #1 cable television show, AMC’s The Walking Dead. Katelyn portrays the quiet and mysterious teenager Enid, whom Carl (played by Chandler Riggs) meets shortly after arrival in the safe zone of Alexandria. Katelyn has always been drawn to performing, from ballet at the age of three to performing in hometown and Metro Atlanta musicals such as Annie, The Music Man, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Hairspray.

The Walking Dead (AMC)

Izabela Vidovic

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Izabela Vidovic was born in Chicago, Illinois and started performing in stage productions by the time she was seven, appearing in Mary Poppins, Camp Rock, and Annie. She transitioned to film and televisions when she enrolled in John and Japheth’s ongoing improv and on-camera courses. She quickly found success in shows such as Freeform’s The Fosters, CW’s Supergirl, Hulu’s Veronica Mars, and Wonder opposite Julia Roberts.

The Fosters (Freeform)

Courtney Grosbeck

Courtney headshot

Courtney met John in Florida and she later relocated to Los Angeles where she enrolled in on-going classes with John and Japheth! Courtney also took our Pilot Prep workshop, and was a camper at Camp Hollywood. Courtney can be seen in hit shows such as Parenthood, The Bold and Beautiful, Homeland, and most recently, HBO Max’s Love Life!

Audrey Whitby

Audrey headshot

Audrey Whitby was born in Tennessee and raised in Northern Indiana. Audrey started acting when she was six in community theatre and started auditioning in Chicago when she was eight. Audrey moved to Los Angeles when she was 13 and enrolled in John and Japheth’s ongoing classes in addition to private coaching. She found success working on shows for Disney and Nickelodeon along with several national commercials.
She’s best known for So Random, The Thundermans and Awesomeness TV’s Terry The Tomboy and Betch!

The Thundermans (Nickelodeon)

Noah Rico

Originally from Miami, Noah met JDAW through our friends at the Actory! Noah later came to LA to actively audition and train. He took our signature Pilot Prep Workshop, enrolled in our on-going classes, and private coached on his auditions. In fall of 2019 he coached with AW teacher Shane Brady on an audition for Nickelodeon’s ALL THAT and booked a recurring guest role where he performs a variety of fun sketches! You can also catch him in the series Gordita Chronicles!

Jordan Austin Smith

Jordan Headshot

Jordan first came to us in 2011, and took classes with our teachers John D’Aquino and Japheth Gordon for many years. He’s participated in several of our CAMP HOLLYWOOD summer camps where he gained valuable on-set experience and education. With the combination of on-going classes and camps, we’ve helped him book his first guest-star spots and his recurring role on Netflix’s Alexa and Katie!

Alexa and Katie (Netflix)

Jacob Perez

Jacob Headshot

Jacob started coming to our classes in the Fall of 2018. He wanted to take his training to the next level and participated in our Pilot Prep workshop and our signature Camp Hollywood. With that, on-going classes, and private coaching with a variety of our staff members, he booked his first feature, The Marksman, as a lead opposite Liam Neeson. You can see him in Netflix’s film Home Team featuring Kevin James and Taylor Lautner.

Judah Prehn

Judah not only lights up every room he is in, but he is hard working, dedicated, and truly has a love for the craft.  Judah was referred to us by his agent and manager in 2019 for our audition preparation, and he hit the ground running with his training. He immediately took our signature Pilot Prep and Sketch ComedyWorkshop, kept up his private coachings for auditions, and attended class weekly. Judah can be seen in SYFY’s Resident Alien and the new season of Mythic Quest on Apple Plus.

Resident Alien (SYFY)