We surround our students and families with an amazing support team of highly accredited teachers, academic coaches and industry experts like Wesley Staples, a world-renown studio teacher and HPA Advisory Board Director.
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Studio education pioneer Wesley Staples has tutored Jodie Foster, Brooke Shields, Kim & Kyle Richards, Fred & Ben Savage, Rick Schroeder, Jaleel White, Danielle Fishel, and Joey, Matthew & Andrew Lawrence – to name a few. He is the principal on-set tutor for (and owner of) The Studio Tutoring Service at Oakwood, based in Los Angeles. Currently teaching the younger stars of the Disney Channel’s “Girl Meets Word,” a follow-up to his work on “Boy Meets World” (1993-2000), Staples is the rare academic educator with a background in acting.
This unique expertise underlined Staples’ contributions to the groundbreaking Blue Book of standards and practices for the hiring and employment of minors in the entertainment industry. An advocate for tutors as well as pupils, he spent 15 years as President of The Studio Teachers union. He has served on the board of the Actors Fund of America, Looking Ahead, and currently on the board of Hollywood Performers Academy.
Staples’ first achievement in education was the establishment of the nonprofit Swan’s Island Educational Society (in Swan’s Island, Maine), which began as a small-town library and is now a multimillion-dollar facility boasting not only a sizeable collection of books and other media but a museum and youth center.
Among his early performance achievements was a gig acting and dancing in a road company of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He continued to act – right up until he began teaching in the New York City School System, which he did for seven years, gaining tenure in the process. Still drawn to theater, however, he left classroom teaching to tutor the child actors in a Broadway production of The King and I. That experience set the course for the rest of his professional life – he has been a state-certified tutor of actors for more than 35 years.
The recipient of a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a master’s from the University of Scranton, Staples is also a teacher of teachers; he presents a yearly seminar to incoming studio teachers for the State of California. He is called upon annually to teach a seminar for the Directors Guild of America.
After decades in the forefront of studio education, Staples is still excited about the variety of subjects he gets to teach – from Calculus to Spanish – and the talented students he gets to teach them to.
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