About Us

In Her Own Words:

I have delighted in bringing the arts to the non-artist over the years – – I do this to keep the arts alive, and believe the survival of the arts depends on educational and disciplinary integration. I have a friendly, non-judgmental approach that is matched by disciplined rigor.”

In order to have impact and power in our message, we must think about the cues and signals that we send to others through the voice and body. In my workshops, participants learn techniques to effectively work on power dynamics in public speaking and in personal relationships.

My 23-year career at Stanford began primarily in actor training. It has extended to coaching many non-actors throughout the university who have careers in business, education, medicine, law, politics, and sales. I teach “Acting With Power” in the Stanford Graduate School of Business, have created and directed projects for the School of Medicine, and conducted workshops for the Clayman Institite for Gender Studies, GSB Executive Program for Women Leaders, and the Stanford Knightfellow Journalists. My private practice includes conducting large seminars and coaching individuals from Apple, Twitter, Airbnb, SONY Pictures Entertainment, Cisco, and EBay, among many others.

Kay’s Teaching Philosophy:

Rather than suggesting a “correct” approach to public speaking, I prefer to address the personal needs of the student while respecting the diversity and uniqueness of each individual and what they have to offer.

Whether addressing the challenges of an accent, be it a regional dialect, or English as a second language—I believe that voices are universal, they reflect life—they should reflect the diversity of life. There is no standardization of speech in life. My focus is rather on clarity in speech, organization of thoughts, and understandability. I use actual acting techniques to access untapped resources of the individual to find range in the voice, new behaviors, and clear communication.

In terms of special areas, I work on Centering, Focus, Breath, Voice, Speech, Body Language and Status.  I encourage students to regard speaking as a physical, as well as an intellectual act.   Primarily through the use of breath, I help them to alleviate the tension that blocks effective speaking, and to experience what it feels like to use all of their physical resources in speaking.  I demonstrate and practice techniques to develop free, dynamic, strong, and flexible voices

I want students to realize that the voice is not a separate instrument, but a part of themselves-a way to connect— to the text, and to the audience.  I work on their finding new range in size and in pitch, committing to the physicality of the spoken word, and speaking through the entire body.  I want the student to be aware of language in terms of rhythm, alliteration, punctuation, and vowel and consonant sounds. 

I do “hands on” work with each student in a creative and supportive environment.

Our Story:

Kay has a degree in English, cum laude, from the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, and an MFA degree in Acting from American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco.

Kay has always enjoyed the joy of performance, whether actively participating, or instructing others to present at their highest level. Teaching has always accompanied her work as an actor, dancer and singer. She uses theater and music techniques to coach in business, law and medicine to make the arts accessible to the non-artist who has a creative calling. As a singer, actor and teacher, Kay says transitioning from performance to teaching was natural. “They go hand-in-hand. Every script, speech, or business presentation has a certain rhythm. Language, ideas and music go together. Each feeds the other.”

Melissa Briggs