Staff

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Stefanie Ryan-Manhim, President

Stefanie Ryan-Manhim has been in numerous films, commercials and TV shows since early childhood. Being consistently at the top of the film industry for many years, Stefanie has extensive and well-rounded knowledge for all things acting, casting, filmmaking, instructing, and more. She has worked as one of the main characters for Nickelodeon’s teen series “The Block." Stefanie made appearances as an actor in Rocky III, Rocky V, Invincible, and countless other productions and commercials. Stefanie also teaches workshops and does pageant consulting. She has casting director credits for major companies such as Netflix, Lifetime, National Geographic, Comcast NBC Universal, Lionsgate, and more. Many of her students have gone on to do national commercials, major stage performances, major film roles, television series, and more.

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Quinn Showell, Vice President

Growing up at Weist-Barron-Ryan, Quinn has been surrounded by all aspects of show business. His own career began at age 5. His accomplishments include several local & national commercials, TV shows & films. Commercials include Philadelphia Phillies, The Scooter Store and One Stop Car Audio. He also appeared on the Network TV Show "Hack" starring David Morris, National Geographic, and made regular principal appearances on national TV shows, radio, theatre and lead rolls in over ten films. He has studied the performing arts, as well as public speaking on both East & West coasts.

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Lada Doukhnai, Executive Assistant

Performing with local theater companies over the years, Lada has been acting and sharing art with people since she was seven years old. She has been with the Weist-Barron-Ryan family since 2019. Lada also has experience as a Production Assistant on several film sets ranging from short films to television shows. Lada appeared in director Ian Barling's short film "SAFE" which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival during the summer of 2021. Lada graduated from Oakcrest High School in June of 2019 and has had leading roles in a number of musicals. She recently graduated from Atlantic Cape Community College as a NJSTARS student, and is now studying business management at Stockton University. Lada has been studying, teaching, and acting in the film industry for several years. She is also well versed in photography, videography, and editing for both. 

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Luis Arroyo Jr., Talent Career Coordinator

I began my acting career in 2019 while 1st attending Weist-Barron-Ryan of NY.  While there, I successfully completed their TV Commercial Acting and Film classes. Within three months after completing my first film class, I booked a role on a commercial, landed a principal role on a TV Pilot and booked a featured role on one Major Hollywood film directed by and starring Hollywood icon, Halle Berry. Having such a deep passion for this industry, I am continuing to pursue more on-screen work.  I am also an experienced Job Developer, Employment Specialist and Career Counselor with over 25 years of experience. With my extensive knowledge in career development as well as show business, I strive to help others make their dream a reality.

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Tristan Basile - Special Needs Acting Coach

Tristan is new to the coaching team at Weist-Barron-Ryan, but don’t worry- he’s just as dedicated as his coworkers, and at least half as funny as them. Give it time. He orients all his lessons to foster individual growth - it’s important for kids to feel satisfied with their own accomplishments, especially in a group setting. Tristan has acted for five years and has spent two years working with theater professionals to get a well-rounded insight into techniques and style. He’s looking forward to working with the talented actors at Weist-Barron-Ryan and hopes to use some wisdom from his mentor Jim McCabe. There’s no giving up on a student. There’s only a new approach for their learning.

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Barry Godin - Film Acting/Audition Technique Coach

Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, Barry Godin has proved countless times how his creativity and business savvy have propelled him to the top of the visual entertainment industry, from casting director and talent management to set design and decoration. Godin is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and has studied at the University of Virginia, Pratt, New York University and the School for Visual Arts as well as under NY acting teachers, Bill Esper, Terry Knickerbocker, Uta Hagen and William Hickey. His management company has placed young actors and models with top firms in New York and Los Angeles as well as on the cover of major fitness and exercise magazines. 

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Denise D'Ascenzo - Commercial Acting Teacher

Denise is an actress and associate producer. Denise played a supporting role
in the film ‘Voiceless,’ winner of the 2015, Northeastern Film Festival’s Best Film, Best
Narrative Film and Audience Choice Awards. As a series regular, Denise plays, Norma, in ‘The
Book of Nimrod,’ winner of the 2018, Philadelphia Independent Film Festival for Best Web
Series and a supporting role in ‘Offstage Elements’ winner of two awards in the INYFF Film
Festival and the 2019 Platinum Award in the Worldfest Houston.

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Mike Lemon - Film Acting Coach

Mike has been involved in the industry for 40 years, which includes 30 of those years as an accomplished casting director. He’s worked closely with Weist-Barron-Ryan and it’s founder, Ursula Ryan, from it’s beginning, and continues as an instructor for the film workshops offered at WBR. Famous projects Mike has worked on include, but is not limited to, 12 Monkeys, Fallen, Unbreakable, In Her Shoes, Signs, The 6th Sense, Philadelphia, Oceans Eleven, and has won multiple awards on his own short film, ‘Touched’.

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Karen Kuhrt - Improv Teacher

Karen has always had a love for acting. She has appeared in Mysteries At The Museum, Evil Lives Here, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Fosse/Verdon, Succession and many other TV and film productions. Karen often performs as a solo musician and is a joyful member of the Saint Peter’s Praise Band in OC. Karen has studied acting and improv in NYC at Penny Templeton Studio, The Upright Citizens Brigade and The Magnet Theater. She looks forward everyday to continuing her journey as an actress and teacher.

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Pat Kaz

Actress/Director
Award Winning 
Screen Writer

https://www.patkaz.com/