Testimonials

Butch Vig

Drummer & co-leader of the group Garbage; groundbreaking producer of albums by Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Green Day; named one of NME's Top 50 Greatest Producers Ever

“Kate helped me to play drums in a way that would connect with an audience for the entire length of a show, be sustainable physically, and kick-ass musically. Rehearsing for the 2012/13 Garbage world tour, we were doing six-hour long rehearsals to get everything tight for the road, and Kate helped me make playing easier without losing my sound or expression. She also helped me strategize for the demands of traveling and tour schedule to keep fit for performance.

Kate showed me simple strategies for using movement, balance, breathing and posture to get better tone from the drums, and how to thrash on the drum kit in a healthy way. We also worked on what I do when I’m producing, how to make long hours at the mixing board less physically taxing and keep my focus in the studio.

Whatever it is you do, Kate will help you do it better.”

H Richard Greene

Actor: West Wing, Mad Men; Educator, Actor's Lab Ensemble, Director of US Performing Arts Theater Conservatory

“Kate ignites the imagination of the actors, inspiring them to explore their physicality, release their fears, and embrace extraordinary possibilities. Her generous spirit and good humor, and the verve with which she teaches, combine to create an atmosphere of creative courageousness.”

Jodie Landau

Vocalist, Percussionist, Composer & Conductor; WildUp, Bedroom Community

“I’ve been studying with Kate for the past 8+ years. I am the vocalist, performer, mover, thinker, teacher, student, and human being that I am today, in so many ways thanks to my time and continued study and play spent with Kate.”

Mae Karthauser

Performer, Composer

“In the most modest words, Kate Conklin’s approach to voice and body is the most insightful and potent I have ever come across in my training.

She has absorbed and blended all aspects of her body and voice training into a teaching method that is pure, simple and focused, yet astoundingly profound. Her outstanding vocal and tutoring proficiency, and her deep level of awareness for The Alexander Technique are attributes that are rarely seen. Her techniques are on the one hand, simple and instantly adoptable, yet on the other, radical and ground-breaking for my awareness and control. Her method seems to be all about working as easily as possible for the maximum results, through increasing bodily awareness.

I graduated in 2009 with bachelors in voice from Dartington College of Arts in England, having spent my student life studying classical vocal techniques and the last three years in Alexander Technique. Whilst on my degree I was given the opportunity to go on exchange at CalArts for eighteen months, and it was here that I studied with Kate.

She brought the pleasure I felt as a child back into my voice, the pleasure that so many teachers over the years had smothered with their narrow, heavy-handed approach. I cannot put into words my gratitude and respect.”

Rainelle Krause

Soprano, aerialist

“Kate Conklin, in addition to being one of the most profoundly curious and uplifting people I’ve ever met, has been an invaluable addition to my network of professional resources.  It is not exaggeration to say that she has changed my life.  As an opera singer, Kate was the first person to introduce me to the notion of play and experimentation in the practice room, encouraging exploration in an accessible way.  The work led me to a finer understanding of my upper extension, and a massive release of tension in my middle and low voice, creating a more seamless, effortless sound, and a rock solid approach to the high flying coloratura music that I’m best at.  It was due to that newfound ease and freedom, and Kate’s encouragement that I take an aerial silks class for kicks, that I began working to fuse opera and silks.  When my first experiment, the Queen of the Night’s aria paired with an intermediate level silks routine, was a success, I knew I wanted to expand and create an entire portfolio of this beautiful combination of art forms.

As an aerialist, Kate has been key in helping me understand the workings and limitations of my body in an effort to maximize my efficiency and reduce my rate of injury.  It’s entirely due to her that I know exactly how normal shoulders should work, how mine differ because of ligament elasticity, and how to work with the body I have in order to create the art that I envision.  She even taught me how to jog properly so I could incorporate it into my fitness routine without my neck and shoulders cramping up, or my hip flexors throwing a fit halfway through!  When she said a correct jog could feel like a massage for the back I honestly thought she was crazy, but the proof is in the pudding.

Whether working with her in person or over Skype, Kate is unfailingly generous with her time and knowledge, scrupulous about her scientific understanding, and endlessly enthusiastic to help facilitate improvement in her clients.  I find myself recommending her to everyone I know, and I am so grateful to have her as a resource and a friend.”

Benedikt Negro

Pantomime, performance coach, teacher

“I am a professional Pantomime. I make a living solely by performing stylized movement on stage. Kate’s technique allows me to derive more physical precision. It helps me to stay innovative in my choices when I create new work, and fresh in the performance of established work, like the character that I portray in Cirque du Soleil’s “O” for the past 12 years. Kate’s technique is not physically straining- on the contrary, I keep making discoveries that lead to greater sustainability, better health as well as less pain and injury.”

Jon Landau

COO/Partner at Lightstorm Entertainment, Producer (Titanic, Avatar)

“Making great work is about innovation in pursuit of quality. It’s about depth, discovery, attention to detail. A great performance is the result of combining life experience and technique to connect with the audience and communicate true emotion.

Kate’s method helps get that result. Her technique is a collaborative act of creation. She works with artists to create a process that starts with inspiration and evolves into execution that is precise and emotionally resonant. It’s an exciting, innovative approach that opens up worlds of possibilities.

Kate can take someone from good to great.”

Laura Geier

Violinist, Balkan Music & Teaching Artist Fulbright Scholar

“I came to Kate desiring to learn Bulgarian vocal music and become closely connected to the music of Eastern Europe. Working with Kate has been one of the most rewarding and transformative experiences I have had. Our time together had a profound impact on my work going forward as an artist and teacher. She gave me the tools needed to utilize my breath, play with ease of motion, perform with less tension, and to incorporate this practice into my every day life. Kate has an extraordinary ability to articulate and direct exactly what you need to do physically in order to get the desired result. I would come away from our lessons together feeling refreshed, inspired and empowered.

With Kate’s support, I applied to and received a Fulbright Scholarship to study a year abroad in Plovdiv, Bulgaria at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts. Upon my return, I particularly remember one lesson I had with Kate on a Bulgarian vocal piece from the Shop region in Bulgaria. I had been unable to execute an elaborate ornament particular to the style of this region. Kate suggested I experiment with a new idea relating to the back of the tongue and uvula, and my technique improved immediately. It was one of those light bulb moments. What I had been unable to achieve in Bulgaria improved in just one session working with Kate. This is what makes Kate unique, her ability to bring out the best in every individual and to improve their technique no matter what their craft. Working with Kate is enriching, uplifting, and one of the best decisions you will ever make.”

 

Andrey Moraru

Hand balancer

“I am a hand balancing artist. (You may have seen me on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” Season 9.) I came to America 2005 to be part of the cast of performers that opened “Le Reve” an aquatic show when it first premiered in June of that year at the Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas. Since then I toured with shows throughout all 50 states and have been to Germany and other European countries where I performed my act, shared my skill and my view on modern Circus. I have been involved in arts since very early age and have gone through exploratory study of music, drawing, dance and finally ended up in Circus.

My work and friendship with Kate first started in 2013. We found common language in many subjects, and shared similar views on art and the meaning of creating it for the artist, and how it relates to people that are being affected by it. What makes Kate unique is her ability to link the personal life of the individual and how choices and decisions made on a daily basis affect and change our Art. Kate helped me find answers to questions that needed to be answered in order for me to start moving in a desired direction that would benefit and produce artistic growth in me. Any artist I can think of who might be looking for ways to inspire their very own artistic endeavors can largely benefit from Kate’s vision and teaching.

Kate reminded me of the importance of a full stage presence, and the need for honest expression in relationship to the audience members who are looking to be inspired by what we present to them as our view of the world. It’s very simple: Unless you are willing and absolutely feel the desire to give your all for each show you are doing, then there is probably no point in being onstage, as this would be cheating yourself and the audience. Understanding what it takes to be in a state of full awareness, and being able to truly deliver your performance is what I consider to be one of Kate’s many areas of expertise. We both share the same views about the need for a committed performance which can affect and transform the audience as the standard for any artist striving for excellence and progress in their art. I would suggest anyone looking for help in expanding their skill to work with Kate on a variety of useful techniques and ways to understand the process from the inside and see reasons behind decisions which can be the turning point in your career.

I recommend Kate’s lessons to anyone looking for a person who can tell how it really is when it comes to the state your skill level is in now, and which areas it could grow and expand to help you break through mental barriers, find uninterrupted stream of artistic ideas, and full awareness and joy in your performances.”

Danny Holt

Piano/ Percussion Project, 4 Hands LA, Music Chair Academy of Creative Education at Oakwood

“Experienced, knowledgeable, thorough, and charismatic- Kate Conklin is an indispensable resource for any performing artist.

As a performer of contemporary music, I have to be prepared for whatever a new composer’s work might throw at me. Whether it’s dense virtuosic passages, endurance in a long repetitive piece, or the challenge of incorporating extended techniques or even playing multiple instruments simultaneously— my work seems to constantly keep me on the edge.

The edge isn’t a bad place to be, so long as you are adequately prepared to approach each new challenge with a sense of openness and adventure while always striving for ease and efficiency. The Alexander Technique has helped me do this. I have pushed myself farther and farther while learning to constantly become more aware of how I use my body, and how that awareness can inform my movement on both a micro- and macro- level.

Without a doubt, Kate Conklin is one of the most effective, insightful, and fun teachers of the Alexander Technique with whom I have worked in over a decade of studying on both coasts and places in-between. In every lesson, it is obvious what joy Kate takes from the work. She is totally committed to the process—always striving to improve, and actively seeking out pedagogical challenges. This makes the process all the more inspiring and fun for her students.

As an accomplished professional performer herself, Kate brings a unique and powerful perspective to the Alexander Technique, making her the ideal teacher for performing artists, whether young students or established performers. Furthermore, students who wish to have a deeply internalized understanding of anatomy and kinesiology will appreciate Kate’s thorough and detailed explanations of the structure of the body and how it moves.

The insight gained through this work has not only allowed me to do many crazy and wonderful things as a performer, it has helped me stay healthy and happy, and it has made me a more effective teacher. From how I breathe to how I sit at the piano to how I play a specific note, the Alexander Technique has been crucial to my development as a performer, as an artist, and as a human being.”

Kathleen Grace

Vocalist, songwriter, educator (USC Thornton School of Music)

“Working with Kate Conklin has fundamentally transformed who I am as an artist. It is, in fact, a challenge to put into words the breadth of her teaching’s impact. Kate introduced me to a world of effortlessness and technical freedom that I never dreamt possible. The boundaries I once felt around my instrument, it’s limits, have fallen away. And in its place I have discovered room for more risk taking, adventure and true authenticity. This fundamental transformation has also utterly changed how I teach and engage my students in vocal work and exploration. I watch regularly as that same sense of freedom and possibility infect the voices of the next generation of professional artists. Kate’s gift is deep, patient and profound. She is a teacher full of challenge and spark. And she is steeped in the science and the tradition of her craft. I am deeply grateful for our work together.”

Meara O’Reilly

Composer and Artist

“Kate is one of the most extraordinary teachers I have ever worked with, of any kind. Her ability to react and adapt to whatever challenge you throw at her is truly a marvel.

I would not be able to even dream of singing my current compositions without her insight and coaching. She has single-handedly been responsible for helping me design and develop the coordination necessary to perform these exceedingly difficult pieces. She has opened me up to my own abilities in a way I didn’t think was possible.

Although I relish the chance to work with her in person, I have mostly worked with her over Skype at this point. I have found this way of working to be very rewarding, which is not always the case with Skype!

I feel that any owner and operator of a human body would benefit from her guidance, no matter what they were trying to accomplish.”

Juli Crockett

Playwright, theater director, retired professional boxer and amateur champion, singer, ordained minister, and producer

“My work with Kate has been transformative to my artistic process. The tools that I learned in my sessions with Kate — both vocal coaching and performance readiness techniques – are things that I utilize in every performance situation, be it singing, directing, acting, public speaking, you name it. Whether simply a breathing technique or a full-on performance ritual, whether I have 5 seconds or 5 minutes, Kate has given me the tools to show up for my work more fully, confidently, and holistically. I also believe that these techniques will contribute to the longevity of my performance practice, as they help me to take care of my instrument (my whole self) in multifold ways.”

Joe Orrach

Actor, dancer, singer, story-teller, educator, former US Air Force welterweight boxing champion

“I worked with Kate while preparing my one-man show “In My Corner.” Our mutual friend, director and show-creator Stefan Haves introduced me to her at an event- he just said, “You gotta work with her.”

‘In My Corner” is a solo performance piece that integrates boxing, jump rope, body percussion, music, tap dancing- usually at least two of these at the same time. It’s an incredibly demanding piece, and I wanted to find a way to keep it emotionally potent while making it sustainable.

Kate’s approach was to collaborate with me to find the essence of the story, and how to most effectively communicate that moment by moment. She used all the specific elements as complementary, supporting each other and the narrative. Using the same underlying coordination for boxing and dancing as for voice created a unified field of attention that allowed my whole instrument to awaken for performance. Rather than the athleticism of the movement posing a challenge to vocal control, each made the other better.

I used the techniques we worked on in every performance. I agree with Stefan- you gotta work with her.”

Kathryn Mitchell

Singer, Balkan Vocal Ensemble Orfeia, Bulgarian Dance Ensemble Zharava

“I come out of every Skype meeting with Kate possessing new clarity about how to accomplish my goals as well as the practical tools to get started.

Over the past year Kate has counseled me on a range of topics from vocal performance to grant writing, and working with Kate has made each process immeasurably more pleasurable and manageable. I have actually painlessly incorporated techniques that Kate has taught me into my routine, such as ways to deal with performance anxiety – which she flipped my thinking about and my performance immediately improved!

For a daunting grant application Kate talked me through each step of the process, from the initial brainstorm to making sure all of my bases were covered.  Most valuably, Kate guided me to me identify and articulate what the heart of what my project was really about. That is what is really amazing about working with her – she sacrifices neither the details nor the big picture.

Kate’s approach is some amazing combination of optimistic and practical that is both uplifting and realistic. As I’m talking with her suddenly all of these perceived obstacles sort of dematerialize. But it’s not just a pep talk; she has also equipped me with very practical tools to get things done in such a way that I can’t wait to try them out. I feel like I’ve just had an inspiring conversation with a friend- but then I read over my notes from our session and realize I have a solid plan of action ready to be implemented.”

Mindy Kelly

Ninja, fight choreographer, stunt coordinator

“I am a ninja, fight choreographer and stunt coordinator. My day job is sword-fighting, martial arts, tricking, gymnastics, getting through laser mazes, wire work, performance capture, and training other people to do the same. It has to be precise, fast, and safe. It has to be perfect.

To do all these things better, safer and at the highest possible level, I work with Kate. If you want to be the best at what you do, I highly recommend perfecting your craft working with Kate. My job can be highly dangerous and hard on the body, so working with Kate has helped me learn to reduce these risks. Be a risk-taker, but be kind to your body.

Kate Surgen

Aerialist, fitness coach

“The time I’ve shared with Kate has helped me immensely. Walking is fluid, and my lower back *does not hurt* at the end of the day. This is huge. I feel like a superhero. I want bring myself and my physical art to Kate every time for her Alexander eye. She assisted the uncovering of beauty within this strong body.

When we applied the Alexander Technique to my current routine – a routine that I have never run through fully until that day- the change was immediate. In the first run-through I was tired, rushed and forgetful. With some key coaching on specific parts, I was able to flow through the second run-through. A few mistakes, but I flowed right over them. I stopped holding my breath. I stopped restricting my movement and respiration by using proper alignment and subtle changes. My head was clear, and I was able to enjoy every moment.”

 

Laura Brody

Costume designer, teacher, artist: Opulent Mobility

“Kate is a complete pleasure to work with. She truly knows her stuff: Alexander technique, a wide variety of vocal practices, and ways to improve performance, presentation and movement. Her obvious knowledge doesn’t make her preachy or fussy, though. She has a light-hearted and joyous approach to her teaching that’s completely infectious.

When I come out of her classes, I feel inspired and free. I want to explore my own work with the tools she offers. That is a real sign of a fine teacher- one who inspires you to explore!
Go to Kate. She has tools to teach you that you can use in every part of your life. Even if you never plan to sing arias while suspended in mid-air! (Oh yeah. She teaches that too.”)

Kathryn Holt

Vocalist

“I came to Kate to prepare audition material for Cirque du Soleil. The material was extremely challenging for me, as it was a style I had never sung before: East Indian. After several sessions with Kate and applying her method of teaching voice through the use of Alexander technique, I now feel completely comfortable in the style, and I can sing it with confidence. She has helped me expand my range stylistically, and she makes the challenging ornamentation of Indian and Bollywood style music accessible and adoptable. Her technique makes shifting between numerous styles from East Indian to Classical and everything in between effortless, and an incredibly fulfilling artistic experience. I’m very grateful to have found her, and I have since made it into the casting database of singers for Cirque. She has helped me get several steps closer to achieving a life-long dream, which is to sing with this company. I wouldn’t have made it this far without her.”

Scot Nery

Pancake juggler, teacher, founder of Boobie Trap variety show

“I like things I can describe, so it’s surprising that I like Kate teaching me Alexander Technique.  I can’t describe what’s great about it; what makes me come back.  If I’m talking to a peer – someone who’s worked hard all their life to be good at something – they understand the necessity of working on technique for delayed results and rewards. They understand how important it is to do something that doesn’t show — even in show business.
 
Every second I spend with her is worth it, and it’s not horsefeathers or hooey or malarky. It’s real stuff. When you do it, you know it.  When you’re passionate about doing anything and you understand the physical part of it, you understand that you never know enough.  If your goal is to excel beyond what you’ve seen before, you don’t need a bunch of wibbitywabbity wasting your time. You need Kate.”

Ben Wynn/ Deru

Composer, performer

“When I first sought out lesson with Kate in the Alexander Technique I was at a point with my wrist pain that I wasn’t sure my profession would be sustainable in the long run. These doubts were weighing heavily on me, and yet within months of working with Kate I was 80% better. That sounds almost ridiculous, but it’s absolutely true. The speed and effectiveness were astonishing, and I can’t thank Kate deeply enough for it.”

Miroslav Tadic´

Guitarist, composer, teacher, "One of the world's thirty most radical and individual guitarists," Guitar Player Magazine

“Kate’s work is transformative. If you want to be great at something, you need to work with someone who knows the underlying principles, and how to translate desire into execution. You need someone you can trust. Kate’s knowledge of anatomy, neuroscience and pedagogy is vast, and complemented by her deep knowledge of music. I use something from our work everyday.”

Cassie Silva

Actor, dancer, singer

“Kate is one of the most gentle, detailed, kind mentors that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Perhaps it’s because she’s living la vida Alexander. She has opened my eyes to a whole world of possibility within the work of Alexander. From brushing my teeth to working on a raked Broadway stage, I’ve found energy, vitality, health and curiosity in the tiniest of movements. Kate taught me about simplicity in complexity. Her approach is patient, adventurous and effective. Kate introduced me to my body, my voice and my heart and then she taught me how to set them free. She’s simply the best.”

Madison Smith

Soprano

“As a classical singer, I’ve spent years trying to perfect my instrument, but meeting Kate really changed my approach to singing.  It’s so simple and obvious that you almost can’t believe it. The secret is that Kate focuses on what you CAN do as a human. There are no tricks or magic here (although it sometimes feels like it!). Her knowledge and experience allow her to communicate ideas so simply that you absorb much of the information before you really know what hit you. Since she’s working with the natural function of your body and not against it, you’re easily doing things that once seemed impossible or at least really difficult. I’m singing with more ease and joy than ever before – and in an incredibly short period of time.

I can’t recommend her enough. If I could give every one of my singer friends a gift, it would be a lesson with Kate. And on top of all this, she’s just a wonderful person who’s playful enthusiasm is absolutely infectious. You can’t help but feel better after working with her!”

Chris Foss

Bassonist

“Revelations and epiphanies guaranteed! Kate is a fabulous teacher! I made more progress in a single lesson with her than I did in months of studying with professional bassoonists and other somatic learning coaches. I am still inspired by applying new understandings of coordination and continue to learn from our last session over a month later.
 
Kate helped me to instantly experience and enjoy coordination that I spent years trying to understand in graduate studies.
 
Kate has a visionary mindset that not only emanates from her full being but translates into her teaching approach and naturally demands the highest levels of artistry in her students.”

Bill Plake

Saxophonist, Alexander Technique teacher

“Kate Conklin is a force of nature. Besides being an extraordinary singer and voice teacher, she is also a certified Alexander Technique teacher. She also is a world class performance coach, helping musicians, actors, dancers, athletes (and even acrobats!) do what they do better. I can’t think of a teacher for voice that I would ever endorse more highly. Plus, she’s an absolute hoot to be around. Funny, warm, smart and spontaneous! I come back from a workshop given by Kate feeling inspired and energized. Besides clarifying (and sometimes edifying) my ideas about the workings of the vocal mechanisms, I’ve gained lots of valuable tools in communicating these ideas more effectively to my students at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

Kate has designed different programs specifically aimed at helping performing artists of all disciplines to do what they do better. I look forward to attending her future workshops. I enthusiastically encourage you to do so as well.”

Michelle Sargent

Singer, actor, aerial coach

“Kate Conklin is by far the best Alexander Teacher for performing artists that I have experienced. She is eloquent and passionate in her approach. She is dedicated to your clear understanding of the technique, as well as your own body, and how your nervous system and brain communicate with it. I have never experienced another teacher so devoted to my fully experiencing and understanding this technique. I have studied Alexander in Berlin, San Francisco and LA, the Alexander Technique is my touchstone as an artist, and Kate Conklin is the perfect teacher!

As a multi-faceted performing artist who loves to explore the strange and new, I often find myself singing, acting, and moving in challenging circumstances. Whatever those circumstances are, whether it’s singing opera in an unwieldy 15lb headdress, doing aerial fabric suspended from an 80- foot tower, or simply surviving a grueling schedule of rehearsals and shows, I find that the Alexander Technique is a vital component in all of my work.

In my acting and voice-over work, I use Alexander to moderate nervousness and adrenaline in performances and auditions, as well as for breath support and clarity in my elocution of difficult texts. As a singer I have found that AT has completely opened up my voice! More colors, more richness, better range, and consistency throughout my range and through my passagio. What a liberating feeling to sail through passages that used to completely stress me out! As a physical comedian and mover, I turned to the AT to heal, recuperate, and continue working after a major cervical spine injury in 2009. And using the AT helps me continue to move healthfully and safely through aerial and ground choreography.

The understanding I have developed through this technique has completely revolutionized how, and what, I teach in my practice as a choreographer and aerial movement coach. Whereas before I concentrated on students developing the pure muscular strength to execute their work, I now focus on working from the architecture of the skeleton outward, instead of from the large outer muscle groups inward. This approach, directly influenced by my work in Alexander Technique, has improved the learning curve, and minimized injury in my students greatly!

As I go deeper and deeper into the practice of this technique and find that I am physically and mentally freer, I find that the quality of my work has grown exponentially, and my pure enjoyment of what I do as well. I am easier on myself emotionally, while still continuously improving in technical excellence. I feel that the practice spreads to all areas of my life. I am more aware of my breath, of where I am in space, and consequently of what is around me and how I relate to it, and how I am a part of it.”

Vicky Ray

Pianist, composer, educator

“Kate gave a two-hour introductory workshop to my piano majors last semester and the response from the students was overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic! Kate’s relaxed manner and infectious enthusiasm about AT combined with terrific communication skills made the two hours fly by. We all left feeling taller and more centered!”

Meera Crow

Soprano

“Kate Conklin’s approach to singing and performance is truly revolutionary. Her teachings are the perfect mix of vocal pedagogy and Alexander Technique. Her students are already excellent at their crafts, but she encourages a whole new level of performance from them. Since working with Kate, I sing with much less effort and much more joy!”

Vida Alikani

Dancer, yoga teacher

“I have had the pleasure and good fortune to know Kate for the past few years. As a yoga instructor, I have been enlightened by Kate’s clear, masterful teaching, and inspired to incorporate the principles of the Alexander Technique in my own teaching, and in daily life. I find that the technique complements the principles of yoga practice, and brings even more ease and safety to the execution of yoga poses.

I have great admiration for Kate’s breadth of knowledge and her passion for sharing it with others. Her caring attitude and her joyful enthusiasm for helping people find ease and grace not only in what they do, but in how they live, are always heart-warming and memorable!”