About Robert Mello and Instructors

RobM_008-retouchRobert is the former on set acting coach for MTV’s Finding Carter. Though mostly retired from acting, he most recently worked opposite Ed Helms in the feature film, Bastards. He also recently appeared in a co-starring role in Devious Maids.  Prior, he worked opposite Hugh Jackman in the role of Roger in the feature film, Prisoners, booked two spots for Pantech phones and appeared Pinch N’ Ouch Theatre Company’s production of Speed The Plow. In Chicago, he worked at many top theater companies, including the internationally acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater Company.

The Robert Mello Studio is the only acting studio in Atlanta offering complete Meisner-based training by an instructor with over 17 years of teaching experience. Students from The Robert Mello Studio have worked on dozens of hit TV shows, in feature films, Broadway and off-Broadway. Robert has coached winners and nominees of THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD® and THE TONY AWARD®

Robert is an active film producer.  His film, Coffee, Kill Boss, with Oscar nominee Robert Forster, Hung series regular, Eddie Jemison, and Anger Management star Nouren DeWulf –  opened The Austin Film Festival, closed the Soho Film Festival, won the Grand Jury award at the Maryland International Film Festival. It won Best Comedy Feature at the Eugene International Film Festival, and won Best Feature, Best Director and Best Actress at L.A.’s Comedy Ninja Film Festival.

In addition, in 2012 he produced a SAG short Finale, featuring Necessary Roughness series regular Hannah Marks, which premiered in Atlanta at the Out On Film Festival and was an audience favorite at the San Jose International Short Film Festival.

Currently, he is preparing to make his second feature film, Book of Jake, which he hopes to be shooting in spring 2016.

Robert’s teaching style is compassionate, straight-forward and filled with joy and humor.
Teaching is Robert’s greatest passion.

Eliana Marianes– Studio Administrator and Viewpoints Instructor

Eliana studied Theater Studies at Emory University, where she specialized in physical theater, particularly movement styles.  She has performed with the Alliance Theater, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Lexington Children’s Theater, ART Station, Aurora Theater, Stage Door Players, Out of Hand Theater, the Legacy Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, the Center for Puppetry Arts, Georgia Ensemble Theater, Theater Emory, Emory Dance Company, Academy Theatre, Theatre Decatur, and Théâtre du Rève, both in Atlanta and in Limoges, France. Additionally, she is with Stewart Talent, and you may have seen her tiling a bathroom in a national Home Depot commercial.  She has trained with Out of Hand Theater as a CORE company member for the past 5 years, creating original new work, directing company Viewpoints sessions on occasion, and training with the company in Suzuki, Viewpoints, and clowning. She’s been teaching Viewpoints at the Robert Mello Studio and other theater companies around town for 5 years. Additionally, Eliana serves RMS in the capacity of Studio Administrator.


Clayton Landey has been a professional performer, actor, director, producer, writer and teacher for over 40 years with over 300 credits as an actor. He has appeared in over 180 TV episodes. He is currently recurring on If Loving You Is Wrong. He has recurred in 9 other TV series including 3 seasons on Knots Landing and 1 year on Days of Our Lives. He was a Series Regular on HBO’s first scripted comedy series 1st and Ten. His over 40 films include the current Sully, A Sunday Horse and Camera Store. He has appeared in films at the Cannes, Venice and Sundance Film Festivals. His first film Norma Rae is in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. And if anyone is counting he has over 85 commercials to his credit. Current and upcoming: The Sunday Horse baoh05d86r1w8drh(supporting), Recurring Guest Star on If Loving You Is Wrong (new series from Tyler Perry), 3 National Commercials – Xarelto, Joe’s Crab Shack, GEICO, 3rd year as The Gulf Power Energy Coach, the Atlanta premier of John Patrick Shanley’s Storefront Church at Theatrical Outfit.

On Television he starred as Roger Barrow in the first season of 1st and Ten, the first scripted original half hour comedy series on HBO.He has had recurring roles in nine other TV series including Drop Dead Diva, Necessary Roughness and three seasons on Knots Landing. He has appeared in over 40 theatrical productions in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas.. Clayton is on the Board of the SAG-AFTRA Atlanta Local and serves as Chair of The Muriel Moore/Danny Nelson SAG-AFTRA Conservatory.


Candace holds a BFA in Theatre from Western Kentucky University.  Her credits include BET’s Second Generation Wayans, and Adult Swim’s The Rising Son and the viral Too Many Cooks, and the feature films Carl, Blackhats, Undocumented Executive, and Step Off. Her commercial credits include Moes, Rooms To Go, Northside Hospital, Honda and The Weather Channel—to name a few. On stage she’s had leading roles with some of Atlanta’s top theatre companies including Catherine in Proof, Harper in Angels in America, Lula in Dutchman, Meg in Crimes of the Heart,  Candy in Touched, and Twirler in Talking With.  Candace has produced and directed episodes of the web series The Lumber Baron (of Jasper County) where she also stars as Ashley, the spitfire with a schoolgirl crush. She also co-produced and appeared in the music video Nothin’ But Love by Brendan James.  Candace is a graduate of the Meisner Program at The Robert Mello Studio and is the recipient of the 2013 Georgia’s Rising Star Award.

Cathy Reinking

Cathy Reinking, CSA, has beenreinkingheadshot working as a Casting Director in since the early ‘90s, working on Frasier, Arrested Development, According to Jim,  and many other shows, pilots, films, web series, commercials, plays – you name the genre, she has cast it. She also served as NBC’s Manager of Casting and holds a degree in theatre arts from UCLA, where she graduated magna cum laude. Recently, she was the Casting Director and Rights Associate for L.A. Theatre Works, which produces 10 live shows and upwards of 5 “in-studio” recordings of plays a year. She has also cast many webseries – “Jeff and Ravi Fail History,” “Frat House Musical,” “Miss Mustard Glade” (Emmy-winning) and one she also co-wrote & co-produced- “The British Invasion” in which an Asian-American actor pretends to be British in order to get work. Her short “The Real Man” that she directed, co-wrote and co-produced is currently making the film festival rounds.  The script won two awards for “Best Short Script” in 2015. She has taught acting all around the country, including a semester teaching “Acting and Directing for the Camera,” a pilot class at University of Colorado, Boulder, which brought together the film studies and theatre departments – which is unheard of in contemporary society. She recently published the second edition of her book, How To Book Acting Jobs in TV and Film: The Truth About the Acting Industry – Conversations with a Veteran Hollywood Casting Director, which is available on Amazon and iTunes. Cathy is also an award-winning stage director, stage manager, and writer, who has worked in California, Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, and New York. As a writer, she was a finalist in the Nissan Focus Awards Screenplay Competition for her screenplay Lessons Learned. 

Jayson Warner Smith

800 x 533 JWSBest known for his portrayals of Wendall Jelks on SundanceTV’s Rectify and Gavin on The Walking Dead, Jayson is a full-time working actor who also teaches. His feature film work includes American Made, Christine, The Birth of a Nation, Mississippi Grind, 99 Homes ...  Jayson has also worked extensively on television on The Walking DeadOne MississippiNCIS:New Orleans, Rectify, The Vampire Diaries, Sleepy Hollow, and more. As a working actor he brings his real life on-set experience to his teaching. An Atlanta native, he knows the market and all of its players very well.

Just studied locally with Sandra Dorsey and in Los Angeles with the late David LeGrant.

brad-new-headshot-2016Brad Brinkley’s most recent students include the apprentice acting company of the critically acclaimed Serenbe Playhouse and at Anderson University in Anderson, SC. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting with a concentration in Directing from Regent University, and has performed both in film, television and theater – including opposite Terrance Mann at the Connecticut Repertory Theater. Brad most recently served as dialect coach for Travis Fimmel (of VIKINGS) on the upcoming feature film Finding Steve McQueen. He is a passionate teacher who thrives on challenging performers to their highest levels of artistic achievement.

Omer Mughal

Omer has studied extensively at The Robert Mello Studio and The Company Acting Studio as well as ongoing workshops with Crystal Carson, Ted Brunetti, Sam Christensen and others.  His credits include 24:Legacy, Table 19, The Vampire Diaries, The Have and Have Nots, Born Again Virgin and more. He also recently worked on the acclaimed Pinch n’ Ouch Theater Company’s world premier play, Girls Life and performs regular with the improv troupe P.I.T.  and also has extensive experience behind the camera as a casting assistant, extras casting assistant, camera PA, audition reader and more. In addition to his acting career, Omer is the owner and operator of Actors Taping Actors audition taping service since 2012.


Sterritt, DavidEDIT2David Sterritt is a Certified Teacher based in Atlanta, GA. He is proud to be the Southeast Regional Representative for the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) and founded and coordinates the A-Town Throw Down – A three day stage combat workshop located in Atlanta and sanctioned by the SAFD.

He has an MFA in Acting from Wayne State University through the Hilberry Repertory Theatre and also received his Advanced Theatre Training Certificate training in Russia at the Moscow Art Theatre for a month. 

Selected Atlanta credits include, Hamlet the Musical, Macbeth, Twelfth Night and Richard III at the Shakespeare Tavern, Slasher at Actor’s Express, and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Fabrefaction Theatre Company. He was also in the Michigan premier of Detroit by Lisa D’Amour.


Cook Headshot HorizontalCarolyn Cook has over twenty years experience as a professional actor, director, producer, teacher and acting coach. She has performed with some of the top theaters in Atlanta, including Georgia Shakespeare, Horizon Theater, The Alliance Theater, Actors Express, Theater in the Square, Seven Stages, Theater Emory, and on tour with various companies in the United Kingdom, France and the United States.