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The Gately/Poole Acting Conservatory is a unique school which has created the The Acting Intensives as the foundation of its training program. It is based upon the Meisner Technique with additional innovations developed by Richard Poole and Kathryn Gately. This approach to training was designed to allow actors, who have already begun to work professionally, to continue their careers while strengthing their skills and growth as artists. 

My dear Rick and Kathryn,

Hello! I hope you both are tremendous! I’ve been meaning to reach out for some time now.

I am two weeks back from a 6-month national tour, and it is largely to do with what I’ve gained from you! When we spoke last, I was understudying with Million Dollar Quartet in Chicago. I stayed an understudy with the production for a year and a half, performed 45 times, and then was promoted to lead on the National tour. Before I left for the tour, I did get signed by an agent with Gray Talent... Gray has been PHENOMENAL. I’ve done several industrials, a commercial, been on first refusal for Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, and I’m sent out on auditions constantly.

 So much love and well wishes to both of you,

Laura Obenauf


Hello Rick and Kathryn!

 I just signed with Gill Hayes Talent Agency in Chicago a few days ago. After I did the cold read in the agency audition, they praised me for my emotional ability and mentioned that most teachers/coaches in Chicago teach the technical side of things but not the emotional and the real, deep personal elements that are so important. So again, thank you and I look forward to keeping in touch.

Leah Metcalf

Kathryn & Rick,

Thank you for everything you taught us in class. Thank you for your passion. Thank you for never settling for anything less than our absolute best. Thank you for pushing us to our limits. Thank you for honoring our work and giving us the opportunity to honor yours. Thank you for the confidence you helped me develop, and a drive and discipline I couldn't have developed anywhere else, with anyone else. You have truly changed my life and I will always be grateful to you for that.

Thank You, 
Alessandra Manon


the lesson of letting 'what will be will be' is
still reverberating in my mind. notes on poetry and the poetic have
also stuck with me; i am now reading through america's great writers
and poets - emerson, whitman, dickinson, poe, twain, and onwards.

a passage from emerson's essay "the poet":
"all men live and die by truth and stand in need of expression. in
love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games we study to
utter our painful secret. man is only half himself, the other half is
his expression..."

emerson goes on to describe that this is the noble duty of the poet. i
have accepted and embraced this duty and am excited to continue to
develop my artistry with you, rick, kendra, and joe in may. many, many
thanks to you and the faculty for all you do for us.





I want to say thank you and Rick for the entire time in level 2. There were so many lessons, and all the lessons were weighty for me. Its truly strange territory to try to describe, and its difficult to find the words to articulate it properly. There were many things about living a valuable life. I feel like I've learned tremendously distilled wisdom that will be impossible to forget. It applies to more than acting and I'm appreciative for the individual notes. And many feel that way as well.

best, Brian


Thank you for another session of Meisner training. I appreciate your keen attention to timing, detail, and authenticity as well as your willingness to answer my questions when I felt I was fumbling around with ideas. I hope you have a safe trip back to the east coast...



Dear Rick and Kathryn,

I cannot begin to thank you enough for the incredible experience that the two of you gave me. I have been cast in two student films as a principle character and a supporting role, and I just completed a commercial that has a high possibility of airing nationally for Walmart.

Something within me changed when I went to the intensive; I’m now even more attuned to the sublime, my mind is more focused and disciplined than it was before. Thank you so much for the gift that is invaluable: knowledge.

Best wishes, 
Cory Hardin

The following was written by Alee Spadoni, a graduate of The University of the Arts theatre program in Philadelphia. She began her training at The Gately/Poole Conservatory in 2013. At this point, she has completed Levels 1-3.


I have been in the same position as many college students who have had a taste of the Meisner technique – now that I have graduated, where do I go from here

Kathryn and Rick worked with me in a very individual way. They taught me how to come into the room with a fully realized life.  I learned that the activities could take on a high level of invention and theatricality.  We focused on concepts like nobility, protest, adventure, romance, war, sacrifice, sensuality and the outrageous. We were challenged to use poetic language, which included writing our own material.  We learned how to create suspense. We focused on the minutia of how you do what you do. How you take off a glove or light a cigarette or put on your glasses. I took it upon myself to create women that lived between 1920 and the early 1960s.  Some of my preparations focused on larger societal issues both current and from history. Some were just a wild amount of fun.  The studio became a laboratory where I was able to prove to myself that I have a very wide range as an actress.

Kathryn and Rick have extremely high standards. I know that I can create something in great detail. I can change characters on a dime. I can work quickly. I can just jump in and play without hesitation.  I can break down a text quickly. I can support my partner no matter what their level because I can trust the work that I’m doing. Kathryn and Rick are to acting what Olympic coaches are to athletes. I am so grateful for how they have helped me on my journey.

Alee Spadoni                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Class of 2008

Excerpt from and interview with Nikiya Palombi:

Who have you worked with that has had a lasting impact on your career?

I’ve worked with so many talented artists and I’ve learned from each of them but I can’t say enough about the training I received at the Gately/Poole Conservatory. Kathryn & Rick gave me a freedom in my acting that I couldn’t have imagined was possible before studying under them