Leslee Dennis discovered her highly developed eye for talent from the famous and highly esteemed acting teacher Lee Strasberg. As a student in his directing classes, she was able to hone her natural ability in gaining the trust of the actor thus raising the actor’s performance level. This experience led her to become a directing member of the west coast branch of the prestigious Ensemble Studio Theatre. Leslee’s passion and respect for the craft of acting and understanding the importance of putting the right actor in the right role made becoming a casting director a natural segue for her. She knew that casting is “half the battle” for the director. By finding the best actor to fit the role, a good casting director makes the director’s job much easier. She began a career that would span over twenty-five years, helping to launch the careers of Tobey Maguire, Poppy Montgomery, Jeremy Piven and many others. Her casting experience includes shows on every major network from CBS to FOX, THE WB and SHOWTIME, numerous pilots, series, and Academy Award-winning indie films.
Leslee has always been known as an actor-friendly casting director whose specific direction in pre-reads not only got actors called back but got them the job as well.
While on a hiatus from casting, she decided to do something that had become another passion of hers: Teaching. During pilot season, she taught an acting class with the emphasis on auditioning, immediately filling two classes, leaving her students so satisfied with their progress that they wanted more. As a result, with her classes being in high demand, Leslee now teaches full time.
Leslee’s gift is the laser vision she uses in helping the actor identify the problems that get in the way of being true to their character and situation. Helping her students work through these issues to achieve a real connection to their characters has led them to refer to her as, “Dr. D” – The Audition Doctor.
Her genuine concern for her students has been a very rewarding experience for everyone. Leslee’s primary goal is to create a safe place for her students to explore all the emotional levels necessary to the acting process. With this in mind, she continually finds more in-depth and creative ways to teach her students, providing them with the necessary tools to thrive.