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Gold Coast Acting Faculty & Staff

Acting for Film Department

Adam Couper Adam Couper
Chair of Acting for Film

Adam has worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years as an actor, director, writer, musician, improvisor, and stand-up comedian throughout Australia on stage, screen, and television. He has been an acting teacher for over 20 years, specializing in such classes as acting for film, scene study, improvisation, screenwriting, new media, and filmcraft.

As an actor, his film credits include Girl Clock, A Difficult Woman, and The Ripper. On television he has appeared in Home and Away, Water Rats, East of Everything, and Good News Week, to name a few. His numerous stage credits include over thirty productions with such companies as QTC, SATC, and La Boite, including Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, and The Merry Wives of Windsor; Moliere’s Scapin; and modern Australian classics Away and One Day of the Year.

Adam’s voice credits include video games Rome: Total War and Rift, and Nickelodeon series Hot Chunks as Duke of Hurl. Adam is also an award-winning writer; his script Fixing Jack won Best Comedy Script from Emerging Writers. Additionally, Adam spent four years as a head writer for ABC TV.

Stuart Lumsden Stuart Lumsden
Deputy Chair of Acting for Film

A graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (1994-96), Deputy Chair of Acting Stuart Lumsden has taught exclusively for the New York Film Academy, Australia since 2013. His current duties include instructing students in all aspects of voice and speech dialect production, acting techniques and scene study and acting for film. Apart from teaching, Stuart is heavily involved in the Gold Coast arts scene as both a director and actor in film, television and theatre with three feature films due for release in late 2020. Further, Stuart is entering the final year of a Masters of Applied Theatre Studies (MATS), from the University of New England.

Katy Otto Katy Otto

Katy holds an Arts/Education double degree in Drama and English and a postgraduate certification in TESOL. With thirty years in the entertainment industry as a performer and educator, working alongside screen legends such as Heath Ledger and Erik Thompson. Katy’s varied credits range from theatre, cabaret, musical theatre and vocal performance (e.g. The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in Concert, Hair); lead and guest roles in television drama (e.g. Pacific Drive seasons 1 & 2, Roar); ADR, loop, jingle and voiceover talent; action/stunt performer and education officer with Warner Bros. Movieworld. Amongst this extensive career, Katy has also worked as a public speaker and personally worked with and supported the Gold Coast Suns Football team in conjunction with Talking Heads Media.

Chris Lynch Chris Lynch
Acting for Film

Chris Lynch was accepted into the Theatre Nepean Performing Arts program at The University of Western Sydney (UWS) where he earned his Degree in Theatre – majoring in Performing Arts. He later returned to UWS to complete his Graduate Diploma in Education in Drama. He has taught drama in various high schools and independent colleges. Chris has performed on stage in many plays throughout the Sydney theatre scene and appeared in TVC’s, short films, and feature films in Australia including Australia Day, Thor and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. As a writer, his first play Shadows secured funding from HOTA in their “Incubator” program that supports the ongoing development of local playwrights. Before joining NYFA he was teaching Acting for the Screen for local acting agencies, and is now writing more film scripts. He lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and daughter.

Rob Horton Rob Horton

Rob graduated from university with an honours degree in Performing Arts. He formed his own theatre company, Raa Theatre, in the 1990s and, during this period, was his work with well-known British actress Frances De La Tour(The Cherry Orchard), his international work in Romania with Gavril Cadariu(Drakula) and the inspiring Stanislavski-based She Devil, directed by the International Theatre Director, Mikhail Mokeev (a direct student of Stanislavski), of the Moscow Art Theatre. It was also during this time that Rob was mentored in Stanislavski’s methods by Mokheev. Rob has also trained extensively in Meisner Technique. Rob’s film credits include Mental, Break the Rock, Home of Strangers, The Hunters Club, The Dossier Case, Where’s Wallace, as well as the TV series Schadenfreude and numerous television commercials and stage roles.

Ellie Popov Ellie Popov

Ellie has worked in theatre, stage and screen for over a decade. She is a dedicated acting and physical theatre coach and has mentored many students whom have gone-on to work in the Australian film, theatre and television industry. Ellie has worked as an instructor for The Australian Acting Academy, Tom McSweeney, Stage Craft Acting School and in 2009 founded Skazka Physical Theatre Company which used an original curriculum developed by Ellie, herself.

Ellie is also an accomplished actress who has appeared in television shows such as channel Nine’s The Strip; touring dance productions such as The Shadow Garden; and theatre productions such as Hayden Spencer’s The Gremlins. Over the past few years Ellie has starred in a string of internationally recognized shorts including Clara (Screen Queensland); Cigaretts ( Canne Film Festival); A New You (Canne Film Festival, Flicker Fest & Taos Short Festival); and most recently Ellie has written and starred in the Australian feature film Thicker Than Water.

Brad McMurray Brad McMurray

Brad McMurray is an Australian actor with more than twenty years’ experience in film, television, and theatre. Brad graduated from Queensland University of Technology's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program and played the lead in the graduating class's production of Bertolt Brecht's BAAL, directed by acclaimed theatre director, Michael Gow.

Brad has worked with such Hollywood luminaries as Harvey Keitel in Fatal Honeymoon (2012), Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Deception (2013), and Ray Liotta in Bad Karma (2012). He is equally at home on the small screen (notably known by TV fans worldwide as “the man who shot Lisa McCune” in popular Australian series Sea Patrol) as on the big screen (other notable credits include the terrifying role of “Derek” in the award-winning revenge film The Horseman (2009) and the irascible “Big Elvis” in comedy of errors Crooked Business (2007), and a role alongside William Hurt in Nightmares and Dreamscapes (2006). Brad also maintains a love of theatre, treading the boards most recently in Queensland Theatre Company’s The Crucible (2009) and Pygmalion (2011).

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