Student Testimonials

Read student testimonials from Rachael’s former students and the Alumni of the Waterfront Conservatory program.

meisner-student-testimonials-meredith“Everything I am working on as an artist in the medium of dance was supported and furthered by my work in the Meisner classes with Rachael Adler at Waterfront Conservatory: the efforts towards honesty, integrity, and physical intuition, the sense of play, and the discipline and commitment required when aiming for the ultimate heights of mastery.  Rachael is aiming at art as a practice, not just a performance; nothing is superficial.  The students plunge deep and walk away not just as richer actors, but as more fully realized people.”

~ Meredith Webster, Company Member, Alonzo King’s Lines Dance Company, San Francisco


539088_509849465696017_1643938230_n“Rachael is brilliant, intense, intuitive and a real piece of work. She might become a good mentor. Or not. I have spoken very frankly to her. The difference between Rachael and other bay area Meisner Technique schools is that Rachael has the humility and emotional intelligence to listen and respond thoughtfully.The framework is different and runs way deeper than my previous training could ever approach. It’s like going from the Junior Varsity to the major league.”
~ C.J. MacDuffee, Singer-Songwriter, Oakland, CA

Rachael is a passionate and articulate teacher with a unique gift for drawing
forth her students’ inner brilliance.”
~ Bradley Whitford, SAG/AFTRA, Emmy Award in West Wing, Screen Actors Guild Award.



“I came from Spain to study there and from my point of view Rachael teaches from a deep commitment, enthusiasm and honesty in her acting classes . The program is really complete with also voice, movement and Feldenkrais classes.”
~ Andrea Trepat, Spanish Actress & International Exchange student from MeisnerEspaña



“In early 2001, I was living my dream, opening at the Improv, and everything was going really well until 9/11 happened in the middle of my Groundlings [improv] training. The comedy scene in L.A. pretty much dried up over night, and I dropped out and went back to Tucson with my tail between my legs. That time in my life was a fundamental shift in my perception of myself and the world, and I’ve spent the last decade trying to reconcile my desire to be a fun, lighthearted comedic performer with such a deep longing to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor. The Waterfront is giving me permission to bring truth and depth to both desires, and I’m extremely grateful for it.”~ Wylie Herman, SAG/AFTRA


“Rachael Adler blew away any expectations I had of an acting program. The depth and care applied to each of us as an actor, and as a human being, was really exceptional. Rachael has set the bar so high, it is challenging to find her level of honesty and integrity anywhere else.

The work I did at Waterfront Conservatory has laid a rock-solid foundation for me to build rich and intricate characters upon. I understand my range. I have the freedom to express myself fully and truthfully. I know how to work with extreme diligence and precision. I feel truly blessed to have found Rachael Adler at the genesis of my career.

I started Level I to ‘check it out.’ The classes were significantly more expensive than the other programs in town, so I wasn’t thinking I’d stay for long. At the end of the first class, I couldn’t believe where we’d gone in three hours. By the third class, I knew I was in for the entire year. The growth, both personal and professional, was well worth it.

Meisner technique is complex. Any truly great acting technique must be in order to address the complexity that exists in human psychology. Rachael laid out the technique like a science, and we got in there with our proverbial lab coats and our clipboards, and experimented until we got it. And by the end of the program, we all got it. Not just some of us. All of us.

Rachael Adler is nothing short of divine genius. I’m not bullshitting. She is a channel.

You gotta understand though that Rachael’s tough. If you want to get away with the bare minimum, if you want your teacher to tell you how great you are every time you get up to work, Waterfront isn’t for you.

The greatest gift I received from Waterfront Conservatory? The ability to listen to my intuition at full volume.”
~ Bobbi Breckenridge, LA

meisner-student-testimonials-javier“I have worked with many acting teachers and coaches but no one has been able to offer me as much and in such a consistent manner as Rachael Adler. Her knowledge, compassion, rigorous work ethic, discipline and understanding of the human nature makes her the most complete teacher I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. She is not just a teacher but a true Master. I am not ashamed to admit that my teaching program in Europe is completely modeled after her and everything I have learned and continue to learn from her. All my students are required to take Master Classes with her in order to graduate. I work with these students for months and, while I admit I get a lot out of them, nothing is comparable to what she’s able to do with them in just a matter of a few weeks. Rachael Adler is a blessing for any actor who has the fortune to cross paths with her.” ~ Javier Galitó-Cava, NY/Barcelona;


“Rachael Adler is an outstanding teacher. I have taken many acting classes, and Rachael’s is by far the best. Rachael will teach you how to act from your heart and let your imagination fly. Rachael’s teaching is the perfect combination of rigorous and supportive– she’ll never let you be less than your best. She creates a trusting environment in her classes in which actors feel comfortable taking risks. As a result, in her class, I reached a performance level beyond what I thought I was capable of. I gained access to my emotions, learned to listen onstage, and stopped “going in my head.” Since studying with Rachael, I formed a theatre company along with other students from Rachael’s class and we are now producing our third show in a year. I’ve also been cast and called back for many other roles, something that wouldn’t have happened without studying with Rachael. Do anything you can to take her class! It will change your life as an actor.” ~ Kate Willett, Stand-Up Comedian,

“Working with Rachael Adler was an experience I will forever cherish. The belief I have in myself as an actor wouldn’t be if it had not been for our work together. Her belief in me challenged me to reach new levels in my craft, career and life. Her passion fueled me. Her love comforted me. Her rigor……well lets just say from those moments I had some of my most passionate experiences.

The technique is challenging but well worth it. The tools you will learn here will help you book the job, I promise. The confidence I have in myself and in my training is difficult to articulate. To keep it simple, I know that there will not be another actor that will bring the truth to the role the way that I can…Why? Because its my truth. What you’ll learn here is that you have to be comfortable in your own shoes before you can think about jumping into a characters.

Upon completion of the course, I am now an actor that seeks the truth. An actor that’s not afraid to be seen and an actor that can access his feelings. Through my work with her I found the power within my instrument. A power that only I can bring to a role. ~ Olando Graves, LA

“The year was a high-intensity thrill ride into the depths of my psyche. My work with you pushed me to the edge of sanity and unlocked the dark shadows within me that lied dormant, caged, abused and frightened. Without your compassion and thoughtful direction, I would have never been able to face this part of me and bring it into my work as an actor.  Thank you.

Now that a year has gone by, I have discovered my immense power as an actor that I need to share with the world. You realized my powerful presence and intense energy early on in the program and it took me many months to realize my own potential and access my primal self.  I am deeply humbled by your words of wisdom and thoughtful guidance. Thank you.

Before Waterfront, I had no idea what it meant to be a true actor. I had no understanding of the commitment and dedication, nor did I realize that I was enough. Your teaching propelled me into the present moment and developed my understanding of working as an actor. Thank you.

I also didn’t realize how deeply spiritual the journey would become. For myself, I now believe that spirituality and acting are one in the same. I am filled with so much love and compassion for my work as an actor and feel honored to bring writer’s visions to life and reverberate them into the hearts and souls of humanity. You are part of my inner sanctum of sacred actors and have truly touched my soul. I am immensely grateful for your compassion throughout this journey.

You were my teacher, mentor, coach, director, and colleague in creating powerful work for the theater. I look forward to being a part of the Waterfront community in the years to come and am so excited for you! You dream is coming true, the revolution has begun… ~ Nick Kretz SF, 

“You owe it to yourself to work with Rachael Adler. She is far from an ordinary teacher. She is my mentor, my coach, director, and partner in creating truth. I consider the moment I walked into Rachael’s workshop the day that my career began. It changed the way I approached acting; I learned not to act from my mind, but from my heart. She can cut through the clutter and help you focus on the bare essentials of a scene or character, and she will relentlessly, mercilessly get you to focus in the moment. When you’re in an acting class or workshop where you are comfortable in your skin and confident with your technique, Rachael will shatter that. You’re in a new world, and to be truly alive is to be living in the moment of truth, which is what Rachael shows you how to do best.” ~ Scott Ragle, SAG/AFTRA/AEA

“Rachael is the best teacher/guide I have ever had, including grammar school, little league, church, etc. This is no exaggeration. Her capacity to listen, in almost frenetic detail, to each student, and to really live within each person as they go through the growing pains of learning the technique, crafting themselves, is astounding to me. She has such a knack for finding your knots and gently untying them without you even knowing what they are (until sometimes years later, as in my case). I cannot emphasize the listening enough. Patience, empathic guidance, and genuine love. I’m relieved she is still teaching!” ~ Lee Barton, NY, SAG/AFTRA,

“Though I had grown up in the theater, and even majored in college, I had never been sufficiently in touch with the “reality of doing” as an actor. Rachael instilled in me a commitment to the work – showing me repeatedly how to exceed my own expectations – with an intensity that marked my craft indelibly. I credit Rachael for helping me lay the foundation of my acting career – as my technical and professional jumpstart. I highly encourage anyone looking for the ‘real thing’ to work with Rachael.” ~ Aimee Miles, SAG/AFTRA/AEA

“Rachael is an amazing teacher with a contagious passion for the art of acting, and for life.” ~ Jeffrey Crockett
, Faculty, A.C.T.

“I first worked with Rachael in 1993. She was the first teacher I had that saw my work, listened to my ambitions and told me point blank that I was capable of achieving more than I believed. She saw something in my acting that I could not. She saw something in my desire that I could not. She made me believe that what I really, really wanted-which I didn’t dare say out loud, that I wanted to be a professional actor-was absolutely possible. Then, she showed me how it was possible by bringing work out of me that I didn’t know I could do. Today, I live in New York, in the center of the acting universe. I work all the time and I’m having the kind of artistic life I always dreamed about. Without Rachael Adler and her special skill as a teacher and artist I would not be here. She is simply the most influential teacher of acting I’ve ever had.” ~ Michael Warner, NY, Equity/SAG/AFTRA/AEA. Acting Faculty Head at Studio 4, New York;

“I came to Rachael as a dancer hoping to take my art-form to the next level, never considering I could be a “real” actress. Before working with Rachael, I had a difficult time accessing my emotions and creating an authentic experience for my audience. Rachael’s rigor, discipline, and finely tuned aesthetic so beautifully honed my capacity to live in the moment, not only through my body, but also through my emotions. She has a strong commitment to bringing out the best, and seeing potential that I couldn’t even realize in myself. I can confidently say she is one of the best acting coaches around, and I would highly recommend her to anyone that wants to take their artistic talents to the next ten levels. It is a life changing experience that will revolutionize the way you approach every aspect of your life.” ~ Lisa Kotecki, SF