top of page

TDSS  Instructors 

DEL SHORES has written, directed, and produced successfully across studio and independent film, network and cable television, and regional and national touring theatre. 


Del Shores is the writer/director/producer of the films Sordid Lives, Blues for Willadean, Southern Baptist Sissies and A Very Sordid Wedding.  He wrote and executive produced the MGM feature Daddy's Dyin'...Who's Got The Will?   He has written ten plays, produced thousands of times worldwide, five adapted for screen.  Sordid Lives also spawned a TV series and sequel.  His publisher is Samuel French/Concord. In television, Del wrote, directed, executive produced and created the LOGO series, Sordid Lives: The Series. He also wrote and executive produced Showtime's groundbreaking Queer As Folk for the last three seasons, wrote and produced for Dharma & Greg and Ned & Stacey.  He has directed Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer; Grammy Award winner Olivia Newton-John; Emmy winners/nominees Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, Leslie Jordan, Bonnie Bedelia, Bobbie Eakes, Patrika Darbo and Rue McClanahan; Spirit Award winner Dale Dickey; Screen Actor's Guild Award-winner Beth Grant; as well as Caroline Rhea, Debby Holiday and David Steen. As a performer, Shores has performed in hundreds of standup gigs and recently starred in the film of his new critically acclaimed and award-winning one-man play Six Characters In Search Of A Play directed by Emerson Collins.

MAT HAYES is a multi-award winning actor and filmmaker, making a career on stage and on film, performing all over the world.

In 2019, Mat’s short film Cognitive won several awards for Best Short Film as it played at 23 festivals all over the world. Mat wrote, directed and starred in the film.


Mat has quickly made a name for himself in coaching privately while working for Jessalyn Gilsig’s self-tape studio in Los Angeles. He’s relied upon by some of the industry’s most working names and understands the needs of the industry when it comes to auditioning. He's worked regularly with Nicola Peltz, Amber Riley, Max Ehrich, Bianca Kajlich, Madison Davenport, Bill Dawes, Erica Tazel, Ivy Wolk, Dylan Neal, Will Kemp, etc. Combining Strasburg and Meisner techniques and Del Shores’ philosophy of “I don’t care how you get there as long as you get there”, Mat works with your present circumstances to create the most truthfully connected performance.


Mat has studied under, worked for, and been mentored by Del Shores over the past few years and is very familiar with Del’s technique, which will serve as the format for this class. He studied musical theatre at Auburn University and made a career in theatre and singing aboard cruise ships before moving to LA in 2013.

Emerson Collins is best known for four seasons of BRAVO’s The People’s Couch and RENT on FOX.  In film, he produced and starred in A Very Sordid Wedding, produced Blues For Willadean, and produced and starred Southern Baptist Sissies, which won 15 film festival awards including one for Emerson as Best Actor from the Red Dirt International Film Festival. He co-produced and co-starred in LOGO’s Sordid Lives: The Series. He also produced and directed three of Del Shores’ standup specials and directed for both stage and film his one man play Six Characters In Search Of A Play.


Emerson produced the LA premiere of This Side Of Crazy, the world premiere of the LA Drama Critic’s Circle Award-winning Yellow, and the national tour of Sordid Lives and Southern Baptist Sissies, while appearing onstage in Sissies. He won the Best Actor Desert Theatre League Award for the Regional Theatre Premiere of Buyer & Cellar.


Emerson wrote for three years as a contributor to the Dallas Voice and has appeared at over 60 film festivals around the world as a guest speaker and panelist and has taught and coached acting, producing and musical theatre across the country.

Blake McIver’s vast experience in the entertainment industry is derived from multiple disciplines.  His creative accomplishments range from film and television to live theatre and the recording studio.  Blake has succeeded professionally as an actor, writer, director, producer and recording artist.


Performing on network television at age six, Blake was always just as interested in what went on behind the camera as in front of it. After winning Star Search Jr Vocalist Champion,  he went on to star in roles on hit series such as Full House and Hey Arnold then on to feature films including The Little Rascals, which awarded him the opportunity to work with Steven Spielberg and Penelope Spheeris. He also appeared many notable animated projects such as Tarzan, The Little Mermaid 2, Anastasia, Recess, and others. 


Appearing in the World Premiere of the hit musical, Ragtime, Blake’s love of musical theatre was ignited.  Tony Award winning director, Frank Galati instilled in him a structure for mounting a production that Blake continues to use today. 


While managing his own theatre company, YMTA, Blake directed a production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA at the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center and produced the critically acclaimed production of The Light in the Piazza at the El Portal Theatre. Blake is also a graduate of UCLA.

Blake is relied upon as a session singer for some of the music industry's most prolific artists. They include Phil Collins, Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow, Michael Jackson, David Foster, John Williams, James Horner, Jon Secada, and Sheena Easton.

Blake McIver Heashot 2018.jpg
bottom of page