Cathryn Sulllivan’s Acting For Film

Devyn Shea
2 min readNov 8, 2021

By: Devyn Shea

POSTED: DEC 11 2019

LEWISVILLE — Cathryn Sullivan never dreamt of opening her own acting studio. She excelled in acting through high school and college, but it was her acting coach Laird Mayhew that first turned her attention toward coaching.

Sullivan quickly became Mayhew’s assistant, and then his business partner. Together they traveled all over Texas to different agencies and began teaching actors. This is where Sullivan credits her beginnings of her own studio.

Mayhew’s departure from Texas for Virginia provided Sullivan the opportunity she would now describe as what she was made for.

“Somebody called me up and said ‘hey I heard you’re really good with kids. I’ll pay you this much money and I’ll give you 8 kids can you start next week?’ and I said ‘Okay!’ and that’s how it all started,” says Sullivan.

19 years later Sullivan is responsible for launching the careers of stars like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomes, and up and comers like Hayley Orrantia, Thomas Mann, and Olivia Welch.

Sullivan’s studio is technical, each of the nine classes through the regular program focusing on mastering a single emotion. Students have to pass one class before they are allowed to venture to the next.

As of 2012, Sullivan began branching out of her regular classes. She now offers stand-alone director’s classes, where students must write, cast, and direct their own short film. At the end of the session Sullivan throws a film festival, awarding the best of the program recognition and trophies.

It is in this program student Alex Yonks found her passion for TV writing. She has now gone on to become a TV writer in Los Angeles, just finishing a three-year stint writing for the Big Bang Theory.

Most students get their professional connections through Sullivan’s seminars. These seminars invite industry professionals consisting of local talent agencies like Kim Dawson and Campbell, Los Angeles talent agencies and managers. There is often heads of casting of Disney or Dreamworks in attendance as well.

There students are able to perform an acting scene of their choosing and interact with the professionals. If an agent or manager is interested, they will reach out after the seminar regarding working together.

For more information regarding Cathryn Sullivan’s acting for film, visit