You can access my resume, reel, headshots, and agent info at the bottom of the home page.

John Raymond Barker

John Raymond Barker

Actor-Singer-Writer-Director. Recent Guest Star on Law & Order: SVU.

Merri Sugarman at Actors Connection

On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, I took a musical theatre audition class with Merri Sugarman from Tara Rubin Casting. I’ve taken a few seminars and classes at Actors Connection, and this was definitely the most rewarding. 

Often, I leave a class feeling a vague feeling of whatever about my craft. This time, I left with a strong sense of action steps I can apply to my book of audition songs. I feel empowered to bring my audition game up several notches.

Merri has an excellent ability to answer questions with a balance of respect and empathy and no nonsense, tough love. It’s practical, useful information that honors the struggles and despair actors feel and face that make us ask the questions and so desperately crave the answers. She swept away the noise and distraction of certain topics and focused us on the things we should be working on.

The nature of these classes limits how much individual time you can receive. Merri targets the handful of things that would best help the performer advance their skills and be able to immediately make progress. And best of all, she put a lot of my questions to rest with her clear answers and shared ideas that were brand new to me. 

It’s likely much/all of what she said I’ve heard before, and I simply wasn’t able to fully comprehend to have a breakthrough until February 7, 2018. That happens to all of us many times in life. But I’m going to sway the credit to Ms. Sugarman whose background, humanity, and immense experience as a casting director has made her an excellent teacher. 

Thank you, Merri. I’m saying that now in case I get cut off at the Tonys someday. 

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