Amy Chaffee teaches performance classes in voice, speech, text and embodied practice. Her field of research deals with the integration of voice and body to establish presence in the actor, combining different pedagogies including Fitzmaurice Voicework, Alexander Technique, Roy Hart vocal performance work, heightened text, clowning, and the energy and engagement work of Patsy Rodenburg.
Chaffee is a certified associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. She has presented her scholarship at the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and at the Fitzmaurice International Freedom and Focus Forum. The focus of her research has been on the "hyper-practical" — the bridge between what the film, television and theater industries seek from young actors and what training programs are doing to prepare them for a rapidly changing marketplace.
Chaffee has coached more than 25 academic and professional theater productions and dozens of films and television series. Some of her clientele have included Academy Award-winning actors Ellen Burstyn, Colin Firth and Melissa Leo, and Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson. Orlando Bloom, David Fynn, Charlie Hunnam, Kevin McKidd, Amber Tamblyn, Nicky Whelan and Bruce Willis have also worked with Chaffee. In 2013, she helped musical artist Andre 3000 with his portrayal of Jimi Hendrix in the biopic All Is by My Side, directed by Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley.
In addition to her scholarship and practical work, Chaffee has been a performer in live theater across the United States and abroad for almost 40 years. In 2000, she took her one-woman show, What Fresh Hell Is This, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; in 2014, she took her second one-woman show, I-80: An Invocation, to the Teatro Varasanta in Bogota, Columbia. She has also directed live theater for 20 years.
A Madison, Wis., native, Chaffee began her acting career as a child under the guidance of great regional artists Joseph Hanreddy, David Peterson and Nancy Thurow, among others. As a student at New York University, she studied acting under Group Theatre founders Stella Adler and Robert Lewis, as well as theater icons Augusto Boal, Ryszard Cieslak and Mary Overlie. After receiving her B.F.A. from NYU, she received an M.F.A. in acting from San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre where she was mentored by Richard Easton and performed under the watchful eyes of theater legends Joe Hardy, Nicky Martin and Jack O'Brien. She was also a member of Milton Katselas’ master class at the Beverly Hills Playhouse during the last eight years of his life.
Chaffee is the co-founder of Door Shakespeare, a summer Shakespeare company in Baileys Harbor, Wis., and has a long-time association as a performing artist with Northern Sky Theatre in Fish Creek, Wis.
Chaffee has worked on-camera since her arrival in Los Angeles in 2000.