A 1982 graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse with Sanford Meisner, Kelley has studied with other legendary NYC acting teachers such as Robert Lewis (Actors Studio), Suzanne Shepherd, and Sande Shurin and many other pros in all aspects of the craft.
Kelley has applied Meisner technique for 35 years in the professional acting world and has helped many students achieve their acting goals from true beginners to seasoned professionals.
From collaborating with local filmmakers to incorporate his students into short and feature length movies to coaching actors to take unprecedented leaps into film, television, stage, or local theatre roles, Kelley encourages his students to expand their scope and take risks. He continues to remain active both as a professional actor on stage and screen and as a teacher internationally and locally.
Kona, Hawaii 2018
In addition to his studies in NYC with legendary teachers Sanford Meisner and Robert Lewis, Kelley originated roles Off-Broadway at the Actors Studio, Pan-Asian Repertory, and AMAS Rep. He was a member of the ephemeral Actors Group, headed by Joanne Woodward, who applied their Meisner training to various scene styles and included such young actors as Allison Janney, Dylan McDermott, and Mark Moses.
In Los Angeles, Kelley was a member of the acclaimed Actors Co-op where his credits included leading roles in the Ovation-nominated musicals GUYS AND DOLLS and SHE LOVES ME, Thornton Wilder’s THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH as George Antrobus opposite Emily Kuroda of Gilmore Girls, and TERRA NOVA, for which he received a Dramalogue Award for his performance as Dr. Wilson.
In other LA theater, he created leading roles in THE WHEEL with Bryan Cranston, DELICACIES by Laura Shamas, ADAM HENRY with Richard Erdman, and the original professional production of ALL THAT HE WAS, published by Samuel French. Kelley performed improv comedy regularly at the Ice House Annex in Pasadena with the troupe Instant Gratification. His LA television work includes SILK STALKINGS, CIVIL WARS, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and LOVING.
Kelley was an Artist-in-Residence at Long Beach State performing leading roles in several original productions and working with the graduate students in the MFA program. He was a full-time theatre specialist with the Arts Education Branch of LA Unified Schools, helping to develop and coordinate arts education curriculum in the public schools in theatre, dance, and visual arts.
Since moving his family to Asheville in 2007, Kelley has continued to work in film and television in the Southeast (as George Caldough in THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD with Kevin Kline, Blair Mauney in Patricia Cornwell’s HORNETS NEST, as Dr.Liddell in DROP DEAD DIVA, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING as Dennis Quaid’s friend), and professional theatre at Flatrock Playhouse (A FEW GOOD MEN, THE FANTASTICKS), the Magnetic (RUTH by John Crutchfield), S.A.R.T. (Stanley in SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN: HOMECOMING), and North Carolina Stage Company (IN THE NEXT ROOM and most recently as Lyman in OTHER DESERT CITIES).
Kelley has taught Meisner Technique since 2009 with YWAM at films schools in Kona, Hawaii; Dunham, Quebec; and Brisbane, Australia.
Kelley has been a proud member of the actors unions SAG/AFTRA and AEA since 1986.
Academic degrees include a B.A. in psychology from Rhodes College, a professional clear teaching credential in English from National University, and a Masters degree in Management and Leadership (MSML) from Montreat College.