Equal to my love of directing is my love of working with students. Teaching has been a constant, and a joy, throughout my career.
Whether you are an actor preparing for an audition, a singer seeking song coaching, or a circus performer looking to refine your act, I would be honored to work with you.
In my teaching, I am most influenced by the pedagogy of Paulo Freire, who wrote against the idea of students being empty vessels to be filled by educators. I view education as dual-learning, in which student and teacher are equals, and each grows from the opportunity to work with the other.
I have always had a love for teaching and learning, and a strong belief in the potential of every actor to find himself or herself within every part.
Whether you are an actor, a singer, or a circus artist, we will still be using the same basic tools to refine your work: intent, variety, and story. We’ll find a way to breathe life into words and/or movement and create a compelling event that you’ll love presenting.
I’ve taught private classes and workshops at the University of California, San Diego; ESPA at Primary stages; the Magnet Arts High School in Greenville, South Carolina; and with my own company, Mythmakers.
My most recognizable credits are Paramour (Broadway), Jersey Boys (Broadway and West End), the Big Apple Circus (Lincoln Center), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Broadway).
Actors I've directed have won international recognition for their performances, including the Olivier (UK), Dora (Canada), and Helpmann (Australia) awards. I've collaborated with some of the best and brightest actors on five continents, working intensely and intimately with them to reveal the character within themselves.
For the Big Apple Circus and Cirque Du Soleil I worked closely with circus performers to find stories within their acts, and link tricks together with intent and character.
"West is amazing. He is equally an intelligent archaeologist, an emotional detective, and a joyful enthusiast of life.
"In the six weeks West directed me as I learned 'Frankie Valli' in Jersey Boys in Toronto, I felt completely trusted as an actor, and found it easy to trust him in return. He created the perfect atmosphere for investigation, offered plentiful insights and suggestions, and most impressively West knew when I needed to be challenged and when I needed to be encouraged.
"Even on a 'franchise' show, West was incredibly collaborative, and was equally skilled at giving me guidance in scene work, monologues or songs. In fact, when I rejoined the show in Australia after a year away, I found myself going back to West's notes to help me through those tough spots and 'clunky' moments. I would leap at the chance to learn from him again. I have no doubt that West will remain in the ranks of the country's best acting teachers and coaches for decades to come."
-- JEFF MADDEN, DORA Award winner, Outstanding Performance in a Musical, Jersey Boys (Toronto)
"West Hyler spent a lot of time understanding what we do in our circus act and carefully preserved the integrity of our work while helping it shine in the Big Apple Circus ring. The audience may never see the tiny moments that West had the understanding to place into our acts, but they do feel the sparkle, the story, and the gut-wrenching excitement of a well-crafted world class act."
-- SETH BLOOM and CHRISTINA GELSONE, Acrobuffos