My   Philosophy

Need and the endless search for truth and authenticity

for the actor or other creative warriors.

"Being born is the most difficult thing we may ever have to do. There is a reason why babies don't enter the world laughing. Immediately we are faced with great adversity and must seek solutions to a list of challenges. To eat and be protected, to survive. To be loved. It is this eternal conflict that will motivate everything we say and do throughout our entire lives. It is this eternal conflict I teach my students to use to calibrate their emotional instrument and resonate the text with their own personal truth. "

                                                                Chris McKinney actor/coach


About me?

                                      Born and raised in NYC, I began working with Susan Batson in 1989                                                            before attending the Juilliard School. The combining of Batson's innovative method of working from the inside out, to find the emotional need of a character and the traditional theater techniques, he learned at Juilliard, focused on breath and relaxation, continue to serve me well and enrich my craft. Since then, I have been a working actor, featured on many theater, film and television productions.  MY work has been featured on HBO, Showtime, NBC, CBS, ABC and the BBC. Such NY theaters as The Public Theater, Manhattan Theater Club, New York Theater Workshop, Classical Theater of Harlem and many others.  My most recent credits include a recurring roles as Victor on High Maintenance on, sheriff Bly on NOS4A2 guest star and starring rolls on New Amsterdam, The First Lady and Poker Face. 

What are people saying?

"Chris has always had a way with words. He is able to break things down clearly in a way that is both understandable and applicable to my work. This has greatly benefited my craft - Being able to make quick changes while also working long-term on certain skills, is what I have been able to provide my actor under Chris’s direction. I am thankful and humbled to have had the opportunity to work with him for this long."

Ronelle Thomas / New York

Chris McKinney’s insight was second to none. He could see us as people first and help us through our personal roadblocks. My sessions with Chris were a series of practical conversations aimed at keeping us focused, accepting ourselves and moving forward to create something wonderful with the instrument unique to all of us. His catchphrase was, 'try it again'. I will definitely study with him again.”

Colin Morgan / Madrid

Chris has been a wonderful influence on my acting training. He is supportive throughout the process of self discovery and balances this with useful, practical tools that gave me the chance to make refined, artistic choices to create exciting material to work with. Rarely do you encounter this combination in a coach.

Vanessa Chama /New York 

Chris McKinney is adept at guiding the actor/actress along the beats of a scene to the pathway of strong choices. In many ways, he illuminates the possibilities to explore in a scene, while staying rooted in a simple process aimed at listening and reacting.

Brian Kelly/ New York

"Chris always had the right words to help my work get better and better. His feedback is always clear and goes straight to the point. He knows how to approach and guide different actors and people in order to make their best qualities come out. Always stimulating and fun to work with Chris!"

   Michela Hickox / Rome

"Chris McKinney is an intellectual coach after and he expands her technique with aplomb. A heart as big  as the ocean he’s a generous coach who looks deep and tries to bring out the best in everyone."

Jacob Wheeler / New York

Chris is everything you want in an acting coach.  He is patient, smart, and honest.  Chris always offers practical insight to make sound creative choices to help lift characters into life.  He's helped me work through challenging monologues and scripts to best showcase my actor.  If you are interested in doing the real work to take your artist to the next level, I strongly recommend booking a consultation with Chris Mckinney today.

Kendall Glaspie/ New York


"Chris McKinney stands out in the huge pool of coaches because his only interest is you, the actor.  Because of his vast experience as an actor he can give you more tools than one school can teach you. Because of his real interest you feel safe to discover. It was a blessing to work with Chris!"

Sandra Cvetkovic / Munich           

Chris McKinney is an insightful teacher. He can lead you through a scene and help you mine all the nuggets of gold from the text. The playwright gives you the bones and Chris can help you navigate your way to success.


Heather Spore Kelley /New York