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Learn to use your voice
as an artist and a human

My mission is to empower actors, artists, and professionals through a voice-centric, holistic acting approach. Employ a growth mindset, be authentic, and TAKE UP SPACE!

PK headshot

The PK Method is...

... a technique tailored to your needs that will empower you to make strong choices in your work with confidence and ease.

  • Confidence Building

    Everyone deserves to have a coach championing for them; someone who insists on excellence and who understands the power of connection. This is a business with a lot of rejection, so the more resilient and autonomous you are, the more confident you will be. Finding a repeatable technique for approaching text will give you the confidence you need in your next cold read, audition, or self-tape.

  • Student Centered

    This method is about uncovering how you learn best, and developing your individual process so that you can set yourself up for success. Finding the best way for you to take command of your work means a pedagogical approach catered to your learning styles.

  • Holistic

    Not only will you learn how your instrument works and develop skills for how to tackle language, but you will also discover your process as an actor and take steps towards understanding your identity as an artist. This method will also help you strengthen your self-care and self-love — skills you will need to survive a career in the business.

Want to grow as an artist? Book a coaching today.

PK gives her all. She is fair, honest, and infinitely caring. Her style of teaching is the perfect balance between discipline and freedom. She imposes nothing, but patiently suggests and advises, paving your way to deep, personal life-changing discoveries.

Maria Corina Ramirez

She is deeply invested in the art of teaching, and is passionate about innovation both pedagogically and in her field. In every capacity in which I have had the pleasure of engaging with Melissa, she has been inspiring, ambitious, willing to listen, and incredibly hard working.

Catherine Cabeen

Every time I worked with her I felt inspired and motivated to bring my best work to the table. Her coaching only furthered my career and I am thankful to have experienced her expertise.

Mitchell Lippitt

PK proves time and time again to be one of the most dedicated coaches. Along with her natural ability to break down and teach new concepts, she also inspires us all with her commitment to bettering the arts community through inclusivity and innovation. Having her as a teacher and mentor greatly impacted my growth as an artist.

Michael Rose

The voice is incredibly vulnerable, but PK created a safe space where I could explore my most personal tool without feeling judged or limited.

Rosie Tyler

Melissa has a natural enthusiasm and a deep knowledge of her subject which makes being her student not only pleasurable but a hugely informative and enriching experience.

Corin Mellinger


We're back! Join us at the beautiful Open Jar Studios in NYC this May for some exclusive in-person (!) intensives. We will be doing a 1-day Monologue Intensive, and by popular demand, a 2-day intensive on Vocal Transformation.

There are a limited number of spots for each intensive! Once these spots are filled we will start a waitlist in case there are cancellations. Reduced price scholarships are available by application (email for more info).

Monologue Intensive


Tuesday, May 24th from 5:30pm-9:30pm
at Open Jar Studios in New York City
Register Now for the Monologue Intensive


You will get a full-on PK Method experience of marrying the “technical” left brain work: operative language, rhetorical devices, structure, with the “feeling” right brain work: human behavior, tactics, and emotional stakes, in order to tackle a new monologue. You will leave with a repeatable process for approaching text that can be utilized in cold reads, sides, monologue auditions, VO, and scene work.


1. All participants need to provide ONE of the following:
- Proof of vaccination + photo ID
- OR Negative COVID test from within 3 days before arrival + photo ID

2. These workshops will be recorded. You must fill out a consent form when registering.

3. Notification of cancellation must be given prior to May 17th, 2022 in order to receive a full refund.

Vocal Transformation Intensive


Monday, May 23rd from 5:30pm-9:30pm and
Wednesday, May 25th from 5:30pm-9:30pm
at Open Jar Studios in New York City
Register Now


Over the course of two intensive sessions, you will do a deep-dive into vocal tract actions and how to isolate them in order to transform your voice. In the first session, you will playfully explore vocal tract actions, phonation levels, resonance, and articulation. In the second session, you will isolate your own vocal tract actions to sound like someone else utilizing PK’s Vocal Inventory. You will be able to both improvise and perform a text/song mirroring that person’s vocal tract actions.


1. All participants need to provide ONE of the following:
- Proof of vaccination + photo ID
- OR Negative COVID test from within 3 days before arrival + photo ID

2. These workshops will be recorded. You must fill out a consent form when registering.

3. Notification of cancellation must be given prior to May 16th, 2022 in order to receive a full refund.


Here's an overview of the types of coaching sessions that PK offers:


  • Parse the text for clues on what needs to be highlighted to move the story forward.
  • Learn how your voice is the conduit for your acting choices.
  • Debunk actor jargon like: objectives, play an action, tactics, obstacles, stakes, moment-to-moment, and more.
  • Apply these skills to produce self-tapes utilized for self-reflections and objective critical feedback.


  • Learn how to do an accent breakdown from a real speaker, also known as an idiolect, which is the individual dialect of one person (IPA optional).
  • Employ skills of vocal tract manipulation to learn the oral posture of the speaker.
  • Pay respect to the individual speaker by doing research into their background and heritage.
  • Apply the above skills to a new text.

Vocal Characterization

  • Learn how to control your vocal tract to sound like someone else.
  • Practice isolating articulators to transfer these skills to other explorations.
  • Document your observations and develop ear-training.
  • Apply these skills to new texts, songs, etc.

Latest Projects

Explore ongoing projects created and produced by the PK Method

How to find a monologue cover

How To Find A Monologue

If you’re looking to take the fear and overwhelm out of finding a new monologue then check out this 5 part series on how to find the best material to showcase your skills and cultivate your monologue repertoire. Download the free workbook and follow along!

Monologue Mondays cover

Monologue Monday

Monologue Monday is an actor challenge that consists of 1) a cold read of a brand new monologue, 2) a coaching session with me where we break down the text and employ acting strategies, and 3) a final performance of the monologue employing the skills they learned using the PK Method.

Explore Monologue Monday videos
Schitt's Creek Vocal Characterization Cover

Vocal Characterization

Vocal Characterization is another way to say "impressions" but these take a deeper dive into the nuances of the voice and speech of an individual. Actors learn how to control their vocal tract to transform their voices. We also use Vocal Characterization to create characters from scratch and as the foundation for learning accents. Check out some of the projects we've created so far!

Watch Vocal Characterization videos

Want to grow as an artist? Book a coaching today.

Melissa Tonning-Kollwitz
New York 2020

About Melissa (aka PK)

Her name is Melissa, but those who train with her call her “PK” — short for Professor Kollwitz. The name stuck, but the career path changed. She served as a Theatre professor for 10 years before deciding to leave academia and create the PK Method. Her mission is to inspire actors, through rigorous and diverse training methods, to find the most efficient and economical way to use their voices and bodies expressively. She is passionate about teaching actors self-regulation strategies to cope with performance anxiety, and promoting autonomy and resilience in their practice.

She received an MFA in Voice Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. She has held faculty positions in NYC at Marymount Manhattan College, New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts, and New York Film Academy, as well as New World School of the Arts (Miami), and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (London). Other teaching experience includes serving as a Guest Lecturer for the MFA Performance Pedagogy program at Loyola Marymount University, a one-year internship at the Yale School of Drama, and various Fitzmaurice Voicework workshops in NYC. PK has coached internationally from London’s Young Vic (Off West End), to NYC and Miami.

PK is an award-winning scholar whose publications can be found in Routledge’s Voice & Speech Review. In addition to being a Faculty Fellow for the Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence at MMC, she also served as Co-Chair for Professional Development and Educational Experiences on the President’s Advisory Committee for Inclusivity. PK received the Conversations on Diversity and Social Justice Grant, a Mellon Immersive and Integrative Pedagogy Grant, an Outstanding Faculty Award for the Fine and Performing Arts Division, and the first-ever Rocco dal Vera Graduate Research Award through the Voice & Speech Trainer’s Association. She continues to investigate the use of standard dialects in the theatre industry and will have the next article on this topic published in July 2021.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. — Picasso