John started as a professional actor. Between engagements, he studied acting in professional workshops and at universities. He graduated from California State University, Long Beach summa cum laude with a B.A. in acting and directing. While at CSULB, he had the great honor to study with one of the finest acting teachers in the country, Libby Appel. From her, John learned how to go deeply into character behavior. Also, he studied with Michael Finlayson, and crossed paths with Patrick Stewart and Ben Kingsley. They were on sabbatical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, and although John had already spent two years acting in a Shakespeare company, from them he learned the secrets of bringing Shakespeare to life for contemporary audiences. John continues to encourage writers to take acting classes so they can understand the process of embodying their characters.