Heartline Theatricals
A professional performing arts company offering voice and acting lessons in Madison, Wisconsin.

Whole Performance Technique



By Leslie Esser-Reitano

Heart, Mind, Body and Soul.  Every piece, every moment, matters.

I tend to overlook the limits we self impose on ourselves, such as I am not good enough, I am too old, etc. and focus on the limitless potential I recognize in each person standing in front of me. Whoever is standing in front of me, at the time, is my favorite student. Each one equally valid in their creative pursuit. It is my belief and experience, that talent is over-rated! After a lifetime in this business, I have observed those that are most successful are the ones that show up and stay open and focused. Having a “good” voice, or being a “great actor”, is extremely subjective. But, there are real, tangible tools for performers. Learning these skills allows the freedom, insight and opportunities that make us happy and fulfilled, both as artists, and as human beings. I teach Singers and Actors clear tools that results in a free, strong and expressive technique. At the same time, I deal with the internal barriers such as fear, self criticism or doubt that can also prevent us from allowing us to do our best, remembering that the process and the performance can be fun! Whether you are a parent looking for lessons for your child, or an adult yearning to realize those performing desires, or a professional looking to renew and refresh your craft, I can help!

I embrace a healthy, strong, physical approach that gives singers the freedom to sing with vocal ease, power and range, and, of course, great expression. I am strongly influenced by my own training and great teachers, the school of experience, and my work as a yoga instructor for over 15 years.

My teaching and coaching work is based on over 30 years as a professional performer and teacher in NYC, LA, and now, Middleton, Wisconsin. I am lucky to absolutely love what I do, and still find myself passionate and excited about the creative process of a performer. Everyone is worthy of the journey! Every level of voice training with a student begins with universal principles that will serve them to be a success in any genre, based on my Whole Performance Technique®. This is a comprehensive program that provides: 1) A Vocal Toolbox: lifelong skills to move beyond fear and uncertainty, to joy and confidence – to sing with freedom, strength, range and artistry. 2) Methods to make powerful, truthful and clear acting choices for auditions and roles. 3) The means to develop a sense of fun, joy and wonder to transcend the many adversities of a Performer’s life.

Leslie’s work as a coach is based on Meisner training, combined with an eclectic and imaginative approach to helping actors work freely, fully and to make exciting truthful choices that best serve the work. In a safe and nurturing context, Leslie helps actors to follow their instincts and impulses.  Her approach is seriously playful and is also influenced by a multitude of other disciplines in Voice, Scene Study, Movement, Dance, Audition and Monologue technique, as well as over 15 years as a Certified Yoga Instructor.

Leslie holds a B.A. in Theatre, with a Minor in Music from UW-Madison. She has worked in all aspects of Theatre, including the Casting Industry, all aspects of the Music Industry, and as an actor in Television, and understands the unique demands for each genre.