ZBS Team

Zak Barnett

(Master Teacher, CEO & Founder)  

Zak is widely regarded in the industry for cultivating a generation of breakout stars. His clients, past and present, range from Broadway to Hollywood to Bollywood, from critically acclaimed up-and-comers to breakout stars and icons.

  • Broadway Legend and Tony/Emmy Winner, Kristin Chenoweth
  • Icon and 4X Emmy Winner, Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek)
  • Breakout stars Madelaine Petsch (Riverdale), Jonathan Daviss (Outer Banks), Victoria Moroles (Plan B, Liv, and Maddie, Teen Wolf, Never Have I Ever), Lukas Gage (White Lotus, Euphoria), Ami Park (Alaska Daily, This is Us), Tabayana Ali (General Hospital), Jordan Hull (The L Word: Generation Q), Paul Mikel Williams (Jurassic Park: Camp Cretaceous, Westworld) Jadah Marie (Julie and the Phantoms, Descendants 3) and Austin Abrams (Walking Dead, Euphoria, This is Us)
  • Critically Acclaimed Up and comers – Storm Reid (Euphoria, The Last of Us), Danielle Macdonald (Dumplin, Birdbox, The Tourist), Elizabeth Teeter (Star of Beetlejuice on Broadway), Sidhant Gupta (Bollywood’s “Jubilee”) and Rosa Salazar (Undone, Made Runner, Alita Battle Angel).
  • He has also helped support legendary directors like Kenny Ortega (High School Musical, Hocus Pocus, Newsies, The Descendants, Julie and the Phantoms) in bringing out the best performances from their cast.

Currently, Zak has over 250 students working as series regulars on major television shows, as well as hundreds of others working as guest stars, co-stars, and major roles in both studio and independent films. Among his students and clients, past and present, are numerous NAACP, SAG, People’s Choice, Golden Globe, and Emmy winners. He also consults for directors, productions, and networks, to ensure both individual actors and entire casts rise to the occasion of their best performance possible.

Michael Connors

(Director of ADULT PROGRAMS & faculty, ZBS Teacher)

Michael Connors is a Director, Acting Coach, and Actor who received his BFA from SUNY@Purchase Acting Conservatory. In addition, he trained at The Michael Howard Studios, Judith Weston’s Actor/ Director Lab, DNA Directors Lab, and The Barrow Group in NYC. Acting credits include Ray in a critically acclaimed production of Blackbird at The Met Theater, the West Coast premiere of the play Wake at The Fremont Centre Theatre, and the films Slocum Chandelier and You and Me. Directorial credits include Orphans (which he also acted in) co-starring Beau Mirchoff (Flatliners, Awkward) at The Hudson Mainstage, and the West Coast premiere of Limonade Tous Les Jous, starring Megan Boone (The Blacklist) which was honored with three LA Weekly Theatre Awards. He has taught and coached privately, is on the faculty of NYFA, and has taught for The Michael Woolson Studios. Michael has worked Off-Broadway and regionally, as well as in film & episodic TV.


(Director of YOUTH PROGRAMS & faculty, ZBS Teacher)

J.C. is an actress, songwriter, director, and acting coach who grew up in New York City where she attended the esteemed LaGuardia High School Of The Performing Arts as a Drama Major. She later went on to study abroad at The London Academy Of Dramatic Arts.  Additional training includes Larry Moss, Anthony Abeson, The Neighborhood Playhouse, Patsy Rodenburg (Shakespeare), The Upright Citizens Brigade, Joanna Gleason (Musical Theatre), and Jean Louis Rodriguez (Alexander Technique).  J.C. booked her first job at the age of 18, as a series regular on the CBS series “Wolf”. Since then, she has been cast in over a dozen films, studio, and independent, a multitude of television shows, as well as many roles in regional theatre. A few of her credits include CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Star Trek: TNG, Days Of Our Lives, Boomtown, Halloween 6, What Lies Beneath, McBride: The Chameleon Murders, Strong Medicine, Marlene in Top Girls,  Velma in Hairspray, and Melanie in Lewis Black’s One Slight Hitch. She was awarded “Best Actress” at the “Festival International De Biarritz” for her performance in the independent film “God’s Helper”. Her original songs can be heard in “Legally Blonde”, “What Lies Beneath”, “Slaves To The Underground”, “Family Law” and the E! Entertainment Special “Hollywood Nights II”. J.C. brings to her teaching all the knowledge she has gained from years of professional experience, an unwavering passion for the craft of acting, and a dedication to meeting each student where they are at and helping them get to where they want to go.

Martha Gehman Headshot, Acting Teacher and offers private coaching

Martha Gehman

(ZBS Teacher) 

Martha is an extraordinary acting teacher who has had rare and extensive experience in a multitude of theatrical-formats, including film and television. She comes from one of the great American theatrical lineages having grown up in theaters around the world with her mother, Academy Award Winning actress, Estelle Parsons. Exposure to acclaimed playwrights, actors, lyricists, choreographers in the stage arts and crafts has provided her with a teaching ability rarely found.

She is a member of the Actor’s Studio and has worked with and for Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan, Arthur Penn, Ellen Burstyn, Ann Jackson, Lee Grant, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken, John Madden, Garry Marshall, and Michael Blakemore. As a teacher, she apprenticed under Sandra Seacat. Martha is also a director and has been teaching for 25 years. Some of her private clients include Jane Fonda, Beyonce, Common, Rhea Perlman, Alison Sudol, Rami Malek, Justin Chatwin, Joelle Carter, Erin Richards, Saffron Burrows, Grant Show and Katherine LaNasa.

John Lavelle

(ZBS Teacher)

Originally from New York, John spent much of his career appearing on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regionally, and at The Royal Shakespeare Company. John received a Drama Desk Award for his work in The Royale at The Lincoln Center Theatre and he is a member of IAMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles. He has appeared on TV and Film in numerous roles, most notably portraying Roy Reed in Ava DuVernay’s Academy Award-nominated film Selma. As a voice artist, John has worked for Disney, Netflix, Dreamworks and is the voice of the beloved children’s book series Nate the Great. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has studied at The Upright Citizens Brigade where his improv team Some Kinda Monster performed. John is the author of several plays including Inhalation (O’Neill Finalist), Sinner’s Laundry (Ovation recommended), Gertrude (Max Lerner Award) and his work has appeared in the ABC Discovers Talent Showcase. Over the years, he has mentored and taught with education programs such as Young Storytellers, The Usual Suspects, Stella Adler’s Art of Acting Studio, as well as leading Shakespeare workshops.

Brooke Procida

(ZBS Teacher)

Brooke graduated from USC’s School of Dramatic Arts with a BFA in Acting and went on to get her Master’s degree at Goldsmith’s University of London where she received her MA in Creative Entrepreneurship/ Holistic Arts Education. She has been acting professionally since age 10 and has taught, coached or mentored in some form for over 30 years. She is the owner and operator Studio PCI in New York, a social enterprise dedicated to helping parents and families navigate the maze of the entertainment business whilst helping young artists to develop healthy, sustainable careers. She is a private vocal coach to many young, working actors and specializes in helping artists find their unique, inspired voices.

Susan-Kate Heaney

(ZBS Teacher)

Susan-Kate Heaney is an actor, writer and filmmaker. Originally from New York she now resides in Los Angeles. She’s a graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She has appeared most recently as Nurse Mackenzie on The Mindy Project (HULU), as Renee in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (HULU), Shirley in Masters of Sex (Showtime), and opposite Bryce Dallas Howard in the comedy Pant Suits. As a filmmaker, her work has appeared in numerous festivals (short The Openers won Best Comedy at the Broad Humor Comedy Festival) and she recently co-created and co-wrote SK & J, a comedic digital series about breaking into Hollywood. She has written and performed in many comedic solo shows, most recently Facebook with Mom (Second City, The People’s Improv Theater, Fringe) and Mop-oholic (UCB, The People’s Improv Theater, iO West).  Susan-Kate also performs regularly in commercials, stand-up comedy, improv, sketch and voiceover (recent audiobook: “Mean Girls” for Scholastic), and hosts a podcast (and live show at the Comedy Central Stage) called “The Quirks”.

Shelby Wulfert

(ZBS Teacher)

Shelby Wulfert is an actor, singer, and voice-over artist. She pursued her passion for the arts at an early age – studying acting, singing and dancing, and starring in musicals and stage productions at her high school and local theaters. She broadened her experience off-stage, doing commercial and voiceover work. Shelby landed her career break when she joined the Disney family as one-third of the team of actresses that bring the twin characters to life in the hit series, “Liv and Maddie” (Disney 2013-2017). Other credits include Swiped (TV Movie), Major Crimes (TNT) and Betch: A Sketch Show (2015-2018)


(ZBS Teacher)

Elaine Whae is a first-generation Asian American actress, dancer, and model from Houston, Texas. After completing her studies at Boston University she was inspired to chase her passion for performance art and moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to pursue a professional dance career. While training and working with LA’s most esteemed talents, Elaine quickly found herself with opportunities in the modeling and acting industries, thus leading to her transition into commercials and TV/Film in 2019. She is best known for her recurring co-star on Saved By The Bell (reboot) and her role as Max in Work which premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2022. Elaine’s passion for the arts is matched by her drive for positivity and impact, as she spends her time being involved in many community-building organizations as well as coaching individuals on mindfulness and self-healing. Elaine’s presence in TV/Film is just beginning to bloom and she hopes to continue representing her fellow Asian American community on screen.

christian durso

(ZBS Teacher)

Christian Durso is a classically trained actor, playwright, and screenwriter.  He has created, executive produced and written television shows for Netflix and HBO, and has adapted novels into films for Sony.  He has performed Shakespeare professionally in regional theaters across the country including Shakespeare Santa Cruz, The Old Globe, Great Lakes Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, among others.  He has taught Shakespeare and Voice and Speech to high school students at the Old Globe and the La Jolla Playhouse.  A proud member of Actor’s Equity and the Los Angeles based IAMA Theatre Company.  Christian holds an MFA in classical theatre from the University of San Diego and a BFA in drama from NYU.  


(ZBS Teacher)

Karla Mosley made headlines for her portrayal of Maya Avant Forrester on “The Bold and The Beautiful” (NAACP Image Award Nomination, 3 GLAAD Awards for the show). Co-creator and star of “Room 8” (CBS.com). Other TV/Film: Angel From Hell, Hart of Dixie, TLC-Discovery Kids’ Hi-5, Gossip Girl, Guiding Light, Deadly Cheer Mom, Burn After Reading. Theater: Expatriate (Off-Broadway, Culture Project), Dreamgirls with Jennifer Holliday (TUTS, The MUNY), Sophisticated Ladies with Maurice Hines (Arena Stage), Judgment of Fools, The Giant Void in my Soul, and How To Raise a Freeman (Ammunition Theatre), Found the Musical (IAMA Theatre). Karla is currently touring the country with “The Most Beautiful Home…Maybe”, an interactive theatre piece that explores the possibility of affordable housing for all. Karla was the 6 years Philanthropic Director of Ammunition Theatre Company and co-founder of 1:1 Productions which champions women of color.

Amy Reece

(ZBS Teacher)

Amy started her career as an actress working in both film and television. She has had the good fortune of studying with many legendary teachers such as Roy London, Kenneth McMillan, Janet Alhante, and David Proval. Amy has also studied at Boston University and The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Growing up in a theatrical family has given Amy a unique perspective and a deep reverence for the creative process. She had the rare opportunity to begin witnessing the audition process from a very young age. This experience has informed her teaching. It is important to Amy in both her roles as casting director and acting coach to create a respectful, safe environment for actors to explore different parts of themselves and encourage them to find their own voice. In 2000, Amy decided to shift her focus from acting to casting, joining the family business under the name Perry/Reece Casting. Through Perry/Reece Casting, she has cast hundreds of movies of the week, series, and miniseries that have aired on NBC, Hallmark, Lifetime, Sci-Fi, Spice, and other major networks. She has discovered many top stars of today including Kristen Bell, Shailene Woodley, and Abigail Breslin to name a few.

Amy has been teaching acting for over 20 years. She finds meaning in teaching and enjoys supporting and fostering young artists, emboldening them to follow their dreams.


(ZBS Teacher)

Gabrielle got her start by working for Disney and appearing on top shows including “Liv and Maddie” and “Austin & Ally.” In 2014 she landed her first series regular role as Josie on Nickelodeon’s “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, & Dawn.” She continued her work with Nickelodeon recurring on the network’s long running hit series “The Thundermans” from 2014-16. While getting her start on Disney & Nick was an amazing opportunity to open doors for Gabrielle, she wanted to pursue characters and opportunities outside of that world and accomplished that goal throughout 2016. Gabrielle appeared on the hit TNT drama series “Rizzoli & Isles,” then on “Teen Wolf” for MTV, and went on to book “The Catch” for ABC, “Dimensions 404” and “Blackish.”


(ZBS Teacher)

Benjamin Beyeler is an actor originally from small-town Massachusetts. He found ZBS in June of 2017 and has continued to study under the faculty here at ZBS. As a teacher, he encourages actors to find themselves in each role, expand the possibilities of their imaginations, and emplores that they give themselves permission to be imperfect and have fun. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts – Lowell with a  Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Theatre Arts.

Miguel Luciano

(ZBS Teacher)

Miguel Luciano is a true multi-hyphenate artist, born and raised in Miami Florida. As an actor, director, teacher, producer, and host, Miguel has paved his own way in a myriad of artistic mediums. Young audiences might know him from his lead role on the Nickelodeon series “Talia in the Kitchen”, which is still being aired around the world today. His TV resume also includes several national and international commercials and other Film/TV credits, and his new film “Dare to Say Yes” will be premiering later this year. Miguel just finished an extended run in the iconic musical “Cabaret” at the historic Manuel Artime theater, in the challenging and provocative starring role of “Emcee”. As a coach and director, Miguel has directed and coached in Miami, New York, and LA for 15 years now and has private acting students who have gone on to Broadway, TV, and film. Miguel’s teaching/directing credits range from directing at the award-winning Miami Children’s Theater, to master classes at various magnet schools, and directing at the Frenchwoods Festival of the Performing Arts. To stay updated on Miguel’s newest projects and adventures, make sure to follow him on Instagram: @themiguelluciano

Samia Mounts

(ZBS Teacher)

Samia Mounts is a conservatory-trained actor, singer, and writer currently based in LA after over a decade in New York City. Her background is in theatre, voice-over, and music, and she adores every available medium for artistic expression. Favorite theatre credits include Viola in Twelfth Night, Alicia in The Thanksgiving Play, and Winnifred in WITCH. You’ve heard Samia’s voice in national commercial campaigns for Kayak.com, Bud Light Lime-A-Rita, and Infiniti, as well as in the Pokemon television series and The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf on Netflix. She currently works predominantly in voice-over of all kinds, and performance capture for video games — top secret project announcements coming soon! Samia is thrilled to be teaching at ZBS, the first acting studio in LA that really felt like a home.

Barnet Bain

(Oscar and Emmy Nominated Producer, Writer, and Director)  

Barnet Bain’s credits include Oscar-winner What Dreams May Come (producer), Emmy-Award nominee, Outstanding Made for Television Movie, Homeless to Harvard (executive producer), The Celestine Prophecy (writer, producer), Jesus (aka The Jesus Film) (writer), and The Lost and Found Family (director).  Barnet consults and trains business leaders and private clients who are committed to high performance. Through his creativity workshops Barnet guides people of all ages and walks of life to expand their vision of what is possible, and develop their gifts and talents with passion.  Barnet is the author of The Book of Doing and Being: Rediscovering Creativity in Life, Love and Work, Simon & Schuster/Atria, July 2015.  He can be heard as co-host of Cutting Edge Consciousness Radio on KVTA AM Talk Radio in Southern California in conversation with thought leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries from the worlds of culture, commerce and consciousness.  www.barnetbain.com.

Patricia Cogley

(Education and Human Rights Activist)  

 Patricia Cogley leads strategic partnerships for Adobe’s flagship philanthropy program, Adobe Youth Voices. For the past eight years Patricia has spearheaded Adobe Foundation’s global grants portfolio for organizations committed to the intersection of arts, community, and social change. In addition to leading AYV’s scholarship program and network of grantees, she has designed and managed large-scale international summits, supporting a movement of leaders committed to young people’s creativity. Previous to Adobe Patricia worked as an education consultant, youth media program leader, and exhibition designer. She holds a Masters in International Education and Human Rights from University of San Francisco.

Casting Director who offers private coaching through ZBS

Carol Goldwasser

(Casting Director)

Carol Goldwasser is an independent casting director who has worked for over twenty years in Los Angeles and New York. She’s cast actors who have received Kid’s and Teen Choice Awards, Imagen Awards, Young Artist Awards, and Emmy Award nominations for their roles. Her series work includes Austin & Ally (Kids Choice Awards Favorite TV show), Dog with a BlogI’m in the Band and Hannah Montana (Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Comedy). Other series include Out of Jimmy’s Head and The Hughleys; telefilms include Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas! and The Boy Who Cried Werewolf. Carol assembled a rotating cast for Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays. The play won an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Unique Theatrical Event. She has been nominated for eleven Casting Society of America Artios Awards for excellence in casting, winning the honor twice, and was a Heller Award nominee for Television Casting Director of the year. Carol is a member of the Television Academy and the Casting Society of America (Bio from IMDB).


(Casting Director)

Sara is a casting director based in LA, and has also worked as an agent at Greene & Associates Talent Agency, and as the Manager of Casting and Talent at Lifetime Television. As a Casting Director, she has worked on many shows including Fringe, Bates Motel, The Mentalist, Scream: The TV Series, Midnight, Texas, and Law and Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders. Sara is a proud member of the Casting Society of America, and served on the Board of Directors for two years.



Robin is currently a Co-Executive Producer on Syfy’s The Expanse. She was most recently a Consulting Producer on Cinemax’s Outcast and a Supervising Producer on NBC’s Believ. She started her career on staff of Mad Men, where she wrote five episodes of the show’s first three seasons, with three of her scripts receiving Emmy nominations, and one a Writers Guild nomination. While with Mad Men, she earned three Writers Guild Awards (two for Outstanding Drama Series and one for Outstanding New Series), as well as a Peabody Award. During the off season of Mad Men, she penned the live variety show The Mad Men Live Revue, which enjoyed sold out shows at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. She went on to be a Producer on Law & Order: SVU and was a Co-Producer on FX’s Lights Out prior to that, writing two episodes of its first season. She also recently completed a rewrite of the film Cripple for Gilbert Films. Her proudest achievement remains her Golden Elephant for Best Boss on Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus 136th tour.



Zach Guggenheim is a retired owner of an Art Restoration business in New York and London. A native of New York City, Mr. Guggenheim holds a PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University, a M.A. from Oxford University and a J.D. From Yale University. Along with his sister, he Co-Founded the Guggenheim Trust, a private Foundation that helps the world with hunger issues, clean water, sexual abuse, children’s health, women’s issues and safety issues. He has also helped raise money for NY Presbyterian hospital, Sloane-Kettering and St Jude’s Hospital. Mr. Guggenheim married and moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1989. He now spends time volunteering at Cedars-Sinai on the Cardiac floor.

Krishn Ghiya


Krishn comes to ZBS after successfully working globally in the UK and India.  He is a graduate from UCLA and holds a Masters in Marketing from the University of Nottingham, and a Bachelors of Business Management from Christ University in India.   He also holds certificates in retail analytics from TCS, Media Literacy from Christ University, ‘SAP 01’, and New Models of Business Society from the University of Virginia. Prior to coming to ZBS, he was a Membership Coordinator at American Marketing Association, a Marketing Associate at the European Union, and an Executive in Client Servicing at Ogilvy & Mather. He is excited to be jumping into the LA entertainment industry. He will be overseeing the entire operations of the studio, along with marketing & branding strategies.
You can directly contact him by emailing krishn@zakbarnett.com.



Dan has been working in the entertainment industry since 2012.  Prior to ZBS, Dan was a Theatrical Talent Agent at CESD, working primarily with Youth and Young Adult talent.  He helped cultivate the careers of hundreds of clients at the agency, including Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), Julia Butters (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Brec Bassinger (Stargirl), Atticus Shaffer (The Middle), Wyatt Oleff (IT), Lidya Jewett (Good Girls), Navia Robinson (Raven’s Home), Pierce Gagnon (Twin Peaks: The Return), and Priah Ferguson (Stranger Things).
Dan was previously at Media Artists Group in the Theatrical department and Night & Day Pictures in Development.  He graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Film & Media Arts.
You can directly contact him by emailing dan@zakbarnett.com.



Candace has been in the entertainment industry for the last 15 years, most notably as a talent manager. She has worked at companies such as Jimmy Kimmel Live and ICM Partners. She created her own successful boutique management company 8 years ago and comes to ZBS as the newest Business Development Manager, where her focus will most predominantly be as a student liaison. Using her managerial experience, she will create and sustain relationships with new and existing students to make sure they get the most out of their experience, feel connected, and remain present in their journey at the studio. She is excited to be a part of the team!
You can directly contact her by emailing candace@zakbarentt.com.


(Head of operations & marketing)

Diya comes from working in the field of advertising and marketing and has worked for a varied range of international brands like Dove. She is experienced in strategic planning, and account management, and her aim is to continue collaborating with brands that promote sustainability, and growth in the community, to help create artists who are passionate about bringing a positive change to the world. She is spearheading all of the administrative processes, and student profiles, and managing the marketing & analytical strategy at ZBS.
You can directly contact her by emailing diya@zakbarnett.com.

Dwayne Calizo

Dwayne Calizo

(In Spirit and Memoriam: Co-Founder, Master Voice Teacher)

Dwayne Calizo was a visionary activist, artist, teacher and friend, without which, there would be no ZBS.  He passed away a couple of weeks prior to us opening our doors.  The social programs he designed are named in his honor.

Dwayne Patrick Calizo (Boobie/Kekoa/Mama) was the truest of Bohemians. A devotee to the transcendent power of art, activism, teaching, friendship, family, the underdog, irreverence, diversity, laughter, forgiveness and above all, LOVE. As his mother said, Dwayne had no black book where he wrote down the people he would not forgive, and when he did feign writing in one (purely for dramatic affect), he did so with disappearing ink. He had a voice unlike any of us had ever heard, and an unrelenting belief that everyone could sing. EVERYONE had a voice that needed to be heard. In retrospect, it may have been because it was lonely singing from the next world; somehow still, he managed to pull many of us halfway there

Dwayne frequently told the story of when all the neighborhood kids would gather outside his bathroom window in the plantation town he grew up on the North Shore of Hawaii, shouting requests as he sang in the shower. They called the game “Radio”; Dwayne took a lot of showers.   He went on to attend the University of Hawaii where he won numerous national awards for classical singing. He then moved to Los Angeles and created “The Space”, a community art and music venue, which served as a safe space for rival gangs to interact/create art with one another.  Following that, he was a hospice nurse during the early days of the AIDS crisis, putting his own life on the line to help others pass with dignity and grace.
Dwayne then moved to San Francisco, meeting up with his new partner Zak where he formed ghosttown experimental theater, followed by the Experimental Performance Institute, the first BA, MA and MFA Program in Queer and Activist Performance in the world with a group of SF-based artists, as well as Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory, dedicated to Queer Artists of Color, Trans Artists and Artists living with HIV/AIDS. As an individual artist, he originated 7 Rock Musicals, 10 original dance theater pieces and 5 solo albums, and collectively was awarded some of the most prestigious artistic grants and awards in the country.

His life both in Hawaii and San Francisco was a beautifully composed song, filled with countless verses of relationships with family and friends.  Dwayne’s teaching, producing and artistic work has impacted innumerable artists and activists across the globe, and at the time of his death, he was gearing up to launch a Zak Barnett Studios in Los Angeles. He died committed to the things he loved: his beliefs, his partner, his art, his family and his friends.

Dwayne struggled with many things: mental illness, AIDS, poverty and Addiction. I say this because Dwayne taught us to stand up for ALL of who we are, and to use humility, commitment and love to navigate through. He died a hero.  His ohana also included 16 nieces and nephews, 27 grandnieces and nephews and more true friends, and dedicated students then one could count.