Mr. Demke is a versatile actor, director, and coach in voice, speech and public speaking. His work encompasses a variety of corporate, government, and theater settings, nationally and internationally. In his work with corporate clients, he uses actor-based approaches to prepare clients mentally and physically –through voice, speech and awareness—to respond powerfully and authentically in the moment. Mr. Demke has successfully prepared his coaching clients in some of the most high-pressure and competitive environments, including media appearances, high discretion corporate settings, and the political arena, imparting critical skills for effective public speaking and executive presence.
Mr. Demke has a BA in Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and an MFA in performance from the University of Maryland in College Park. Prior to moving to New York City, he began his professional career with the Red River Dance Company, in Fargo, ND. In New York, Mr. Demke appeared several times on All My Children, performed in music videos, played a tap-dancing waiter in the PBS special, Jazz Age Revisited, staged several one-act plays for the 8th Street Theatre Project in Brooklyn, and taught dance classes for the 92nd Street Y. In 1990 he left New York and became the Artistic Director of a small, start-up theatre company in Portland, OR: Stark Raving Theatre.
Under his leadership, SRT expanded to fill two performance venues, and received several Portland Drammy Awards, including three Best Original Play awards, one for Best Production, and a Best Director award for Mr. Demke. While in Portland he also taught private acting classes, and began working with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA. In 2000 Mr. Demke accepted the position of Associate Director of Training for Shakespeare & Company, where he assumed an active role in expanding Training Department programming, helping to generate a near doubling of Training Department revenue. He worked as an actor and director for the Company, received his certification as a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher, and guest directed and taught at various institutions.
While at S&Co he began working for Prospero, Inc., teaching in leadership workshops for various clients including Rockwell Industries. Later, Mr. Demke worked with Courageous Change, coaching Democratic candidate Grier Raggio. While attending graduate school at the University of Maryland, he taught a voice seminar for the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and coached Dr. Huai Li for CosmosID on communication skills.
Mr. Demke’s international work includes teaching at the National Theatre of Ghana in Africa; performing in Beijing at the National Academy for Chinese Theatrical Arts; and performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Most recently he directed a production of Richard III for Tennessee Shakespeare Company, and has been an adjunct faculty for Emerson College and the New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.