Sonal Shah has been a working actor forever. She is an acting coach and teacher at John Rosenfeld Studios for over 6 years. From acting to teaching to coaching to reading scripts to breaking down sides, she is a self-certified acting NERD. Seriously. Sonal wants so badly to share what she wished she had known when she started out. As a coach and teacher, she will call out BS and give some tough love, but that is because she cares so much. She thrives in comedy and giving the actor space to take risks while collaborating, exploring, and empowering them to authentically bring who they are to the scene. All while having the best time ever. A combo of intelligence, wit, and humanity, she is a true advocate for artistic and human growth. A theatre/pre-med graduate from Loyola University of Chicago, The Second City Conservatory, The Stanislavski School at Harvard, and many other acting and writing programs, she currently voices characters on 3 animated shows, and has appeared on Scrubs, New Girl, Superstore, The PTA, Spaced Out, a zillion short films, and around a million commercials. She tested for 6 network pilots, performed in the NBC Diversity Showcase, and hosted events for groups such as APAICS where she welcomed President Obama. Currently, Sonal has some fun projects in development and embraces the journey. Hopefully, she’ll inspire you to do the same.
Originally from Wheaton, Illinois, the dynamic actor, dancer, singer, creator Sonal Shah has more to offer than what meets the eye. She was one of the first Indian-American females to appear in a major role on a network comedy (Scrubs). She's currently recurring on NBC's Superstore, Disney's Mira Royal Detective, Cartoon Network's The Powerpuff Girls, and Amazon's Costume Quest. She was a series regular in ABC Family's pilot The PTA, and appeared in New Girl (FOX), Spaced Out (NBC), Better Things (FX), Transparent (Amazon), and countless short films and theatre productions. Most recently, she shot roles in films The Amazing Annabelle, Definition Please, and Working Title's Covers. Sonal starred in The Blank Theatre's docudrama "Unopened," where her performance was praised as "honest, captivating, impeccably present, and nuanced." She was also one of the leads in IAMA's musical theatre workshop The Future Perfect for Broadway's Kristin Hanggi. Sonal teaches acting at the acclaimed John Rosenfeld Studios in Los Angeles. Funny with heart and everyone's best friend, this intelligent global small townie is a member of Women in Film, a Second City Conservatory graduate, and an NBC Diversity Showcase alum.
Sonal earned her cum laude BA in Theater with a concentration in pre-medicine from Loyola University of Chicago where she delivered the student keynote at graduation. A vocal arts and human rights advocate, Sonal is often the guest comedian host for events. Most notably, she hosted the Asian American Institute for Congressional Studies Gala in DC attended by President Obama. She has also hosted galas for Comcast, NBC Universal, and the American India Foundation on Wall Street where she helped raise 2.1 million for education in India. Last month, Sonal hosted Aiden's Red Envelope Foundation Benefit to help children with disabilities.
Sonal has tested for 6 network pilots and performed at theaters including the Tony Award winning Goodman Theatre. She has supplemented her acting education at such prestigious institutions as The Moscow Art Theatre School at Harvard University, The Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade, The Lonestar Ensemble, Artwallah, CAPE, and I.O. Chicago. Sonal has studied under legendary acting teachers such as Lesly Kahn, Margie Haber and John Rosenfeld.
Sonal's work has been highlighted by multiple outlets, including Anokhi Magazine where she was listed as one of the top 10 Fascinating South Asians of the year. Critics highlighted Sonal's performance in award-winning "The First Date," a short film by Janella Lacson. Sonal has also been invited to speak by such academic institutions as Harvard University, the Alpha Gamma Sigma Scholastic Honor Society Leadership Conference and the Indo-American Community Services Organizationn who praised her "Outstanding Dedication and Support for the Community'. She has spoken at events for the South Asian Network, the North American South Asian Bar Association, and the Chicago Foundation for Women: Asian American Leadership Council Achievement Awards.