Indy Actors Academy
Home About FAQ Instructors Class Links Contact


IAA's instructor has worked in the entertainment industry for decades, and has worked on both coasts and major markets including Chicago and Atlanta.

IAA's goal is to keep students informed of current trends in the industry and to introduce them to other areas of the business in addition to acting.  As a result students have had opportunities to work behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera, creating a well rounded talent.

BTS Photo from the short film SINGH, written and directed by
IAA Student Jenna Nicole Ruiz.

Jim's IMDB
Jim Dougherty (Chief Instructor) is a current member of SAG-AFTRA and a working actor. Over the last 40 years, he has worked on over 70 films in capacities ranging from actor to post production and has also performed in over 300 theatrical productions. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Chicago SAG-AFTRA Local.

Jim studied theatre and film at Indiana University and later went on to pursue the craft in Chicago where he worked for Victory Gardens and Body Politic Theatres. While living in Chicago, Jim trained as a stuntman under John Hicks Pearce and became the assistant coordinator for The Chicago Stunt Team. His most recent screen work includes appearances on ABC's Kevin (probably) Saves the World, FOX's The Gifted, Netflix's House of Cards and Ozark, NBC's Chicago PD, CBS' The Inspectors, the NatGeo film Killing Reagan, and House of Cards.

Jim has directed over a dozen short films which have screened on the festival circuit, and has served as the 1st Assistant Director on multiple features with notable Hollywood talent, and has shared the screen with names such as Margo Martindale, Gil Bellows, Clint Howard, Lew Temple, Marc Menchaca and Kevin Spacey.

Jim is the chief instructor at both the Southeast Actors Academy and Indy Actors Academy where he approaches the craft much like the blended martial arts, incorporating a variety of techniques and philosophies creating his own unique approach to the craft and helping the student discover what works most effectively for them to develop their role and serve the story.

Jim's diversified background, both on camera and in production and post production, has contributed to his teaching and the development of his student's skill and awareness of both production and post production needs.
In addition, IAA does bring in guest instructors and guest speakers with industry insight to share. Past guests have included: Chicago SAG-AFTRA theatrical division director Kathy Byrne, Hoosiers actor Brad Long, Director of Photography Jim Timperman, INDYSSAS co-founder Denise Jaeckel, and Bothfeet Casting CD Bob Charlock.

© copyright Indy Actors Academy