Background

In Honor of Elizabeth Keene Farris (1925-2005)



The studio is named after Step's late grandmother, Elizabeth "Keene" Farris, who survived being an orphan, crippling polio, poverty, and was a constant reminder of what it is to be patient, kind, and giving. Even in the face of terminal cancer, she was "brave and strong."

Step adapted the name "Keene Studios" in 2005, but has been coaching actors since 1996.

Step Rowe began acting in 6th grade - her love of creative performances already planted from a childhood filled with tap dancing and violin lessons. A painfully shy middle school student, Step found a home on stage. Thriving in the competitive UIL circuit, success grew confidence in her personal life. A child of the Air Force, Step had a chance to try her skills in several different schools from Texas to New York State.

While in New York, Step immersed herself in creative outlets, including performing with the Adirondack Youth Orchestra, area Jazz Ensemble, Guild Pianoprogram, and summer Arts Camp. When her family learned that they would transfer to San Antonio for her final year of high school, contacts in New York suggested theUniversity Of Texas at Austin for further creative study.

After graduating Salutatorian from her Texas high school, Step took the advice and several scholarships and spent her first 3 years at UT majoring in music. After completing the required training in piano and 100 hours of music training, Step was drawn back to her true passion, transferred to UT's School of Theatre and Dance,and earned her degree and teaching certification in Theatre. Step immediately went to work directing award winning theatre programs.

After several years in theatre, she returned to Austin to find film. While pursuing acting in film, Step began assisting one of the busiest casting directors in Texas in early 2000 and soon worked her way up to the top casting associate. While at Casting Works LA, she assisted in the casting of dozens of projects, including commercials, industrials, print and feature films. She also built an acting resume consisting of work in film, commercials, industrials, print, voice-over, and television hosting.

Step opened her acting studio, Keene Studios, shortly after leaving casting and is currently head coach. Step’s students have succeeded in studio and independent feature films, as well as Texas-based television shows Friday Night Lights and Prison Break. Former students have also gone on to Los Angeles and New York and succeeded in long-term acting careers. In 2002, a former student thanked Step is his Emmy Award acceptance speech.

Step has also written and directed several short films, all of which share similar themes centered around the hardships of growing up . In 2006, Step served as head writer for “Big Plume Productions” entry in the 48 Hour Film Competition. The entry, “Hidden Places”, won four awards, including “Audience Favorite”, “Best Use of Required Character”, and “Best Acting Ensemble” (the principal characters were played by actors who have studied with Step at Keene Studios). Other projects include “Something Good”, and “Oddball”, which will serve as a public service announcement to teen youth groups.  In 2008, Step served as Associate Producer for another teen service project in San Antonio and spent time on-camera as one of the leads.  In 2010, Step rejoins the same team to support Daily Bread Ministries film RAMON'S FIRST SUPPER. 

Pasiton Entertainment and Hallford Productions came together to produce "Tedesky", a crime thriller short.  The film premiered at the GI FILM FESTIVAL in Washington, D.C. in 2015.  This film was entirely crewed with Keene Studios students and alumni.

Step has written several feature films:  "The Spirit of the Ace" is an honor to her father's career in the Air Force and "Tribe" centers on a politician's search for the true meaning of family.