The aim of instructors at PopRock Academy is to translate kids' enthusiasm for the performing arts into a disciplined, authentic practice. They do this by drawing upon deep reserves of knowledge gained by attending top schools such as Juilliard and Northwestern, and performing with top artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Buble, Smokey Robinson, and Kanye West. During classes, workshops, and camps, they cover a range of topics including film acting, instrument playing, popping and locking, and even music theory. At the end of a curriculum or camp, kids can showcase what they've learned for family and friends during a live show.
At Actors Youth Academy, working-actor instructors follow the Michael Chekhov method, which emphasizes imagination, concentration, and straightforward guidance as the most effective way to learn the ropes of acting in film and television. Classes are divided into three levels: beginner, advanced, and professional, and students are placed based on their ability. Beginner acting classes cater to kids or adults who want to dip a toe into the drama pool, advanced sessions are for actors preparing for an agent, and professional classes welcome those who have already booked a job or audition and need some extra guidance. All classes focus on preparing youths for a career in the film and television industry.
More than just a training program, Premier Musical Theatre aims to prepare students for professional careers in the musical-theater industry while supporting their growth as artists. The instructors—all of whom are working professionals in their field—consider each student individually, helping them develop their unique strengths over the course of the 15-week training. The sessions culminate in a full musical-theater production that gives students a chance to show off in front of casting directors. Though students are expected to take their work seriously, no prior experience is required, and applicants don't have to take part in auditions or Pippin trivia contests to get in.
Break Into TV equips aspiring television personalities, including news anchors, meteorologists, and television hosts, with the skills necessary to become top-notch broadcast talent. During the weekend or month-long course, students can hone their on-screen personas under the attentive tutelage of AMS-sealed meteorologist, TV host, and news reporter Jonathan Novack. Intensive weekend courses pack two days chock-full of training in teleprompter reading, voice delivery, live reporting, and interviewing skills, imparting essential skills such as which questions not to ask during color pieces featuring water-skiing squirrels. During the two-day course, students also work under the watchful eye of the pros to construct a submission-quality 60-second demo reel.
The owners of Actor's Angle know how important and nerve-racking auditioning can be, which is why they help seasoned and up-and-coming actors alike build relationships with casting directors during private workshops. After rehearsing a TV or film scene of their choice with a reader, actors perform one-on-one for the casting director, who offers feedback and answers questions about their office. Afterwards, actors receives an evaluation sheet and a private link to their videotaped performance ready for critiques with agents and acting coaches. They also receive an email with information about their casting director, including current projects and contact info. Actors also get a follow-up email with information about the casting director, including current projects and contact info. Taken together, these tools help actors forge long-lasting industry relationships and spark networking opportunities regardless of experience level.
An AT&T ad executive hangs up the phone, grabs his jacket, and heads toward the subway to Hell's Kitchen. It's the late '80s, and at the New York comedy institution The Improv, a slew of up-and-coming talent, including Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, are testing jokes and honing timing. In the next few years, they'll perform on television for millions. But for now, they're changing the life of one ad executive.
The founder of LA Stand-Ups, Joe Falzarano, quit his promising advertising career because he "hated being a suit" and preferred to nurture promising young comedians. With accomplishments that include producing the CableACE Award–winning Caroline's Comedy Hour for A&E, Falzarano helped launch the performing and writing careers of entertainers including Jon Stewart and Louis C.K. Today, Falzarano imparts his more than 20 years of industry experience to aspiring joke-tellers, teaching them tactics for perfecting a punch line, calming nerves, and subduing hecklers with a marshmallow gun. Falzarano maintains a supportive atmosphere where students learn how to use who they are to connect with an audience, and even lets students try out material at the Hollywood Improv.