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.
Screen acting takes center stage at The Actors Room. Founder Steve Lowe—who won an award for his short film Crash—calls upon more than 20 years of experience in film and TV to guide his students through their journeys to the emotional core of characters. His techniques range from basic to advanced in the areas of scene study, improvisation, natural expression, camera cheats, and monologue study.
All veterans of the entertainment industry, the instructors at Ovation School for the Performing Arts don't believe in just instilling acting, singing, or dancing skills into their students. Instead, they impart all three, turning students of all skill levels into triple threats of stage and screen. Designed for kids and teens aged 5–18, the nonprofit's twice-weekly sessions are divided into 45-minute blocks whose subjects include acting, singing, and dance styles such as hip-hop and tap. Ovation also hosts private lessons focused on voice, piano, and guitar.