Were it not for the discerning ears of Harvey Kalmenson, the childhood classic All Dogs Go to Heaven and the popular video game Call of Duty might sound much different. Alternatively, under the skillful direction of Cathy Kalmenson, 329 voices lent their vocal talents for the 1992 Emmy nominated television mini-series The Wild West. Those are just a few examples of the Kalmensons' casting prowess in a long list of high-profile clients. The veteran husband and wife duo of voice-casting directors are the team behind Kalmenson & Kalmenson, a casting company that scouts actors for voice-over work (clients include celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Jim Belushi) and teaches the art of inflection at voice-acting classes. The companies also cast for commercials with a résumé that includes casting for the original Budweiser Beer frogs, Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger, and the voice of BMW.
The Victory Theatre Center has worked with emerging playwrights to dramaturge their work for the past 30 years. The process includes selecting materials based on submissions from literary agents and referrals - and polishing and refining the scripts with numerous staged readings and workshops.
The Acting Corps, a school endorsed by Oscar winner Sydney Pollack as well as Rainn Wilson of The Office, takes a modern approach to acting instruction. In classes with an average of 16 students, creativity flows unimpeded and students overhear the whispered names of Hollywood’s best agents quite clearly. Actors with MFA degrees lead programs that help acting students find an authentic style, and also pilot advanced classes with mock auditions that challenge experienced actors. Four- or six-week acting boot camps incorporate aspects of the Meisner technique and the Michael Chekhov technique. In classes engineered for international acting students, teachers elucidate methods for developing a convincing American accent or faking a convincing cheeseburger craving.
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.
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.
Joy Theatre straps young comedians to a fully packed parachute of theatre fundamentals—confidence, improvisation, acting, sketch comedy, stage fighting, character development, and more—before giving these young talents a chance to jump onstage in front of a live audience. Most classes meet on weekends and offer students the opportunity to perform in one of the theatre's Saturday or Sunday shows, which are open to the public. Kids 4–11 meet on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. for the Giggle Gaggle class (with performances starting at 2 p.m. and running the last hour of class); the older set, ages 12–19, meets on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for their own Detention Span class and performance. Shy comedians and outgoing gorillas keeping a low profile in people suits can sign up for The Sunday Funnies. This class for ages 4–19 teaches all the essentials of improvisational comedy through games in a fun and welcoming environment. Instead of a weekly performance, Sunday Funnies keeps young stars in demand with a live performance every 10 weeks.