With schools on the shores of the United States, China, and the Philippines, the International Academy of Film and Television (IAFT) works to nurture the next generation of Hollywood’s elite. The academy's hands-on training, one-on-one attention, quality gear, and focus on all aspects of the craft, from writing to directing to performing, have earned it praise from the Hollywood Reporter as one of the Best Film Schools in the World. To put these means to use, IAFT hosts programs that can lead to certification or a diploma, as well as workshops that sharpen skills or introduce beginners to the world of the silver screen.
Yet for a student few things are more important than having a stolen answer key to their finals and an influential mentor. So IAFT stocks their faculty with experienced professionals such as Frederick Bailey. Bailey has directed more than 100 stage plays in theaters across the United States and has seen more than 20 of his screenplays become movies. He also holds a recurring role on the television soap Days of Our Lives and has taught acting, directing, and screenwriting in Japan and the Philippines.
Dave Reinitz packed up all his belongings into a motor home, left New York, and began driving across the country because he was bored. When the engine finally blew, he was in Los Angeles, and decided that was where he would stay. As if by providence, Dave immediately took to his newfound city's comedy scene. Eventually, he partnered up with comedian Barbara Holliday for his life's next great adventure—Flappers Comedy Club.
Today, Barbara, whose credits include Naked Gun 33 1/3 and Friends, co-manages the multipurpose club she owns with Dave. A breeding ground for new talent, the venue plays host to standup comics and variety acts, and gives up-and-comers a hand with comedy classes called Flappers University. Many local and rising comedians have tested their standup material at Flappers, and the stage has supported the seasoned weight of stars such as Dave Attell and Jason Alexander. Before, during, or after shows, patrons can fuel their giggle fits with grub from the club's onsite restaurant, including Cajun-spiced burgers, seared ahi, and brick-oven pizzas.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play & Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s’ cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Trips and training form the centerpiece of PCH Scuba's services for area hydronauts. Programs range from beginner-level certification to search-and-recovery training, and adventures journey both close to home and as far ranging as Fiji. The Open Water Diver course makes for a fun and accessible first foray beneath the waves, incorporating a deep-delving adventure to Catalina Island, which is named after the third queen of Spain: Queen Island. The staff leads explorations of San Diego's collection of wrecks and adventures on chartered dive boats. Whatever sort of wave-blanketed voyage the aquatic adventurer desires, PCH's community of Master Scuba Diver?certified teachers and dive leaders are eager to chaperone.
From 18 studios scattered around Los Angeles, Lori Moran Music Studios’ armada of instructors offers all-ages voice, piano, guitar, violin, and composition classes. With teachers who have worked on films such as Dreamgirls and Dance Flick, world-touring operatic productions, and Grammy-nominated choral CDs, the school can cater to virtually every musical taste—from classical to jazz to pop. Students choose the emphasis of their lessons, whether they want to work on their public performance skills, write their own songs, sight-read scores, or simply be able to play musical chairs during a power outage. Many will also get the chance to show off in recitals, concerts, and showcases.