Success as a child actor depends almost as much on parents' managerial knowhow as it does on a kid's acting skills. During three-day weekend excursions at The Acting Camp?held at the more than 300-acre El Capitan Canyon?aspiring performers and their guardians develop their respective roles in each youngster's career. Under the tutelage of John D'Aquino ? a veteran of hits like Seinfeld and Hannah Montana ? kids refine techniques such as auditioning on camera and improvising.
These sessions culminate in prepared scenes that groups of campers perform for casting directors, agents, and managers from networks like Nickelodeon and the CW. Beforehand, these insiders as well as parents of working child actors meet with parents to discuss the business end of the entertainment industry, where money and Beanie Babies exchange hands at a rapid rate. Amid all these career-focused activities, The Acting Camp leaves plenty of time for families to relax and bond with fellow attendees.
Kelly Salvatore's love for dance began at a young age, and it sustained her through the years as she trained and eventually became a passionate dance instructor herself. At Prot?g? Performing Arts, Kelly aims to inspire a similar degree of passion and enthusiasm in her students. She and her fellow instructors lead classes that cater to everyone from toddlers to adults. They keep their minds open in terms of the styles they teach, offering classes in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary dance, and synchronized headbanging.
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.
Up On Stage Productions develops the stars of tomorrow with coaching from a team of industry professionals, many of who have appeared on Broadway and in international touring productions. To sharpen the techniques of young performers, the company's dance and theatrical programs emphasize stage fundamentals, from movement and voice control to character development and improvisation. All programs at Up On Stage come stocked with the necessities, including set design, costumes, and instructions for breaking a leg without actually breaking a leg.
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.