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.
When other kids played in the street, imagining lives as astronauts or cops, Leslie McKenna played in the kitchen, already a chef in her heart. Her childhood passion persisted, earning her a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University, praise in the pages of Bon Appétit for her pastas and desserts, and a job as Bob Hope’s private chef. In 2005, she decided to share her love with a new generation of aspiring culinary artists, so she founded Chefs, Inc. as a place to learn, cook, and have fun.
Today, her school hosts a wide array of cooking classes, when it isn’t occupied as a film set by shows such as Millionaire Matchmaker. The classes range from Julia Child’s classic French recipes to a dipping-sauce course focusing on grilled and fried eats slathered in custom condiments. She even teaches a knife-skills class, preparing students to slice and dice food like a professional, quickly chopping money or deftly cracking the fruit of the money tree to reveal the paycheck inside.
From garnishing a perfectly poured martini to doling out rounds of drinks quickly and efficiently, the experienced instructors at National Bartender School possess all the tips, tricks, and tools to succeed in the bartending trade. With years of industry experience under their belts, these knowledgeable spirits sages guide pupils through certification courses that cover every aspect of the job. Under their supervision, students learn to craft more than 200 cocktails, handle transactions, and practice the art of the upsell without breaking a sweat or bottle of 50-year-old scotch. Free refresher courses and job-placement assistance keep students on track even after school is through. For more focused pursuits, National Bartender School also hosts classes in specialty fields such as flair bartending and bar management.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.
With a mission to educate consumers on the mystifying subtleties of wine, Learn About Wine hosts more than 100 classes, trade tastings, and consumer events each year. Since its beginnings in 1995, the organization has helped more than 50,000 students deepen their appreciation and understanding of the old-world drink through socially centered programs and refined, but approachable wine-education classes. Wine Camp ? An Introduction to Wine, the company's introductory course and one of its most popular offerings, encourages guests to absorb wine-drinking terminology and critical lessons in storing and serving. Regional tours lead groups through various growing regions, allowing visitors to observe processes such as fermenting and picking bottles at the peak of glossiness. Click here for a complete listing of program types.
Living up to their slogan "Excellence in Aviation," Rotor F/X runs the gamut of flight-related services by selling and repairing rotorcraft, in addition to offering flight training, transportation, and quick aerial tours of the Los Angeles area. As a prop company, Rotor F/X has a reputation of building believable cockpit mockups, aviation sets, and scale models of planes and helicopters. As a testament to their ability to enhance stunts, effects, and camera shots with their replicas, the crew of the History Channel's Modern Marvels asked them to construct a experimental helicopter that not only lifts up into the air, but travels back in time to prevent the original Star Trek from being canceled.