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.
Home to two stages and an art gallery, the Edgemar Center for the Arts more than meets the needs of the local visual and performing arts communities. The center places an emphasis on collaboration, uniting creative minds of all ages and persuasions both in the classroom and on stage. Hosting musical performances, question-and-answer sessions with Hollywood actors, and theatrical productions old and just sprouted, the space has attracted the likes of Don Cheadle, Christian Slater, Malcolm McDowell, and Jason Alexander.
talentorium is a performance and production studio that specializes in working with young actors. it provides the kind of training that helps students develop artistically, while imparting great leadership skills. we work with both newcomers and seasoned actors alike.
Students of all ages at the Jaxx Educational Theatre School, also known as JETS, dedicate themselves to putting on the best show they can and keeping all sharks out of the auditorium. The young thespians have put on productions such as Into the Woods, Hairspray, and Seussical the Musical, assisted by a production team of pros who’ve worked across the country, from New York to Hollywood. And that crew isn’t alone—classes gain extra insight from Broadway mentors such as Todrick Hall of American Idol, Kathy Deitch of Wicked, and Rena Strober of Les Miserables.
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.
New Actors Ensemble’s director Stuart Wolpert is an award winning writer, director, and producer of television, film, and theatre in the United States and Great Britain. Julliard-trained and a Masters graduate of the prestigious London Film School, he uses his vast experience to supply working and aspiring actors with the tools necessary to advance their careers in film, TV, or the theatre. His classes cover crucial techniques, including diction, movement, acting technique, relaxation, concentration, improvisation, and script analysis, aspiring to achieve an ultimate command of the body and voice.