With directors, talent agents, and professional performers composing the faculty, it's no wonder the students at Class Act Studios spend much of their class time in front of the camera. With courses geared specifically toward kids, tweens, teens, and adults, the studio covers fields of study ranging from commercial work to film acting. Soap-opera and sitcom classes equip actors with genre-specific skills, such as how to expertly mimic the sound of a live studio audience. Improv and scene-study courses help students inhabit any scenario, with or without a script. Instructors even run private tutoring sessions and birthday parties that thrust invited friends in front of the camera.
Rising Stars Performing Arts Company founder and artistic director Laura A. Rizzo knows firsthand the benefits of a fine-arts education. Wielding a master’s degree in educational theater and dance from New York University as well as experience on and off Broadway, she has helmed more than 130 children’s shows in which she's helped youngsters develop social skills, increase their community awareness, and spice up dinner conversation with iambic pentameter. Rizzo and her staff of instructors from diverse performance backgrounds lead students toward their artistic goals, whether they dream of dancing competitively or joining the cast of a Broadway musical.
For two days, young performers experience what it's like to audition for a Broadway show. They take on the challenging roles of professional actors, singers, and dancers, while training with coaches and auditioning their skills. The structure of these weekends mirrors actual Broadway auditions, but in reality they are Journey to Broadway's signature theater workshops.
The mock auditions and training sessions take place in a group environment, which allows students to learn from each other's work. Instructors watch and give each young performer ample hands-on coaching. The faculty includes working professionals such as award-winning choreographer Danielle Brennan, known for her expertise in training young dancers, David Hibbard, whose students have performed on Broadway, and Emily Hsu, a triple threat who has graced the Playbills of a dozen Broadway shows.
In print and online, Back Stage aims to organize a flood of information on casting calls, audition advice, and breaking industry news into a resource both aspiring and working actors can turn to daily. Tips on snagging representation, choosing headshots, and managing on-set frustration all help subscribers make the most of thousands of entertainment job listings for roles in commercials, films, and major state senates. In major cities around the country, Actorfest delivers its advice and opportunities in the flesh via intensive workshops, casting calls, and meetings with industry pros.
Signature service: Acting/Drama Classes for Kids Ages 6?12
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Pro Tip: All classes taught by actors that have either been or are currently on Broadway, National Tours, and/or TV.