It Factor Studios' film performance and industry workshops unfurl under the leadership of Hollywood directors and professional actors from the American Film Institute. Founder Ryan McKinney and coach to the stars Steve Whittaker apply their workplace experience to create a safe and progressive learning environment and help actors to prepare for industry difficulties such as auditioning, resumé writing, or staring contests with Jack Nicholson. The results-driven team mentors budding performers of all experience and skill levels in a wealth of techniques, including Method and Meisner, with many courses designed to complement each other.
To enable instructional shoots and commercial productions, the studio boasts full capabilities for film preparation, shooting, and editing. Students interested in the back side of the lens can sign up for instruction in film shooting, editing, and screenwriting, enabling them to stage scenes and reboot old home movies under professional conditions. In addition to workshops, events such as guest-speaker series with working or retired film professionals help pupils to garner real industry connections.
As its students learn the basics of on-stage performance, SuperStar Performing Arts also shows them what it's like to work together as part of a larger whole. The studio's instructors explain principles of acting, singing, and dancing in musical-theater classes for students of all ages. Throughout the year, the center also produces its own shows—ranging from original works to Broadway musicals—in which everyone who auditions gets a role.
McLaughlin Studios employs a team of professional performing artists to teach private and group lessons in instrumental music, dance, and musical theater. Private music lessons further an individual's proficiency in pop, jazz, rock, classical, and show-tunes styles, whereas group sessions encourage cohesive learning for bands and ensembles prepping for three annual recitals. Adept dancers help protégés progress at their own pace as they learn complex steps and how to dodge tossed rose bouquets with creative movement, ballet, strength training, and modern dance-fusion styles.
Started just a year ago, the McLaughlin Theatre Company gathers youth performers for independent productions at the MTC Playhouse. Young thespians hone their on-stage and auditioning skills in acting classes, which serve as more secure steps toward performing in Broadway musicals than thumb-wrestling matches with Andrew Lloyd Weber.
Each season, the gifted student thespians of Diablo Valley College dazzle audiences with moving productions of classic works and contemporary plays. Satisfy your dramatic hankerings with a trio of the 2011 to 2012 season's artfully staged offerings, starting with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet , a moving tragedy inspired by the classic musical West Side Story (October 21–30). A striking, challenging contemporary piece, The Skriker fills the stage with magical realism, shape-shifting, and unearthly characters (February 3–12, 2012; restricted to adults 18 years and older). Diablo Valley's young stage stalkers also tackle Arthur Miller's The Crucible, a stirring depiction of the Salem witch hunts of the 17th century and a poignant allegory for the anticommunist hysteria of the 1950s, when Americans were required by law to consume at least three apple pies a day (March 23–31, 2012).