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.
Were it not for the discerning ears of Harvey Kalmenson, the childhood classic All Dogs Go to Heaven and the popular video game Call of Duty might sound much different. Alternatively, under the skillful direction of Cathy Kalmenson, 329 voices lent their vocal talents for the 1992 Emmy nominated television mini-series The Wild West. Those are just a few examples of the Kalmensons' casting prowess in a long list of high-profile clients. The veteran husband and wife duo of voice-casting directors are the team behind Kalmenson & Kalmenson, a casting company that scouts actors for voice-over work (clients include celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Jim Belushi) and teaches the art of inflection at voice-acting classes. The companies also cast for commercials with a résumé that includes casting for the original Budweiser Beer frogs, Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger, and the voice of BMW.
Break Into TV equips aspiring television personalities, including news anchors, meteorologists, and television hosts, with the skills necessary to become top-notch broadcast talent. During the weekend or month-long course, students can hone their on-screen personas under the attentive tutelage of AMS-sealed meteorologist, TV host, and news reporter Jonathan Novack. Intensive weekend courses pack two days chock-full of training in teleprompter reading, voice delivery, live reporting, and interviewing skills, imparting essential skills such as which questions not to ask during color pieces featuring water-skiing squirrels. During the two-day course, students also work under the watchful eye of the pros to construct a submission-quality 60-second demo reel.