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.
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.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
There are not many production training programs available based on the PRODUCTIONS needs. This is NOT film school. This is NOT an academically based program.
Do you provide any materials? What should your students expect to bring?
We provide 50% of the training materials that you will need. We DO NOT PROVIDE food, lunch, beverages. What you will need to bring with you: your resume, pens, notepad, sharpie markers black and or blue, highlighters, FOOD, snacks or beverages.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Too many people are being provided inaccurate information about working as a Production Assistant.
What do you love most about your job?
Giving shows what they want out of the Production Assistants they hire, no matter what department hires.
Yoga Meditation Program helps people tackle some of their roadblocks to success by offering online courses that help people gain knowledge and a more centered perspective. An array of yoga, meditation, and self-hypnotism courses aim to ease anxieties, including stress stemming from work or only getting three naps a day.
Specialists in fused-glass artwork, the instructors at Ayer of Glass guide students through the creation of their own glassworks in two-hour workshops. The all-inclusive workshops draw on the studio’s inventory of colored-glass panels to make jewelry, dishes, and other functional and decorative pieces.