By Henry Caceres
A part of an actor’s journey to success is the education that actors receive.
It is very common for someone to seek classes in independent studios that employ professionals and experienced acting coaches.
Usually these studio classes cost around $2,000 minimum and these studios sometimes even promise to find students some work, even if it may not be true.
What if actors do not have the funds to pay for these special classes?
Theater Arts professor Vanessa Pellegrini has an alternative for these hopeful actors.
“I think taking (acting) classes at ELAC is the smart move, because economically you cannot beat it. You are going to be training with professionals that still work in the industry and that is really important because the industry is changing all the time,” Pellegrini said.
Pellegrini also explained that many studios will teach a certain acting technique and base the entire curriculum around that single technique, making it insufficient.
“What is so special about our acting teachers is that everyone brings a different style and perspective. There are schools that will only teach one technique, but we teach everything,” Pellegrini said.
She also listed the different tools to perfecting different acting techniques that are offered here at ELAC.
This includes movement classes, voice (projection, vocal coloring) classes and Movie and TV acting classes to prepare for that medium.
Some aspiring actors may be wondering if these college classes in acting are considered legitimate enough to be put on an acting resume to submit to casting directors.
Pellegrini answers, “Absolutely! That is the cool thing about having teachers here who are still in the industry.”
Pellegrini explains that many of the teachers at ELAC are well known in the industry, due to their activity within it, therefore it looks even better on an actor’s resume.
It is also key to understand that through these acting classes, one can stay informed about auditions for the productions done here at ELAC.
Once selected for a role in the production, actors can go ahead and mention these productions on their resumes as experience and help themselves stand out.
“If someone sees a play in your resume, (casting directors) will see you committed to a rehearsal process and were able to perform a certain number of shows, they will see that you have commitment and discipline in the field,” Pelligrini said.
Usually acting classes from an independant studio will last five weeks, while at ELAC, acting classes last a whole semester, which is up to 16 weeks of learning techniques and other tools to prepare to pursue a career in the industry.
On the contrary, the theater arts professor does have one thing to say about these classes that are offered.
“There are some things we cannot teach you. You have to go out and do it. You have to audition,” Pellegrini said. Indicating that these classes can teach actors many things, but experience is something they must learn on their own.
If students are interested in auditioning for upcoming productions such as, Elecricidad or Colossal, auditions are being held on Dec 9 from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. in the P2 building. For more information visit the ELAC Theater website.