When we began to teach virtually last spring after COVID hit, our first thought was to give students a safe space to land as their entire model of training shifted. Over the last six months we have been calibrating and trying to figure out how to support young artists who are training to emerge into an industry that has been so woefully impacted by COVID.
In reality, even before COVID hit, actors were being called to establish a presence online. It had become an industry standard expectation that actors have professional websites, social media presence and be able to self tape and submit quality acting material to be considered for local and national auditions. Now, these skill sets are not preferred but mandatory.
And in this truth lies opportunity. We became determined to empower artists of all levels of experience to come to thrive in the virtual landscape.
We put together a curriculum that blended acting technique with technical technique and launched a private series of workshops. The results were extraordinary. Actors with next to NO filmic experience were able to create stunning self taped monologues and scenes entirely by themselves.
Adam, whose background is in cinematography, has customized a shopping list for actors to affordably build their own self tape kits, using their phones as cameras. The cost is comparable to a few textbooks.
From there, Lauren focused on guiding our cohort how to pivot into to the filmic medium while still honoring theatricality.
In addition to creating online content, we teach basic website building skills and social media networking as well as career strategy. At the end of the workshop, each student is armed with the skills necessary to be an active participant in the online performance community.
We cannot tell you what a joy it has been to see actors go from complete depletion to total empowerment. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives.