Tag Archives: film acting for kids

Finally! An Acting Class Just for Kids and Teens!

Kylie and Patrick on setWe’ve heard the stories about “Stage Moms” and “Stage Dads” but so far we haven’t  had to deal with any of them. What we mostly have heard from them is they want an ongoing acting class that fits around their children’s already over-scheduled week.  After a couple of months of trying to find a day and time that works for a lot of people, we are happy to announce a new class: Film Acting for Kids and Teens (6-15), that will meet Monday afternoons from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Class will teach students an amazing technique for learning lines quickly, a stress-free way to audition, and the one simple little secret that every Hollywood actor knows. The class shows actors how to “be in the moment” and to trust that amazing things will happen once the camera starts rolling. Class includes lots of on-camera work, too!

Mostly, we believe that knowing how to just “be” yourself when the camera is rolling is the key to delviering great moments on screen for actors of any age.

So, stop worrying about your character’s back-story or making choices before the camera rolls because all that stuff gets in the way of listening to your scene partner and “being” in the moment.
Film Acting for Kids and Teens meets the first four Mondays of every month (unless otherwise stated) and is $105 per month . This class will change the way you and your kids think about acting in front of the camera and the way you and your kids watch movies. It is that awesome. Really!
To register, click here.

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Embrace the Dilemma

At the Film Acting Academy of Denver we don’t believe in making choices or creating a character. Frankly, we think that gets in the way of connecting to your scene partner and truly listening to them. We believe that if you’ve been cast, it is because you already are the character. We believe the work of the actor is to surrender to the environment, commit to the situation, and to let the words have meaning. Then all your emotional responses will be honest, true, and “in the moment.” Confident directors prefer that over manufactured emotions and fake moments. So, too, do audiences.

For many actors, the struggle is to have the confidence that doing “less” will be enough. We remind actors that the other film elements like lighting, frame composition, editing, music, and sound design do much of the emotional heavy lifting for the audience.  That’s why great actors leave a scene saying “I hope I didn’t too much” while inexperienced actors often leave a scene saying, “I wish I had done more.”

We’re not suggesting that you don’t need to find a connection with the character. In fact, we encourage it. We just think the connection comes from committing to the situation – not the details, mind you, because we think details aren’t all that important, either  – but the emotional underpinnings of a situation that carry with them universal truths. If a character is dealing with the loss of a child, for example, one doesn’t need to imagine what that would feel like if they have never had to suffer through something as awful as that.  Everyone has suffered some kind of loss. Our emotional reservoir doesn’t forget. Let the words have meaning and you will feel that loss. Surrender to the conflict and accept the emotional stakes of the situation without prejudice or bias and the film actor is on his or her way to responding in a very raw and honest way to whatever comes their way. When those moments happen, the director can usually be heard saying to the DP: “Please tell me you got that.”

Perhaps William H. Macy, while accepting the Vanguard Award at the Boulder International Film Festival, said it best: “You have to embrace the dilemma of the character.”

Okay, that’s a better way of putting. And, yes, it really is that simple.

Hope to see you on the big screen soon.

Patrick Sheridan

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Lights! Camera! Action!

Film Acting Academy of Denver Founder and filmmaker Patrick Sheridan.

On December 1st, The Denver Film Acting Academy officially opens for business!

As Clint Eastwood famously grunted, “I know what you’re thinking…” Yeah, I do. You’re thinking (or grunting): “Do we really need another Denver acting school? Well, do we, punk?”

The short answer is probably “no” because I can name at least ten places and a dozen great people that do fantastic work with actors up and down the Front Range. The long answer, however, is an emphatic “yes” because I don’t teach what other schools teach and I don’t teach in a way that the others do. See, I am a screenwriter and director first and my philosophy is rather simple: An actor’s best choice is to not make a choice and live in the moment, connect to their scene partner in a deep and meaningful way, let the other elements of film do their work, and trust that amazing will happen when the camera starts rolling. I see amazing all the time when actors stop acting.

The Film Acting Academy of Denver was created because the demand for what I teach keeps growing (love those referrals!) and more and more of “my” actors are sharing my philosophy and training style with other actors (some even in classes at other acting workshops!). Many Denver actors are finding that out-of-town casting directors and filmmakers are looking for actors to stop acting and to just “be.” So really, I’m opening up The Film Acting Academy of Denver for one simple reason: actors kept asking me to. I honestly can’t think of a better reason than that.

I keep our class sizes very small and I’m only looking for a few actors who want to approach acting in a different, more organic way. The Film Acting Academy of Denver might be a good fit for you. It might not. Either way, I wish everyone success in this great art we call call film acting.

See you on the big screen.

Patrick Sheridan

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