Thursday, December 3, 2009

Directors Chair 15

Directors Chair… #15

To My Readers

2009 has drawn to a close and another year of changes. The Actors Workshop of South Florida has experienced great successes for it’s student’s, many worked professionally in theatre and film, some for the first time, others building on the consistency that was supported as members of the Ongoing workshop.
However our workshops have become more than a place that gives the most professional, consistent, training to become a working actor but also a place that has created a safe environment for the individual to use the tools of acting to develop their life skills.
Many of our members attended the Introductory workshop to explore another piece of themselves, to gain confidence, overcome shyness or re-visit the part of themselves they left behind somewhere, when the practicalities of life had a louder voice, such as an office job that had to pay the bills, or pleasing ones parents or raising a family, all such valid reasons but still at the expense of that creative, passionate voice they once heard.

So as these marvelous people have taken their ‘Introductory’ workshop experience and moved on to further explore their discoveries as members of the Ongoing workshop not only have they surprised themselves but have also inspired their peers who recognize a piece of themselves within one another and continue to grow personally and professionally because of it.

2009 also brought changes for the workshop, as we ended an eight year relationship with Boca Raton parks and recreation as they showed they did not care about the welfare of the community, and new students became less important to them than increasing their fees and beaurocracy.
So for that reason I knew our 8 week Introductory workshop would find a new home in Boca Raton, where I could continue with my goal to have fairly priced classes for the student to discover the craft of acting or the ‘struggling’ actor could always afford to have consistent, professional training.
To that vision we have now added Broward classes, so hold workshops between Boca Raton and Ft Lauderdale, which pleases the Miami agents with whom we have contact.

We also said a farewell to two of our student’s who have now moved on to their career’s in Los Angeles. Both started studying with me at the age of fifteen and for six years continued to use the support of the Ongoing workshop, building their resumes in film and theatre, they know still that I am just a ’phone call away should they seek advice or morale support.

As we enter into our ‘9th year’, I look forward to continuing to build on the foundation I built nine years ago and have always held for the workshop as we continued to grow, to offer a safe, supporting environment, with professional training taught in N.Y, L.A and London, teaching respect for the craft of acting and the gift’s that it can bring.
Here’s to the hundred’s of inspired student’s who have joined us on that discovery and to those yet to find us!

Thanks for taking a look.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Directors Chair

To My Readers

What do I do? What is it that The Actors Workshop of South Florida does ? We train the student, to become a professionally trained working actor, if that is what they choose to do. We train the individual, to trust their inner voice to express themselves and their passion in life, realized through the craft of acting.

So congratulations to Janet Weakley, who has just been cast as 'Mrs Wingfield', in Tennessee William's "The Glass Menagerie" at Broward Stage Door. Janet has studied with, and been a member of The Actors Workshop of South Florida for five years and performed in two of our repertory theatre productions, "Crossing Delancey" and "The Supporting Cast", she also had her first paying job as an actor with our University Shakespeare program, along with other members of our company. As she said to me upon telling me she was cast ''because of your company, I am professionally trained and I am ready for this''. Yes you are Janet!

Congratulations to John McGlothlin working in Rising Action's theatre production of "Bent", with outstanding reviews from the Miami Herald,Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach- Post & New Times. Having seen the play, not only was it brave, sensitive and raw but it was the mature performance of an experienced actor willing to take risks and not that of his 'stage debut'. John credited the workshop "for cultivating his love of acting" but he was a credit to the workshop and what we do. After several independent film performances John is keeping his passion alive in theatre too!

Congratulations to Kally Khourshid, just cast in local playwright, Tony Finstrom's "Knish Alley" at Broward Stage Door. One of our youngest members who completed our 8 week Introductory workshop last year, went off to college and because of her talent and training was offered a role by her drama professor to work opposite him. This summer she returned to keep her training consistent by taking advantage of our Ongoing workshop serving it's purpose to offer the student a 'roof over their head', as they continue to work at their craft.

Congratulations to Phyllis Brown and Victor Mascitelli who have recently signed with their first Talent Agency. Victor is currently shooting a film , playing opposite renowned actor Barry Bostwick. Jessica Brydon will be in Cincinatti soon to shoot in her next film.

The Actors Workshop of South Florida is a company focused on professional consistent training, founded on respect for the craft of acting. Our professionally, working, paid actors are a reflection of that.

Thanks for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 13

To My Readers

I had planned to begin with welcome to The Actors Workshop of South Florida 2009 but before I can say that I must give due acknowledgement and appreciation for 2008 and an astounding completion of our year.

As stated in our previous update we experienced a wonderful year of continually growing classes and opportunities for our talented students, some now calling their occupation 'professional actor'. On December 18, 2008 we held another successful industry showcase. I invited representatives of the South Florida industry, and a Los Angeles Talent Manager I had been working with, she was thrilled with the professionalism of our company and talent, proceeding to sign four of our students and is taking two of them out to L.A with her. She still has her Miami agency and has opened her door to our talent when they are ready.

May this be the year of aspired hope and fruition, as we look forward and not back.

So in this new year that brings with it still the echo of fear and it's practicality we hope that as you have found this page and it's website that you are ready to step out of that practicality and into the possibility of your creative spirit as many before you have done.

Whether you seek a career as an actor, hope to gain better communication skills or overcome shyness, finally bring your creative passion to the forefront or simply have fun, our 8 week Introductory workshop is the opportunity to do that.

As the Arts and personal development always seem to be the first things pushed to the side during difficult economic times, we at The Actors Workshop of South Florida have been pleased to see consistent class attendance, including in our Ongoing workshop .

So if this is your time to pursue your talent with consistent training that will take you from audition through performance in film, television or theatre, or if you are the individual who can no longer ignore that inner voice telling you to take a step into something new and pursue your creative possibilities, then we look forward to seeing you in our next workshop.

Thanks for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 12

To My Readers

How has your 2008 been going?

Well we all know what we have been up against, some of us have grown from the restrictions of this year, and some have been afraid to take chances. I have been very proud of what we have accomplished at The Actors Workshop of South Florida. Our first 8 week Introductory workshop of the year, had one of the highest registrations since we began 7 years ago and our Ongoing workshop can attest to the same growth. Our students have continued to pursue their goals, as members of our workshops, to seek truth, unlock their inner barriers and pursue their inner passion whether in a career of acting or in their everyday lives. Jessica Brydon appeared in her first Equity play, as she continues to work in film and television locally, to build up her resume and return to work more in Los- Angeles. Ellery Carlson, just turned 18, a new member of our Ongoing workshop, auditioned for her first professional job, with the 'Discovery' channel, and got the job! Several of our students worked on the two SAG films, Jennifer Anniston's "Marley and me" also Jim Carrrey's and Ewan Mcgregor's film, "I love you Phillip Morris". The television series "Burn Notice", continues to shoot in Miami, and our students continue to work on that television production.

The Actors Workshop of South Florida continues to look to new opportunities for our actors, with workshop's, industry networking, future productions for our repertory theatre company, we are pleased to have given our students another opportunity to succeed with our "On-camera/cold reading" workshop, yet another opportunity for our students to become consistent in this industry.

So to those of you still deciding whether you are brave enough to pursue your creative passion and finally listen to that inner voice, may you see that you are not alone and anything is possible, as our students continue to listen to their inner voice, and choose to be heard!

Thanks for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 11

To My Readers,

So quickly we say goodbye to another year and hello to 2008!

Many will call 2007 a difficult year as the economy affected us from gas prices to the cost of groceries, and always the first to be bid farewell in tough times, are those personal things we do for ourselves, personal development , theatre tickets or a creative class.

Although the The Actors Workshop of South Florida felt the change like many others in the artistic community, we also continued to see the commitment of those who still attended our 8 week Introductory workshop and then pursued their dreams, or personal desire, to see what more they were made of as they opened up their creative side and the emotions that accompanied them by becoming members of the Ongoing workshop .

With our fourth repertory theatre production of the play 'The Supporting Cast' by George Furth, and an inspiring group of new members who attended our final class of 2007, ready to return to work in 2008 and develop that which they have just discovered of their talent, The Actors Workshop of South Florida again proudly looks to see what the future holds in our 7th year!

With new ideas about projects such as the 4 week workshop, in April, 'Shakespeare 101', a refreshing way to take the intimidation out of the Bards words and bring the fun back to the classics, a Summer camp for the young actor who wants to find the training that takes their aspirations of being an actor seriously, with training to prepare them for a career and play readings of some of the great classics of American theatre.

So no matter what practical cautions may come this year, do not forget, part of your survival comes from remembering to nurture and feed your creative spirit.

Thanks for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 10

To My Readers,

I had planned to take this time to update our readers of our latest company news but this is a time to make a personal acknowledgement.

In our lives many of us are seeking to find out, not only who we are but how do we make a difference? The Actors Workshop of South Florida has proudly participated in being a part of people making such discoveries through the 8 week Introductory workshop and Ongoing workshop we have continued to keep our focus on the individual and our respect for the craft of acting, which is the foundation of my company because that is how I learned my craft. So when I learned this week of the passing of one who inspired me on that journey, I wanted to continue to honor his legacy and what I have learned and now teach. His name is Sal Dano, he is the creator of the foundation acting technique of The Actors Workshop of South Florida.

I met Sal in Los Angeles in 1985, I was an experienced working actress, I had studied and learned many of the great acting techniques from Stanislavsky to Strasberg but had always had this nagging feeling that something was still missing, that piece of 'going somewhere emotionally as an actress', that I did not seem to consistently see or know from my acting experiences but after such time I thought that it just must not exist.

Then, one day while in an L.A eatery I was having a conversation with a young actor named Anthony LaPaglia, sharing our mutual experiences working in Australia, when he told me of this acting studio which he was attending with these fellow actors seated in the restaurant, and so there I met Mr Sal Dano who invited me to audit his workshop. With so many recommendations to audit various workshops, this was the one which held my attention, and within that week I visited.

In this little black-box room in a rather shady part of town, my life and career were changed as I watched Sal, within two hours, transform a scene into something so exciting, I knew that missing piece did exist and I had found it.

I was privileged to study this technique which Sal created, a form of method that gets the actor to the truth immediately, taking the 'hit and miss' out of finding your intention. So when I started my company, and thought of all the techniques I had learned, which would I teach? I chose to teach the technique which had changed my life and career.

The craft of acting has brought me great joy and fulfillment, and as I continue to see our actors grow in that discovery because of this technique, I am proud to acknowledge its creator Sal Dano.

God Bless you Sal, your legacy will continue, with your extraordinary technique being the foundation of The Actors Workshop of South Florida.

Thanks for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 9

To My Readers,

2007 already!

In 2006, The Actors Workshop of South Florida continued to grow, and we see more of our students become professional actors.

Mennette Colon is constantly seen on local television, in such commercials as the spokes-person for 'Supra Telecom', and a featured role in the Los Angeles production 'Dexter', on Cinemax. Brian Haase had successful production meetings recently in Los Angeles and will return there in January for pilot season not only as an actor but film-maker. Jessica Brydon, still a teenager, was in a touring production in Canada, is working in commercials and independent film, and is also looking to make the transition to work in Los Angeles, and has just signed with a bi-coastal agent in Miami. Evan Schwartz, who appeared in our production of 'Barefoot in the Park', is also moving to L.A, for pilot season, feeling confident of his training and experience, gained through our company. They have all been working here with major 'agent representation', as they build their resumes to pursue their biggest dreams. Agents, and casting directors, are often seeking new talent through The Actors Workshop of South Florida.

Our repertory theatre production of 'Crossing Delancey', sold out, and we were honored by the attendance of the author, Susan Sandler's father, who took time with the cast to share personal stories about the play's origins. Our cast members all came from the Ongoing' workshop, Diogo Braga, Susan Glover, Julie Ramirez and Janet Weakley.

Although we are proud to give opportunities to our students to take the next step into a career as an actor, whether giving them audition skills, or access to gaining representation, or the opportunity to perform in one of our productions, the foundation of The Actors Workshop of South Florida, is still to teach.

Whether, you are just curious to discover or to re-discover your creative side, in the 8 week Introductory workshop, or you seek a professional career as an actor, and join the Ongoing workshop, we continue to keep our focus on the individual and our respect for the craft of acting.

Thanks for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 8

To My Readers,

May 2006, and already this year, The Actors Workshop of South Florida has held our 'Annual Industry showcase of talent', featuring our Ongoing workshop members: we are into our second 8 week Introductory workshop, and after the wonderful response to our first session of 2006, are enjoying the wonderful talents of those students who wanted to take their talent to the next level, and also joined our Ongoing workshop. We have also confirmed our pre-production plans for our December theatre production, of Susan Sandler's "Crossing Delancey", and will be casting soon!

Even more important, we acknowledge our working actors; some have taken their first steps into auditioning and others are professionally working in theatre, film and television.

After 5 years, The Actors Workshop of South Florida, has not changed the foundation on which it was built, quite simply, the study and respect for the craft of acting. No bravado, no ego, no elitism. We focus on the individual and their safety, thus creating a working environment which allows their talent to discover and flourish. Once again I can look to the extraordinary individuals who have found our company, and are using their experience gained through the gift of acting, to also affect their lives personally.

As the great Shakespeare said...'all the world's a stage, and the men and women merely players"!

Thanks for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 7

To My Readers,

Where went 2005?

It's hard to believe that The Actors Workshop of South Florida is already in rehearsals for our December production of Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park as part of our Theatre Company, when our debut production of last year's Social Security is still the subject of wonderful experiences for our actors and audience.

So we are happy to announce the cast of our next productions, which includes our company members Phyllis Spear; such a delight as mother last year, George Salimbene, who only recently completed our 8 week course and joined our Ongoing company, and new members Evan Schwartz and Glenn Ellerin.

Once again, we feel we have found the right cast to show our audience just what it is that we do at The Actors Workshop of South Florida.

We have enjoyed yet another wonderful year, with new students finding us and deciding to explore their own creative curiosity, and many have found even more within themselves, which is the reason our workshop has been described as "life changing.

As Shakespeare said, "All the world is a stage, and the men and women merely players"! I thank those of you who chose The Actors Workshop of South Florida to discover the craft of acting.

To the students of the Ongoing program, I thank you for your wonderful talent, which you continue to explore and develop, with due respect for the craft and ensemble. We look forward to seeing you in 2006.

Thanks for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 6

To My Readers,

Thank you for joining us for another year. After our sold out hit debut production of "Social Security", I am pleased to have seen consistency of the talented members of The Actors Workshop of South Florida translate to a public audience that have now become excited to see the addition of our company to the performing theatre scene. We are already in plans for our next production, and look forward to announcing what and when!

So thank you to the wonderful cast who used their talent to represent what The Actors Workshop of South Florida continues to teach, respect for the craft of acting, and the joy of being a working actor. Full productions have become an extension of the company, but the foundation still remains: our workshops.

Another wonderful group of individuals found us for our January 2005 8 week introductory program. Once again a diverse group of individuals, from generations, experience, professions and interests found out how much they had in common, as they came together to find out just what it is that an "acting workshop" can reveal. Whether to seek personal insight and confidence, or to seek a career as an actor, the smiles and conversations of revelations by students as the course came to completion, was a wonderful start for the year.

So to those of you who take the time to read about us, we look forward to meeting you, and continuing to grow as a theatre company, which individuals continue to see is "not just another acting school"!

Thanks for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 5

To My Readers,

At a time when the Arts in South Florida have continued to struggle to survive artistically and financially, The Actors Workshop of South Florida is managing to grow and support its original intention as a company teaching respect for the craft of acting, and the discovery and encouragement of ones creative passion. Upon the recent conclusion of our June 8 week program, one of our students wrote a letter he wanted to read to me and his fellow students. He spoke of his feelings, wanting us to know how much finding the workshop had meant to him but more than that, he spoke of finding something "real". In a day and age when we survive through masks and walls, the students articulation of his experience touched all in the class.

"Real" is a word heard often in the workshop, in the Introductory and Ongoing Workshops, at our students auditions, and their rehearsals when they are cast. The Oxford Dictionary translates "real" as "Fidelity of representation, what underlies appearances"; a fine description for the art of acting and the goals of The Actors Workshop of South Florida.

As members of the workshop have taken their training and participated in productions with other companies, as have I as a director, I am pleased to announce our first full stage production of the comedy "Social Security", which will bring together the talents of our members of The Actors Workshop of South Florida, for a complete creative experience at the Willow Theatre, Sugar Sand Park.

We are excited to show the talent of our actors and for them to have the opportunity to work professionally, knowing that their fellow cast-mates are creatively "on the same page".

The Actors Workshop of South Florida will keep sight of being "Consistently Real"

Thanks for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 4

To My Readers,

I am pleased to announce our cast for the company's first production of the Broadway hit, Andrew Bergman's comedy, "Social Security": Mennette Colón, Lori Dichiara, Brian Haase, George Randol, Phyllis Spear, and Mark Spivack.

It was wonderful to see such an exceptional presentation of talent in the audition, as some of my students were participating in their first ever audition. All were prepared and consistent in showing what they had learned of their craft in The Actors Workshop of South Florida.

With respect to my original training in "repertory theatre", even actors not cast have offered their enthusiastic support to be involved where production needs, from stage managing to set construction and design must be met. I expect no less from the extraordinary members of the workshop.

We are excited about the rehearsal process and the opportunity to share with the community through "Willow Theatre" in Sugar Sand Park, what it is that we have actually been doing for years "behind the closed doors" of our classes!

I was asked just last week by a new student about to register for our next 8 week Introductory Workshop, "what makes it so life changing?" My students share the answer to that question with me every time we meet.

With respectful acknowledgement of Charley, Frances and Ivan making their powerful presence known to those of us in South Florida, I would also like to acknowledge the new students who did not forget their original intention of choosing this time to explore their creative voice by joining our last 8 week workshop of 2004, and still picked up the telephone to make sure that they could register and that class would still proceed with only 1 weeks delay to allow us all a little sigh of relief, I was so pleased to say "yes", we will continue.

So, with all that we have experienced in 2004, I smile to say again; "Yes", we will continue, and I look forward to seeing you in 2005!
Thank you for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 3

To my readers,

‘What is different about this technique’? I am asked constantly; my reply is
‘it takes the hit and miss out of the concerns an actor can have from audition through production, it gives a consistency like nothing else out there’. But I am not writing about my technique today, I am talking about my actors. It is time to acknowledge the many wonderful individuals, who are working actors because of their talent developed through The Actors Workshop of South Florida.

Joanne Paciello, who’s revue in her first full production of Six Degrees of Separation, with ‘Edge Theatre Company, duly noted her talent ‘a standout, so natural on stage’. Of course we at the workshop have known that for months! Marc Spivack, a business CEO, who 3years ago prior to finding the workshop, had not imagined a life as an actor, now in his 10th production, who by the way was offered two acting jobs at the same time last month! Mennette Colón, shooting her first commercial this week, that was her second audition ever! Phyllis Spear, awaiting word on casting after her second call-back, on her first audition. George Randol, already a working actor, in film and television, who since joining the workshop, has said the technique has changed his life also, as he continues to get cast but now it is with a consistency that constantly has the directors commenting on his talent being a ‘stand out’, they know they have a professional who will get the job done, on budget, on time! Brian Haase who joined us last year, is working in his fifth independent film, and is ready to start shooting a film he has written and will direct; he has his eye on Los Angeles; and knows that this training, has him prepared. One of our students Ryan DeSouza, is already out there working in serial television, he updates us that this technique is why he is getting the job.

So congratulations to our many working actors, and to those who are honing their craft at The Actors Workshop of South Florida preparing for their first audition.

Thank you for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 2
To my readers,

What another wonderful year it has been as 'The Actors Workshop of South Florida' has continued to grow; not just by adding classes and students, but with the passionate commitment of our actors, which has made this Company different from the beginning.

Many of our actors have now worked in a variety of theatre and film productions from Palm Beach to Miami. Some of our actors have completed the 8 week introductory program, now feeling they have a 'consistent technique' which will take them from audition through production, and have departed to fulfill their dream in Los Angeles and New York, updating us that they are 'getting the job'!

Our 'Ongoing Program' has continued to create a passionate environment for our students who share their talent on a weekly basis, and even when cast, return to 'The Workshop' to keep their passion and talent alive. We look forward to 2004 with more 'industry showcases' to present our talent to more directors, agents and writers; and the opportunity for our actors, and myself, to not only work with other theatre companies, but to produce our own plays with the creative and passionate license we have in 'The Actors Workshop of South Florida'

I would personally like to thank the many students who have joined our 'Workshops' for their individual expressions in the creative process, but particularly I would like to thank the actors who have continued, and who I am proud to see commit to their passion flourishing in 'The Ongoing Program' as a member of 'The Actors Workshop of South Florida'

Thank you for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director

Directors Chair 1
To my readers,

Well what an amazing first year it has been for THE ACTORS WORKSHOP OF SOUTH FLORIDA. When I chose to start my company I could not have imagined there would be such an overwhelming response to my teaching an acting technique, that completely changed my career and life, and basically that so many people would 'get it'.

In a world of cell phones, DVDs and reality T.V., the fact that students have embraced an environment of respect for the craft and their fellow actors, while feeling safe to express their creative talent, continues to amaze me.

An extraordinary group of people have found us, from business men and lawyers, corporate women and homemakers, to the individual who already knows that they have no other choice than a life as an actor. They have all found THE ACTORS WORKSHOP and many have called it 'life changing'.

From the business man who did our 8 week Introductory Class, just to understand his actress daughter a little better. Deciding he could not finish there, then went on to join our Ongoing Class and within weeks appeared in 'The Delray Playhouse, Affections of May', 'Wotta Christmas' at The Willow Theatre, and is now in his fourth production within months.

Or the stand-up comedian whose shyness did not allow him to make eye contact with people, who within months, looked at you with the same confidence of his peers. These extraordinary people are the reason I am glad to be the founder and director of THE ACTORS WORKSHOP OF SOUTH FLORIDA.

More actors, looking for a serious technique that takes them from audition through production, are now finding us, as they tell me that what they experienced prior to my workshop had not giving them the consistency they needed to get cast.

As our workshop grows, and the company goes from showcases to productions, we hope to continue to grow with the artistic community of South Florida.

Thank you for taking a look.

Jane Kelly-Director