The Acting Program empowers students with the necessary core skills to take responsibility of their own growth and learning as an actor. This program offers a unique method of acting that enables students to discover skills found in the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of the human condition. Each level of the program builds upon the skills achieved from the previous one. Auditioning and working in the business will also be examined. Great for beginners or for actors who have been out of the classroom for a while.
Acting 1 is the first class in The Second City’s acting school program. The class features a unique methodology and approach to beginning acting lessons. Students learn the foundational skills needed to begin their exploration of scripted work. It is a class for students who wish to broaden their performance skills or begin the study of professional acting. Acting 1 gives students the tools they need to broaden their performance skills and grow as artists. Students can begin an exploration of acting, or dive deeply into the craft on a professional level.
Acting 1 focuses on the intellectual side of the craft. Students gain experience in preparing for mock auditions, and also gain insight into auditioning techniques. The first level also introduces students to the overall business side of being an actor, including best industry practices, like preparing the proper headshot and resume.
Students learn the four different areas of focus for the modern actor. Those areas are based in physical, emotional, intelligence, and spiritual acting.
Acting 1 meets once a week for three hours over an eight week term. No previous acting or performance experience is needed. Regardless of previous experience, all students are requested to begin in the first level. Students should bring materials to take notes. Students should also wear comfortable clothing and shoes that are conducive to movement.
Tuition for this class includes a copy of the book An Actor’s Guide to Walking the Razor’s Edge by Michael S. Pieper, Head of the Acting Program.
Acting 2 provides intermediate acting lessons for any student who wishes to continue their training. Acting 2 gives participants the opportunity to continue their study of the craft of acting in a group setting with a professional instructor. The second level of the acting program builds valuable scene partner skills and also gives students the skills to better know themselves as artists.
Students engage in partner-based exercises in order to dive headlong into scene study. Emotional authenticity is one of the main themes of this level in the acting program. Through rigorous stage work in class, students are empowered to more readily access their wealth of emotional knowledge and bring that valuable resource to their work on stage.
Students in Acting 2 engage in deep scene study from classic theatrical works. Participants learn to paint in a wide spectrum of emotions and also gain experience in analyzing a text in order to discover emotional beats within scenes.
Acting 2 meets once a week for three hours over an eight week term.
Acting 3 encompasses advanced acting lessons for the performer who wants to gain experience using their entire body to create a character and tell a story. The performer that wants to master their art must master movement. Every individual has a unique body type and moves differently. By utilizing how they move on stage and developing their nonverbal vocabulary, an actor can bring their performances to a new level of depth and believability.
Acting 3 focuses on the physical aspect of acting and stage performance. Students learn to be more than a talking head on stage. The course teaches students how to use their physical skills as part of an ensemble and how to apply the skills they have to more abstract theatrical pieces. Tempo, repetition, body placement, and nonverbal communication are also tools that are examined and developed.
Students are assigned a comedic sketch to explore physically. They are also involved in an ensemble piece focused on movement that features the entire class. Classic movement theories and exercises are also incorporated into the class.
Acting 3 meets once a week for three hours over an eight week term.
Acting 4 is for the serious performer looking to make a career on the stage. A good command of styles is an important tool to any performer. It allows the performer to instantly be on the same page with their cast mates when they are charged to perform a piece in a given style.
This level takes students on a deep dive into exploring theatrical styles. Acting 4 builds on all the skills students have already learned and teaches them to apply the skills in multiple settings. Students learn how to create characters that are at home in different theatrical elements. They not only work within the classical theatrical styles (for example, learning the difference between Realism and Naturalism), but also explore the unique styles of individual playwrights.
This class gets students on their feet performing pieces in different styles. This provides not only a theoretical understanding of acting styles but also allows students to get the true feel of what creating a character in a particular style is like.
Acting 4 meets once a week for three hours over an eight week term.
Students who want to further strengthen their acting skills to pursue a career as a professional actor and present themselves to industry professionals may want to continue with the Acting Lab program.
The Acting Lab is an advanced acting program for students who wish to acquire the skills to pursue a career as a professional actor. By focusing on the acting lessons in this acting program, students gain tools to help them to create detailed performances.
Acting Lab 1 helps students reinforce the acting lessons acquired from previous education, whether it was from The Second City’s Acting Program or an equivalent training program, by solidifying and strengthening their foundation of acting skills.
Acting Lab 1 provides students with the knowledge and confidence to perform in different scenes of varied styles. By learning and practicing genre-specific acting exercises, students are able to approach the work of acting with a deeper understanding of scenic study. With these lessons, students will be able to access a more nuanced and rich acting performance.
Lab 1 has students use contemporary and classic scenes to explore how to make specific acting choices by exploring advanced sense memory, emotional memory, and heightened physical tools. The course also helps students strengthen their foundation skills.
An audition is required prior to acceptance to the Acting Lab. Students must have completed the Second City’s Acting Program (levels one through four) or have a degree from an equivalent acting school. See the Prerequisites section below for more information.
Acting Lab 1 meets twice a week for three hours over an eight week term.
Acting Lab 2 provides students pursuing a life as a professional actor with the required aptitude in acting ability and expertise in the world of entertainment. By developing and sharpening these aspects, students can approach the acting world with confidence. Students can take the acting lessons learned in Acting Lab 1 and apply them to auditions.
Acting Lab 2 is an investigation into how to book acting roles and how to sustain a career as a professional actor. Students learn how to use acting skills developed in Acting Lab 1 to master multiple audition and performance scenarios. They also learn how to develop professional behavior and learn the expectations of a career actor.
Students extend the lessons acquired in Acting Lab 1 into the audition room. By adding professionalism to acting technique, students discover how to book acting roles and how to build and maintain a life as an employed actor.
Acting Lab 2 meets twice a week for three hours over an eight week term.
Acting Lab 3 is the summation and final step in the Acting Lab program which results in an entertainment industry showcase. Students use every acting lesson and acting exercise experienced in previous levels and apply them to form a presentation to industry professionals with the goal of generating interest in their abilities and acquiring representation in the entertainment industry.
By building on the acting lessons learned in the prior levels, Lab 3 students focus on developing a performance of scenes and monologues to showcase their skills as an actor. Students are armed with professional acting techniques, an acting resume, and the beginning of an acting reel to present to industry professionals with the hopes of gaining a commercial agent, manager and/or being cast in future acting projects.
Through creating and polishing scenes and monologues, students in this level are ready to perform in an end-of-class acting showcase. The acting lessons obtained up to this level are fully utilized to present a show with the intent of obtaining entertainment industry representation as well as gaining a performance experience that simulates real world auditions.
Acting Lab 3 meets twice a week for three hours over an eight week term. There is a final performance showcase that is open to the public and industry professionals.
Dialects is a class for actors and improvisers who want to learn how to properly research and perform accents and dialects. It is for actors preparing for a specific audition or play, or for sketch comedians and improvisers who want to learn how to broaden this aspect of their character…
Freeing your Voice for the Stage is for actors and improvisers who want to improve their speaking voice for the stage, work on projection, and learn how to speak in a healthy way that can get them through a long run of a show. It’s also for improvisers and actors…
The Acting On Camera workshop is your opportunity for on-camera acting experience in scripted and improvised scene work. You will work with the teacher who acts as the director to understand how to adapt their stagecraft for the screen. A crew member will join classes to handle all the technical…
On Camera Auditioning 1 shows you how to prepare for and complete a successful on-camera commercial audition. We will work on auditions ranging from testimonials to m.o.s., and give tips on how to nail different types of commercial scripts. We will film our practice auditions and review.
3 hours, 4 weeks
Getting ready for your next audition? This workshop will teach you how to audition through monologue prep, cold reading, and best practices when trying to land your next role. Bring a monologue you’ve been working on, or we’ll work together to pick one that’s right for you. This class will also…
Movement is for any student who wants to better understand how to use their body as an instrument for dramatic and comedic acting. Students gain a deeper insight on how to use physicality to make stronger character choices, widen their acting range, and feel more confident while on stage. Students…
The Second City Training Center offers individual, customized coaching in a variety of areas including, but not limited to:
On-camera audition prep
Dialects Accent Coaching
Youth & Teen Coaching
Advanced sketch critique
Screenplay & Sitcom coaching
Sketch Production (Coaching a group through their first production)
Sketch generation & critique…