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SOCAPA’s one week Acting Boot Camp is closely tied to SOCAPA’s one week Filmmaking Program. When the filmmaking students go out to make their assigned film on Wednesday, they utilize the talent in the Acting for Film Program. This provides our acting students with immediate on-camera experience and allows them to walk away from the program with an online portfolio of the films they performed in.
In addition, acting students work on a scene or monologue to perform live at the student showcase. Students work intensively on their scenes or monologues, receiving feedback and coaching from their teachers and peers.
The Acting Boot Camp course is a fast-paced experience in the grounds of acting. During the first two days, instructors introduce the basic grounds of acting, such as active imagination, “as if,” immediacy/partnering, presence, breath, and kinesthetic awareness, among others, through several exercises that foster psycho-physical awareness to their scene work. Students are introduced to Meisner and Method acting principles, although many approaches may be utilized. Fun and instructive games are employed day to day to engage students and reinforce lessons.
On the third and fourth day, students are out shooting films with the filmmaking students.
To wrap up the week, students prepare short scenes or monolgues to perform live at the Friday night Showcase for the whole camp!
At SOCAPA we create an environment where students feel safe to explore and grow without judgment or gossip. Safe space means that any activity or work done in class stays in class. A lot of things we do in acting class may be abstract, partly because they are steps in a long, evolving process: learning to be an actor. If actors have to worry about “looking silly” or “what others are say during lunch,” they are unable to fully commit to the exercises and let their creativity reach its full potential. This is why we protect each student’s work and their own creative space by committing students to a “safe space” company agreement. Students are asked to not talk about another student’s work or process outside of the classroom.
Actors are cast in student films by the SOCAPA acting and film faculty. Lead and supporting roles are distributed evenly to ensure each student has ample time on camera. Actors receive their script and character descriptions the night prior to shooting at the evening filmmaker / actor production meeting. Actors are asked to review their script that evening but memorization of all lines is not be expected.
Providing students a professional experience working in their craft is a core foundation of all SOCAPA programing. We take set etiquette and professionalism seriously. Both SOCAPA filmmakers and actors are asked to be on time, remain focused to the task, follow instructions, respect locations and persons, and respect the work of their fellow artists. A SOCAPA film teaching assistant accompanies each film to ensure a safe and successful shoot day.
Making a film is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun! Students travel all over the city or campus grabbing shots and performing scenes. Some scenes may be scripted while others may be left to the actor's improvisational techniques. As the story comes to life, filmmakers and actors learn the importance of creative collaboration between filmmaker and actor - an experience that informs their work in their own craft moving forward.
After each shoot day the acting ensemble holds a Post-Shoot Debrief to share experiences and indicate what principles of technique they were able to apply on set.
Every Friday night the student films will be screened for the whole camp at our weekly showcase. The actors will have the opportunity to see themselves appear on the silver screen, often for the first time.
Students in the one-week Filmmaking program write and direct the Rodriguez film project, and students in the one-week Acting for Film program are cast as the lead and supporting roles. These films are generally 2-4 minutes in length.
An actor without a scene or a monologue is like a photographer without a camera. At auditions, casting directors will often ask actors to perform a prepared scene of the actor’s choosing. A prepared actor will have an arsenal to choose from. With this in mind, SOCAPA has each acting student select a scene or monologue from our library of favorites. Scripts are memorized and rehearsed during the week and are performed live on the last day of the program.
"This program was awesome! I have made so many friends and have learned a lot. Coming into this program I was scared that I would not meet anyone, but that feeling changed as soon as I got here! The staff was really cool and I enjoyed every moment of being here."
Stephanie C, Columbia, SC
SOCAPA is launching a new acting program in New York this summer!