Students in the Three-Week Musical Theater and Acting for Film program take on a dual challenge — to hone their acting skills for musical theater and for the screen. Students are given instruction through voice lessons, musical direction, choreographed movement, acting a song classes, and rehearsals with an accompanist to help bring their assigned scene on stage at the final showcase. Students study the same Meisner and Method acting techniques as our Core Actors and gain valuable on-camera experience bringing their in-class lessons to life on the sets of student films.
The Musical Theater and Acting for Film program will provide students with a wide variety of opportunities to apply their growing skills and utilize new acting tools. They learn through varied hands-on experiences that the core concepts of acting and the practices of immediacy and immersion can be applied to acting across disciplines. Students will be challenged to live truthfully regardless of whether they are engaged in improv games in the classroom, on set with a SOCAPA filmmaker, or performing a scene from a musical. This range of experiences offers young actors a unique chance to develop across a broad spectrum.
Students in the Musical Theater program will spend rehearsal time in class preparing for a scene from a musical which will be performed live for family and friends at the final Friday showcase. In preparation for the scene, students will take a variety of electives focused on strengthening their skills in musical theater, in particular. In addition to working with an accompanist students will have voice lessons, musical and theatrical direction for their scene, learn to act a song, and take a master dance class to build and refine movement skills and choreography specific for their scene.
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.
Providing students with a professional experience working in their craft is a core foundation of all SOCAPA programming. 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 crew to ensure a safe and successful shoot day.
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 will 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.
Each week SOCAPA celebrates and screens the work created in our programs. Parents are invited to the final Friday night showcase at which the final films will be screened and the live acting scenes are performed on stage.
In a single shot of up to two minutes, students tell a simple story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. The project takes its name from the first films by the 19th-century pioneers of early cinema, Pierre and August Lumière. The focus, here, is on mise-en-scène, an essential concept in the art of filmmaking. Students are challenged to carefully arrange all the elements that appear within the shot itself - camera movement, composition, blocking of actors, props, and lighting - to most effectively and creatively tell their stories.
Edwin Porter was one of the first filmmakers to consider the possibilities of editing shots together in a continuous fashion. He led the way in creating the illusion of "continuity," where material shot over the course of days or weeks looks, once it is cut together in sequence, as if it all flows together over the course of minutes. His famous film, The Great Train Robbery, is the inspiration for this second film, where students explore the same issues Porter faced, and make a 3-4 minute film that focuses on continuity. Students have four hours to shoot this film and one day to edit.
Each three-week SOCAPA Musical Theater and Acting for Film student will work on a culmination scene that will be theatrically and musically directed by our professional staff. Students will perform their scene on stage at the Final Showcase for friends and family. These live performance scenes will be taped and posted to our student portfolio pages so they can be used for college applications, as a calling card for auditions, and to share with friends and family.
Headshots are like an actor's calling card - every actor needs a good headshot. So, at SOCAPA every two and three week acting student is scheduled a block of time in the studio to have their headshots done by students in the SOCAPA Photography Program.
As students begin the process of applying to universities and for professional roles, the importance of understanding the formalities and techniques to 'nailing' an audition cannot be understated. In the Musical Theater and Acting for Film program, students are assigned sides to prepare for a mock audition. The mock on-camera and interview situation is staged to replicate the stresses and challenges of auditioning professionally. A playback of the taped audition will follow with a critique and discussion.
SOCAPA has two campuses in New York City. Our pre-college campus for ages 15-18 is located in the East Village of Manhattan at Astor Place where we use NYU facilities (classrooms, studios, theaters) and the New School's Residence Hall. Our shorter boot camp programs for younger high school students are hosted at Pratt University and FGSC on the Steiner Studios Film Lot in Brooklyn. Our Brooklyn Campus is temporarily closed.New York City Campus Details