For children with the stardust of fame in their eyes, dropping everything and fleeing to Hollywood isn’t normally an option. But now there’s a new program in East County designed to prepare budding stars for the limelight through a series of courses and workshops. The L.A.-based Young Performers Studio, which helps up-and-coming stars 6 to 18 polish their talents, has opened a satellite campus in Antioch.
“We provide classes in improvisation, on-camera skills, scene study and many other elements of professional acting,” said Young Performers Studio East Bay Director Rachel Glenn. “We also offer a creative arts class for younger children as well as private coaching and lessons. Private lessons can also be used to prepare for auditions for theater programs and college applications.”
The L.A. studio, which opened in 1996, has helped launch the careers of Joy Lauren, a regular on “Desperate Housewives” for six years as Danielle Van De Kamp; Nathan Kress, known to tweens around the globe as Freddie Benson on the Nickelodeon hit “iCarly”; and Lexi Ainsworth, who has appeared in more than 200 episodes of daytime soap opera “General Hospital” as Kristina Davis.
Glenn, who has 10 years of experience with the studio she manages with her mother, founder and talent manager Donnajeanne Goheen, launched the East Bay sector of the program this week. Since Glenn’s husband, Dylan Kruse, is an East County native, when the couple was looking for a community to call home, they chose to settle in Antioch, where Glenn will teach courses from their home.
“For those who are interested in pursuing acting professionally, we provide our students with the training needed to audition for agencies and projects here in the Bay Area as well as in Los Angeles,” Glenn said. “We also have guest instructors and workshops with industry professionals from Los Angeles, including casting directors, producers, managers and directors. As a former child actor myself, I see the value in supplying young actors with the tools needed to build their careers while also learning and having fun.”
As a child star, Glenn starred in more than 70 commercials and made appearances on several shows on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, including “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and “The Amanda Show,” so she knows what it’s like to be a young aspiring actor. But as she grew up, she realized her passion was for teaching, so after graduating from Menlo College with a degree in communications and a pre-school teaching certificate, Glenn set out to find a way to combine her two favorite things.
This fall, Glenn will be teaching three courses through the Young Performers Studio East Bay program, including The Play’s the Thing, Dramatic Beginnings and Teen Scene. While some courses began this week, there is still time to sign up for other sections this fall. Multiple sections will be offered now through November. Classes run for three weeks at a time. Visit www.youngperformersstudio.com/yps-east-bay-location.html for more information about courses, class schedules and tuition.
This fall, director Tom Logan (“Dream Trap”) and casting director Cathy Reinking (“Arrested Development”) will make guest appearances, offering their knowledge and experience to hopeful performers. Glenn’s mother Goheen will also stop by to chat about on-camera and commercial skills.
Aspiring actors interested in Young Performers Studio East Bay may sign up for courses by e-mailing Glenn at email@example.com or calling 925-706-2359.