Performing Arts Film and TV (PAFT)
This course focuses on training the acting instrument. The course introduces students to the fundamental skills and theories of acting for the camera as they begin to learn and experience the craft of acting and what it entails. Exercise work is assigned to achieve spontaneous reactions and authentic behavior in the classroom and in meetings with acting partners for rehearsals. That work is brought into class for critique and discussion. The goal is to develop the actor's personal instrument and acting technique in order to create the life of a character in film and television.
This course begins the exploration of text, developing the character close to the actor's own experience, and the technical demands of working in front of a camera. This includes the student's ability to create a believable performance and bring individuality, vulnerability, and intimacy to the screen. The life of a character is developed from the given circumstances of a scene and the tools needed to create them in an authentic way, to make those circumstances the character's truth. Working "in frame" encourages focus on the material, making valid choices, and working cooperatively. Students learn master shots, coverage, continuity, and the vocabulary of filmmaking for actors. Work will be taped for in-class critique.
This course is one of the most effective and comprehensive overall workouts that utilizes basic movements and core stability to increase strength and agility, along with cardio drills to challenge both the body and mind. The student experiences a carefully designed, fast-paced workout that uses multiple muscle groups to burn calories, improve flexibility, balance, and posture that develops an overall fitness while defining the actor's body from head to toe. Sweat, strengthen, and get the results that prepare the actors for the physical and mental challenges they may encounter on the film or television set.
This course continues with the work of Functional Training I, building on the strength, flexibility, and shaping of the actor's body from head to toe. Text work between partners is added to advanced physical exercises while applying listening and reacting skills to the rehearsal and performance of film and television work. Additionally, students explore how to vary levels of expressiveness with their voice and body to fit the camera and on-set microphone, and how to release tension in the voice and body to more fully experience and communicate emotion on the text. The class work consists of a fusion of physical training techniques; a combination between performance philosophies, an exploration of dance and movement concepts emphasizing the fundamentals and mechanics of the body as an expressive tool with special focus on contemporary avant-garde forms of expression. It combines dance, theater, improvisation and performance art to create a unique performing art form.
This course is the one of four courses in vocal training, a rigorous sequence of study that uniquely coordinates the many elements and practices of vocal training for film and television. The goal is to offer the actor an instrument fully capable of responding imaginatively, truthfully, and freely to the creative and interpretive needs of character and text. This course will focus on relaxation, posture and alignment, respiration, positioning, phonation and support.
This course is the second of four courses in vocal training for film and television. It is the continuation of a rigorous, sequence of study that uniquely coordinates the many elements and practices of vocal training. The goal is to offer the actor an instrument fully capable of responding imaginatively, truthfully, and freely to the creative and interpretive needs of character and text.
This course focuses on continued development of deep character work applying the "moment-to-moment" work to characters outside of the student's own experience. Additionally, students will continue to develop and strengthen their ability to analyze text for film and primetime television as well as how the physical environment can enable the actor's process. Connections will be made between Acting I, II, and III leading the students to understand and hone in on the depth of their craft. Advanced scenes will give students the confidence in their craft to help launch them into more complex studies in varied genres and styles of film and television drama. In this course, students are required to come to the set fully prepared. THERE IS NO OUTSIDE REHEARSAL. Work will be taped for in-class critique.
This course focuses on filming in both a single and multi-camera studio in different on-set work situations. Actors are taught how to deal with multiple cameras and maintain the quality of their work. Actors are assigned scenes at the start of class, learning them quickly and filming them, utilizing their instincts and experience, without over-analysis. The result is a positive impact on the actor's cold reading/audition skills and confidence in performance for the "no-acting" style demanded for film and television. Increasingly complex material is used to tell the story and create subtext emphasizing subtlety and nuance. Work will be taped for in-class critique.
This course teaches students to apply basic acting skills in simulated commercial audition exercises with a discussion of approach, technique, and preparation for the audition process for television commercials and industrials. Specific topics covered include: audition preparation, current commercial trends and styles, cue cards vs. hand-held scripts, single person copy, one-liners, doubles copy, improvisation, and personalized marketing strategy. Working in lecture/demonstration and labs, learning MOS, slice-of-life, and spokesperson formats to develop audition security and ease. The students will be offered a first-hand exposure to the professional process. Work will be taped for in-class critique.
In this course, the student explores the various types of audition situations and commercial genres encountered in a professional acting career. This is an "on your feet" course in which actors learn to listen actively, think creatively, trust their instincts, and live "in the moment." Students practice on and off camera, applying these skills to callback situations, interviews, and evolving media such as Skype. They also explore the use of teleprompters and ear prompters. Lectures address key aspects of a commercial career including: agent representation, union affiliation, the casting process, set etiquette, commercial financial formulas, as well as actor interaction and communication with the director and casting personnel. At the conclusion of the course, the student will have the information and tools to effectively begin the professional commercial audition process. Work will be taped for in-class critique.
This course reviews and strengthens the physical techniques learned in Physical Preparation I and II and continues with a deeper investigation of the physical connection, impulse, partnering and improvising. Students gain additional control and strength over their physical technique through advanced warm-ups and exercises, and apply these technical skills to the rehearsal and performance of film and television text: both monologue and scene work. Students also gain an increased awareness of the importance of physicalization and relaxation/concentration in the communication of story in an acting scenario and in the establishment of genre, as well as the connection between voice and an actor's "type." Additionally, students explore how to vary levels of expressiveness with their voice and body to fit the camera and microphone, and how to release tension in the voice and body to more fully experience and communicate emotion on the text.
This course reviews and strengthens the physical techniques learned in Physical Preparation I, II and Ill, and continues with a deeper investigation of the physical connection, impulse, partnering and improvising. Students gain additional control and strength over their physical technique through advanced warm-ups and exercises, and apply these technical skills to the rehearsal and performance of film and television text: both monologue and scene work. Students also gain an increased awareness of the importance of physicalization and relaxation/concentration in the communication of story in an acting scenario and in the establishment of genre, as well as the connection between voice and an actor's "type." Additionally, students explore how to vary levels of expressiveness with their voice and body to fit the camera and microphone, and how to release tension in the voice and body to more fully experience and communicate emotion on the text.
This course has as its primary objective the development of clear, open, efficiently produced voice and consistently good Neutral American articulation. The International Phonetic Alphabet is taught to develop aural perception, visual signaling, kinesthetic awareness and as an aid in future speech and dialect work. Relaxation, optimal breathing and the correct placement of every sound in spoken English are the basic principles underlying the entire course. Foundations are set for the awareness, experience and practice of a free, relaxed, supported, and authentic voice unencumbered by habitual patterns thereby allowing a connected expression of thought, breath, emotion, voice, and speech to unify and emerge. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is further developed as a device for training the ear, enabling the student to be specific in the use of sounds and providing him with a method for approaching future work. In addition to aural awareness, the IPA training provides strong visual cues to phonemes. Careful focus on the distinct movements of the articulators connects kinesthetic learning.
This course is directly related to Voice I and Speech I and will reinforce the objectives in that course and build into a greater understanding of Voice and Speech as it relates to Dialects. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is taught as a device for training the ear, enabling the student to be specific in the use of sounds and providing him with a method for approaching future work. In addition to aural awareness, the IPA training provides strong visual cues to phonemes. Careful focus on the distinct movements of the articulators connects kinesthetic learning. A minimum of three dialects will be introduced and the IPA will enable students to tackle vowel change and consonant sounds appropriate to: Southern, British and Irish dialects.
This course helps students who usually use language to tell stories to develop the ability to tell full human stories in a purely visual medium.
This course is an introduction to the Alexander technique, developed by F.M. Alexander in the late nineteenth century, to unlearn conditioned and habitual muscular patterns and free the natural voice.
This course is an exploration of advanced level work with the Alexander technique to unlearn conditioned and habitual muscular patterns and free the natural voice.
With an emphasis in both acting and movement, this course encourages students to embrace fun and joy as core components of the approach to any acting challenge. Through a progression of highly physical, individual and collaborative exercises, students explore and expand their physical capacity for pleasure in performance, for delight, beauty, and poetry.
In this course students will read, view, work with, and otherwise engage with a number of film/TV texts in order to establish an understanding of the specific analytical needs of actors in performing a script. Students will examine several approaches to text analysis, keeping a keen eye towards finding the approach that best serves in creating specific and meaningful choices for the character. Through readings, viewings, discussions, projects, and presentations, students will function as an artistic community, working together to question and analyze some of the meaningful works of the 111m/TV canon.
This course is a continuation and deepening of the student's understanding of the value of analyzing text in order to discover who the characters are, what happens to them, the world they "live" in, to become the teller of their story. More complex scripts and characters with a rich sub-world, hinted at but not explained, will be introduced, as well as "bad" scripts that are over-explained and obvious so the actor needs to create something behind the words, flesh them out and give them a texture of life. All the separate elements are gleaned, each of them understood and explored in how they work individually and in concert, then they are fit together in a balanced interpretation.
This course provides a solid foundation in the various styles of comedy, from "broad" to "realistic": scripts that are based in physical comedy, romantic comedy, or situation comedy. Learn the practical application of the principles of comic character development, physical and verbal timing and point of view. Develop a comprehensive comic vocabulary while applying basic acting skills to comic material. The actor will learn how to maintain a performance with the opportunity to work on two or more scenes from the same script. This will be used to prepare the student actor for the professional experience of shooting out of sequence. Also, learn key techniques for auditioning in the competitive comedy arena. Work will be taped for in-class critique.
This course continues to develop the actor to meet the needs of the film and television comedy genre including improv, sketch, and stand-up material. The overall goal is to provide the actor with the training and basic performance skills to develop original solo and ensemble material. These skills include writing techniques, a basic understanding of joke structure, timing and rhythm, point of view, and character/persona development. Students will hone acting, writing and editing skills and experience mastering a comedic moment. Work will be taped for in-class critique.
This course is an introduction to voice over acting technique for radio, television, multimedia, and other audio and video presentations. The course covers voice over script analysis, commercial speech and microphone technique, an overview of the industry, and extensive reading of copy aloud for recording and critique. Focus is on learning the tools to deal specifically with microphone work; prepare the moment before; apply subtext to meaning and inflection; identify key words; and work solo and with a partner. Also, to develop the actor's personal warm-up exercises and to master the elements of breaking down copy, slating, character, focus, breath awareness, and broadcast jargon. Copy will be provided ahead of time so the student can rehearse outside of class.
This course continues to help the student master the art of delivering copy with ease, believability, conviction, confidence, the required emotional and narrative qualities, and the ability to do it over and over with slight adjustments, analyze scripts, record various types of characters (straight, real, multi-voice). Also included are animated/cartoon character voices, a large variety of copy, and advanced terminology used by the director, producer, and casting personnel. An additional focus is on how to prepare for cold copy readings and auditions. Class will provide additional information on the industry, professional work, studio etiquette, and marketing techniques. At completion of the class, the student understands where he or she fits in the industry and knows what steps to take next. The student will learn how to select appropriate material for a professional demo as well as how to get it into the hands of those who do the hiring.
This course focuses on developing the performance skills needed for the film and television comedy genre. The overall goal is to provide the actor with the training and basic performance skills to develop an understanding of joke structure, timing and rhythm, point of view, and character/persona development in scripted material, specifically the TV sitcom. Multi-camera and single-camera comedies are a significant part of the industry. After the technical needs of the job for multi- and single-camera comedies are assimilated, it is easier for the actor to play within the bounds and have fun creating character. Work will be taped for in-class critique.
This course explores a range of movement dynamics and choreography in order to discover the physical core of a character. Drawing on a newfound relationship with the actor's own body, this course helps the student delve deeper into the connection between our physical bodies and our emotional memory; to trust and fill the moments of stillness . These are the moments of the·1 don't know' and demand of us to be present in the here and now.
Harnessing the power within is what this course is all about. It is a physical and spiritual journey through self-maintenance and preservation. Preparing to be out of school and into the "real world," students develop strategies to maintain their creative journey on their own. Finding the drive to "keep going" after a student has left school is an age-old dilemma. This course is designed to arm the students with exercises, meditations, and techniques to keep them connected to their creative instruments.
This course guides students through the process of creating an independent film. The student learns to develop a deeper understanding of the practical process of telling visual stories at the most basic level. The goal of this course is to help the student realize, through the power of making, the potential our own perspectives possess to tell truthful visual stories with limited resources.
This introductory course examines the conceptual, aesthetic, and technical process of designing sound for a theatrical presentation. Through projects, demonstrations, and lectures, the student explores the fundamentals of sound design and the basics of digital audio while learning to conceptualize, express, and present their ideas for a theatrical production's sound design.
This course introduces acting students to methods of filmmakers Mike Leigh and John Cassavetes, and acting coaches Keith Johnstone and Judith Weston in creating characters for film. Using caricature work and improvisation, students develop full-blown, in depth characters. Bringing skills of observation and intuitive analytical thinking, students will sharpen their ability to hold the mirror up to their lives and the world around them.
This course provides a survey of film history from its inception through the present. Form and meaning in the film medium, the techniques of film, and their expressive uses and effects will be the object of study. A wide range of films will be covered: mainstream and alternative, and films from countries all over the world. The transaction between films and their audiences-the ways in which a movie moves us, how it engages and orients its viewers, how it affects us and influences our work as actors-will be a central concern. Films will be considered in relation to the culture and society in which they were made.
This course is designed to expand your knowledge of American television from the 1940s to the present, by exploring such issues as programming, industrial structure, audiences, and the social and cultural significance of American television. While television programs will be surveyed in terms of chronology, this course endeavors to examine them as cultural artifacts and industrial products that re11ect and refract such issues as class, consumerism, gender, desire, race, and national identity. The course is designed to help you develop a critical framework for understanding television as a cultural, economic, and political institution, and it will encourage you to become critically informed television viewers, media scholars, and media makers.
This course provides students an opportunity to apply the same skill set of acting for the camera to the medium of theater. It is intended to enhance the actor's toolbox by helping adjust the work to the needs of theater. By exploring plays and playwrights currently establishing themselves in American and international theater, students explore the diversity that exists in the stories being written. A portion of the class will be spent making the appropriate adjustments to fill the story for the theater versus the camera. In the end, the goal is to recognize the similarities and differences in the demands for the stage vs. the screen.
This course offers students the opportunity to use their work on a production as a lab experience to apply the skills, techniques, and knowledge acquired in class.
This course involves practical experience in costumes in which students work on specific projects to develop and practice their skills in costume design, production, and maintenance. Each student is assigned a position in that project depending on his or her skill level and knowledge.
This course provides the students with practical experience in sets for film, television, and commercial productions. The student will be assigned a set crew for a project or projects during the semester in a department/faculty directed production. Positions will be assigned by the design faculty. Open to BFA Acting for Film, Television, Commercials, and Voice-Overs majors only.
This course offers the student the opportunity to explore how to approach and rise to the challenge of emotionally volatile on-camera screens for film and television.
This course offers students the opportunity to use their work on a production as a lab experience to apply the skills, techniques, and knowledge acquired in class.
This half-semester course introduces students to the fundamentals of motion picture cinematography with a focus on technical knowledge and practical execution. Special attention is given to specific camera, lighting, and sound equipment used for various PPA productions. The course provides the student comprehensive exploration of camera operation, composition and framing, lens choice, camera movement, proper exposure setting, lighting, use of both boom and wireless microphones, and collaboration on the film set. Course Campus:NY:Spring.
This course is an exploration of the Alexander Technique in how to unlearn conditioned and habitual muscular patterns and free the natural voice. This course will give students of various levels of artistic experience an opportunity to apply the practice created by F.M. Alexander to enhance their own creative endeavors. In all areas, on all levels, the Alexander Technique provides a deep insight into the artist's most prized possession, their instrument.
This course provides students the necessary skills to turn an idea into scripted content. By "learning through the doing" students use their acting training as a jumping-off point to create compelling scripts in drama, comedy, and short-form web-based content. This is a practice-based class, always approaching the work through an actor's lens. Through improvisation and personal narrative, students will these experiences down in script form. Exploring conflict and how to craft good storytelling will then be applied to the students' work.
This course prepares students for their senior film and television showcase, a valuable opportunity to show their acting skills to those working professionally in the entertainment industry (agents, casting directors, directors, etc.). Students continue to refine their audition skills and solidity their audition repertoire. •this is a showcase for the graduating senior who has successfully completed the BFA training program. The event is held in New York City for an invited audience of industry professionals, such as film and television directors, commercial agents, casting directors, studio casting executives, and personal managers.
This course introduces students to the necessary tools, both artistic and technical, to craft a professional audition. The course gives students the opportunity to rehearse and integrate these skills. The work begins simply with technical exercises and gradually moves forward layering in the ingredients for a successful audition.
This course prepares students for the business side of the entertainment industry and what it takes to be a working actor in NY. Students will learn how to prepare for auditions as well as general meetings with agents and casting directors and how to effectively market themselves.
This course is designed to take the students back to a time when all they did was play. Remembering that a youthful sense of play is at the core of all roles we play, Theater Games offers an exploration of introductory exercises and improv games to rekindle the child inside. Students will explore long form improv games to help craft both dramatic and comedic story structure as well as character development. Working in the here and now, focusing on simple and achievable tasks, and stimulating the imagination will be a daily practice. To always return to this sense of play can help ensure one's endurance and sustainability as an actor.
This comprehensive course is designed to demystify the logistics of working and living in Los Angeles, the audition and booking as well as the creation and implementation of business strategies for a career in film and television.
Using an advanced integrative process, students in this course learn how to develop and embody world accents. Students explore the ingredients needed for realistic and imaginative acting in an accent. This course incorporates detailed phonetic analysis, diagnosis, and practice of the International Phonetic Alphabet with additional nuances, to learn accents through a method that draws upon freeing the actor's imagination. Through these methods, students develop an organic process to mastering an accent. Using games and techniques developed by Louis Colaianni, students explore the idea that this process of learning speech is playful, emotional, and specific. Students acquire the tools to understand their own accent in contrast to IPA sounds and develop the tools to speak with accents other than their own.
This course offers students in their senior year an opportunity to revisit the basics, the A B C's of their training. Through returning to the fundamentals of acting and creating characters, students solidify their artistic foundation and delve deeper into their emotional bank. The class will explore emotionally volatile scenes to determine how even the most difficult material demands the most basic elements of craft from the actor.