by Adam Kaplan
When I joined the company of Newsies in 2013, I heard that a lot of the cast would teach dance workshops to students that were coming to see the show. One day, my castmate Tommy Bracco asked me to fill in for one of those workshops, and I’m so glad I did. In high school I loved when actors would come in from New York City and do masterclasses with us. I looked up to them. I wanted to be them. I wrote down every word they said. So the idea that I could offer the same experience to these aspiring artists was so thrilling for me. Now, five years, and hundreds of workshops, private coachings, and lessons later, I’m so excited that Tommy and I have teamed up to create LION ARTS.
Tommy approached me about this idea a few months ago because we share a passion for teaching. We really are just as passionate about working with young artists as we are performing. We want LION ARTS to be a one stop shop for young actors who want to pursue a career in theatre. We offer audition and acting intensives, private lessons, college audition prep courses, and more. The life of an actor is stressful (believe me, I know) and we want to make this process as stress-free for them and their parents.
Why the name LION ARTS, you ask? Well, Tommy and I are both born in August (a day apart)! We’re Leos. Hence, LION ARTS! But on a deeper level, lions are strong, proud and confident. Exactly how we want our students to feel when they walk into an audition room, on stage, and in everyday life.
College audition prep, in particular, is something I’m extremely passionate about. When I was a student at Elon (go, Phoenix!), I was the assistant to the head of the BFA Music Theatre program. I sat in on, and helped coordinate, thousands of auditions for prospective students. I saw what the program heads were drawn to, what worked, and more importantly what didn’t. I bring that knowledge to my students in order to make them feel as comfortable and prepared as possible in this uneasy time.
Tommy and I are offering our inaugural audition intensive June 21-24 in New York City. We hope you join us and together, we will work towards building an artistic foundation for the future stars of Broadway. Come join the pride!