Adult Class Descriptions
Guest Teacher Policy for Casting Directors / Associates / AssistantsPLEASE NOTE: All of our classes with guest casting directors/associates/assistants are a learning experience, not an audition or employment opportunity. When the workshop/class is over, the casting director/casting associate/assistant (whichever is applicable) teaching will not be taking home nor be given access to your headshot, resume or any other of your promotional materials.
Guest teachers scheduled for a particular week(s) in our multi-week classes are based on their availability which may change at the last minute due to their casting duties, are not guaranteed, and may be subbed out for another teacher. (Most of our teachers at the Green Room have extensive experience as current or former Casting professionals at major Chicago or LA casting offices. Those without casting experience have developed successful careers as professional actors.)
The Green Room's On-Camera Training Program
This is what the Green Room is known for. The On Camera Training Program (OCTP) takes the experienced actor and teaches them to use their skills in ways that are strategically effective in today's on camera market. Our program was created in discussion with Chicago talent agents to provide actors with the tools they need in both Commercials and TV/Film. Agents in this town need to stay diverse and work on both comercial and narrative projects to thrive, and they want actors that have skillsets to tackle both. Our program also allows flexibility for the student to choose a pathway of continued study of their interest in the upper levels, be it a commercial focus, TV & film focus, or both. Some students opt to only take one class, some take a few over the course of a year or two, but many choose to complete the entire program and continue on with the on-going advanced studies. Whatever your chosen path, you will find it to be the BEST on-camera training around. Our goal? To show you how to book the roles you’re not booking right now.
See The Program description below for more details, but here’s a map of the pathways available:
*if you have taken portiions of our On Camera Program prior to May 2017 click here to find what level to take next.
Due to the cumulative and unique nature of the program's approach, all actors begin in Level One regardless of whether they are SAG, AFTRA, have had previous On-Camera training, or hold an MFA in acting. Level 1 focuses on The Green Room On Camera Fundamentals, as well as providing a versy solid approach to commercial auditions, and small TV & film roles so ubiquitous in Chicago.
Level 2 continues the focus on larger TV & Film roles in the first half of the class, then dives deeper into the ever important skill of structrual improvisation on commercail material in the second half.
Level 3 rounds off our commercial approach by expanding further into commercail styles in the first half, and finishes with major TV and Film roles in the second half.
Students who have completed levels 1-3 are eligible to then take Level 4 "The Callbacks", or just move on into either Ongoing Advanced TV/Film or Ongoing Advanced Commercial.
Level 4 "The Callbacks" uses a mock callback format and brings in industry guests from various Chicago casting offices to expose the actor to different directing styles and issues they may confront in callbacks or producer’s sessions.
The two Ongoing Advanced Classes are opportunities for actors to continue to hone their skills and work new material in classes that are designed to be taken as many times as the actor desires.
TO THE EXPERIECNED ACTOR: One of the most common questions we get is "What level should I start in? I already have on-camera experience." These classes were designed based on our experiences directing professional actors in real life on-camera commercial, film, and TV auditions; actors that we had called in time and time again, who give decent, believable performances, and actually get some work. They have talent agents, get called in for auditions, and have seen the inside of a callback session. But there are basic principles that they simply fail to bring to their work on a regular basis that keeps them from working nearly as much as they could. We find that the work that most seasoned actors need to focus on to take them to the next level is a fresh examination of some seemingly basic principles. We take a new look at aspects of storytelling that are unfortunately taken for too much for granted, and use that rebuilt foundation to move into much more effective and much more masterful storytelling. Level 1 is in every way an in depth and challenging study.
TO THE LESS EXPERIENCED: Many of our students who have less experience actually thrive right alongside the actors who have been doing this for years. We do allow students into the program who have limited experience in their acting careers. We've seen many a success in the fresh, honest approach of those who come to the table without the baggage of an indelibly ingrained acting process. We do have a prerequisite option for level 1 that gives the more experienced actor the choice to work with peers at a less diverse experience level, but both prerequisite options tackle the same progression of material. Don’t let your inexperience frighten you away. If on-camera acting is your passion- building acting fundamentals in an on-camera setting may be a better choice than starting out in stage-focused acting classes. But if you feel like you might want basic acting classes first, feel free to drop us an email and we can chat with you about some solid options with us or at other studios in the city as well.
TO STUDENTS WHO HAVE TAKEN PRIOR TO 2017: We have restructured the progression of the levels to better reflect todays marketplace with more TV and film opportunites and have brought those subjects into the earlier levels, but the fundamentals we teach are still the same. Typically it's quite simple- whatever level you have taken in the past, sign up for the following level upon your return. Our teachers will work with you to make sure you are caught up on any material that our current structure would have covered. Special considerations for certain students are below:
Taken Lvl 1 at any time - Lvl 2
Taken Lvl 2 prior to Mar 2017 - Lvl 3 (and we will customize it for you if need be)
Taken Lvl 2 Commercial in 2017 - Lvl 3 (and we will customize it for you)
Taken Lvl 2 TV/Film in 2017 - Lvl3 (and we will customize it for you)
Taken Lvl 3 during 2016 - Lvl 4 "The Callbacks" - OR - Ongoing Adv. Com - OR - Ongoing Adv. TV/Film
Taken Lvl 3 prior to 2016 - The above can still apply- but would be good to contact us to discuss first.
Taken Lvl 4 prior to 2017 - Lvl 4 "The Callbacks" - OR - Ongoing Adv. Com - OR - Ongoing Adv. TV/Film
Taken Lvl 5 prior to 2017 - Ongoing Adv. Commercial - OR - Ongoing Adv. TV/Film
Why The Green Room OCTP?
We Have a Unique, Effective, Structured On Camera Approach
It is our goal to produce "On-Camera Actors" as opposed to "Actors With Some On-Camera Training." All to often actors will take an on-camera class or two at various institutes, and never walk away with a cohesive set of tools with which to approach their on-camera work. As such, their approach ends up having little difference from their general acting approach, and at best it only sets up the actor with a generalized knowledge that leaves them right on par with all of the actors in the city that have been doing this for a year or so (and just “learned on the job”!).
Our aim is to take your skill set deeper and farther in order to actually book on a regular basis. There are a lot of actors out there that are "good" - - They get called in to the casting offices because their acting is quite believeable. But they don’t book nearly as often as they could. They don’t know HOW to manipulate the audition, focus on the story structure in a deeper way, play the room in a multi-take callback session, or make "strategic-creative-chocies" instead of just "creative-choices". We don’t want to show you how to do a particular script well in class (that script has already been cast in the real world and being good at it is pointless – the actor just returns to their old ways on their next audition) … we want to use that script to present GLOBAL concepts that you can then apply to all of the work that will present itself to you in the REAL world. Our end goal is outstanding acting that is able to book repeatedly on a national basis and establish a real career. So we dig deeper and spend more time on each aspect of the on camera industry.
You get the recordings of your work for reveiw
This is an on camera focus. So you should have access to your on camera footage for review. We record you on camera multiple times in every class, and you get almost instant access to those videos online, at anytime. We don’t spend a ton of time reviewing everyone’s takes in class itself - unless a particular issue comes up that the teacher feels the whole class can learn a global lesson from. (Then we do play the video back and point out the specific moments.) You’ll get copious notes and can reference them to your videos. We’ve got a lot of material to cover in class- and don’t believe in taking up almost half of the class time playing back stuff that the whole class just watched! Instead, we spend the time getting you to embrace the concepts that need to be applied, and repeating and practicing them in performance in front of the camera ad nauseum until you can understand them in your body.
We work with your agents
We also have strong relationships with the city's talent agencies so that we can keep them informed of their talent's growth as well as provide ourselves with feedback on certain topics and classes agents would like their talent to have access to. The actor that completes the program will graduate equipped with skills in all areas of on-camera acting including technical, stylistic, and strategic skills in Commercials, Television, Film, and Industrial mediums.
The training program is founded on the experiences of Casting Directors and their inside view of the on-camera acting profession. The classes are taught by a small group of professionals in the field who have extensive experience behind the camera in both casting and production. We are a unique group of teachers who bring both professional acting experience AND years of experience as Casting Directors, Directors, Writers and Producers. We know what you need to change about your performance so you can book- because we’ve spent years looking for it in audition settings. We know the actor’s roadblocks that present along the way because we’ve also been in your shoes as actors. We acknowledge the depth and scope of the art of acting and how the lines may bleed between styles, from venue to venue, stage to film, drama to comedy. We strive to help bring depth, reality, and inspiration to all of the work our actors do. The training program focuses specifically on on-camera skills, but never fails to keep the fundamentals of honesty and creativity in the performances of our students. Our goal – frankly – is to help you MAKE MONEY by directing your creativity towards a strategy that tells a story very effectively …. and consistently books work.
FAQ: "Which Program should I take- the On Camera Training Program, or the Green Room Professional Program?
For info call 312-685-2774, or email us.
Work with award winning indie film director Alex Thompson as you produce and perform in a short film.
This class will work together on multiple short films as they learn all the steps of producing and performing in their own work, while collaborating with professional cinematographers and sound engineers to turn out quality work worthy of the festival circuit.
A combination of classroom work and production days, the curriculum will take you through:
Lighting and Grip
Production Department / Logistics
Multiple Rehearsals to address acting for the camera
The Production phase with multiple shooting days
This class requires a strong performance backgroung, a solid work ethic, and commitment to the group. Admission to the class will be based on submissions of headshot & resume. Reels may also be submitted. The class will meet weekly for the first 5 weeks, there will be multiple 12hr shoot days scheduled during the 6th week, and then a final class meeting a few weeks after the shooting process to cover post-production topics. Please refer to the schedule/registration page for specific info on current schedules and submission requirements.
is a director and producer whose films have premiered across the country at festivals such as the Newport Beach Film Festival, New York Greek Film Festival, Chicago Onscreen Festival, and the Rome International Film Festival.
Recently his short film The New Zealander premiered before Silence of the Lambs in Millennium Park, and Bedrooms, a collaboration with Quinn Tsan and choreographers Josh Anderson and Erin Kilmurray won the grand prize at the Flatlands Dance Film Festival, Jacksonville Dance Film Festival, In/Motion Dance Film Festival and screened at the Polish International Film Festival. Thompson has recently completed production on the features King Rat and Our Father, as well as his directorial debut, Brother Sister.
He was recently listed #25 on New City's Film 50 list of "Chicago's Screen Gems".
Learn the ins and outs of working in a recording booth and making money with your voice!
Intro To Voice Over
Green Room Professional Program (GRPP)with Steven Ivcich
The Green Room Professional Program is a three-level intensive actor-training program. While our popular On-Camera Training Program was designed to provide actors with technical and stylistic expertise in the on-camera audition, Green Room Professional targets the core skills that drive great performances both on camera and on stage. GRPP training is based on an approach that encourages each individual actor to define a unique working process that expands expressive range, improves creative agility and delivers consistently high levels of performance. In short, GRP explores every skill set essential to a professional acting career. Expert coaching from GRP director, Steven Ivcich, insures the continuity of the training and brings personalized attention to each actor's development.
Level 1 establishes core performance skills that effect every audition, every rehearsal, every performance. You learn to effectively engage your audience no matter what the performance venue. Expansion of physical, vocal and emotional range reveals unrealized personal potential. Understanding how the performance environment really works brings clarity to your process and improves your ability to take direction. Practical application to auditions, cold reading and scene development means that you're learning skills that can be immediately applied in the real world.
Level 2 expands Level 1 performance skills into characterization, script exploration, structuring a performance and working actor-to-actor. Through scene work, Level 2 GRP actors refine their personal process and learn to apply that process to role development whether that's prepping for an audition or sustaining weeks of performance in a feature film.
Level 3 is a 16-week "process" proving ground that provides in depth coaching from instructor, Steven Ivcich. Each individual actor's skills are tested through scene assignments that drive process exploration and expand casting range with challenging roles that take you into new creative territory. Each actor is assigned a monologue that is developed to an audition ready level. Level 3 can be taken multiple times affording an ongoing workspace for GRP actors.
An Experienced Teacher, Steven Ivcich is director and lead teacher of the Green Room Professional Program. He is a writer/director/actor/teacher with 35 years of professional stage and film experience. Working with actors has been central to the arc of his career. His understanding of the actor's creative needs led him to create a training process that affords actors a highly stimulating workspace.
Level 1 is an open admission class. No audition is required. Admission to Levels 2 and 3 is based on performance in the previous level.
To find out if GRP is right for you. Arrange to visit a GRPP class by contacting Steven Ivcich. Read Steven's ongoing commentary on a wide range of topics relating to the art and business of acting at http://theactorsprocess.blogspot.com/
FAQ- "Which Program should I take??"
Other Programs & Electives
Monologue Boot Campwith Steven Ivcich
Actors seldom make the most of monologue auditions. It's not for lack of trying. It's for lack of a process that helps them find, develop, and perform great monologues. Monologue Boot Camp is all about process.
- Identify monologues that are right for you.
- Understand how monologues function in the audition environment.
- Learn a developmental process that can be applied to any monologue.
- Get coaching that speaks directly to your individual needs.
- Adapt your monologues for on camera auditions
Teens Acting On-Camera
- Learn how to analyze a commercial script.
- Strengthen your business and communication skills as you discover what is expected of you.
- Learn how to use and develop your own personality.
- Work towards "keeping it real".
- Incorporate tips and tricks that many actors overlook.
One-On-One Coaching and Audition Taping
Check out our latest video in the series now!
We’ve just launched our new series of videos about The Acting Business in Chicago!
…where we will explore all sorts of business aspects of the acting world to help actors make more informed and strategic decisions – both in their business decisions AND in their audition performances.
We’ll release a new video each week. The first video is an introduction to the series- and the educational info starts next week – – so subscribe to our newsletter now!. Upcoming topics include:
– How the commercial business is structured
– How Casting Directors Prep the auditions for commercials
– How the actual commercial audition process works
– How the Prep for a TV & Film audition differs from commercial
– How the actual TV or Film audition process works
– Who’s the best talent agency in town
…. and loads more!!!
Here’s the video below, and check us out at www.thegreenroomstudio.tv and sign up for our newsletter now!
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As we move through our careers as artists and attain a certain level of success (whether that be consistently booking guest stars and recurring roles, becoming a member of a reputable theater company or some other definition of success), it can be tempting to think that you’ve “gotten there” and that there’s no longer a need for training.
I’ve also seen students come straight out of conservatory training programs thinking that they’re all set. They have all the training they need, and they don’t need to attend class or regularly “work out” their acting muscle.
As an actors’ business coach, and an actress myself, I know that ongoing training is vital to success as a performance artist. This is true because not only is continual growth and expansion important to any art form, but also because your competition is training. If you want to book work, you must train.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve interviewed some important industry voices on the topic of training. Here’s what they had to say…
Is ongoing training Important?
Michael McCracken, actor and founder of the Vagabond School of the Arts and former talent agent: “I do think that ongoing training is important. We as artists/humans are ever-changing; we are inherently students of life. Life never stops changing, so you can’t, either!
“As actors/artists, we must always be looking to better ourselves and hone our craft. Not only through working on a project, but through work that truly challenges us. To get better and deeper in his art, a painter gets up every day and paints; a writer gets up every day and writes; a musician… you get it.
“Why shouldn’t actors get up every day and do their art in a way that challenges and fulfills them?”
Sean Bradley, Actor, co-founder of The Green Room Studio and former casting associate: “I think if acting is approached as an art form then growth through training and exploration on a regular basis is the defining feature. A personal definition of ‘art’ for me has always been any endeavor one engages in that provides a lifetime of continual growth and exploration.
“The journey is training. It does not have to be constant involvement in an institution that takes one’s money; most of all deep learning is taught through one’s own self-discovery, practice and examination, but most of us lack the ability to sustain self-involvement without an organized class environment on at least a semi-regular basis.
“A great teacher can spark questions, tempt us with new ideas, and inspire one to go searching for new breakthroughs on how this art form of communication lives and breaths and works. An actor should feel out that balance between time spent in classes and breaks (where they step away and deeply explore on their own).”
Brian King, Actor and Teacher at The Green Room Studio: “I think continuing to learn as an actor is as important as it gets. But also continuing to learn as a person in general is important. Every bit of in-class knowledge and experience as well as out-of-class knowledge and experience is worth collecting to put in your acting tool box, whether you end up using it or not.
“The longer you’re in the business, the more you grow. The older you get, the parts you go out for start to change and you have to be able to evolve with that. Absorb it all. Your training should never stop.”
Jimmy Carrane, Performer, Teacher and Author: “I don’t know too many actors or improvisers who are content where they are in their career. If you are, you can stop reading right now. But, if you are an improviser and you want to do TV and film, and you have no experience doing it, by all means, take an on-camera class. If you are an actor who is asked to improvise in commercial auditions and you are not very comfortable doing it, take an improv class.
“People sometimes think, ‘I am an accomplished stage actor,’ or ‘I am on a house team at an improv theater, I don’t need any more training.’ In most cases, the credits don’t transfer. Just because you have mastered one medium does not mean that you will automatically master another one.
“My experience is that it will take less time to master a new skill because of your prior experience, but it will not happen over night, which is why ongoing training is so important.”
The verdict seems to be in: ongoing training, at least to these industry heavy-hitters, is very important. So, where do you train? What do you think about the idea of continuing to train and develop your skills as an artist? Leave a note in the comments area, below!
We’re not done with the conversation yet! Next week, we’ll dive a little deeper with Michael, Sean, Brian, and Jimmy and talk about how Chicago actors can keep up with actors in New York and Los Angeles.
Courtney Rioux, The Whole Artist coaches actors and other creative talent who feel stuck in their career and want more out of life. She’s here to help you shift your mindset from stuck and unhappy to empowered and joyful — all while making it feel fun and easy. It’s like therapy without the therapy.
Check out My Big Year 2016 to join a coaching group with other artists who are continuing to develop their skills!