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:
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.
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.
Other Programs & Electives
TV Audition Prep Workshop
Voice OverIntro To Voice Over
Advanced Voice Over
Ear Prompter and Telepropter
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 "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. 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??"
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
By: Courtney Rioux
As a recurring character on a network television show and an acting coach, I get a lot of emails from people asking what they can expect from their first day on set for an episodic.
I remember my first day on a network TV set, as “EMT #1” on Chicago Fire. I was excited, but mostly nervous. It was a hot Saturday in July. Most people I knew were at Lollapalooza and I was on 290 in an ambulance.
At lunch, I was eating alone and my background EMT partner sat at another table alone. I called him over. He told me he wasn’t allowed to talk to “1st team”, which is why he didn’t automatically sit by me. It wasn’t my first time on set ever, but it felt like it and I could have used some company. I hope I can shed some light for you here on a day in the life on set, so you can be less nervous than I was on day one.
The night before, you’ll get a call time from the Key 2nd AD (assistant director). Don’t ask your agent about your call time. They won’t know. This is because your call time depends on when the crew is wrapping for the evening before your shoot. They need 9-12 hours of turnaround time from one day to another (depending on actors and crew turnaround times.)
When you get on set, find the 2nd AD and get their name. They’ll sign you in and get you to your trailer/honeywagon. There you’ll read, sign and take a picture of your contract. Make sure your rate, your name and everything is correct. If not, reach out to your agent or SAG-AFTRA.
If your name is incorrect, that’s how it will show up in the credits of the show. If your rate is scale, check and see that there’s a + 10% for your agent. If not, your agent can’t take money out of your scale pay. Look out for them, too. If it’s above scale, they’ll take the 10% out of your pay, or have your agent negotiate 10% on top of your above scale pay.
Always take a picture of your contract and keep it for future reference! Don’t feel rushed. You’ll have time.
Get dressed in your trailer. They’ll call you to hair and makeup so you’ll be ready to head to set for rehearsals. First you might have a private rehearsal for the actors, director, DP (director of photography), script supervisor, and writer. There will definitely be a marking rehearsal for the crew. After that you’ll get wired (your mic) and sit around to wait until the crew sets up the shot.
You’ll be on 1st team, and they’ll use a 2nd team (stand-ins) to get lighting and shots set up.
On set, the director and the 1st AD will be running the show and giving you direction. The script supervisor will let you know if you’re getting your lines wrong. Make sure you’re matching up where you say your lines on each shot. This will help in the editing room.
There will be a lot of “hurry up and wait”. You’ll film your scene from multiple angles and shots with lots of set up in between for the crew. We get paid to sit around and wait!
SAG-AFTRA actor, Ilyssa Fradin, is often asked how long an actor will be on set for the day. She says to expect 8-12 hours. Just come prepared. Bring your chargers for your electronics, some work and reading materials. Fradin recommends bringing your own food in case you can’t get to Craft Services or have specific nutritional needs or food allergies.
My advice to you is to know your lines and your mark, and LISTEN!
Have a good attitude. Have fun and be yourself, but read the room. Know when to talk and when to stay quiet. Take direction and listen to everything being said to you and around you. When the director yells cut, go closer (but not too close!) to the conversations if you can.
Nicole McGovern, 2nd 2nd AD (no, that’s not a typo) on Chicago Med says, “Observe what’s happening. Be self-aware, but not in the way.” McGovern also says to be prepared for anything. Scenes get changed and moved to different days. “If you’re working multiple days, we may add another scene if we are ahead of schedule. A set may not be ready or an emergency may come up.”
When someone tells you their name, listen, say it out loud back to them, and write it down so you remember it next time you see them. Get a call sheet and study the names of the crew. They are making you look and sound good. They are awesome. Be friends with them. Thank them for their hard work!
Be aware of where the cameras are at all times, but of course don’t look into them.
Be prepared, but flexible.
Be willing to fail, and be willing to succeed.
Know that one mistake will not get you fired. Let it go, take a deep breath, and fix it in the next take. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I’d never be called in again, and four years later, I’m still there!
Don’t stop acting until someone yells cut, even if you think you’ve messed up and you want to start over. Keep going unless you’re told differently. They might be getting someone else’s coverage, and don’t need your lines to be right in that take. Keep going!
Never leave set without telling anyone. Find a PA (production assistant) or a 2nd AD and let them know where you’re going (ie: your trailer, the bathroom, to makeup etc). If you’re going to the bathroom, just ask, “Can I 10-1?” They’ll know what you mean.
If you’re like me, you’re probably worried you don’t know what you’re doing. No one really does his or her first day on set. Just pay attention to the veterans and learn on the job.
Sean Bradley, SAG-AFTRA actor and owner of The Green Room Studio says, “You don’t need to know everything. Feel free to ask questions.”
McGovern agrees, “You can ask the AD’s or PA’s questions. You might think it’s a stupid question, but it’s probably not.” (Fear not, there are a ton of PAs whose job it is to take care of you like you are a baby.)
Bradley adds, “Stay away from the dessert table. It’s a dangerous drug that will make you very sleepy for the rest of the day.”
Speaking of energy for the day, I always meditate beforehand. It helps me stay calm when action is yelled. I’m more focused and relaxed, and I find it helps me be best self in a stressful time. Need a guided meditation? Reach out to me and I’ll send one!
Finally, one of the stars on Med gave some great advice to a day player the other day. She was telling him there was food available for the cast and crew. She told him to go get a container and put it in his trailer before the food was gone. Then she yelled as he was leaving, “Act like you belong!” The first few times you are on set, you might not feel like you belong. You do. Act like it. Don’t be a jerk, but act confidently. You’re worthy of being there. Like the old saying goes, “Fake it ‘til you make it”!
And at the end of the day, find your 2nd AD who signed you in and sign out properly!
You got this!!
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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