Kids & Teens Classes

Guest Teacher Policy for Casting Directors / Associates / Assistants

Read Guest Teacher Policy
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.)

Standard Kids / Teens On Camera Program

In short- a bit about our program overall.... The primary focus of the our kids curriculum is on-camera commercial audition training, and was designed by Casting Directors who've worked extensively in the Chicago marketplace. Our teachers and guest teachers include current and former casting directors/associates/assistants from major casting offices including O'Connor Casting, PR Casting, and Karge + Ross Casting, as well as actors who have extensive professional experience and successful careers. The local casting directors stay active in our curriculum, and we keep in conversation with them as to how effective the training is and what modifications we can make to keep the Chicago talent pool moving forward to attract even more work to our town. Styles change rapidly in this business, and so must an effective on camera curriculum. Most sessions we are able to bring in a current local casting director to work with the kids for one or two of the class days.

Can I just call to figure out the right class for my child? (click for answer)
Yes. But we have a very small staff, and don't keep regular office hours. Email is by far the easiest contact method as we can get to it in between auditions or classes. We will work with each student & parent to direct them towards the class that is best for them, but PLEASE explore the website as much as possible! The info here can probably answer most of your questions! See the class descriptions below for our teaching approach and curriculums. This top section is all business stuff! 
Can my child be placed in an age group that is slightly older or younger than what they really are?
In short, yes. We trust your judgement.
Sometimes a child is rather mature for their age, rather shy, or simply because their sibling is in the other age group, the family can't carve out a full four hour chunk on every Saturday, and it would be way easier if the kids could just be in the same class!  Our policy is thus: we are open to that within reason, and the parents are typically far better judges on whether it is an appropriate move or not. Here are a few bits of info that can help you make your decisions:
  • Being off by one year is usually fine, two years only occassionally works,
    three or more- no way.
  • You are the parent. You know the maturity level of you child. Be honest about it.
  • Each class uses scripts that are typical for that age group. More often than not, it behooves a child that looks like a six year old to work on scripts that are written for a six year old, regardless of how mature they may be. A six year old reading at a 13yr old level still looks like a six year old, and will be cast accordingly. But this is by no means a deal breaker.
  • The basic concepts and issues taught in each age group are, for the most part, the same. There are some scripts that are different to fit the age groups, and a few of our approaches on certain topics may be modified and simplified for our youngest groups, but the overall approach is intact and similar in each of the age groups.
What kind of kids & teens take classes at The Green Room?
Our students range from child actors who are already out there in the business, to kids who have never taken an acting class in their lives; From extremely precocious to painfully shy. Some take our classes to help further their careers, some to help them out of their shells and gain some self-confidence in their everyday lives. We approach all of our students as if they are here to learn how to succeed in the on camera business in Chicago and beyond, and are here to guide our students and their parents through the maze of issues including talent agents, headshots, casting directors, bookings, etc. But if you want to join us for classes and have no interest in actually getting into the business of it all, that's fine too!

All classes are limited in size- See particular class description for details. Not all classes are offered each term- see schedule for classes available currently.

Teens On-Camera (13-17yrs)

A modified version of our On-Camera adult curriculum geared towards the on camera commercial and TV/film roles that teens will audition for. The Green Room's curriculum is known for being far more in depth that a "typical" kids acting class. We cover a wide range of topics in commercial and TV/film acting from the perspective of casting directors. Limit 12 students.
  • Work in a classroom setting with other teens on roles written for teens.
  • Learn how to analyze a variety of script structures.
  • Learn an effective audition strategy that may differ from other mediums.
  • Learn how to use and develop your own personality.
  • Work towards “keeping it real”.
  • Incorporate tips and tricks that many actors overlook.
  • Strengthen your business and communication skills as you discover
    what is expected of you.
  • Develop your ability to use Simplicity / Specificity as an incredible tool.

Kids On-Camera (Two different age groups:  8-12yrs and 5-7yrs)

Our curriculum combines modified theatre games and simulated on-camera auditions to free up the young actors creativity and comfortability while providing them with hands-on knowledge of the on-camera audition process. They will leave class knowing what is expected of them in an on-camera audition, and how to have fun while being successful. The Green Room's curriculum is known for being far more in depth that a "typical" kids acting class. Subject matter and games are specific to each age group. Each session, we typically are visited by a guest industry professional such as a Casting Director, Talent Agent, or Director (schedule permitting). There is also an informational meeting with the parents to help them know what is expected from them, and how they can be a part of their child's on-camera interests. Limit 12 students.

Teens On-Camera On-Going Workshop (13-17yrs)

This is a place for teens who have taken class with us before to continue their On-Camera work and dive into new, more challenging scripts. This is designed to be a class that can be taken more than once.

Kids On-Camera On-Going Workshop (8-12yrs or 5-7yrs)

This is a place for kids who have taken class with us before to continue their On-Camera work and dive into new, more challenging scripts. This is designed to be a class that can be taken more than once.

One-On-One Coaching and Audition Taping

Do you need an audition recorded or some one-on-one time to focus on a specific training issue? The Green Room is your professional resource for coaching and taping. We will record your coaching sessions so you can review them at home, or we can help you create a professional looking audition using our studio space and equipment. We help coach you to your best performance so you feel confident about your audition, and edit it into an easily downloaded format for submission. Email or call for pricing and availability.

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Anne Acker is a professional actor and mom living in Chicago. She teaches on-camera acting at The Green Room Studio, as well as runs the Kids and Teens Program.

As a child’s acting coach, I often hear the same scenario from the parents of my young students. Mom or Dad agrees to have their child audition for a professional role—they then spend time helping the child prepare, putting together the child’s resume and picture, coordinating their outfit, running lines, taking time out of the family schedule to get their child to the audition, and so on. Once there, the child enters the audition room without mom or dad. When they return, the parents eagerly ask how it went, and the child responds with a vague “fine”. The parents are left to ponder the mysterious inner workings of the audition room. While we can’t expect children to give a detailed analysis of each experience, we can keep these five things in mind to help young actors in their auditions.

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By Steven Ivcich

Over my long career I’ve gotten to know every aspect of auditioning. As a writer/director I know the frustrations of trying to find the right actor for the role. When I was a casting director I struggled to get the most from actors in auditions. As an actor I’d thoroughly prepare for every audition only to have something unexpected render my preparation useless.

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The actor’s dilemma of “how do I get cast” is the flip side of the director’s dilemma “how do I find actors who can engage an audience.” The answer to both questions is CORE. CORE reveals the absolutely essential skills needed to ace an audition and, at the same time, give a director confidence that you are the right person for the role. Read more