By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Learn from the very best at the illustrious Trisha Brown Company (582-0040) with the most intelligent and articulate dancers in the business. Most teachers are alumni (Wil Swanson, Eva Karczag, and Shelly Senter), or thinkers and movers like Wendy Perron and Carolyn Lucas. Ten-dollar weekday morning classes in postmodern and Klein technique start September 13. Workshops in Advanced Repertory, contact improvisation, and composition are usually on weekday evenings and weekends; they range from $60 to $100 per workshop.
Sylvia Leigh and her colleagues at the Showcase Theatre Dramatic School (265-0538) have been perfecting her teaching techniques for over 20 years. She bases her curriculum on Stanislavsky, but don't confuse her method with the "Method." She has no patience for sense-memory exercises or endless improvisations. She will, however, school you in all aspects of acting and speech for film, television, and the stage. Group classes are limited to 12 students and cost $250 for 10 weeks. Private coaching is also available. An interview is required for all classes, though an audition is not.
The School for Film and Television (645-0030) may function primarily as a conservatory, but it also delivers an extensive program for part-time students of all levels. The school offers all standard training, but it focuses on giving stage-trained actors the on-camera skills they need to succeed in television and film. Many of the school's courses are transferable as college credit. Registration for the fall semester begins August 1. Classes run eight to 12 weeks and cost between $295 and $595.
Whether you're an established professional actor or a would-be star entirely new to the business, the odds are good that the Penny Templeton Studio (643-2614) has a class that will benefit you. The studio offers beginning on-camera classes (six weeks at $350), advanced on-camera classes (eight weeks at $450), ongoing technique courses, master classes, and individual coaching. Registration is ongoing. Beginner classes require no audition, while acceptance to intermediate and advanced classes are filled by invitation.
The Roger Hendricks Simon Studio (704-0488), celebrating its 20th year, offers instruction in scene study, monologue, audition techniques, speech, movement, stage combat, and more, both on-camera and for the stage. Additionally, it has a production company that employs students in undertakings from scene nights to Off-Broadway plays. One of the plays to emerge from the studio's playwriting lab won the Samuel French one-act festival this year. Might yours be next? Classes last from five to 10 weeks, and costs range from $275 to $695. Interview and/or audition required for actors, directors, and playwrights of all levels.
Do you see yourself as the creative or executive type? At the Fashion Institute of Technology (217-7999), you can be both. The Fashion Design program will teach you how to conceive, develop, and create your own designs. The Fashion Merchandising Management program will familiarize you with areas such as advertising and marketing, publicity and promotions, and business and economics.
From fashion's roots in history to the latest trends, the essential tools for developing a garment from an idea to reality are available at Parsons School of Design (229-8900). Courses include design sketching, sewing, draping, pattern making, and intimate apparel.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Film Video Arts (673-9361) has long been a training ground for aspiring filmmakers. The fall semester features courses in directing, AVID editing, and even Web design. The cost per course ranges from $50 to $700. Those intrigued should attend the open house on September 8.
Can't wait to become a director? Motion Picture Pro (691-7791) offers would-be Cassavetes the opportunity to shoot and edit a short film with a professional cast and crew. This intensive three-week program costs $4995 and runs monthly. But don't delay in signing up; space is limited to 10 people.
Condense four years of film school to four, eight, or 12 weeks at the New York Film Academy (674-4300). The total-immersion curriculum trains students in all areas of film production, including writing, cinematography, and editing. Tuition runs from $3500 to $4000, but expect to spend an additional $1000 on processing and equipment.
Which movie would you rather make: Tarzan or Eyes Wide Shut? Study both animation and live-action production in small, professionally taught classes at the School of Visual Arts (592-2050). The price tag of a one- semester course is between $500 and $600. Classes begin the week of September 13.
Let's say you're like me and the last investment you made was on a long shot in the fifth race. Time to enroll in NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies (790-1319). Take "Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning" or "Fundamentals of Individual Investing." Each class costs $395. Now, let's see who's running in the sixth race.
You've spent the summer cutting corners by sharing a studio apartment with a dude from Utah, his girlfriend, and his boyfriend. Use the money you've saved and take "How To Become a Proactive Investor" at the Seminar Center (655-0077). If this fails, they also offer "How To Get Out of Debt Fast." Either one costs $38.
Other than the Voice, what's free in New York? For over 35 years Open Housing Center Inc. (231-7080) has been a free resource for first-time minority home buyers and offers a HUD- and FHA-approved education and learning program. Four-session workshops are available for a $25 registration fee, but two people can get a break for $30.