A message from Melissa Thompson Esaia regarding COVID-19:
I hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe during this difficult time for our community and our world. The health and safety of my students is my top priority so I am monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely and will only proceed with the planned class start dates if it is absolutely safe and responsible to do so.
Please be assured, I will only begin classes if it is absolutely safe to do so. We will continue to conduct phone interviews and enroll for the Summer/Fall Session during this time, so please contact us if you would like schedule a time to discuss how I can help you take the next step in your acting career.
Auditioning and the
Business of Acting (online)
In this online class, you will learn and practice several of the key skills needed to book acting work and sustain an acting career. In this class you will:
1. Participate in a “type” exercise that will help you to determine your type and assist you in the critical task of branding yourself as a professional actor.
2. Learn the do’s and don’ts of auditioning.
3. Explore your mindset around this important and often misunderstood skill, as well as begin to address the unknown barriers you may be creating for yourself in auditions.
4. Learn and practice a proven cold reading technique (for monologues and two-person auditions) that will help you to stay grounded and present with your script while remaining connected to your emotional life and/or your scene partner.
5. Learn and practice techniques for bringing your monologues to life in order to stand out from your competition.
6. Learn and practice the art of the self-tape submission.
7. Learn the keys to meeting with an agent for possible representation and practice the agent interview.
This online class consists of 8 classes. Class meets twice per week. *Class content is customizable to meet the needs of enrolled students. Online one-on-one audition and business of acting coaching is also available. Please contact us for more details.
Begins Monday, July 6th and ends Thursday, July 30th (8 classes)
Meets online via Zoom twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30pm to 4:30pm
Summer/Fall Session 1 (in person class held at Oakland studio)
Empowerhouse Studio offers the complete professional Meisner Technique training program, which consists of 6 sessions. Each session deepens your skills and craft by building on the work done in the previous session and introducing new exercises. Sanford Meisner created his technique very intentionally, so that each exercise deepens and enhances the previous teachings, building the actor up step-by-step into a world-class, moment-to-moment, highly sensitive, highly skilled, confident, free and authentic instrument, consistently able to "behave truthfully under imaginary circumstances," as Sanford Meisner would say.
We are now interviewing for our 8 week Meisner Technique 1st Session class, where students will learn the foundational exercises of the Meisner Technique, including the Repetition Exercise, Emotional Preparation and the "reality of doing." Students will work on one scene during this 8 week class, applying all of the principles learned in this foundational session. *Students who would like to continue their training will advance to the 2nd Session upon instructor approval.
*Actors with previous training in the Meisner Technique are welcome to apply. Placement will be determined during the interview and customized classes may be available.
Begins Monday, August 3rd and ends Monday, September 28th (16 classes - there is no class on Labor Day, Monday, September 7th)
Meets twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays from 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Spring Session 2 (in person class held at Oakland studio)
(*Students must have completed Session 1 of Meisner Technique training)
In this ten week class, new exercises are introduced that build upon the work completed in Session 1. Students continue to deepen their abilities in the repetition exercise, emotional preparation and "the reality of doing," while also learning new exercises to build truthful relationships and approach scene work in a new way.
Start date TBD due to COVID-19 (20 classes)
Meets twice a week on Sundays from 6:00pm to 9:00pm and Wednesdays from 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Technique Class (in person class held at Oakland studio)
Most actors don’t realize that acting and auditioning are two completely different skill sets. Auditioning is its own craft with specific techniques actors can use to increase their skills, confidence and callback and booking rates.
This class is open to actors at any stage of their careers. All audition practice will be filmed on HD video cameras with immediate playback for feedback and individualized coaching. Class size is kept small to ensure individualized attention for each student.
In this 10-week audition intensive, you will:
Explore your mindset around auditioning and begin to address the unknown barriers you may be creating for yourself in your auditions
Learn the do’s and don’ts of auditioning
Learn and practice the art of the slate – an often underestimated and misunderstood, yet critical skill for an on camera audition
Learn and practice a cold reading technique taught by the top audition coaches in Hollywood
Learn and practice the art of two-person auditions and the keys to staying grounded and present with your script while keeping the truthful life and connection with your partner
Learn the keys to choosing and performing a monologue that showcases your strengths and range as an actor
Learn and practice techniques for bringing your monologues to life
Learn and practice the art of the self-tape submission
Explore your "type" and begin the critical process of determining your type and branding yourself as a professional actor
Start date TBD due to COVID-19
Meets once a week on Tuesdays from 7pm to 10pm (10 classes)
Payment Options: We accept cash, check, credit card, and Venmo.
We interview all potential students and request that interviewees examine their ability to make the commitment required before enrolling in any class. Also training to be an actor is an exciting, rewarding, enriching growth experience. It can also be challenging and humbling and like with any growth journey you may experience growing pains that feel a bit scary or uncomfortable. But so often the biggest breakthroughs and growth come when you feel that fear and discomfort and instead of turning away from it, you explore it and move through it. Sometimes the only thing that keeps someone from quitting in a time of fear and discomfort is the tuition they paid. For this reason, we do not offer refunds on class deposits or tuition.