Training the next Hollywood star

The theater arts department at Santa Monica College seeks to help hopeful thespians achieve their dreams.

The professors assist students in becoming skilled actors, as well as helping them with other careers in the field of theater arts.

"The way the department helps young actors achieve their dreams is by teaching them the tools they need to do the work and get jobs," says Adrianne Harrop, an SMC professor in the theater arts department.

The department helps students like Sarah Perez obtain those tools to start off her acting career.

"When I took Acting 41, I was really helped by my professor to perfect my art and come up with a very good monologue for any future casting calls," says Perez, an SMC student who is hoping to have her big acting break soon.

Harrop says the department helps train voice and body movements in addition to the inner core of the actor's imagination.

The department has opportunities not only for actors, but also for anyone who may want to work behind the scenes, says Harrop.

According to the department's website, theater students can pursue careers as playwrights, producers, casting directors, talent agents, reviewers, and other professions in the field in addition to acting.

"I don't want to be an actor, so I thought taking a theater arts class would not interest me, but at least would be an easy A," said Alex Bartnicki, a former SMC theater arts student. "However, it turns out that I really might want to do some work in stage production, first at SMC, and then professionally."

There may be something for almost everyone to gain in the theater department, even those who do not plan to pursue a career in the field.

"The department also teaches them the historical perspective," says Harrop.

There are some ways outside of class that the program helps students develop their skills and gain experience through productions that the SMC does every main semester, Harrop said.

"I did try out but didn't make last years production," says Viviana Melchert. "I don't believe I was ready because I didn't even have a monologue prepared. Next semester, I am planning on taking Acting 1 so I plan to be ready for the next auditions for the next production."

Harrop says the department is here for students to prepare and help them perfect their skills and reach their dreams in acting, or anything else in the field.