Three things are necessary for a theater career, according to Randy Messersmith, director of the theater arts program at Scottsdale Community College.
Talent. Training. Discipline.
The stuff that talent is made of remains a mystery to most, but discipline can be developed in all sorts of ways. Ballet. Daily blogging. Regular music practice. Consistent fitness routines.
Good training takes a bit of sleuthing to find that best fit between what you want or need to learn and the folks who are ready and able to provide it.
One Valley option for serious acting students at all levels is the Scottsdale Conservatory Theatre at Scottsdale Community College, for which Messersmith serves as producing artistic director.
James Vallejo, who has taken several SCC theater classes, describes Messersmith and other SCC theater faculty as “amazing.” He’s working to become the first member of his family to graduate from college.
“Their program enriches you in so many ways and on so many levels,” reflects Vallejo. “Especially,” he adds, “for the price you pay for it.”
Scottsdale Conservatory Theatre is a five-week program that works on Shakespeare, classics and new plays with students from diverse theater backgrounds.
Students enjoy classes, rehearsals, labs and live performance — and college credit is available. Vallejo says it’s “like getting years and years of training.”
Scottsdale Conservatory Theatre runs Mondays through Thursdays May 31-June 30 this year, which is a lovely fit for folks who want to leave time for other summertime adventures — acting and otherwise.
I first experienced Messersmith’s work after my daughter Lizabeth auditioned and interviewed for the 2010 Scottsdale Theatre Conservatory program.
She was one of the youngest students ever accepted (between her junior and senior years in high school), but always felt both respected and challenged.
Scottsdale Conservatory Theatre, which describes its program as “aggressive and nurturing,” recently issued the call for applicants.
Three things are necessary to apply. An application, an audition and an interview.
Auditions (by appointment only) take place Sat, April 2, from noon to 4pm.
Note: The Scottsdale Community College theatre arts department presents two works by playwright Eugene Ionesco — “The Bald Soprano” and “The Chairs” — March 31-April 9 at SCC.
Coming up: Zen as art, Shakespeare: Made in Japan?