Actors Training Center, Embarc partner for outreach program
Actors Training Center, now celebrating its 15th anniversary, has been serving the greater Chicagoland area since 2007 and is the proud recipient of the Illinois Theatre Association's 2019 Award of Honor for excellence in theater education.
ATC prepares actors to work in film, television and on stage, including award-winning actress Rachel Brosnahan of Amazon Prime's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
This November, ATC launched a new outreach program with Embarc that has students from outside the North Shore area learning about ATC and its approach not only for on-screen opportunities, but also to apply what they learned to their lives now and in the future.
Embarc is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve schools in economically disadvantaged communities of Chicago. Their model is built directly from the research of leading minds in education and psychology.
ATC's first session, what Embarc calls a "Journey," was held with a group of 14 Chicago Academy High School students. There were two goals in this daylong meeting: to help students gain self confidence via acting in front of the camera and to give them an inside view into what it takes to become an on-camera actor.
During the session, students learned the ins and outs of auditioning for TV commercials. Everyone had a chance to practice different scenarios that tested various emotions and were taught skills that would be beneficial to this experience.
During a lunch meeting, provided by Rosati's Pizza in Wilmette, the students heard two personal stories from ATC instructors and professional actors Jamie Black and Ulises Acosta.
After lunch, the group was split into smaller sections where students practiced commercial auditions. Students took the opportunity to try something outside their comfort zone and to feel confident in what they were doing.
By the end of that day's journey, a number of Embarc students expressed interest in returning to ATC for more on-camera training. In 2022, the second workshop begins as early as Jan. 8 and classes begin Jan. 29.
Also in the new year, ATC launches the Embarc Scholarship Fund for students who were introduced to ATC through the "Embarc & ATC Journey" and wish to continue their training with ATC's programming.
"Our philosophy at ATC is that each actor is unique and one of a kind. Celebrating who you are is the first step to finding authenticity in your work as an actor and being able to apply that in everyday life," said ATC founder/executive director Carole Dibo.
"All of us at ATC are honored to have the opportunity to teach young people outside our immediate area the empowering lesson of 'you are enough.' Everyone deserves the chance to embody that. We couldn't be more excited to have been given the chance to teach it, and the response from our inaugural group of students was incredible. They enjoyed the program and showed much interest in continuing this journey."
"I was blown away by the first experience Embarc students had at ATC," Embarc program manager Alegra Gutierrez said. "We had perhaps one of the most shy and quiet groups I've ever seen, and by the end of the day they were on-camera acting their hearts out, wanting to know more.
"I believe students have to feel safe and accepted as who they are in order to come out of their comfort zone, and that is what the ATC team provided."
ATC's mission is to ignite passion for the performing arts at all ages and to give students a platform to use their art to bring meaningful change in their communities and the world around them.
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