An actor works on on-camera technique at NYCDA

The New York Conservatory Film & Television Performance AOS degree program teaches the on-camera acting and professional skills required to work successfully at every form of screen acting, including film, TV, commercials, voice-overs and webisodes.

 

Associate Degree in Occupational Studies, Film and Television Performance

 


Film & TV Program: Platform Year

Right out of the gate, the platform year curriculum helps you to develop your craft, fully embrace movement and improvisation, and discover yourself as an artist. The platform year also introduces you to the technical aspects of working in front of a camera and the professional protocols of being on a set.

THE122 – Voice & Speech I

Explore basic vocal technique for the actor, including breath work, relaxation techniques, resonance, pitch, tempo and volume, with the goal of increasing the ability to fully express the truth of the text and the emotional integrity of the character and situation, while striving for vocal variety and expressiveness.

3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

THE123 – Improvisation

Perform with spontaneity and freedom through improvisational technique using body, gestures, and emotions. Use improvisation as an art form, as well as for auditioning and executing other performance disciplines. Make use of the tools of listening; being in the moment; committing to choices in working with fellow actors; use of status; and making active choices with emotional and physical connections.

2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

THE125 – Film Genres & History

A detailed survey of film acting styles across different film genres. Students will analyze the interplay between character qualities, script content, and the choices that actors make as they synthesize the two.

3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

THE126 – Introduction to the Camera for Actors I

An exploration of the different techniques required for working on a single camera versus a multi-camera set—everything from hitting marks to adjusting to different camera angles to professionalism and set protocol.

2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

THE 127 – Meisner Technique I

A deep dive into Sanford Meisner’s techniques for achieving authentic reactions and behaviors. The course covers listening skills, repetition exercises, relationship-focused scene work, emotional preparation, imaginary circumstances, and point of view.

4.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

THE129 – Movement for Actors I

This course is centered around exercises for physical awareness that complement the work of the voice and acting classes. Students will practice scene work that explores the relationship between behavior and relationships while learning popular dance styles.

3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

THE132 – Voice & Speech II

A continuation of the vocal flexibility work from Voice and Speech I, beginning with microphone technique and cold reading skills. Students use Shakespearean texts to develop heightened language skills, full breath support, and dynamic energy.

3.0 Credit / Prerequisites: THE122

THE137 – Meisner Technique II

Apply, through heightened awareness, the principles of emotional preparation to specific text work. Develop the skills of exploring the text; preparation techniques; personal invention; focus on believable behavior in order to achieve spontaneity; and honesty in sharing. Learn how to maintain the integrity of the text; interpret the material and act moments as they are written; memorize and interpret speeches; and perform a fully interpreted score.

4.0 Credit / Prerequisites: THE127

THE139 – Movement for Actors II

Building on Movement for Actors I, this course explores the body’s relationship to space and how it responds to physical, vocal, and emotional stimuli with particular emphasis on relaxation, physical stillness, energy, focus, dance, and body-mind integration.

3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE129

THE141 – Actors Lab I

Through exercises based on the work of such people as Stanislavski and Hagen, explore the facets of the craft that allow an actor to immerse himself and take ownership of the given circumstances of the script in a truthful way. Learn tools of the imagination such as endowment, emotional memory, sense memory, object work and creating a moment before. Put these skills to practical use working on simple A/B scenes.

3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

THE142 – Actors Lab II

Building on Actor’s Lab I, this course examines how to use acting techniques, as well as the circumstances created by the playwright to bring the characters to life in a truthful manner. Coursework includes preceding circumstances, obstacles, intentions and actions.

3.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE141

IL100 – Information Literacy

In a seminar with the librarian, learn to locate and identify high quality research materials. Work with the online tutorials on the NYCDA and New York Public Libraries. The class covers copyright, evaluating print and online sources and advanced internet searching, as well as in-depth instructions on Boolean searching techniques and controlled vocabularies used to search NYCDA and NYPL catalogs.

0 Credits / Prerequisites: None

 


Film & TV Program: Film & Television Year

Advancement into the Film and Television Year is by invitation only, and is based on teacher evaluations, academic standing, and final performances reviewed by the Academic Leadership Team.

The Film and TV Year offers you the opportunity to integrate technique with understanding, in order to deliver honest performances that still meet the unique requirements of the camera. Scene work and a deeper exploration of acting process are the focus throughout this rigorous year.

All actors in their final semester will audition with a pre-prepared monologue in front of a panel of working casting directors, managers and agents in “Jury.” Each Juror will give specific written feedback to each student, and some students will be invited back to “Super Jury,” to perform for an additional panel of casting directors, managers and agents.

You will take a business workshop and complete an industry internship. The Film and Television Year work culminates with the “Final Reel” shoot, where you will rehearse a monologue selected to show you to best advantage, and film it with a professional film crew. The reel will become the basis for your professional reel.

THE241 – Professional Internship

The internship program gives students the chance to network with industry leaders while gaining real-world experience as a complement to their studio training. Possible placements include opportunities with casting directors, agents, producers, or theater companies.

1.0-3.0 Credits

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

THE245 – Actors Lab III

Actors Lab III challenges the student to use his or her analytical skills to build characters in organic and truthful ways. This is a natural progression from previous Actors Lab work, with the addition of more specific skills required for filmmaking.

2.0 Credits

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent, THE141 and THE142.

THE253 – Actors Comedy Workshop

Get a solid foundation in the various styles of comedy, from “Broad” to “Realistic.” Learn the practical application of the principles of character development, physical and verbal timing and point of view. Develop a comprehensive vocabulary for use in both situation comedy and sketch comedy. Apply basic acting skills to comic material. Learn key techniques for auditioning in the competitive comedy arena. Gain insight into the creation of comic material by executing a team exercise in creating an idea, pitch and script for an original situation comedy.

3.0 Credits

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent

THE255 – Process for the Camera

A comprehensive survey of the essential skills for acting on camera; hitting marks, making entrances and exits, dealing with props, adjusting between shots, and shooting out of sequence with both physical and emotional continuity.

2.0 Credits

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent, THE126.

THE259 – Scene Study for Film & Television I

A study of the craft required, both artistically and technically, for acting on camera. Students will analyze scenes, practice continuity, learn how to deal with on-set challenges, and learn how to arrive on set fully prepared without any rehearsal.

5.0 Credits

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

THE264 – Research, Rehearsal and Performance

An examination of the film acting experience from start to finish, including auditioning, casting, costume calls, and rehearsals. The course culminates with students shooting their work on set or location with a professional film crew.

3.0 Credits / Prerequisites and requirements: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent; included in course description. A minimum 3.0 GPA for the fall term of the Film and Television Year; no final grades of F or Incomplete, including spring term of the Film and Television Year.

THE266 – Acting As a Personal Business

A crucial examination of the business side of acting. Topics include self-promotion, personal branding, résumés, headshots, mailings, industry structure, approaching agents and casting directors, and managing finances.

1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

THE270 – Audition Technique I

An exploration of the different types of auditions actors encounter over the course of their careers. Students will practice these forms, on- and off-camera, using scenes from plays, screenplays, and television scripts.

2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

THE272 – Scene Study for Film & Television II

A detailed look at unique challenges faced by screen actors, including the speed of shooting a one-hour episodic; directors who block immediately; directors who improvise; conflicts between directors and actors’ instincts; and prolonged shoot days.

5.0 Credits / Prerequisites: THE259

THE273 – Physical and Vocal Dynamics

Building on Voice and Speech I and II, this course is a deeper investigation of the vocal-physical connection. Students will refine their vocal and physical techniques through advanced exercises and apply these skills on camera.

2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

THE274 – Audition Technique II

A continued exploration of the different types of auditions actors face. Students will practice on- and off-camera, using scenes from plays, screenplays, commercial copy and television scripts. Discussion will also cover callbacks, interviews, and evolving media such as Skype and video conferencing.

2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent, THE270.

THE277 – Acting in Commercials and Voice-overs

In this vital course, students will learn how to develop their acting skills specifically for radio and television commercials, as well as animation, narration, and industrials. Students will leave understanding the clear distinction between “commercial acting” and “acting in commercials.”

2.0 Credits / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

THE278 – Web Video for Actors

Creating and distributing original web video is a great way for actors to grow their audiences. This course employs practical exercises, including the creation of original video content. Special guest speakers will explain how they have used the medium to accelerate their careers.

3.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent.

THE400 – Sketch Comedy for Performance (Elective)

Building on the skills introduced in Actors Comedy Workshop, this course includes the creation and rehearsal of original sketch material and a public performance at an outside cabaret.

1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

THE401 – Performance Improv (Elective)

In this course, students refine their ability to stay in the moment and make spontaneous creative choices. The course will culminate in a public performance.

Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

THE402- Stand-Up Comedy for Actors (Elective)

An overview of comedic structure and timing, persona development, and other crucial elements of stand-up. Each student will write and perform a five-minute set, culminating in a live performance at a night club.

1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

THE408 – Combat for the Camera (Elective)

A foundational course in the basics of on-camera fighting, including hand-to-hand, firearms, and found weapons, as well as the basic terminology and safety rules of the set. Students will also learn the differences in combat for stage versus combat for screen.

1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

THE412 – Dialects (Elective)

This course covers the basics of the International Phonetic Alphabet and how to eliminate accents and regionalisms in order to deliver Standard American Speech. The instructor chooses additional accents to explore based on the class population.

1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.

THE414 – Hosting (Elective)

An introduction to the exciting career opportunity of television hosting. Students acquire the skills necessary for a successful audition so they can confidently compete in this growing niche.

1.0 Credit / Prerequisites: Successful completion of Platform Year or equivalent. Be in Good Academic Standing.