Topanga director, Lori Precious of Creative Sparx, who specializes in working with children, is offering two six-week acting workshops for ages 6-13 and ages 13-18. Each workshop culminates in a talent showcase for the youth divisions of top talent agencies and agents.
Kids learn how to present themselves and perform in public in a supportive, enthusiastic environment, said Precious. Classes include learning both commercial and TV/film acting, audition skills, how to manage stage fright and working with different kinds of directors.
Precious, who has been directing for 21 years, hopes that Oscar-nominated actors Sally Kirkland and Kadeem Hardison will be guest teachers, schedules permitting.
The last Creative Sparx showcase in May had commercial and theatrical agents attending from Abrams Artists Agency, Mavrick Artists, Amsel Eisenstadt Frasier, Coast to Coast and LB Talent. From that workshop, Sami and Talei Ferra were signed by Mavrick Artists and have completed jobs for Forever 21 and Mattel.
For the 6-13 age group, the workshop will be held every Tuesday and Thursday, beginning October 1.
The 13-18 age group workshops will be held every Sunday, beginning Sept. 15. For those missing the first class, Precious will hold a private session.
Both talent showcases will be held on October 19. Cost for the workshops is $355.
Precious has directed more than 200 commercials, promos, music videos, documentaries and corporate videos. Some of her clients include Disney, Nickelodeon, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, Fx, Hasbro, Mattel, Burger King, CNN, Sony and Warner Bros Records.
She recently directed and co-wrote a short film, Curse of the Sunset Starlet, starring Oscar-nominated Sally Kirkland, which premiered at the prestigious Newport Beach Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Short, Best Short Screenplay and Best Producer at the Madrid International Film Festival.
Precious and her husband, novelist and film critic Steve Erickson, moved to Topanga in 1996 and have two children, Silanchi, who is in third grade at Topanga Elementary, and Miles, who went to Topanga Elementary and now attends Agoura High School.
I love working with kids because they bring so much openness and enthusiasm to the process, Precious said. Much of my directing has been with kids. Ive also directed so many Barbie commercials that my husband and I joke that we live in the house that Barbie built.