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Spotlight Acting Academy Raises the Bar for Teaching Theater

By Marina Jokic

In the immortal words of William Shakespeare, "all the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players." Likewise at Spotlight Acting Academy, classes are not confined to a literal stage. Instead, the art of acting is taught as a universally relevant and applicable life skill. The actor remains a student throughout his or her life, soaking in the wisdom of theater's current and past giants. Owner and artistic director at Spotlight Katie Martin finds fulfillment in the creativity her work demands, but especially in helping build confidence and self-esteem in young children on and off the stage.

"Acting classes are truly a great experience for children of all ages, and there are many skills learned that can be applied to other careers [even] if they do not pursue a career in performance," Martin said. "Being involved in a theater program is not only a great confidence builder, it helps children to foster their creativity and reach higher levels of thinking, [also helping them] with speech, movement, [and] memorization [?] the list goes on."

When she was merely a toddler, Martin was singing and tap dancing on the fireplace for the enjoyment of her parents and their friends. Even then, it was clear that Martin had an innate talent for acting. She has been involved in the theater ever since and loves imparting her knowledge to her pupils.

Martin advises students, even those not pursuing professional acting, to invest themselves fully in their respective roles but also to diversify. Taking courses outside of pure acting such as dancing, singing, gymnastics, or learning to play an instrument can really round out a person's portfolio and raise their marketability regardless of their chosen profession later on. Of course, Martin is avidly supportive of all of her students who intend to pursue acting professionally, albeit attaching a caveat to her counsel.

"This is a profession that requires tough skin because you are going to audition for a lot of jobs that you aren't going to book," Martin said. "But don't let that discourage you from keeping on with your career."

Taking as many classes are possible in a variety of disciplines will shape you into a more versatile performer. At Spotlight Acting Academy, instructors like to work with smaller cast groups, which allows them to interact more with individual students.

"What sets us apart from other programs is smaller cast sizes," Martin said. "So even those cast in the Ensemble have plenty of stage time, more hours in class which means more training, and all of our teachers are working in the field so you are learning from the best."

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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