BHP’s Scene Study classes are the legendary beating heart of the program here. At all levels, the structure of the classes is the same. Each night will see 4-6 scenes presented in a master class format: The actors bring in as finished a performance as they can manage for their level of experience, perform it for their classmates in the audience, and the scene is then critiqued by the teacher. It is in these critiques that almost all the teaching happens at BHP across all areas of Acting, Attitude and Career Administration.
Actors rehearse acting scenes outside class until they feel they have a finished product to bring into the class, and only then will a critique be delivered. Playing a cop? You’d better look and act like a cop. Playing a hooker? You’d better go walking along Santa Monica Blvd. and find one who you think is right for this part – nail the costume, the walk. We expect mastery of the script, knowledge of the story’s context, and any research necessary to fulfill the specifics of your role. So, if you want a casual approach to scene study, where you run some lines until you have a scene memorized and kind of throw it up there and see what happens, the BHP is not for you.
Most acting classes at the BHP meet twice a week, for about four hours per class. Acting classes are taught on three different levels – Orientation, Intermediate, and Advanced – based on the experience of the applicant. Orientation would include anyone from beginners to college-level arts training, and Intermediate and Advanced are for actors and directors with more professional experience, with an eye as well to union memberships and representation being in place. Currently, our scene study program operates in Beverly Hills and New York City.
Several times a year, the BHP offers an Audition Class to all its current students, taught by Art Cohan. Students have the unique opportunity to focus on their individual auditioning issues.
Similar to auditions in the industry, students are emailed scripts up to two days in advance. They are asked to prepare their auditions just as they would for any top casting director. Art works on everything involved in the process: the entrance into the room, the attitude presented by the actor, the actual reading, and leaving the room.
It is more than just a cold-reading class. It is the specific application of the BHP Approach to the audition process. Plus, since this class is only offered to current students of the BHP, the terms used are readily understood and applicable by everyone in the room.
The Audition Class is usually formatted as a twelve-week intensive workshop covering all aspects of the audition process:
1. What you need to do when you get the sides.
2. How do you prepare fully and completely.
3. What do you need to do when you're waiting to "go in".
4. How do you takeover the room and make it your own.
5. What do you need to do to "leave your work in the room."
6. What do you do if it's a cold reading?
7. What happens when there's a camera in the room? Working on-camera is included in the workshop.
8. Self-Tapes *
*While Self-Tape auditions have taken over a larger percentage of total audition opportunities, particularly during and since 2020, we still believe that working on and drilling the ‘live audition’ process is the best way to develop those skills and then bring them to the self-tape process. It’s no different from our ‘live theatre’ scene study training as the best prep for the slice-and-dice pixellated world of TV/film shoots. It’s about learning fundamental skills that you will then apply to a variety of formats.
Kids / Young Adults:
The BHP offers ongoing acting classes for kids in the age range of 7 to 17. Taught by Emmy Award Winner Melissa Hayden, our acting school for kids is one of the most highly regarded and respected in all of Los Angeles.
Many distinguished and successful young performers choose to train at BHP, where they can learn every skill they need to be excellent film, television, and commercial actors. When a young actor joins our studio, he or she can expect the most professional and experienced instruction on all elements of the craft, such as: improv, scene study, on camera training, cold reading, audition technique, and interview skills. We also foster confidence, encouragement and support along with providing career counseling based on the BHP's approach to attitude and administration.
In addition to providing one of the industry’s most recommended and demanding acting class for kids, we also offer individualized instruction and professional support for young working actors. Our teachers are available for private coaching and on-set coaching, so you can be confident that you will always get the help you need to develop your talent and career.
The BHP Kids/Young Adults program is taught by the esteemed Melissa Hayden, a “Youth In Film” and Emmy award winner who is best known for starring in the daytime drama Guiding Light. She began as a working child actor, racking up extensive credits in film, TV, and plays. In addition to her long acting resume, she is one of the industry’s most in demand acting teachers and coaches.