Forget about trekking across the Hudson to find quality acting classes. A new eight-week program beginning Sept. 19 will be taught by the prominent producer and Weehawken resident Frank Licato, who has worked with Frank Sinatra, among others.
The two-hour class not only focuses on acting methods, but more importantly on skills that will land actors roles in the future. The class is for novice to professional actors with or without on-stage experience.
“I’m going to take the approach and treat the students like a director would,” the former actor said. As either an actor or a producer, Licato has worked on dozens of projects with Hollywood stars like Martin Sheen, Sigourney Weaver, Edie Falco and Vincent Pastore.
“Now that I’m on the other side of the table [a producer], I know what it’s like for an actor to want to put his best foot,” he said. But, for Licato auditioning is difficult and stressful for both the actors and the casters.
“We’re very creative people.” – Frank Licato
One piece of advice Licato gives to up-and-coming actors on an important audition: keep it simple.
“People are under the misconception when they walk into a room that they have to stand out, or make conversation,” he said. “I tell my students to walk in with a smile, begin your audition confidently, say thank you when you’re finished, and leave.”
Another important tip to young actors is to network. “People in business know all about networking,” Licato said.
But for most actors it’s all about getting discovered. “Actors think that somehow, someone is going to find them. That’s not necessarily the case. Taking a class is a great way to get out there and participate and meet other great actors.”
Classes begin Sept. 19 and are held Sunday nights from 6 – 8 p.m. in a “yoga studio”-like space in Hoboken that has yet to be finalized.
Admission is $350, with a discount for preregistering. For more details check Licato’s website: www.franklicato.com.
Although Licato was born in Brooklyn, and spends much of his time across the river, he loves Weehawken’s small hometown appeal. So much so that he hasn’t left since moving to the township 16 years ago. He even said that he knows everyone on his block on a first-name basis.
“It’s astounding how many people actually live in New Jersey,” Licato said. “Everything is so centered around Manhattan that I think people forget there’s a whole life on this side of the Hudson. We’re very creative people.”
Licato’s next play is called “The Late Christopher Bean,” written by Sydney Howard and goes up in November at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Summit.
But for the established producer, his heart has always been in teaching. Licato has taught theater at New York University, the University of Massachusetts, and teenage actors at ACTeen, a school with alumni like “The Sopranos” Jamie Lynn Sigler, and “Fast and the Furious” Jordana Brewster.
For more information, visit: www.franklicato.com.
Sean Allocca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org