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How Can Young Actors Find Appropriate Monologues?

How Can Young Actors Find Appropriate Monologues?

by Rita Litton

“As an acting teacher and coach, I often field requests from young actors seeking a good monologue, something distinct, comedic, one-to-two minutes… Can I help?

I usually suggest a private session. I bring in folders with hundreds of age-appropriate monologues and I promise that the student will leave with at least two contrasting pieces they  love, and that suit them. Finding a good monologue is not simply a matter of knowing which new play has a catchy or memorable monologue, selecting the longest paragraph of text in a play, or jumping on the first monologue your drama teacher hands you. Finding the right monologue is a bit like Prince Charming peddling his glass slipper; you want a great fit.

I begin a search session with the student reading several monologues out loud. Actors have a hard time knowing their “type.” I focus on your vocal quality, inflections, and timing (which is key for comedy). Are you at ease or uncomfortable with the material? How smart (street or book) are you? Do you understand complex language? Can you easily identify with the life story/background of the character or are major substitutions going to be necessary? How comfortable are you with your body and how do you use it? Is there anything in your physicality that suggests this is material you can relate to, whether or not you have had these personal experiences? When a piece clicks with an actor, their reaction/response will often make the monologue come alive!

Keep the choice of material within your age range.  When looking for  ‘good contrasting monologues ‘ chose characters that have different rhythms, backgrounds, points of view, attitudes, or conflicts —not ages. Most schools would also prefer to see one comedic and one dramatic selection.

Most students have not seen or read that many plays—the required choice material for most colleges. It’s important to understand the background and exposition of your monologue when the stakes or the subtext may not be obvious in the text. While students know they should read the play, many either don’t take the time to do so, or don’t read it before choosing their selections. Working with a coach with extensive theater experience is invaluable in choosing appropriate material.

Choose monologues that speak to you, that allow you to bring your intelligence, imagination, life experience, empathy, unique type and personality to your performance. Seek opinions from those you trust and allow time to find something wonderful! You’ll also have a more satisfying audition experience performing something you love!”—Rita Litton

(Excerpted from my Backstage Expert article, 2016, by Rita Litton.)

For more information or to make an appointment please contact me

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Contact

Contact


Email: info@ritalitton.com
Phone: (917) 647-1399
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Rita Litton (from the book “The Actor’s Other Career Book,” by Lisa Mulcahy)

“The famous stage actress Ellen Terry quoted three “I’s” essential for an actor’s success: Intelligence, Imagination and Industry. Of these she thought imagination the most important. I’d copy her list and add Integrity. Many people struggle to maintain businesses in the arts; temptations exist to lower standards, or make bizarre promises. We are in the arts because we love the work and want to inspire others to love it as well. They won’t love it if they are given poor treatment, or disrespected.”

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Suggested Reading List

Suggested Reading List

Acting for Young Actors: The Ultimate Teen Guide. Mary Lou Belli and Dinah Linney Backstage Books,  NY.
Acting in Film, Michael Caine, Applause Books.
Acting: The First Six LessonsRichard Boleslavsky(Theatre Arts Books), Routledge/Taylor & Francis Books, 2003
An Actor Prepares, Constantin Stanislavski, New York: Theater Arts Books, 1967.
Art of Auditioning, The.  Rob Decina. Allworth Press. June 2004
Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part, Michael Shurtleff, Bantam Books.  1979
Auditioning: An Actor-Friendly Guide, Joanna Merlin and Harold Prince, Vintage Originals, Vintage Books USA, 2001
Challenge for the Actor, Uta Hagen, Scribner Book Co..  1991
Confessions of an Actor, Sanford Meisner, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982.
Freeing Shakespeare’s Voice: The Actor’s Guide to Talking the Text,
Kristin Linklater, Theatre Communications Group, 1991
Freeing the Natural Voice, Kristin Linklater. Drama Publishers, 1976
Improvisation for the Theater, Viola Spolin, 
How to Be a Working Actor: The Insider’s Guide to Finding Jobs in Theater, Film, and Television,  Mari Lyn Henry and Lynne Rogers.
Back Stage Books, 5th Edition, December 2007
How to Sell Yourself as an Actor: From New York to Los Angeles (And Everywhere in Between!), K Callan, Sweden Press.
Mastery of Movement, The, Rudolf Laban, Boston: Plays, Inc. 1975.
Method or Madness, Robert Lewis, New York: Stein & Day, 1958.
Monologue Workshop, The, Jack Poggi, Applause Books.
NY Agent Book, The,   K Callan, Sweden Press
Respect for Acting, Uta Hagen and Haskel Frankel, Wiley Publishing, 1973
Sanford Meisner on Acting, Sanford Meisner, Vintage Books 1987
Speak With Distinction, Edith Skinner, Applause Books, 1942.
Stanislavski System, The, Sonia Moore, Penguin Books
Stella Adler – The Art of Acting, Howard Kissel, Applause Books
To the Actor, Michael Chekov and Charles Leonard, New York: HarperCollins: 1985.
Thirty Seconds, Michael Arlen. 
Uta Hagen’s Acting Class, Uta Hagen, Applause Books (Video, VHS Format, 2002) (DVD 2004)

These are books we recommend to you.  Gather acting ideas from all possible sources.  Your technique will ultimately be a compilation of everything you’ve read and studied.

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Resources

Resources

Mari Lyn Henry (Mari Lyn Henry is a career coach, teacher, and former director of casting for ABC-TV.)

“I have known Rita Litton for many years. She is a pioneer in the area of helping young people get the best kind of acting training to prepare them for a career in film, TV and theatre. I have featured Rita in a chapter in the book I co-authored “How to Be a Working Actor.” If anyone knows how to give young people an overview of what it takes to audition and be prepared for the world of show business, Rita does. Her alums are featured in series, films, and of course on stage.”


Scripts / Plays / Monologues

The Drama Book Shop, Inc., 250 West 40th St. NY, NY 10018. (212)-944-0595
A source for materials on all aspects of the performing arts, plays, biographies and monologue collections.

Sheet Music Plus
Over 366,000 sheet music titles including classical sheet music, guitar tabs, and songbooks.

Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Provides the finest plays by both established writers and new playwrights of exceptional promise for nearly 70 years.

Concord Theatricals
Concord Theatricals is the world’s most significant theatrical company, including the catalogs of R&H Theatricals, Samuel French, Tams-Witmark and The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection. Providing comprehensive services to the creators and producers of plays and musicals, including theatrical licensing, music publishing, script publishing, cast recording and first-class production.

MonologueArchive
A complete guide of downloadable monologues  (with ads!)

The Complete Works of Shakespeare
The Web’s first edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Courtesy of MIT.

PlayShakespeare.com
The best free Shakespeare source for plays, news, reviews, and discussion. 

Shakespeare’s Monologues
Free resource of monologues for men and women, by play, category (comedic or dramatic.).


Recommended Reading

The New Sitcom Career Book, by Mary Lou Belli and Phil Ramuno.

Acting for Young Actors: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Mary Lou Belli and Dinah Lenney.

Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part, by Michael Shurtleff

Challenge for the Actor, by Uta Hagen, Scribner Book Co.

How to be a Working Actor, by Mari Lyn Henry and Lynne Rogers. Learn about audition techniques, regional markets, tools of the trade, and more.

More? See Reading List


Resources for Actors

Actors’ Equity Association, the ‘theater actor’s union’, has negotiated minimum wages and working conditions, administered contracts, and enforced the provisions of our various agreements with theatrical employers across the country for ninety years.

SAG-AFTRAis a labor union recently merging Screen Actor’s Guild with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Both unions were formed in the 1930’s with rich histories of fighting for and securing the strongest protections for media artists.

The Internet Movie Database has, since 1990, provided useful and up to date movie information freely available online across as many platforms as possible.

The Internet Broadway Database, (www.ibdb.com) IBDB archive is the official database for Broadway theatre information. Details include pertinent people involved as well as interesting facts and production statistics.

Backstage.com—An online resource for actors, providing insights and casting news.

Showbusinessweekly.com—news, articles, casting information, and features for the aspiring or working actor.

Educational Theater Association, an organization for theater educators, artists, arts advocates, andy anyone else involved in theater as a lifelong learning activity.

National Endowment for the ArtsThe National Endowment for the Arts supports exemplary arts projects in communities nationwide through grantmaking, initiatives, partnerships, and events.

YoungArts —Founded in 1981, YoungArts provides award winners with a lifetime of creative and professional development opportunities as they pursue a career in the arts.

American Theatre WingAmerican Theatre Wing sponsors both the Tony Awards, the Obie Awards and the Andrew Lloyd Weber Initiative, which expands the Wing’s commitment to theatre education by supporting under-resourced U.S. public schools to create new, or strengthen existing, theatre programs. See also: Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative University Scholarships

Quest Bridge  — QuestBridge is a national nonprofit based in Palo Alto, California that connects the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth with leading colleges and opportunities.

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Testimonials

Testimonials

  •  Jon Seda

    “Rita Litton is a fantastic acting teacher who believed in me and helped me believe in myself!”

    Jon Seda stars in NBC’s new hit adventure series “LaBrea” as “Dr. Sam Velez.” Jon is best known for playing Detective Antonio Dawson in NBC’s “Chicago P.D” which earned him “Best Actor-Television’ in 2019’s Imagen Awards . Jon has played Antonio in both “Chicago Fire” and the brief “Chicago Justice.” Credits include the HBO Emmy-winning miniseries “The Pacific” (Marine Sgt. John Basilone), Nelson Gonzalez in HBO’s New Orleans series “Treme,” NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Streets” and many films including “Selena” (as husband Chris Perez), and “Bullet to the Head” with Sylvester Stallone. Rita was also honored to teach Jon’s son Jon Jr. over a recent summer.

  • Daniella Alonso

    “After starting her classes, I was getting callbacks. Rita slowly helps you develop into the person you’re supposed to be. The learning environment was awesome! In all my classes I felt safe and free to make mistakes. Now the scary audition process is not so scary. Rita prepared me to get into the commercial world, the audition world. It was such a positive experience!” 

    Daniella plays ‘Cristal Jennings’ in season 5 of the CW’s prime time soap opera “Dynasty.” Daniella has played series regulars on over nine series including “The Resident,” “The Fix,” “Revolution,” “Friday Night Lights,” “One Tree Hill,” and TNT’s series “Animal Kingdom.” Daniella has appeared in a number of horror films, including “The Hills Have Eyes 2,” and “Wrong Turn 2: Dead End.”.

  • Davi Santos

    “After studying at the Professional Performing Arts Middle School and then La Guardia Arts High School, I have been inspired by many teachers who have been integral to my development as an actor, yet without question, Rita Litton was the most prominent force in the consolidation of all those skills and theories into a meaningfully application for film and television. I’ve never encountered an on-camera class that came even close to what Rita offered. They are meant for immediate professional utility with creative integrity. She has sincerely invested in me as an actor and as a person, becoming more than a teacher but a mentor that has illuminated me across my career. Rita Litton is the artistic and industrial ideal.” 

    Davi stars as “Dr. Joey Costa” in the new CBS medical drama “Good Sam.” Davi appeared as a ‘Gabe’ in Kevin Williamson’s dark psychological thriller “Tell Me a Story,” on CBS-All Access. Davi played ‘Sir Ivan the Gold Ranger’ on TV’s “Power Rangers Dino Charge,” recurred on “Law & Order: True Crime,” and guest-starred on “Will & Grace,” “Kirby Buckets,” and “How to Rock.” He was a cast regular in the sitcom “Mr Box Office” for two years. Davi is also an accomplished screenwriter. His film “The Cure,” in which he also stars, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • Jordana Brewster

    “I went from knowing nothing about the business to bookings thanks to Rita. She prepared me totally for auditions. Her great technique will stay with me throughout my career. Training with her was a huge advantage!” 

    Jordana is internationally recognized as “Mia Toretto” in the ’Fast and Furious” feature films–most recently “F9: The Fast Saga,” with Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren. Jordana played series regular ‘Maureen Cahill’ in the popular Fox-TV action drama “Lethal Weapon,” ‘Denise Brown’ in the FX mini-series “The People v. O.J. Simpson” on American Crime Story, and ‘Kate’ on ABC’s “Secrets and Lies.” Jordana appeared for three seasons as ‘Elena Ramos’ in the smash TNT TV series revival– “Dallas” starring the late Larry Hagman (of original “Dallas” fame.)

  • Elizabeth Masucci

    “You can take a million acting classes, but once you’re on camera, it changes everything. I had two scenes in a showcase. After the show, Abrams Artists Agency approached me. A few months later, I signed with them. I felt so lucky. My first audition with Abrams, I booked a commercial with Natalie Portman…. Rita and Abrams opened a lot of doors for me.” 

    Elizabeth Masucci starred with Ed Burns in TNT’s series “Public Morals,” as his wife ‘Christine,’ and was featured in “Shame” with Michael Fassbender. Upcoming films include “Second Act,” and “All About Nina.” Elizabeth is also an up and coming film writer, producer and director.

  • Pam Goldman

    Rita’s classes are terrific. She has discovered, mentored and taught some of the brightest talents in the industry. I often refer my clients to her commercial and film classes, and after ten years of working together she has proven to be a warm and knowledgeable teacher. Great program!” 

    Agent A3 Artists Agency

  • Ariel Reid

    “I learned so much about acting, but also about overall presentation of myself.. Rita really is an amazing resource. I don’t think I’d be where I am without her.” 

    Ariel’ Broadway credits include the long running, Tony Award winning musical “Spamalot,” and the Tony Award Nominated musical  “Aladdin.” Ariel was featured in the film “Hairspray” with John Travolta.

  • Jandiz Estrada Cardoso

    “Rita, The class as you promised was extraordinary. I enjoyed their work and material immensely. Thank you so much for inviting me.”

    Jandiz is currently the Director of the Episodic Writers Program at the Sundance Institute. She was formerly the Sr. Director of Talent Engagement & Outreach under the Global Talent Development & Inclusion division for film, tv, and streaming at NBCUniversal.

  • Jenna Lamia

    What I liked best about my summer experience studying with Rita? — the amount of knowledge made available to us! Rita Litton is constantly thinking, watching, and creating. She is great at making young actors feel confident, a gargantuan task!” 

    Jenna served as Executive & Consulting  Producer for NBC’s 4-season hit TV series “Good Girls.”  Jenna wrote the screenplay for the upcoming “My Best Friend’s Exorcism,” also serving as Associate Producer. As an actress Jenna played “Sherri Ward”, sister to Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in the critically acclaimed film “The Fighter.” Most recently Jenna played Leslie Miller on “Awkward,” for MTV, and returns as “Judy Cooper’ on SyFy’s  “Resident Alien,” season two. Jenna was Executive Story Editor for the CW TV series “90210.” Jenna’s first big acting break was playing “Mildred” on Broadway at Lincoln Center in ”Ah! Wilderness” with Craig T. Nelson, after appearing in one of Rita’s showcases. She has guest-starred on “Without a Trace”, “NYPD Blue”, “Law & Order: SVU”, and is an active and prosperous commercial & voiceover performer. She is also an award winning audio book narrator, including the national best sellers “The Shape of Water,” “The Help,”, and “The Girl with the Pearl Earring,” and the young adult novel “Hey Kiddo,” where she won the Audie award for “Best Young Adult Recording.”

  • Bryan Burton

    “The learning experience was beyond phenomenal. I learned to focus my craft to a closer, more intimate camera medium. The support I received from Rita and her fellow teachers was amazing. She brought a lot out of me.”

    Bryan has appeared on HBO’s “Succession,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” “The Good Cop,”, “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.” He appeared in the Emmy nominated TV miniseries ‘The Night Of,” starring John Turturro, the feature “Learning to Drive” with Sir Ben Kingsley, and “Money Monsters,” with George Clooney and Julia Roberts. A busy commercial performer Bryan’s Liberty Mutual, HBO: Go, and Master Card (with Tina Fey) commercials were stand outs.

  • Ralph Rodriguez

    “Rita is a wonderful private coach as well as a group teacher. She’s extremely amazing and nice. She can find your style and help you shape up your act. Her courses are very specific and teach you everything you need to know to be prepared before going into your next audition. Thank you for all your hard work getting me better at my craft!” 

    Ralph plays “Orly’ in the new film “Vandal.” Ralph had a featured 7 episode guest-starring role on “Chicago Fire’ as Freddie Clemente, guested on “Barry,” and is featured in the infie films “White Girl,” “Compliance,” “Son of No One,” and “Missing Girl.”

  • Tim Boardman

    Rita saw something in me that I never knew about myself when I acted on camera, and for that I am very thankful. I learned so much about the craft of acting on camera (from commercials to scene work) with Rita’s guidance and knowledge. I absorbed something new through each class. I am so grateful for everything Rita Litton has given me and will continue to use the knowledge she has shared when further pursuing my career as an actor. “Studying with Rita was one of the best decisions I have ever made.” 

    Tim won the California Independent Film Festival “Best Actor Award” for playing the title role in the Indie award winning film “Miles,” also starring Molly Shannon and Paul Reiser. Rita coached Tim for his Miles audition. Tim co-starred in “Madam Secretary,” “The Adventures of Kimmy Schmidt,” and is featured in the film “Wilde Wedding” with Glenn Close and John Malkovich.

  • Debargo Sanyal

    “Rita’s classes were my very first exposure to performing in front of the camera. I learned so much about my strengths and from her helpful feedback. From the important information I acquired, to the new skills I learned, to the people that I have met, Rita has been a wonderful resource for me.” 

    Debargo is a Drama Desk Award nominee, and has appeared on TV in “The Americans”, “Person of Interest,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Madam Secretary,” “Billions,” and several films including “Magic of Belle Isle” with Morgan Freeman.

  • Samantha Bilinkas

    Rita Litton is absolutely one-of-a-kind. She’s one of the most talented, lovable, beautiful people that I’ve ever known, and she’s taught me more than I could have ever imagined. Her teachings have not only helped me grow in my acting ability, but she gets her students to delve deep inside their souls to find the passion of their craft. You always gave me the confidence and courage to pursue acting full time, and I will forever be grateful!” 

    Samantha recently graduated from NYU Tisch with a BFA in Drama (with Honors.)

  • Chantee Lans

    “Hi Rita, I want to thank you for the acting lessons. I carry all of the techniques I learned with you when I am in front of the camera on the set or out in the field. To be honest, if I lived closer, I would probably enroll in more classes to improve my delivery!” 

    Chanteé is an award-winning TV news reporter, currently at Eyewitness News CBS-3 in Philly. Chanteé is the recipient of a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, the Radio Television Digital News Association’s Michele Clark Fellowship, and has been nominated for two New England Emmy Awards.

  • Mari Lyn Henry

    “I have known Rita Litton for many years. She is a pioneer in the area of helping young people get the best kind of acting training to prepare them for a career in film, TV and theatre. I have featured Rita in “Child Performers”, a chapter in the book I co-authored “How to Be a Working Actor”. If anyone knows how to give young people an overview of what it takes to audition and be prepared for the world of show business, Rita does. Her alums are featured in series, films, and of course on stage.” 

    Mari Lyn Henry is a career coach, teacher, the author of “How to Be a Working Actor,” and former Director of Casting for ABC-TV.

  • Jillian Mueller

    “I was a theater kid, so being filmed was a big transition for me. I never would have known how to handle myself on camera without the classes. Rita taught me acting skills for real-world situations, preparing me for any kind of audition.”

    “Jillian’s new agency CESD recommended you #1 for acting training so I knew we had it right! And just last week, Jillian booked a principal role in a national Verizon Fios TV commercial. She booked her first ever commercial audition – thanks to training with you!” –B. Mueller

    Jillian recently starred in “The Crew”, Kevin James’ Netflix NASCAR TV comedy series, playing company manager “Catherine Spencer.”   Jillian’s most recent theater credit was playing the lead role of “Vivian’ on Broadway in “Pretty Woman.” Additional theater credits include Broadway’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and “Bye Bye Birdie”. National Tours: “Pretty Woman,” “American Idiot,” “Dirty Dancing,” (as lead role ‘Baby’) and “Flashdance: The Musical,” as lead ‘Alex.’

Mari Lyn Henry (Mari Lyn Henry is a career coach, teacher, and former director of casting for ABC-TV.)

“I have known Rita Litton for many years. She is a pioneer in the area of helping young people get the best kind of acting training to prepare them for a career in film, TV and theatre. I have featured Rita in a chapter in the book I co-authored “How to Be a Working Actor.” If anyone knows how to give young people an overview of what it takes to audition and be prepared for the world of show business, Rita does. Her alums are featured in series, films, and of course on stage.”

Rita Litton (from her Backstage Expert Article “10 Rules for Budding Young Actors.”)

“Every acting teacher hopes that the values instilled in their students last a lifetime, and that their young professional careers continue well into adulthood. I am very proud of my working alumni and gratified that so many continue to work and stay in touch. And while I know I can’t protect my graduates from all disappointments, I try to guide them in habits which foster rather than limit their careers.”


Upcoming

SPRING PROGRAM

Choose:

Foundations of Acting
Film Acting Audition Technique

See upcoming

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More? …

Sophia Black-D’Elia, (Lead “Samantha”) “Single Drunk Female.” “Your Honor,” with Bryan Cranston, “Gossip Girl.”
Daniel Puig, (“Nathan”) on CW’s “Naomi.”
Imani Lewis –(“Calliope”) in Netflix’s “First Kill.” “Forty Year Old Version,” (“Charmaine”) Starz “Hightown.”
Jordana Spiro, (“Rachel”) in “Ozark.” (“Sarah”) in “Blind Spot.”
Matthew Barry, Producer Writer Netflix’s “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”
Julia Goldani Telles, (“Whitney” ) on “The Affair, (“Sasha”) “Bunheads,” Starz’s “The Girlfriend Experience.”
Cara Buono, (“Karen Wheeler”) “Stranger Things.”
Lucca De Oliveira,  (“Tomas”) in “Clarice” on CBS, “Seal Team,” “Animal Kingdom.”
Odley Jean, (“Dominque”) and Amalia Yoo (“Leila”) on Netflix’s “Grand Army.”

Etc, etc…

For updates on working graduates see my Instagram.

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Summer One-Week Acting Intensives

Summer One-Week Acting Intensives

Rita Litton (from the book “Acting for Young Actors” by Mary Lou Belli and Dinah Linney)

“I believe that acting is action oriented, and emotions are the result of intentions successfully or unsuccessfully achieved. An actor does not come on a set or stage to ‘feel an emotion.” The actor ventures into a dramatic situation to do something. There is a reason why acting is also re-acting. An actor who feels the electric two-way giving and receiving is truly alive.”

(Lucca De Oliveira, center, recent series regular in CBS’s “Clarice,”& “Seal Team.” )

Summer is CLOSED. See Upcoming Fall Term

Our summer acting intensives offer exciting, specialized acting training in a condensed one week environment.

Choose one week or several! Each week has a specific focus: Acting Foundation, Tools and Technique or  On-Camera Acting Process and Auditioning Skills. Each week is unique and will not duplicate exercises or assigned acting scenes.

Dates:  2022
Week A: June 20- June 24 (CLOSED)
Week B: July 11-July 15  (CLOSED)
Week C: August 1-August 5 (CLOSED)

Intensives Meet:
Monday through Friday, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. (1-hour lunch break daily.) Students participate all five days.

Fees:
Each Full Week Intensive: (Either A, B, or C) :  
$750.              
Take TWO weeks and SAVE $100 !


  • Foundations of Acting

    Rita Litton, Instructor

    Foundations Week A:
    June 20- June 24 (CLOSED!)

    REGISTER

     Fee: $750 

    Students will work on process, acting tools and objectives. This intensive is designed to provide students with the building blocks, or “foundation” necessary for truthful, creative, and spontaneous, ‘moment to moment’ acting. Designed for the beginning or intermediate level actor looking to improve skills and find an organic way to work. Through a series of exercises deeply rooted in the teachings of Sanford Meisner, cold readings, and scene work, the instructor will teach actors how to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.” We will incorporate movement, voice and improvisation to fine tune the actor’s instrument.

  • On Camera Acting & Audition Technique

    Rita Litton, Instructor

    Acting On Camera (Week B & C, CLOSED):
    Week B: July 11- July 15, 2022.
    Week C: August 1-August 5, 2022.
    Next Offering: Fall 2022
     

    REGISTER

     Fee: $750 for either wk B or C.

    This acting intensive is best suited for students who wish to be stretched and challenged while fine tuning their Film or Television Acting and Auditioning Skills. In this film acting class students are encouraged to go beyond their immediate experiences to find the character conceived by the writer. Students are directed to take risks and make unique or difficult choices. Through various exercises, research, observations and rehearsals, students differentiate aspects of character, status, appearance, background, speech, life experiences and more. Students are encouraged to dig deeper and find the ‘hooks’ or links that help them identify with the roles they play.  Students portray roles from our extensive film/TV library and all participants should plan to reserve evening time to prepare and memorize assigned material. All classroom scenes are reviewed for discussion and individualized help during critiques. Class discussion defines particular themes and audition problems inherent in a variety of on-camera material — feature or independent films, episodic television series, situation comedy, TV pilots, etc 

    If great actors make the most interesting choices, this course will help define how those choices evolve, what to look for, and ultimately, how  to enter the life of the character.

FAQs

  • Will you be doing Zoom Intensives for summer 2022?

    Answer:  Yes. All summer courses will meet remotely. The summer intensives in 2021 were a huge success! All students (and parents) felt the level of instruction was outstanding. I felt the students made huge progress, accomplishing advanced and impressive work.
    Due to travel quarantines and ‘social distancing’ restrictions RLS successfully altered it’s  curriculum to offer Zoom acting intensives. I have taught and coached online for years to great success (scene study, auditioning, monologues, basic acting technique.)  I would not offer these Summer Intensives if I wasn’t confident that the curriculum offers plenty of opportunity to move, rehearse, explore, study text, and learn in a positive and engrossing way. Students will be encouraged to work honestly by the nuanced ‘intimacy’ of the Zoom universe. This will assist students in their efforts for honest, provocative, and spellbinding work!
    And for our frequent out of town students, think of the savings on meals and lodging!   

  • May I take both the Foundations and On Camera Intensives?

    Answer: Yes! If you have limited experience, and as a general practice, we recommend that you take the Foundations week before you take the On-Camera Intensive to better prepare you for the  in-depth scene work. There is also a $100 tuition discount for enrolling in two or more weeks.

  • May I take both weeks of the On Camera Intensives? Are they different or the same course?

    Answer: While both weeks focus on camera acting technique the exercises and scenes assigned will vary and not be repeated in either discipline. Students can definitely benefit from taking both types of intensive, or two weeks of a single theme (two weeks of On Camera Acting for example.)

    So yes! Register for both intensives and benefit from the varied focus. Or take all offered weeks for the utmost experience and growth. A discount is offered for taking two or more weeks.

  • What happens during the lunch break?

    Answer: Students have a one hour lunch break every day. We suggest you go outside or change your location while eating. A short break will be offered in the afternoon session, and possibly in the a.m.  

  • How do I register? Cancellation Policy?

    Answer: Submit your Registration form online. If possible please attach a photo and resume, and optionally,  paste the link  to a Vimeo, Wetransfer, or Youtube posted video of yourself performing a 2-minute or less contemporary monologue. Do not upload any videos– only provide the link. (if it is a private posting, be sure to note the password in ‘comments’ so we have permission to open and review.) 

    Alternatively we can ‘see’ each other via a video conference through Zoom software. You can ask questions, and if interested, perform a short 1-2 minute prepared monologue or the Director can furnish you a cold reading. We want to be able to answer any questions you have!

    Immediately upon receiving your Registration materials, we email you a direct PayPal invoice to pay your tuition. Please wait for our email and be sure it has the RLS logo and is from PayPal. We will send it to the email you list on your registration form. The invoice will list the correct tuition based on the number of weeks you select and the date you submit payment. There is an option to pay a 50% deposit (until June 1) . After June 1 full tuition is required. The invoice can be paid by either a PayPal personal account, or by credit or debit card. The transaction is encrypted and secure. We do not see your credit/debit information. PayPal confirms your payment to us, and we will then re-confirm with a Rita Litton Studio receipt.

    Remember! You are not confirmed for a summer space until the tuition minimum is received.

    Cancellation Policy:
    Summer Program cancellation requests received by June 1 will receive a full tuition refund, less a $75 summer administration fee. No refunds or credits after June 1, or after classes have begun for any reason. This policy is firm and allows us to maintain our small class/intensive composition. 

  • More Questions ?

    Feel free to send us an email. Or give us a call. If we are teaching  please leave a voice message with a preferred (day and) time for us to call you back!


Rita Litton (from the book “The Actor’s Other Career Book,” by Lisa Mulcahy)

“The famous stage actress Ellen Terry quoted three “I’s” essential for an actor’s success: Intelligence, Imagination and Industry. Of these she thought imagination the most important. I’d copy her list and add Integrity. Many people struggle to maintain businesses in the arts; temptations exist to lower standards, or make bizarre promises. We are in the arts because we love the work and want to inspire others to love it as well. They won’t love it if they are given poor treatment, or disrespected.”

Summer Classes are held via Zoom Conferencing.

Upcoming classes are held: 
Remotely, via online software, until further notice.
REGISTER

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Upcoming

Upcoming

Rita Litton (from the book “Acting for Young Actors” by Mary Lou Belli and Dinah Linney)

“I believe that acting is action oriented, and emotions are the result of intentions successfully or unsuccessfully achieved. An actor does not come on a set or stage to ‘feel an emotion.” The actor ventures into a dramatic situation to do something. There is a reason why acting is also re-acting. An actor who feels the electric two-way giving and receiving is truly alive.”

Next Up– Fall Program Registering Now!

See Course Descriptions  

  • On Camera Film Acting

    Rita Litton, Instructor

    Next Session:  Fall Program. 
    Dates: October 15, 22, 29, November 5 & 12.
    Day/Time: Saturdays 10:30 AM -12:00 PM.
    Fee: $395 for five sessions.

    Register

  • Foundations of Acting

    Rita Litton, Instructor

    Next Session:  Fall Program
    Dates: October 15, 22, 29, Nov 5, & Nov 12th.
    Day/Time: Saturdays 12:00- 1:30 PM.
    Fee: $395 for five sessions.

    Register

  • Monologues

    Private Coaching by Rita Litton

    Dates: Year Round, currently via online software. 
    Perfect for:  BFA, MFA, or High School Performing Arts Entrance Auditions. Help selecting and polishing monologues, including Classical Monologues! Pre-screen tapings and advice.
    Fee:  Contact me for information

  • Commercials and Voice Acting & Auditioning

    Rita Litton Instructor

    Next Session:  Fall 2022
    Time: Email for information
    (private commercial coaching also available)

    Register

Classes are held at:
Upcoming Classes will be held online via Zoom! Save time commuting, and avoid canceled transportation!

NOTE: For future classes on site in New York City, all students will be required to provide proof of full vaccination. All mask mandates will be strictly enforced. Policies are for the safety of our students and staff.

Private coaching currently via Zoom online software!

REGISTER

CANCELLATION POLICY: All Courses will be held subject to demand. Cancellation requests must be received two weeks prior to the start of term for deposit or tuition refund (less a non-refundable $35 administration fee). No refunds or credits will be given with less than two weeks notice or after classes have begun for any reason. This policy is firm (and necessary to maintain our small class composition).

Rita Litton (from the book “The Actor’s Other Career Book,” by Lisa Mulcahy)

“The famous stage actress Ellen Terry quoted three “I’s” essential for an actor’s success: Intelligence, Imagination and Industry. Of these she thought imagination the most important. I’d copy her list and add Integrity. Many people struggle to maintain businesses in the arts; temptations exist to lower standards, or make bizarre promises. We are in the arts because we love the work and want to inspire others to love it as well. They won’t love it if they are given poor treatment, or disrespected.”

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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Mari Lyn Henry (Mari Lyn Henry is a career coach, teacher, and former director of casting for ABC-TV.)

““I have known Rita Litton for many years. She is a pioneer in the area of helping young people get the best kind of acting training to prepare them for a career in film, TV and theatre. I have featured Rita in a chapter in the book I co-authored “How to Be a Working Actor.” If anyone knows how to give young people an overview of what it takes to audition and be prepared for the world of show business, Rita does. Her alums are featured in series, films, and of course on stage.”

ON CAMERA FILM ACTING  

This is a film acting course for students who wish to be stretched and challenged via audition and scene work. In this film acting class emphasis is placed on creating characters common or unique to television and film. Students are encouraged to go beyond their immediate experiences to find the character conceived by the writer. Students are directed to take risks and make unique or difficult choices. Through various exercises, research, observations and rehearsals, students differentiate aspects of character, status, appearance, background, speech, life experiences, and more. Students portray several contrasting roles from our extensive film/TV library.  Class discussion defines particular themes and audition problems inherent in a variety of on-camera material — feature films, indie films, episodic Television series, situation comedy, TV pilots, etc.

*** This course is offered frequently and may be continued as a work out ‘actor’s gym’ for maximum growth.


FOUNDATIONS OF ACTING

An acting course designed to provide students with the building blocks, or “foundation” necessary for truthful, creative, and spontaneous, ‘moment to moment’ acting. Designed for the beginning or intermediate level actor looking to improve skills and find an organic way to work. Through a series of exercises deeply rooted in the teachings of Sanford Meisner, cold readings, and scene work, the instructor will teach actors how to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.”


MONOLOGUES

If you need a monologue for an industry audition, or for entrance to various performing arts conservatories and universities, this course is for you! From selection of appropriate material to fleshing out the roles, finding their contrasting dynamics and making them uniquely yours, the instructor uses her vast library and extensive experience to guide you to success.
(Private monologue coaching also available)


COMMERCIAL AUDITION TECHNIQUE

Commercial bookings give you tremendous exposure, income and valuable experience. Yet many actors underestimate the commercial audition, failing to rise to the challenge of coming up with vital, original and personality-enhanced choices for a 30-second scenario. Rita Litton is an industry pioneer in smart, effective commercial training and a Backstage Reader’s Choice Award Winner: “Best Commercial Class.”  If you have started to audition this is where your skills are first tested– on the spot in an agent or manager’s office. How you deliver a short commercial script often determines whether you are going to be sent out on auditions, and perhaps also given an introduction to their theatrical or film and television division! Learn the skills to relax, improvise, take direction, focus quickly and bring your best self to the audition! (Private commercial coaching is also available.)


PRIVATE ACTING COACHING

Actors at every level benefit from exercises tailored to their specific needs and goals. More…


VOICE OVER ACTING

Learn the exciting and lucrative art of voice overs–acting with your voice. Agents and casting directors are always looking for artists young or old, who can read well and deliver professional voice over work. In this course you’ll learn how to break down, understand and master radio and television commercial copy, as well as animation scripts. In addition, you’ll learn proper audition etiquette and how to record from the comfort and safety of your own home. Yes! Voice overs are one of the few actor income sources surviving our new ‘stay safe’ environment.  Rita Litton and her staff have launched the careers of hundreds of talented and highly successful voice over artists! Taught by a top New York voice over actor, over Zoom. An industry voice over guest (agent or casting directors scouting for talent) will visit the last class. 


Please see Upcoming for times of classes, fees, location and how to Register.

For regular updates please follow me at @ritalittonacting on Instagram
or like and join ‘RitaLittonActing’ fan page on Facebook.

I am available for private coaching in New York, or currently remotely on Zoom or Skype. Please contact me to make an appointment.

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