A new acting studio is on mission to not only provide the necessary tools to master the craft of acting but also to edify the actor's faith.
Holy Wood Acting studio is set to open its doors on March 25 in Culver City, west of Los Angeles, Calif.
"This is not a seminar, a place where you are only going to learn about God, but it's an acting studio where they will learn why it is important for them to take care of their moral values," Carlos Espinosa, CEO and director of operations, told The Christian Post.
While they are not a full-on campus yet, they are hoping to expand their base of operations as well as increase their admittance – they currently accept 50 students.
According to Espinosa, the idea for the studio rose out of the need and search for an environment where Christian actors do not have to compromise their faith in the process of learning the art.
The 27-year-old said, "I have been working in the entertainment industry for three years and I came to realize that there is so much need for an acting studio that does these kind of things. There is no acting studio that not just forms the actor but also forms their faith in the process."
While young people have asked him for advice, he felt limited by only recommending that they find a personal acting coach that has the same moral values as they did.
As the hunger for such an environment persisted, Espinosa decided to start the project about a year and a half ago.
Holy Wood acting studio has committed itself not only to supply Christian artists into the world of Hollywood but most importantly, to influence the film industry.
Through a combination of acting workshops, health and fitness training, personal life coaching, and moral guidance, the studio aims to shape and highlight their actors' talents as well as weaknesses.
The studio currently features two programs – an extensive 36 week-long program, and an intensive 12 week-long one.
Both programs are based on the foundation of the "Four Pillars of Formation" – Professional Acting, Leadership, Personal Growth & Development, and Health & Fitness.
The first three pillars focus on teaching students how to not compromise their values in front of the camera, how to influence the industry and not vice versa, and how to live a godly life, both professionally and personally.
Espinosa was clear about an actor's position in front of a camera and how there are always ways around a role. He said, "If there is a prostitute involved in the movie, actors don't need to show skin. The imagination is much more powerful and there are different ways to do that. No one has to compromise their values."
He added, "It also depends on the director as well. There are movies that portray a bad person but they don't show that they do those things. The imagination works in so many different ways."
According to Espinosa, Holy Wood's faculty are all Christian and Catholic-based.
"They are all believers and they are all very professional; they know the craft. I can't hire someone that loves God but doesn't know how to act," he noted.
Some notable faculty members include acting coach Mark Atteberry, leadership coach Dr. Owen Phelps, personal growth specialist Dr. Ernesto Bolio, and fitness and nutrition coach Jeff Jordan.
Espinosa reassured that students will "come out as great actors and as great persons of faith."
Tuition is between $12,000 and $36,000. Holy Wood is hoping to provide scholarships in the future as well as implement a kids program in its curriculum.
On the Web: www.holywoodactingstudio.com