Learn the special skills of working opposite young adult/teen actors. Find your spot in the teen market amongst today’s complex teen leads and the adult characters surrounding them as allies, nemeses, parents, mentors, bosses, teachers, and more. Class is half teens, half adults.
Prepare for the real world of auditioning and performing opposite young actors. Work on scenes and learn how to develop creative partnerships in teen-adult scene partner pairings. Embrace a new range of types for yourself in today’s teen film/TV market, all while deepening your on-camera technique.
Study teen content and how to act it in today’s teen-craze market. Stories now range from Atypical to Never Have I Ever to Riverdale to Euphoria to Grand Army, and a million others in between. Teens are the complex leads and adults are their allies, nemesis, parents, mentors, bosses, teachers. Themes include rebellion, love, identity, and hormones! The stories are nuanced and the acting needs to capture realism…even in superhero stories! Learn to craft performances and support the story of today’s teen.
Each week you will deep dive into scene work together. The magic of this class will be about mixing adults and teens together for in-class work. (Please note that there will not be any outside rehearsals in pairs.)
You will also be working in various genres! From comedies to dramas to superhero films.
Specific assignments will be given each week.
For adults who audition for teen roles (example, “18+ to play 16”), please join our Priority List for a class that’s in the works, PLAYING TEEN ROLES with Athena Colón!
The class will have half teens and half adults! All scenes will focus on teen-related scenarios.
Nothing will keep you real like acting next to a teen.
This class provides teen actors a chance to develop and deepen their on-camera acting technique while working opposite adult actors, as is the case in professional film/TV work settings. The space will be a safe and guided structure with Athena, who has taught teens for decades. You will learn how to hold your own alongside adults and feel confident that you are an equal collaborator.
This class offers a rare opportunity to work opposite teen actors so that you’re equipped for the real world of auditioning and performing on set opposite teens. Some of you already love working with kids/teens! Some of you are even professional kid wranglers on the side, or youth life changers, a.k.a. teachers/mentors…or parents. 🙂
There are tons of special skills and tools to call on when supporting a teen to shine in a scene. Athena will teach you the ones she has honed in her teen classes over the years. You will also explore your types (e.g., parents, nemesis, boss, teacher, etc.) as they relate to teens. The true gift of this class is going to be about being the most authentic, relatable actor possible so that it doesn’t feel like you are “acting” next to the authentic teen.
If you are directing or teaching teens, this will also be an excellent playground for you to act alongside teens and feel what it’s like to be inside the work with them. You can also adapt the tools you learn from Athena for your best practices!
Athena Colón is a bilingual, native New York actress, teaching artist, and acting coach.
Athena Colón is a bilingual, native New York actress, teaching artist and acting Coach. Athena has worked as an independent teacher and coach in New York City for 10+ years. She has trained with former Telsey + Company casting director Heidi Marshall as a coach and joyfully prepares actors for screen tests and auditions. She is the recipient of the BRIO Grant from the Bronx Council of the Arts. While earning her BFA in Theatre from Long Island University–C.W. Post, she co-created a Suzuki-based performance, Third Child, which toured Italy, the Czech Republic, and New York City. Her recent TV credits include: THE GIRL ON THE BUS, NEW AMSTERDAM, BULL, Martin Scorsese’s VINYL, JESSICA JONES, and LAW & ORDER: SVU. When she’s not acting on stage or film, Athena facilitates acting classes and conducts theatre workshops in NYC. She proudly collaborates with Heidi Marshall Studio and DreamYard.
Athena is a tremendous coach who will draw out your confidence and (re)energize your work. She has a loving, magic touch with actors. I often partner with Athena in the prep process for actors in screen tests and role prep (e.g., Hallie Bailey is starring as Disney’s live-action Little Mermaid after we walked her through all her intense screen tests!) Actors just adore Athena’s laser-focused, energetic coaching! Her classes are totally invigorating. They’re also super fun and incredibly informative—she brings ALL the insider, behind-the-scenes knowledge from actor to actor…things you’ll really want to know when you head to set! Athena has been around the block on so many TV sets. I really, really love for working artists to teach each other.
Why do I love working with teen actors?
Because they always bring their authenticity.
Because they don’t second guess their imagination.
Because they know how to bounce back after a hiccup on camera.
And because they are always ready to try again with more fearlessness than the last take.
I’ve been coaching teen actors for over a decade, and I’ve learned so much about their tenacity and commitment to playing a scene. Some might assume a teen actor needs to be cradled and guided when working. Others might guess the teen is going to steal the show with their youthful charisma and vigor.
Regardless of what beliefs circle around, one thing is certain: You better be ready for what a teen actor can contribute to the work.
Teens have an incredible ability to stay open and flexible in a scene. They almost never perform one scene the same way twice. (Heidi’s favorite goal for all actors!!) And they have energy for days! So keeping up with them is not only needed, it’s GREAT for adult actors to fine tune their own flexibility.
How do you stay completely present in a scene with an always changing scene partner?
How do you make bold choices that jumpstart the scene together?
How do you manage your status when your co-star is much younger?
What if you need to play a parent, but have no experience with young people?
Creating a class for both teen and adult actors to play together felt essential, especially with all of the hit teen shows!
This class is designed to dismantle any uneasiness an adult or teen actor might have about working with their counterpart.
It’s also meant to encourage ALL actors to learn how to build solid relationships with costars to create honest, meaningful relationships on camera (and hopefully off camera too!).
Super excited to teach this class at the studio!
What was a difficult challenge for you as an actor?
Trusting my instincts on camera.
What was a crazy or silly moment on set?
My knee pads story! This was when I realized an actor can always ask for what they need on set to get the work done.
What is the most important quality or skill for an actor in the audition room?
Authenticity. Be yourself! Everyone else is taken.
What is the main thing you wish you knew then but that you only understand now?
There is no right way to do a scene.
What frustrates you as an actor in the current climate of filmmaking or of the business at large? How has this affected you directly?
Not enough roles for actors of color. We need diverse characters of different abilities, genders, orientations, and nationalities. The lack of opportunity has often discouraged me and kept me “small.”
What moment or experience as an artist do you feel most proud of?
The ah-ha moments! Like every time I help an actor break through a scene, or every time I work and can see a genuine connection to the character and circumstances.
Who do you really look up to in your field and why?
I look up to my resilient friends in the business. They are the people you’ll sit next to on the subway, and you don’t know their names, but they are incredibly gifted storytellers who never give up. They’re the artists who decide to keep going despite the odds.
I loved Athena’s enthusiasm and the scene work.
My experience was amazing! I always love working with Athena so much! I liked being in a class with teens and adults because I learned something different from each of the other actors, despite their age. It is good for me to exercise my acting muscle of becoming close to my scene partner in a short amount of time like we have to do on set!
This class was rewarding and enlightening. I was impressed with and inspired by my teen colleagues and their skills and talent. This class provided the support/tools I needed to feel confident in creating parental figure characters.
Full disclosure — please note that we do not guarantee that actors in these classes or workshops will be hired for any project that we might direct, produce, or cast. We teach and coach because we enjoy supporting and nurturing actors as you develop your personal process for auditioning, working and creating your own work.