Acting coach and author Chambers Stevens will bring his Hollywood expertise to Beaumont in April with a pair of workshops for aspiring young actors.
The workshops, hosted by Outside the Box Productions, are scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m.-noon for 3rd through 6th grade, and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. for 7th though 12th grade. The workshops will be held in the Assembly Hall at All Saints Episcopal School, 4108 Delaware in Beaumont.
Cost is $125 for each workshop. Advance reservations are required. To reserve a spot call 409-543-4915 or go to www.facebook.com/outsidetheboxbeaumont.
“Chambers has a gift with children and teenagers,” coordinator Ramona Young said. “When he is coaching them on auditioning and different acting styles that are currently en vogue in Hollywood, he is super high energy. His energy reminds me of early Jerry Lewis. He’s fun, he does voices, he connects on their level — he’s just hilarious. Kids love him.”
Stevens, an established coach and the author of seven books of monologues, scenes and commercials for young actors, will offer an overview of what it is like to audition for television or a movie, and how to behave with a casting director, as well as how the basic audition works.
“Because of the tax breaks that Texas now has in place a lot of my clients are auditioning for films and television shows that are being shot in the state,” Stevens said. “I have a number of young actors from California who have been flown in to work on shows in Texas. These Californians are not better ‘actors’ than the kids in Beaumont. But they are better auditioners.
“So that is what we will focus on — making them fantastic auditioners. Also because my wife is an executive producer at The Disney Channel, I have a lot of knowledge about what Disney is looking for.”
Young said that participants will learn about all facets of the audition and acting process.
“Chambers will instruct them on what skills they need to work on to be an effective auditioner,” she said. “There’ll be some techniques on memorization and how to make your audition stand out. There will also be scene and monologue work.
“A lot of the stuff will be effective not only for auditioning on the professional level, but also for kids who are planning to audition for college acting programs or even local theater.”
Stevens said he enjoys working with young actors.
“Kids are the best,” Stevens said. “They are so full of creativity and energy. Their imaginations are powerful so they can throw themselves in to any scene. Plus they are so hungry for help from someone who knows what they are doing.”
This is Stevens’ fourth trip to Southeast Texas. Young, who teaches drama at All Saints school, said she invited Stevens to conduct workshops after meeting him five years ago at an event for actors and agents.
“About six years ago, I had a student actor who was fantastically talented and wanted to go to the next level,” she said. “He went to a professional scouting event where they have managers and agents from L.A., New York, Dallas and Miami. While he was there he met Chambers. Later, when the student went to L.A., he used Chambers as his coach. On a visit home, he raved about how wonderful Chambers was.”
“I did a little research to check him out and soon realized that the reason his name sounded so familiar was because I had been using his books in my classroom for several years.”
Among Stevens coaching clients are Jae Head, who played S.J. in “The Blind Side,” Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sally Draper on “Mad Men” and Riley Griffiths, who plays Charles Kaznyk in “Super 8.”
“Chambers is the one who prepared Riley for his audition for J.J. Abrams on ‘Super 8,’” Young said. “Another one of his long-time clients, Bridger Zadina, will be in ‘Iron Man 3’ this spring.”
Breaking into show business can be hard, but it never hurts to make a contact or two. Stevens knows how the business works.
“Last time I was in Beaumont, I got a kid an audition for a Broadway show — so no telling what will happen.”
For more information or to book a spot, visit the Outside the Box Facebook page.
For more information on Chambers Stevens, visit www.chambersstevens.com.
ISSUE Magazine – April 2013
Story by Andy Coughlan