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September 24, 2011

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September 24, 2011

I have had the pleasure of being associated with this school for well over ten years. In that time, I have been so impressed with the dedication exhibited by those who run this school. They are committed to improving their programs and always show a willingness to expand, try things and risk new ideas. Two examples of many would be the new play component of the ART program as well as film. In both of these cases, the school has reached beyond its comfort zone in an effort to better serve the students who attend the school.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the greater Washington D.C. area. I have lost count of the number of students who have gone on from their studies at the Conservatory to be busy professional actors at local theaters in the area. I have also worked with a number of students in the professional arena and have found them to be more serious, well-trained and dependable than many of the actors who come from other programs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

In so far as possible, raise the bar on admissions in order to attract more students without jeopardizing the program.

September 22, 2011

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September 22, 2011

The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts has a staff of incredibly talented professionals who not only understand the craft of acting, but also the craft of teaching. Through the 2-year acting program, students are guided through their own personal discoveries and allowed the freedom to explore and express themselves in a safe, nurturing environment. Wonderful program!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Shooting commercials and industrials is often a constant struggle to find actors who understand the process and what is expected of them on set. The Conservatory is the only school in the area that has woven together acting technique with film production classes.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't mind seeing the film program expanded.

September 19, 2011

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September 19, 2011

I knew when I finished an undergraduate degree in English Lit, that I wanted to pursue a career as an actor. After several years of bouncing around between community and lower level professional theater, I realized I needed more training. Looking at the cost of most Conservatory training (often between 20&30K/year), serious training did not seem financially viable. The other option was to take financially affordable classes that would run once or twice a week, and would take several years to complete anything like a comprehensive curriculum. Neither option appealed.
At a Actors Expo in VA, I met some students from NCDA, and talked about their experiences. The school was a perfect balance of time commitment (16-18 hours of class a week; four 15 week semesters completed in 17 months) and cost. The four semesters I attended at NCDA cost about what a single semester at a Performing MFA Conservatory program would cost.
The program is completely focused on preparing performers for the professional world. In my two and half years since leaving NCDA, I have performed at the Kennedy Center, Signature Theater (winner 2009 Regional Tony), & Studio Theater. I have taken over as Executive/Artistic Director of the Baltimore Improv Group, and I'm starting rehearsals to play Hamlet.
I would never have received these opportunities had it not been for the skills I learned and support I received while at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.
There are schools with bigger names, bigger reps, and bigger price tags; but if you want to be a professional actor, this is the place for you.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Everyday I use skills learned at NCDA

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make the school better known.

September 19, 2011

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September 19, 2011

My name is Tanera Hutz and I graduated from NCDA'S ART program in 2006. I have had many wonderful opportunities to perform in Washington, DC's professional theatre community since then. These opportunities were made possible by the education I received at this school. I now live in Seattle, Washington where there is a very lively theatre scene....even though I'm starting over, sort of speak, I have the confidence to jump right on in do to my experience as a professional actor and the training I recieved at NCDA....check this place out and let your adventure begin......

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My ability to work steady since 2006.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Screen students a little better...especially prior to them progressing to each semester.....if they need more time in a semester to master the skills taught holding them back will only make them a better actor.

February 27, 2010

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February 27, 2010

Finding the National Conservatory Of Dramatic Arts was an important turning point in my life. I started acting as a child but stopped at a certain point due to various life events. In 2001, I took a month long course at RADA in London. The course gave me a glimse at what going to a full time conservatory might be like. The first time I wandered into the conservatory, it had a very good feel - it felt strangely like him. When I went for an interview, I met Nan Ficca. Talking to Nan made me think that my dream might be possible for the first time in years. My ears pricked up when she said that NCDA was modeled after conservatories in Europe. A few years earlier, I had tried to renew my love of acting by enrolling in a summer course at the The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. In that month, I experienced a comprehensive approach that included working on multiple disciplines - such acting, voice, movement, text work etc. on a daily basis. This seemed to me a much more time efficient way to study acting than taking a once a week class. When I was in London, I realized that a conservatory was the right learning environment for me - I just didn't know there was one right there in my own home town! I could write pages and pages about the hundred of little moments at the conservatory when I broke to a new understanding, did something new, or accomplished something that I did not think I could. What really sets The Conservatory apart from other acting institutions that I have experienced is that it gave me the safety net to grow. No one outside of students and faculty views student projects until fourth semester...I think this is so key because it allows students to "try and fail,". Another thing that sets this school apart of say, a college acting program is the amount that you actually act!!! The conservatory won't force you to take tech classes. The only non-acting stuff that is required are classes about business and auditions that will actually help you get a job - as an ACTOR! In addition to classes - if you put in the work, you will get meaty roles - over and over, so that you can grow from them. Another great thing about the conservatory is its ART program. In this program, students are cast and directed by high caliber professional directors. This really takes students to the next level, not only artistically, but also in terms of how to conduct themselves in a professional theatre environment with a director and stage manager. After graduating from the diploma and advanced programs at The National Conservatory, I have been paid as an actor! I worked at The International Spy Museum's "Operation Spy". I have narrated stories to kids and helped them act them out. I even got into a fight with a very mean puppet in one women show during the 2008 Fringe festival. I would not have gotten any of these and other gigs without my conservatory training. (And if I had, I wouldn't have known what I was doing!) Sadly, I have left Washington to be near family in Chicago. Since moving here, I have been invited to join the acting ensemble of "Evergreen Theatre Ensemble", and performed with them during the past year. I will never forget my experience at the Conservatory - it truly was a Godsend for me. I wish I could do it again - oh, wait - I can! The Conservatory lets alumni audit classes for free, forever. (As if I wasn't home sick already...sigh) I am so thankful to my acting home and family there. I will cherish it as long as I live. The End. Jennifer Mayberry, Chicago, IL ...I cannot say enough that for me NCDA was literally a Godsend...I had lost my dream for years...briefly rekindling it in London, and then finding I could pursue it in the town I grew up in...I don't know what would have become of me if I had not found it. Trying to be

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Please see lengthy description above - but I have gotten jobs, had fun, and learned more than I could ever say.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make the city let us park without moving our cars!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Following my long lost dream of becoming an actor.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professional, supportive,talented, and kind.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help many others...but I hope the core would not change.

Ways to make it better...

I had found out about the conservatory when I was 17, instead of when I was old as sin.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money and space

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

February 26, 2010

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February 26, 2010

While I'd taken acting classes at many different places, I did not get the comprehensive instruction about acting that you find at the Conservatory. They prepare you for the stage and for the business. Not just acting tools, but success in getting auditions, and selling and marketing your skills. I've stayed involved because I believe in the people there and their work. NCDA truly is a home with an ever-growing family.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the fact that I have been able to get work through the training they provide, and work with people and organizations that I came in contact with through the Conservatory.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

see if it were possible to bring in professionals in casting/producing/management more frequently to provide students with additional networking and growth opportunities.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It was a challenge as a student, but it was always fun. And it has continued to be fun in my work volunteering with them. They are consummate professionals, but incredibly generous with their time and their laughter. Makes for a good time.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly enthusiastic about their work, and supportive of your efforts, so long as you made an effort. They bend over backwards to help you get where you need to. Also, they're hilarious.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand its curriculum, give countless more students without the resources the chance to experience a great arts education, support fellow organizations in both the Georgetown and arts communities, and maybe even open branches elsewhere, if so inclined.

Ways to make it better...

They had been able to devote more time to some related studies, such as stage combat and/or the technical side of the business, but there is only so much time, and they have limited resources.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

a constant battle to keep up funding, and to continue marketing effectively to potential students in the area.

One thing I'd also say is that...

My experience at NCDA helped shape who I am today, and introduced me to people I will be friends with forever. And for that I will always be grateful.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 26, 2010

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February 26, 2010

Being a graduate of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts is something that I am truly proud of. With everything from basics of acting to business of acting, I have a solid foundation to build upon for the rest of my life!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the network that I have been introduced to, and my opportunities with teaching.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the family that develops, and the on-going encouraged involvement!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

talented, inspiring and nurturing.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

relocate or build a state of the art space, attract actors from all over the world, and expand it's cirriculum even more!

Ways to make it better...

they had a decent parking situation.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial challenges.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I would recommend the Conservatory to anyone who was thinking of attending a theatre school.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 25, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

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February 25, 2010
1 person found this review helpful

I did not really know what to expect when I enrolled in the NCDA. As a "true senior" (over 65) I did not know how I would fit in; how I would mesh with the much younger students; how I was going to learn lines; and how I was going to use this training to launch into my third career. Attending NCDA was one of the best things I have ever done. The training was superb and the interaction with my younger classmates was a most rewarding experience. The faculty, all of whom are working actors pushed hard in their instruction and provided encouragement all the way. Upon completion of the program, I knew that I was eager and ready to compete in the world of theatre. I always make myself available to talk to potential students. I do this because I am always confident that they too will find that completing NCDA is one of the best things they can do.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the way the NCDA leasership and faculty continue to avail themselves to help former students meet new challenges. This support includes counseling, audition coaching, much-needed encouragement. Their committment to "go-the-extra- mile has inspired me to d

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 25, 2010

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February 25, 2010

Without a doubt the best decision I made for my career. Before the Conservatory I thought I was an actor, however after 16 months of entensitive Dramatic Training & 8 more months of Repertory Style Theatre experince I can truly say I owe successes to the Faculty & Staff of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

All facets of my Performing career. From training to development to sustainment of my career.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Getting a better facilty, but that's what kinda makes the Conservatory so TRUE.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

GROWTH & FAMILY

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the epitamy of Staffs & Volunteers

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

afford to pay the great professor that they have a reasonable wage, finance a new facilty & become the leading Dramatic Arts schoolm in the North East

Ways to make it better...

Everyone of my classmate took the experience as seriously as i did.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Financing

One thing I'd also say is that...

Make sure that money goes to the right places.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 25, 2010

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February 25, 2010

I had attended a few low-cost performances at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts but was not familiar with the school until my oldest son decided he wanted to become an actor. I was very hesitant at his decision to enter a field that I thought was risky and difficult. He auditioned and was accepted at NCDA and completed their regular program as well as their advanced program (ART). The support and guidance he received, along with the excellent education at the Conservatory, changed my views on his beloved profession. He is now an equity actor, and he could not have achieved this without the mission of NCDA. Arts are often at the bottom of the "needs" list for financial support, however, yet the arts also make our lives richer and more satisfying. A little school that turns out wonderfully trained actors is one that should not be ignored. Their products benefit us all! I became such a fan I ended up serving on their board of directors!

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

observing my son graduate from their program as well as attending a number of the free performances offered by the Conservatory featuring student work.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

observing the dedication they have to their students, which continues even after graduation, as well as their efforts to be one of the few accredited acting conservatories in the region.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

a lean group with a big job -- it is impressive what they do with so little. I like to think what they could do if they had just a little more financial support to work with!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

supply the mid-atlantic with many well-trained, solid, professional working actors who could work in all kinds of areas: events, theatre, film, commercial, industrial, and so forth. Actors are an important part of our culture's communication!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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