While LARTC recognizes the great value of a college education, we also see that college is no longer a guarantee of success and upward mobility. We are eager to champion a mentorship model that will give youth a chance to learn about the entertainment industry from the mentors currently working in the entertainment industry.
Our multiyear plan to develop a space in which youth can learn any aspect of the business in which they have an interest - from acting to producing to fundraising to publicity to casting - from those within the business will guide our member/students through creating their own productive place in the world. To teach them through practical experience how to become entrepreneurs who not only support themselves but create jobs for other driven individuals.
Based on the success of the award-winning YOU PROJECT, at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, The Lake Arrowhead Repertory Theatre Company wants to give this same opportunity to at-risk-youth in Los Angeles, California.
Lake Arrowhead Repertory Theatre Company, under the direction of Megan Foley and Chuck Marra, is committed to creating opportunities for arts education, written and spoken creative expression, and positive, supportive access to the Hollywood entertainment community. LARTC recognizes that mass entertainment can be a resource for great good. The movie and television industry tells stories that can bring people together, create social change, help viewers find themselves through the characters we see on the screen. However, what has become increasingly obvious over the last decade, the stories that Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world wants to tell are often chosen through a few narrow avenues of privilege: racial privilege, educational privilege, and gender privilege to name a few. Yet we have seen again and again that greater representation throughout the industry, makes for a better, kinder industry, a more tolerant, well-rounded public. For these reasons, FMS has created a plan for introducing youth from a wide variety of backgrounds to every aspect of the business so that this vital part of the Los Angeles economic base reflects the diversity inherent in the city.
The first stage of the LARTC Entertainment Mentorship Collective is to institute THE YOU PROJECT, a program proven to offer numerous benefits and support to Los Angeles Youth.
In this program we will create two small mentorship groups:
1 - The writing/performance group. To learn to create and perform content to be performed in front of a live audience at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, as a practical product-development tool.
2- The business/production group. To learn to produce, advertise and market, and financially manage the production.
The goal is to use our native Entertainment Industry to help them either enter the industry and succeed in it or in any business they would choose.
HOW THE PROJECT BEGAN:
The YOU PROJECT began in 2016 as a call to action. Actors, musicians, writers, and artists (from 9 - 60 years old) who felt stalled in their careers needed an outlet for the creativity they felt was being stifled or ignored by the industry at large. The YOU PROJECT gave them a voice. LARTC asked them to write a 2 to 3-minute monologue, using the classic Hero's Journey as the template. We only had one guiding principle regarding the subject matter: each piece needed to be an expression of gratitude, thanking someone (living or dead) who had a positive influence on their lives, but whom they had never thanked. After the completion of each monologue, we took these separate pieces and edited them into one fast-paced quilt work of personal stories. The result was a play that won Buzzfeed's number 2 pick of the entire festival, and The Producers Encore Awards every year from 2016 to present.
THE SUCCESS OF THE PROJECT
The actors and artists who participated called the process and performances' life-changing,' and the effects on the artists' lives became evident. Actors who were stalled and creatively paralyzed went on to do Off-Broadway hit plays, films, major studio animated films, network television roles, and commercials. Artists went on to do successful shows in L.A. and Miami. Those who only dreamt of making films went on to become filmmakers, whose films became award-winning staples of film festivals around the world. Even the children who participated in the Project went on to achieve significant improvement and success in their school activities.
Each year that we offered the YOU PROJECT, we discovered the following benefits for the participants:
· Significant improvement in both practical and creative writing skills.
· Higher levels of self and time-management.
· A greater degree of emotional intelligence and appreciation of life events.
· A greater sense of the value of personal responsibility and leadership.
· Higher levels of goal setting and achievement.
· Greater appreciation of teamwork and enhanced interpersonal skills (with a particular emphasis on active listening and empathy).
· Creative freedom that leads to concrete entrepreneurial activities (film production)
-More advanced levels of communication
-Decreased levels of speech impediments, anxiety, and social phobias
-Kids doing better in school
LARTC is eager to offer these same benefits to the voiceless youth of Los Angeles (ages 10 to 17).
BE A PART OF IT:
Please follow us on our journey to do what WE can to improve the lives of our neighbors in the city that was love.