WINTER PARK, Fla. - Back-to-school plans won’t include theater arts for now, so extracurricular acting programs are stage dark as kids return to class. Thankfully though, a private acting school in Central Florida is able to fill the drama void.
Classes at the 'Maile Image Modeling & Acting School' in Winter Park are filling up fast. The young actors there may be the next household names on Netflix, Disney, FOX, and ABC. That’s because those are just some of the networks that Maile students have landed.
"We’ve had a lot of successful graduates come from our school," Debby Tapia, the school's Vice President, said. Her elite academy is for any age, any experience level, and it’s been around in Winter Park since 1982. "All of the classes at the Maile school focus on confidence, self-esteem, interviewing, stage presence, how you’re speaking, and communication skills."
Those are skills needed for television, film, and modeling. Not the typical agenda in a regular public school, especially now that extracurriculars – such as theater programs -- have temporarily gone by the wayside. The Maile school is filling that need.
“We’re still offering our classes, such as ‘Acting After School.’ We have classes on Saturdays. We have activities for confidence and on-camera acting, posture, poise, etiquette, we have vocal lessons. And we’ll be offering more of those things since schools are canceling after school activities,” Tapia explained.
The classes fill up fast, partly because they’re only operating at 50 percent ever since reopening after the pandemic lockdown. Tapia said that “usually we’d have 12 to 15 in the class. Now, we’re having to keep our class at six or seven."
Masks, temperature checks, sanitizer, and social distancing are all new aspects of the program. Satisfying a child’s dream of being a big star and a parent’s justification for tuition are still time-honored goals at the Maile school, though.
"We are so happy when someone finishes our program and the parents are pleased with what they learned. And that makes us glad that we’ve done our job here too,’ Tapia said.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the rest of the FOX 35 Classroom Survival Guide as schools prepare to reopen.