Cleveland casting directors opened 1st Team Actors Studio at Great Northern Mall to offer locals real show biz training.
Malls with empty spaces have welcomed a wide array of new tenants like medical centers, boat dealerships, and rock-climbing gyms. But Ohio’s Northern Mall has stepped up its act.
Debuting in a 5,500-sq.-ft. space at the mall is 1st Team Actors Studio, and it’s no comedy. Its team is staffed by actors, directors, and agents who have booked projects such as the LeBron James biopic “Shooting Stars,” Tom Hanks’ “A Man Called Otto” and TV shows such as “Law and Order” and “Servant.”
“Our students are not only being educated, they are also working,” said Angela Boehm, a co-owner of 1st Team. “They are learning their craft and landing agents from all over the region. It is incredibly rewarding to watch as they book features and commercials and learn how to earn an income in this industry.”
The studio offers would-be show biz workers three tracks from which to choose. On Camera teaches students how to break into the business using knowledge of camera techniques, script analysis, and auditions. The Technique track focuses on scene work and the Improv track employs helps actors to think on their feet and be adaptable.
Boehm, a Cleveland-based casting director, is currently running an interactive virtual conversation series at the city’s Capitol Theatre featuring actors such as Tom Hanks, Monica Potter, and Paul Raci.
“When major productions come to Cleveland, they are looking for actors who really get it,” said Boehm’s partner in 1st Team, Lauren Nichols. “We have to match the cast step-for-step, and our training program equips students to do just that. Our coaches are passionate about helping actors start their on-camera careers and truly thrive.”
Great Northern is a 1.2 million-sq.-ft. center located 5 minutes from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport that is anchored by Dillard's, Macy's, J.C. Penney, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Regal Cinemas & RPX. It is owned by Pacific Retail Capital Partners.