We started as the Michigan Actors Studio serving students locally in the metro-Detroit community. Our goal was to provide state of the art training for both established and aspiring artists right here in Michigan. When we started, there weren't many affordable and professional options to study acting locally. While the short-lived Michigan film boom created a lot of small studios that flourished and then died when the incentives did, we were able to not only survive, but thrive. Why is that? We think it's because our teachers and staff are committed to two ideals that are at the core of who we are. One: that studying the arts is empowering and two: creating art in a safe space can be life-changing. If you haven't studied with us before, you might be surprised to learn that in addition to acting training, our students often find lifelong friendships and the momentum and support to make positive changes in their lives.
We were not quite finished with our spring session when we got the word that we would have to shut our doors indefinitely. We had no choice but to shut down our Theatre, our ComedySportz shows and our other live performance events. We had a decision to make at that point- do we hunker down and wait until we can safely open, or do we continue to teach? After a lot of discussion and some soul searching, we decided to take our classes online. Because our students count on us for community as well as training, we quickly put ourselves out there to hopefully assist people in navigating this unprecedented time.
Because of the circumstances our expectations were honestly pretty low that first session. We'll get something up, some people will come. We'll keep people connected during a rough time, and then get back to business as usual. Teaching would take a back burner to providing a safe space for people to connect. But what happened next was surprising. Not only did our classes work online- but they REALLY worked. Students were making great leaps and having breakthroughs in classes- classes were bonding even more than when we met in person. So we began to look at not just transferring our existing classes online, but also creating content specifically for Zoom in our on-line virtual classrooms. Once the word about our classes started to spread, we began bringing in students from more than just metro-Detroit. We started getting students from all over the country who are drawn to our warm, diverse and welcoming digital environment. Because our classes are interactive, the students who found us have stayed with us.
Once we realized that we were bringing in students from all over, we also started looking at who else we were bringing in- parents who don't have child care, those with transportation issues, or who worked late and couldn't make it from their workplace to the studio at 7pm. Supporting students is something we take seriously, so we decided that we needed to find a way to be there for these students too, even when the Michigan Actors Studio is safely able to open our doors.
THIS BRINGS US TO...
So here we are, today, introducing you to Montage online; Michigan's first fully virtual acting training program. From classes to coaching, from workshops to showcases- Montage has it all here, right at your fingertips-- no matter where you are.