Friday, November 21, 2008

A Year of HOLAfábrica Workshops and Seminars

By A.B. Lugo

This year, HOLA revitalized its HOLAfábrica program of workshops and seminars. In addition to the popular Spanish Language Voiceover Workshop (taught by Manuel Herrera), HOLA offered two different Strasberg Acting Technique workshops (beginning and intensive levels; taught by Mauricio Bustamante), a Computers and the Actor seminar for computer literacy (taught by Francisco Fuertes), an On-Camera Acting Seminar (taught by casting directors Elsie C. Stark and Elizabeth Gans of Stark Naked Productions/Elsie Stark Casting), a Business of the Business seminar (taught by Wendy Curiel) an audition technique workshop called The Mental Game of Auditioning (taught by Herman Chaves) and, finally, a Singer’s Workshop (taught by Sabrina Lastman) to close out our calendar year.

Most of the workshops took place at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center (home to HOLA) in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, either at Teatro SEA’s Los Kabayitos Theater, LA TEA’s theater or in the HOLA office proper. (A notable exception was the On-Camera Acting Seminar, which took place at the 3 of Us Studios in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.)

At the conclusion of each workshop or seminar, participants were given a survey to fill out questionnaires for their feedback and comments. Below is a sampling of quotes from HOLA members.

“It gave me a lot of insight and reinforced some of my beliefs.”
--Maribel Vásquez

“Everyone should take advantage of what Herman [Chaves] has to offer”.
--Mónica Delgado

“Wendy Curiel has a lot of experience and has a lot of good info to share.”
--Martín Chávez

“[Wendy]’s very straightforward and knows her business. [She’s] also very accessible.”
--Christina Luna

[Wendy es] excelente. Concreta. Honesta. Clara.
--Ángela Pérez

“I consider myself ‘computer illiterate,’ but the class taught me many specific things that I know will help me. Thank you.”
--María C. Liranzo

El precio fue muy accesible y el lugar perfecto. Thanks, HOLA for doing this for all of us.”
--Miguel Rangel

“It was very informative, honest and to the point.”
--Mariana Parma

“[Elsie and Elizabeth] are fun, straight to the point, willing to share, positive and truthful; I felt safe and not judged, but rather constructively.”
--Débora Balardini

“Both Elsie and Elizabeth really took the time individually with each participant to help them see their strengths and weaknesses.”
--Phoenix Ximénez

“I wanted to express my gratitude to Manuel and HOLA for putting together such a comprehensive and effective Spanish [Language] Voiceover Workshop. Thanks to Manuel instruction, guidance and expertise, I have gained renewed confidence when stepping up to the mic for a Spanish voiceover audition [Also, I wanted to] thank the HOLA staff and Mauricio Bustamante for putting together such a wonderful workshop at such an affordable price. I have been in many different acting classes, and I would definitely put this at the top of my list. I was truly fascinated by all the techniques I learned and was enchanted by Mr. Bustamante’s charismatic and unique style of teaching. I would highly recommend this class to any HOLA member or any person pursuing an acting career.
--Jean-Marc Berne

In addition to the above workshops, HOLA teamed up with TeatroStageFest/Latino International Theater Festival of New York, Inc. to present Produce!, a one-day free workshop for non-conformists determined to take their vision "from the page... to the stage!" The workshop took place at Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the CUNY Graduate Center in midtown Manhattan. More information about this workshop will be highlighted in a future blog.

For more information on HOLAfábrica workshops and seminars, call the HOLA office at (212) 253-1015 or check out the HOLA website at

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