Founded in January of 1999 by Director/Actor/Musician Vincent Riverside, and with chapters in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Street School Artist Collective passionately dedicates itself to creating a strong ensemble of actors, writers and directors who immerse themselves in the collaborative nature of theatre and film. Through support, hands-on experience and training we endorse artists of character.
Producing at least two original major stage performances and one independent film per year in both cities, the SSAC has developed a following in our respective communities that has opened many doors for our aspiring and working actors by utilizing the various artistic talents and strengths that each member has. As actors on stage and in film, music, painting, writing, directing, producing, design and technical support, every Member is encouraged to take full advantage of everything we offer; to explore every avenue of our art forms, yet every Member is free to chart their own course within the structure. Each participating Member is expected to support all of our various projects with their time, and energy, as they are able. Although we work with outside artists and technicians, we fill every role and every position we can from within the SSAC whenever possible. This is why we are the Street School Artist Collective and not the Street School Actors Collective.
If you are an actor, you must act, and a writer must write. This is nothing new, except for our commitment to producing original pieces written by our Membership on an ongoing basis with near instant access to an ever-improving ensemble of amazing actors for the burgeoning writer. Our actors enjoy the remarkable feeling of having a role especially written with them in mind. Yet this is not our greatest asset, however unique it is to our nature as a Company. Our greatest assets are Friendship, Loyalty and a Never Quit Work Ethic.
More than a theatre company, more than a film production company, more than a training program - we are a network of individual artists and we are a family; dedicated to the creation of art. We can be selfish in that pursuit, but never self-involved. We want to do work that we would be excited to see. We want to surprise ourselves and our audiences.
The SSAC functions as ONE organization with TWO chapters. The SSAC is broken down into four main divisions:
This division operates as a full professional Theatre Company with the goal of putting on one-two major theatre productions per year in each chapter. Regardless of which chapter the show originates in, the SSAC’s goal is to bring that show to the other chapter’s city if time, cast availability, budget and quality of the material permits. We concentrate on member generated original pieces primarily, but are not opposed to doing pre-published works from other artists. The Theatre Company’s budget is determined by member profit share and outside contributions. Full members are guaranteed casting in theatre productions.
Fenwick Films, a division of the SSAC, operates as an independent film company. We are open to features, shorts, videos, spec commercials and documentaries. The film company does not operate under any profit share from members and relies solely on raising funds for a project the same as any small film company. When principal photography is completed on any given film project, the Company Director opens the floor to submission proposals for the next project. After consideration from the staff, the next film project is chosen. These choices are governed by the overall SSAC schedule, budget and material. Members are provided 1st look for casting in film projects where appropriate. The film division also offers members a further reliable source to build their demo reels.
ON-GOING SCENE STUDY PROGRAM
Each quarter, depending on each chapter’s specific schedule, members have the opportunity to participate in the SSAC Scene Study Program. At the end of each scene study cycle, the SSAC hosts a Scene Study Performance Night, where industry, friends and family are invited to attend free of charge. Scene studies consist of original material, as well as pre-published work. Scene studies provide an opportunity for the directors and writers to test themselves and their material as well as a chance for the actors in the SSAC to constantly be involved in developing something for performance. Actors have the opportunity to work with writers to develop specific pieces if they wish. The scene study program also acts as the first proving ground for pieces that may ultimately be developed for our major theatre productions and film projects.
Although the SSAC is not a class, we do believe in constant training to keep the actor developing within the craft. When production rehearsal time allows, we do have individual training nights. These could take many forms such as lecture, audition exercises, cold reading, monologue work and traditional acting exercises from many different schools. Actors are never required to participate on these nights and as stated previously, the frequency of them varies depending on SSAC production schedules, desire of the members and individual chapter needs.
Currently, as of March 2009, the SSAC’s Los Angeles chapter
will become an associate company at Elephant Stageworks featuring
the Lillian Theatre. The Los Angeles chapter has regular meetings
on Tuesday evenings.
The San Francisco chapter has recently decided to vacate it’s residency at Shotwell Studios after four years and will be operating out of both the Theatre of Yugen and 42nd Street Moon Theatre. The San Francisco Collective meets on both Wednesday and Thursday nights.
All members are welcome, as they are able, to participate in and attend any production or activity of another chapter.
For San Francisco based actors who wish to move to Los Angeles to make a bid at the business, the SSAC offers a unique support system of knowledge, connections and a home base to help with the transition.