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Where stars are born
Studio strives to help budding actors launch careers?
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Corinne Broskette critiques a video during one of her classes.
PINELLAS PARK – The Venue Actors Studio teaches young and old alike how to give their best on the stage and screen.

“Acting is an art that demands living the moment of the character you’re playing,” said Corinne Broskette, studio director. “One must be dedicated and willing to work hard.”

The daughter of a schoolbook salesman has worked with the likes of Bob Keeshan of Capt. Kangaroo fame, one of her mentors, and James Earl Jones and Tommy Smothers, to name just a few.

The studio at the Mainlands Mall on U.S. 19 boasts a wide variety of sessions for adolescents, pre-teens, teenagers and adults. Some students have gone on to appear on the stage, television and in movies.

Brittany Snow was in “American Dreams” and on television’s “Guiding Light.” Another student, Mark Counsuelos, appeared on ABC-TV’s “All My Children.” Others did commercials and stage.

Broskette was trained by, among others, Lee Strasberg of the famed Actors Studio. The New York-born actress/trainer has appeared in such notable plays as “Hair” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

“I grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., and loved opera,” Broskette said. “My goal was to attend the Juilliard School of Music in Manhattan, but that never happened.”

Instead, she earned a liberal arts degree and auditioned for a part in the play “Eh?” which helped launch Dustin Hoffman to fame. She moved to Hollywood and did television work, including a “Movie of the Week” stint. She appeared in a variety of different venues.

Broskette moved to Florida when her mother, Lucille, became ill. With acting still in her blood and Florida not being a mecca for the trade, Broskette sponsored an actor’s seminar at the former Boatyard Village in Clearwater.

The Venue Actors Studio was created in 1995 and was moved several times until it was settled at its present location.

Her students participated in such plays as “Kiss Me Kate” at St. Petersburg’s Bayfront Center, “Bleacher Bums” and “Boxcar Children,” a play about four orphans.

“We have classes for people of all ages,” Broskette said. “We teach method acting, which is what I learned from Lee Strasberg.”

Method acting is being able to get into a character at a very personal level.

“It’s all about being in touch with your feelings,” Broskette said. “You must live in the moment of the character.”

Emotional problems can result when actors cannot disassociate themselves from the characters they play. A few even have multiple personalities. Broskette herself once knew an actor who would live his characters beyond the sound stage.

Dustin Hoffman, Merle Streep and Al Pachino are considered to be among the finest actors of the day. Others, like Bruce Willis, are making their mark.

“There is a difference between entertaining and acting,” Broskette said.

Elvis Presley, for example, made millions of dollars from his travelogue movies. His pulling power was his music. Many people didn’t consider him an actor.

“We have lost many of our greats,” Broskette said. “They have been replaced with Richard Dreyfuss, Russell Crow and others.”

Many modern actors lack the drive of their counterparts from the past.

“But there are some who are willing to go the extra mile,” Broskette said.

Further information about classes is available by contacting Broskette at 822-6194.
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