Holy Wood Acting Studio had its grand opening on March 25 to begin its mission to create talented actors with the “emotional and spiritual maturity” to endure the challenges in their careers.
“The opening of Holy Wood Acting Studio represents a new era for the entertainment industry, an era where actors will not only thrill audiences with amazing performances, but also inspire them through moral, intellectual, and spiritual integrity,” the Culver City, Calif. studio said in a statement.
Participants at the event helped create an inspiring and exciting atmosphere they hope will set the tone for many years of actor training and personal development, the studio said.
Attendees included Fr. Willy Raymond, president of Family Theater Productions, and actor Navid Negahban of “The Stoning of Soraya M.” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.”
Telenovela actor and model Gonzalo Garcia Vivanco, famous for many soap operas in Mexico and Colombia, was at the event. Also there was evangelist Richard Shakarian, a Christian businessman from Los Angeles whose father founded the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International.
The studio’s operational director Max Espinosa opened the event, explaining the aim of the studio is to prepare students to be both successful actors and complete human beings.
He noted the “Four Pillars” of the study program: Acting, Personal Growth and Development, Leadership, and Health and Fitness. These are combined with Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body to produce actors who are masters of the craft and masters of themselves.
Holy Wood Studio is unique in its incorporation of the late Pope’s approach to spirituality. He emphasized the individual dignity and complementary roles of men and women, while showing how the drama of romantic love can only find fulfillment in marriage.
The studios’ opening ceremony featured video testimonials made by the students and teachers of a pilot seminar. They spoke of the studio’s potential to transform the lives of both students and teachers.
The audience also saw a film by Joe Sikoria, the studio’s personal growth and development coach, as he spent a day with his family. He talked about the need to live each moment of our lives as if it were the last, and to love as if it were our first.
After the video, Sikoria spoke to the audience in person about the importance of faith and family. He and his wife shared a story about a family experience that taught them the path to true joy can only come through self-sacrifice.
Holy Wood Acting Studies will open its three-month summer program on June 12. Another of its programs begins on Sept. 8 and lasts for a whole academic year.
The programs aim to provide flexible options for acting students looking to maximize their personal and professional development.
The studio's base of operations, Culver City in West Los Angeles County, bills itself as “the Heart of Screenland.” It is also the home of Sony Pictures Studios.
The studio website is at http://www.holywoodactingstudio.com.