"Bridging the gap from school play to Broadway," Acting-A-Part is a theater and film school franchise dedicated to helping children thrive in the fine arts. Founded by Erika Lupo in 2002, the first location for Acting-A-Part was established in Sparta, New Jersey, conveniently located just two hours away from Broadway and New York City.
The curriculum for Acting-A-Part changes with every semester and classes are offered for children beginning as young as four years old. Prior experience in acting is not necessary. "My program is different because we’re all about the kids," Lupo told us. "I tailor the program for each individual child. Anybody can take my program – it doesn’t matter if they have experience, it doesn’t matter if they have a talent. We are an inclusive program where everybody is accepted."
There is no audition process to enroll in Acting-A-Part and every child learns at his or her own level and speed.
Acting-A-Part was a dream project for Lupo, who had spent ten years working as an English teacher in the public school system before starting her own business. Being the daughter of a film producer, Lupo spent many days on film sets as her father worked and was also given the opportunity to enjoy a few cameos in made-for-TV movies. Her childhood exposure to the industry inspired a lifetime of love for the theater, one that she wants to share with other children through Acting-A-Part.
"I left a tenured position to start Acting-A-Part," Lupo said. While following one's dreams almost always comes with some degree of uncertainty, Lupo is living proof that the decision to take the risk can lead to something truly amazing in the end.
Acting-A-Part Offers Individualized Coursework
Acting-A-Part offers a variety of classes set in a positive atmosphere, each one designed with a specific outcome in mind. Film classes give children the opportunity to film a movie on location, culminating in a film festival held at a movie theater. Acting classes allow children to meet a real casting director, while musical theater classes put on a live production at the end of the course. Acting-A-Part also recently established Camp Catwalk, a class designed for acting, modeling, and runway work.
Courses for Acting-A-Part evolve each semester as demand dictates. Lupo credits her teaching background for the ability to craft the curriculum. She writes the scripts and adapts them to the students in attendance at each franchise to provide a highly individualized experience for each.
Hands-On Franchise Support Beyond The Stage
"When I train teachers and staff, it’s my philosophy that all kids can achieve their goals. Every child is great," Lupo emphasized. "There’s no negativity in the program."
While Acting-A-Part began franchising relatively recently, Lupo currently has one unit in operation with two more being signed. She sees her small size as a huge benefit, however. "Because I’m small enough, you can have me – the owner – for one-on-one training," Lupo noted. "I’m all about being involved in everything I can."
She has a plan for training franchisees, one that will take a hands-on approach. "As soon as I have the units in place, I plan on going out to the units and training with them one-on-one," Lupo explained. She intends to bring some of her core staff members to work with the franchisees, as well. "Once I’m big enough and I have people that I’ve trained in this, I can send different groups out," Lupo added.
No matter how large of a franchise Acting-A-Part becomes in the future, Lupo is determined to maintain close personal contact with all of her franchisees. "They have access to me as much as they need me," Lupo said. "I’m very accessible. I’m not someone who’s going to walk away from it."
Lupo maintains a website that is interconnected to her franchise locations, allowing her to set the course schedule and class times with input from the franchisees. Consistency is key when it comes to successful franchises, which is why Lupo remains in charge of what each location offers in terms of classes each season. “We talk about it and if they want to offer a different show, that’s fine, but it has to be approved by me," she explained.
New franchises for Acting-A-Part will have continuous ongoing support, a vital element of their future success. "I'm very hands-on," Lupo expressed, ensuring that future franchisees can enter an agreement with confidence.
With a solid plan for training and brand consistency already in place, Acting-A-Part will be playing an active role in the lives of children and aspiring stars for years to come.
Established in 2002 and headquartered in Sparta, New Jersey, Acting-A-Part is a theater and film school designed to provide children with a learning experience that exposes them to the fine arts while inspiring their creativity and boosting their overall confidence at the same time. The programs are set in a non-competitive, all-inclusive atmosphere where every child is given the opportunity to be a star. For more information about franchising opportunities for Acting-A-Part, visit aapfranchising.com
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