Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Following the Actors As They Follow Their Dreams

Julia Hochner, right, in the 1997 Youth Players production of In Your Dreamz
Julia Hochner
As students from SCR’s Theatre Conservatory pursue acting careers, it’s fun to go back with them to see where it all began.  So much fun that we have initiated a series to run periodically—following serious acting students into the world of stage, screen and television.

Actors like Julia Hochner, who is currently making her professional debut in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons at Florida’s Gulfshore Playhouse.  Hochner was barely 10 years old when she first came to SCR.  At that point, she had appeared in a few plays in elementary school, which she remembers as “learning lines and knowing where to stand.”

Hochner learned much more during her six years in SCR’s Theatre Conservatory. 

“Initially, the program gave me self-confidence and an outlet for expression,” she says.  “And because SCR was separate from my life at school (with its social pressures and rules) I could really be myself.”

At 10 years of age, Hochner wasn’t aware that the confidence she gained and the freedom that allowed her to be herself was what the program was all about!

After they become more confident, make new friends and learn about theatre, some students decide to take their experience to the next step—and audition for the Players ensemble groups.  And although she didn’t actively make up her mind to pursue an acting career until later, apparently the seed was planted at SCR because Hochner was among the students who took that extra step.  She auditioned and was accepted into the Teen Players, where she appeared in two productions, In Your Dreamz and Generation Why?

She went on to act in high school shows and earned her BA in drama from the University of Washington before moving to New York—and settling in Brooklyn.  She has appeared off-off Broadway in shows including The Fat Man’s Daughter at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, Phases at Cabrini Repertory Theatre and Tape at Night Lights Theatre.

Hochner with actor Benedict Mazurek in Phases by Rachel Carey at
Cabrini Repertory Theatre.
In All My Sons, which runs through April 19, Hochner plays Lydia Lubey, the Keller family’s bubbly next door neighbor.  It’s role she has prepared for by understanding how the character serves the play as a whole. 

“Lydia is such a contrast to the Keller’s tragic story.  Through her laughter and lightheartedness, she gives us a sense of the kind of happiness the Kellers will never have.  I find that very powerful, and of course, heartbreaking.”

Hochner always was a performer at heart, putting on plays in her grandmother’s living room, but, she says, “It was at SCR when I began a deeper, fuller exploration of acting, and I haven’t stopped!”  And, by the way, when she returns to California, Hochner often returns to SCR.  On her most recent trip, she took her parents to see 4,000 Miles.

Learn more about acting classes at SCR and enroll today!

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