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Welcome to The Aquila Studio


About The Aquila Studio

“It’s not the experiences, necessarily, that form us the most but what we do with them.”

When I was a young student studying at NYU and the Adler Conservatory, legendary teachers Stella Adler, Sondra Lee and Ron Burrus gave me and my fellow students the tools necessary to help turn experiences into valuable assets for character foundation building and development.  They taught us the fundamental elements of script analysis and how to apply them to the text at hand to truly experience the role. “Not only do we have to know the circumstances of the period, the literary aspects but also what’s hidden underneath;” always going to what lies beneath the written words to their meaning.  Add imagination to this recipe, “active imagination, not passive, taking your character by the hand and walking with them as if they are right beside you…” and you have the beginnings of craft.  This is a process that will serve you in your life and in your work as artists, for the rest of your life. These tools, this process, when inculcated with clear and positive reinforcement is the basis of what this studio is about.  Because it is certainly not about tricks or shortcuts. 
It’s about CRAFT.

A promise made is a promise kept, as this work is now passed along to you, from those that enriched my life all those years ago.



In this class we will identify the themes at work in the plays and screenplays on which we work. From this foundation, we will enhance backstory, principles of time and place, specific emotional memory work and imagery as we endeavor to develop characterization.
Students will work, individually, with Deborah Aquila and Marjorie Ballantine as they investigate the world of character building in safe, yet challenging sessions.

In this class we will apply the principles of script analysis with great specificity. Emphasis will be placed on emotional memory and imagery from backstory preparation. We will get very detailed in how to apply this technique, always starting with the text and emotional “intention.” Students will work with Deborah Aquila and Troy Ruptash as they learn to apply the basics of text analysis to build emotionally truthful characters.

Whether you are new to The Adler technique or just want to deepen your work, this class is designed to push you creatively and intellectually. Our goal is to give you a foundation for your craft that will serve you professionally for the rest of your career. You will be led through a process that begins with the author’s intent and will take you through the collaborative effort that is building backstory and a fully realized, emotionally truthful character. The first class of this series is a three-hour lecture on the principles of script analysis, so bring your journals! There will be a short scene presented to highlight some of the concepts introduced.
Deborah Aquila will be presenting this lecture, with Troy Ruptash, during the first class. Troy Ruptash will be the primary instructor for the rest of the session. Deborah will join as scheduling permits.

Private coaching is available for film, television, theatre and specific projects, including audition prep. Private coaching sessions will be coordinated upon inquiry.

This class will focus on the body of the actor and will weave together the technical and the emotional through breath, voice, presence, and behavior. This is the missing link for all actors between studying a character and embodying a life.

We see a lot of hard working artists training in their CRAFT, but aren’t doing any training on their MINDSET. The result is: no matter how much PREP they put in, they find their performance gets SABOTAGED in some way. This program is a “how to” guide to train your mindset around all aspects of PERFORMANCE including: processing feedback from the outside world, TRANSFORMING OUR RELATIONSHIP to nerves , mindfulness training, HOW TO DEAL WITH negative self-talk, EXCERCISES FOR building confidence and more.

This series of classes is a continuation of the work introduced in the weekend Mindset Course.

We will be examining the principles of script analysis as applicable to the everyday audition experience.

Using this specific plan of action will deepen your backstory, which will enhance your choices during the presentation of your audition.

THE AQUILA STUDIO is excited to announce it is now welcoming demo reels and/or taped monologues for admission to classes, in lieu of in-person auditions. Materials are required for admission to the studio and placement within classes.

All applicants will be contacted promptly after the faculty reviews your materials.

Interested students are welcome to submit by headshot, resume, and a link to an online reel or self-tape at any time. 
If you're submitting a self-tape, please send a link to a 1-2 minute contemporary monologue that shows your strengths
(no Shakespeare, please). 

Contact Us

1103 N. El Centro Ave.
Second Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90038