© Miliana Bidault
An innovative and original project in the field of theater
In September 2014, the CFA for Comedians obtained the authorization from the Ministry of Culture to issue the 'Diplôme National Supérieur Professionnel de Comédien' (DNSPC level II (bachelors level), and became a school for professional actors called Ecole Supérieure de Comédiens par l’Alternance (ESCA) of the Studio d'Asnières.
Thus, both the training high quality offered and the specificity of alternating between work and apprenticeship have been recognized by the Ministry of Culture (it is the only school of that type for Comedians in France). The ESCA offers an apprenticeship that allows both to continue to train, work and meet the professional environment, while receiving a wage.
The apprenticeship is three years long. Classes take place mainly in the morning in Asnieres-sur-Seine.
This idea of training through apprenticeship in dramatic art, which was created and founded by the Studio d'Asnières is a pioneering idea. It values our relationship to the realities of professional life while preserving spaces for young artistes to create and dream.
As a result, it is an accompanying entry to professional life for our students (contracts, agreements, reports to auditions, producers, directors, wage and working conditions, negotiations etc...) while continuing to nurture them artistically.
In addition to our guiding principles our pedagogy sees to the following :
• The discovery and immersion in contemporary writing ; a cycle of public readings supported exclusively by apprentice students. Four to six public readings per season at the Studio-Theater.
• The encouragement and development of apprentices' abilities to carry out projects by providing 2 to 3 "carte blanche" shows per season at the Studio - Théâtre.
We recruit a new promotion each year, after a 3 stage exam. Each promotion has 13 to 15 apprentice actors.
However, the pedagogy of ESCA mixes promotion activities during the course of three years. The path of each apprentice is individualized and built "à la carte", each group is reinvented according to the projects of the teachers and the balance of each group. As a result, the artistic dynamic is constantly renewed.
From 18th March to 25th April 2019
In view of the increase in the number of applications, the period of the first round is exceptionally longer.
An innovative training program with an entrance examination and a diploma
The Entrance Examination Jury, made up of members of the supervising team of the ESCA, external speakers, professional actors as well as alumni, assesses the level of acting and the training background of the future apprentice. This is done in two turns. The third turn and last stage of the entry process entails singing and dancing, during which the Jury assesses the actor's and actresse's ability to execute an order, to listen to their partners, their sense of rhythm and adaptability, as well as their aptitude for learning during a personalized interview.
On the first and second round, the jury is made up of 8 to 10 people: the CFA director and assistant director, instructors, professional actors from the CFA (2 people), apprentices (2 people). During the singing and dancing round, the jury is made up of the management team and the singing and dancing instructors (4 people). Finally, the personalized interview is done by the director, the assistant director and the Pedagogical Officer of the Studio in order to evaluate the candidate's approach and to establish the status and rules of apprenticeship.
The pedagogical project for the next 3 years aims to give a broad approach to the aesthetics of theater during internships with professionals, as well as to empower apprentices by allowing them to "do" and to meet a range of professionals in the field of acting. In addition, the CFA team is close to each apprentice and organizes a personal follow-up.
© Miliana Bidault
For the apprentice, a real status
The apprenticeship contract is a work contract, alternating professional work and training at ESCA. It is concluded between the employer (the Studio) and the apprentice for a period of 3 years. The contract concerns young people aged between 18 to 29 years old (when applying to the ESCA) and it confers on them full salaried status, with the rights and obligations related to it (wages, social security, holidays ...).
How to obtain an apprenticeship contract
The Sutdio provides a 3-year contract, and we are the only school that engages in paying apprentices during the 3-year period.
To sign a contract with The Studio, the apprentice has three possibilities :
1) The Studio can hire him or her for one of its creations
2) The apprentice brings an engagement of two to three months minimum (not necessarily consecutive) with an outside company that can pay him the minimum apprentice wage.
3) The Studio proposes to the apprentice an engagement by an outside company through an audition organized with the director. Finally, it is also possible to sign an apprenticeship contract with another company than Le Studio, if the apprentice obtains a three-year contract with that company.
Acceptance to the CFA without prior contract
An apprentice may temporarily enter ESCA without finding a work contract. She or he then enters a "gateway" period of one year maximum, during which she or he has to find an apprenticeship contract with a company. However, this possibility is only given if the apprentice is motivated enough to search for companies that are liable to sign her or him in. Time will be allocated for job search.
© Miliana Bidault