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James Franco School Of Acting Holds Open Auditions

Heather Navarro |
February 28, 2014 | 4:13 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

If you had a chance to act with the Green Goblin, wouldn't you stand in the rain?

The James Franco school of acting, also known as PHW Studio 4, drew nearly 100 acting hopefuls on Feb. 28 for open auditions. (Fabian Navarro)
The James Franco school of acting, also known as PHW Studio 4, drew nearly 100 acting hopefuls on Feb. 28 for open auditions. (Fabian Navarro)

That's what nearly 100 budding actors did Friday, some showing up as early as 9:30 a.m., to audition for the PHW Studio 4 – better known as the James Franco school of acting.

The website instructed any actor aspirants to show up at Playhouse West in North Hollywood – the very same place Franco got his start – with the first month’s fees in hand for “unique opportunities, not found in other acting schools.”

Sadly, Mr. Franco was not in attendance Friday.

But earlier in the week, Franco’s Instagram and Twitter feeds got people all riled up when Seth Rogen, Franco’s “Pineapple Express” buddy, showed up for a Q and A Tuesday night. Rogen’s comedy writing partner in crime, Evan Goldberg – you know him from “Superbad,” “This Is The End,” the list goes on  – showed up too.

“We will invite industry professionals to the classes for Q and A sessions, and will regularly have scene nights in the studio,” the website said, essentially promising, “there’s more where that came from.”

That was enough to draw this crowd in.

ALSO READ: James Franco Defends Shia LaBeouf

Xavier Owens, whose claim to fame was a role as a 2-year-old actor in "A Stranger Among Us" with Melanie Griffith, waited in line on Lankershim Boulevard down the street from Universal Studios in Hollywood.

"I studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse back east, and this is the west coast division,” Owens said. “This just seemed like a really good opportunity.”

Owens also earned a Screen Actors Guild card from a Kodak commercial as a child, taught acting classes in Virginia, and even worked for a production company on shows like “House of Cards” and “Veep.”

Owens has a day job right now until he hits it big.
"[I have] the most cliché day job ever as a server and bartender," Owens said.

He said he’s looking forward to the opportunity of learning from Franco.

“I feel like he has a lot of range as an actor,” Owens said. “He can do the crazy off-the-wall stuff like ‘Pineapple Express’ and then he can do really intense Oscar material like ‘[127] Hours.’”

(James Franco's Instagram)
(James Franco's Instagram)

Robert Carnegie, who founded the school with Jeff Goldblum, was pretty busy with the 100 or so actors who showed, and made an announcement to the crowd, saying he didn't anticipate this many people. Carnegie taught James Franco at the same school.

Other students of the Playhouse West program include Ashley Judd, Jim Carrey, Jordana Brewster and even Charisma Carpenter – yes, “Buffy” alum!

Miciana Hutcherson also stood in line for a chance at getting into the classes. Hutcherson heard about it on James Franco's Instagram page.

The school’s instructors will be teaching the Meisner technique, which is similar to improv but with complex exercises, according to those waiting in line.

“You go with what you feel, and not what you think,” Brian Ray Thompson, a thespian hopeful, said while waiting his turn.

The auditions, which turned out to be interviews for slots in the school, took place at the Hollywood West Playhouse where the classes will be held.

The school's program runs about $325 per month, and according to those waiting in line, that's pretty affordable.
 For more information on PHW Studio 4, follow the school on Twitter.

Also read about James Franco’s ex-onscreen girlfriend, Mila Kunis, and her engagement to Ashton Kutcher.

Heather Navarro can be reached here, or follow her on Twitter.



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