Talent camp gives teens a chance to gain acting, modeling skills

Lights! Camera! Action!

Who hasn’t dreamed of hearing those words at least once in their life? The only problem is that most don’t know how to get started as a model or actor.

There are places in Las Vegas that serve this purpose, teaching the basics and preparing students for careers in front of the camera.

Las Vegas Image and Talent, run by Steve Bowers and Gregory Rice, is a training camp that is invitation only. To get an invitation, those interested can go to one of their booths in the Galleria at Sunset mall and sign up.

Bowers works the booths. He not only coordinates promotional events in the mall, he also conducts the interviews.

Next is a tryout session where potential students perform a model walk with a simple turn and take part in a basic mock commercial. Those deemed to have talent are asked to come back for a follow-up interview where they learn about the classes.

Rice, teacher of both the modeling and acting classes, has been in the business since he was 7 years old. Though his parents were in the catalog business, he wanted something more.

When asked what he’s done, he answers with a laugh, “What haven’t I worked on?” He’s done everything from participating in fashion shows to doing voice-overs, and even writing scripts.

Aside from teaching the classes, he also decides in what direction the company is going, what they want to do, what size they want to be, and he also works with photo production.

Because they are a talent training camp rather than a talent agency, they face a variety of competition.

“Our biggest competition is from national franchises like Casablanca and John Robert Powers, though their prices are much higher than ours,” Rice says.

Though they get hundreds of people trying to become an actor or a model, they sift through the mix of talented and not-so-talented and handpick the very best. According to Rice, there are about 30 to 50 students a year.

Bowers started as a teenager in modeling school with his sister, taking the classes only for self-improvement. He soon had his first job as a window model for a leather store, something in which students taking these classes will also participate. He also had a part in a movie called “Videodrome” as a reporter.

“I want to give teenagers an exciting thing to do,” Bowers says of why he’s part of the talent camp. “I try to create this as a hot spot for teens to socialize and have a lot of fun performing.”

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