Studio Teacher

We've all seen those cute, adorable children in movies such as Steven Spielberg's E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial and The Lost World: Jurassic Park 2. What were they doing making a movie when they should have been in school? Well, Adria Later was on both those sets as a studio teacher, and she can verify that not only were those kids in school, but they all completed their assignments on time.

Adria had to be there. It's required by California state law to have a certified studio teacher on the set to administer to the needs of young people between the ages of six and eighteen. Adria fit the bill. She is not only a studio teacher, but she also holds the titles of welfare worker and baby wrangler and, as such, is responsible for the schooling and well-being of all the children in her care on the set. On Hook, Adria was the chief studio teacher and had five other teachers working under her; she was kind of like a studio principal.

All studio teachers are also welfare workers. To be certified as a studio teacher in California (other states don't have anything similar), Adria had to be state credentialed as both an elementary and secondary instructor. Then she had to pass a test on the labor laws of the industry, which are quite stringent. As soon as those things were done, Adria received her "green card," which showed she was a certified teacher. That card is mandatory if you want to work in California or anywhere in the world for a production company based in California.

The test for your green card asks questions about how long children of different ages can stay on the set, how much schooling they need each day, and how long their breaks should be.

The job of a studio teacher is not necessarily traditional. Frequently, the student arrives on set with assignments and books from the regular school classroom, and the studio teacher is there to help out, answer questions, and teach the assignments given by the regular teacher. Adria is often in contact with her student's school, faxing homework to the teacher on a daily basis, so that when finished on the film project, the student will be at the same place as the other classmates at school. Since most of the regular performers are from Los Angeles, where shows are usually taped, they can attend their own school a minimum of once a week (Friday) or in the mornings before coming to work. In this case, the students bring homework with them, and Adria is there to help out when things get tough.

0 0

Post a comment