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A female student looks at a camera that's facing another female student as the subject, with the subject visible in the camera's preview screen.

Train your techniques for on-camera acting and gain experience executing a self-taped audition

The UCLA Camera Acting Summer Institute is a two-week, intensive program for students interested in the performing arts. This program encompasses voice, scene study, storytelling, and on-camera acting training.  Students will learn about the process of relating to the camera lens and approaches to understanding a script so that specific choices can be made to prepare for and connect in the audition room.

Students will learn the technical components of acting for the camera and writing and filming their own content, while also gaining hands-on experience executing a self-taped audition. Beyond the classroom, students will attend guest workshops and learn the art of collaboration.

This program is designed for high school students who seek the discipline and training required for participation in a university on-camera program or a career in the entertainment industry.

Please note that all levels are encouraged to apply.

Fees and Payment Info

The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.

Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.


Students living in on-campus housing will be charged an additional housing fee.


Program Fee $2,850
Registration Fee $350
IEI Fee $61
Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students) $50

Meet Your Instructors

Rod Menzies


Actor and director Rod Menzies is an internationally recognized voice, speech, text, and dialect coach. He is a former co-artistic director of Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles (EST/LA), where he serves on the Board of Directors and contributes as an actor and director in the development of new American plays. He is also a member of the Open Fist Theatre Company, where he acts and directs. In 2018, he appeared in Zuri Alexander’s award-winning short film, Quiet Denial, which has screened at a number of film festivals including L.A. Shorts, where it was recognized with an Audience Award.

As a director, Menzies has helmed more than 60 theatrical productions, including three world premieres for EST/LA, and an award-winning world premiere of Tom Jacobson’s Walking to Buchenwald for Open Fist. In Los Angeles, he has performed leading roles at Open Fist, A Noise Within, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Pico Playhouse, Getty Villa, Chalk Repertory Theatre and EST/LA. A veteran of the Shakespearean Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, Menzies has played many leading Shakespearean roles, including Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet; Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night; Hortensio in Taming of the Shrew; Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the title role in King Henry V.

As a faculty member in nationally recognized conservatory programs, Menzies has taught acting and directing through many courses in voice, speech, text, and dialects. He is a founding faculty member of Canada’s National Voice Intensive where he taught voice and Shakespeare text for 15 years. As the founding producing director of New York Theatre Intensives, he taught a summer intensive in new play development in collaboration with the member artists of EST/NY.

Among the actors he has coached are Patricia Arquette, Neve Campbell, David Duchovny, Mariska Hargitay, Adrian Homes, James Purefoy, Marcus Scribner, Alicia Silverstone, TJ Thyne, and Sophie Turner.

In addition to UCLA TFT, Menzies teaches at the AMDA Conservatory of the Performing Arts. He received his master of fine arts degree in theatre from York University in Toronto and a diploma in acting from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England.

Image of Rod Menzies

April Shawhan


April Shawhan teaches acting at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. She has taught acting at New York City’s Playwright’s Horizons and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Additionally, Shawhan was the head of the acting department at Trinity Rep Conservatory. She has directed many plays, including A Lie of the MindTop Girls, and A Savage in Limbo.

As an actress, Shawhan has appeared in eight Broadway plays, including A History of American FilmRex, and Over Here. She also starred as Blanche in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Her regional theater credits include roles such as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Nora in A Doll House. Shawhan appeared in her first film, The Lay of the Land, written by UCLA TFT Professor Emeritus Mel Shapiro, in 1997.

Image of April Shawhan

Les Miller


Les Miller is an award-winning short film director and screenwriter. Her acting journey began at 16, when she took an intensive summer course in the Meisner Technique with Sidney Kay from The Neighborhood Playhouse. Encouraged to continue training full-time, Les moved from her home in Pennsylvania to study with the legendary Stella Adler in NYC. After completing 2-years at the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory, she furthered her studies at the HB Studio with Uta Hagen. Les applied her expertise in the craft of acting as a Casting Director in NYC, having cast small independent feature films, and commercials for major brands such as Snickers, AT&T and Renuzit. Les has directed several plays, staged readings, and many actor showcases for high level industry insiders.

Previously, Ms. Miller taught acting and film directing at the New York Film Academy at Universal Studios, served as Director of New Works for the Ark Theatre Company, and was a member of the Playwrights Unit at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, LA.

Currently, Les teaches acting for the camera, and audition technique at the prestigious Theatre of Arts, and the art of directing actors for the screen at the UCLA Extension. In addition, Les is a much sought-after private audition coach whose clients regularly appear in film and television.

As an academic, Ms. Miller holds an M.F.A. in Film Directing and Production from UCLA. She also holds a Certificate in Screenwriting from the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a double Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and the Thomas Hunter Honors Program from Hunter College, City University of New York.