KD Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts Celebrates its 40th Year of Acting and Film Production Training

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KD Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts announces its 40th Year Anniversary for acting, musical theatre, and motion picture production training.

KD Conservatory, a subsidiary of KD Studio Inc., was established by acclaimed fashion and talent agency director Kim Dawson, and the agency’s manager, now current KD President Kathy Tyner in 1979 to meet the needs of Dallas’ growing film and television industry by providing space for actors to hone their craft. These classes, which were initially held in a back room at the Dallas Apparel Mart, helped launch the careers of thousands of aspiring actors.

From this humble beginning, KD has become a hub for Dallas’ entertainment industry, offering classes for children, teens, and adults. KD’s children and teen programs have helped launch the careers of such stars as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Chauncey Leopardi, and Kevin McHale. The school has also been the site of countless auditions for television commercials as well as film and television productions such as Oliver Stone’s JFK, Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket, Barney and Friends, The Little Rascals, Burt Reynolds’ Evening Shade, Queen of the South as well as serving as the Texas casting hub for the films The Jungle Book, Free Willy, and The Secret Garden.

In 1985, the president of KD Studio, Kathy Tyner, took a major step forward by seeking accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and approvals from the United States Department of Education and Texas Education Agency in order to begin offering an Associate of Applied Arts Degree in Acting. With these approvals in place, and now accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), KD Studio launched KD Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts (http://kdstudio.com/) in 1988 and the careers of a new generation of actors took hold, such as Julio Cesar Cedillo, George Eads, and Julie Lancaster. Another KD graduate, Michael Woolson, author of The Work of the Actor and Emotion on Demand, has become a leading acting coach in Los Angeles where he has trained numerous actors including Golden Globe nominee Mila Kunis of That ‘70s Show, Black Swan, and Bad Moms; Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Hailee Steinfeld for her roles in True Grit and The Edge of Seventeen; Evan Peters of X-Men and the Divergent series, and Molly Quinn who began her acting training as a KD Kid, then studied with Woolson in Los Angeles and went on to star in Castle on ABC.

The benefits of KD’s acting training has extended far beyond the stage and camera, as proven by the careers of KD graduates who have parlayed their acting training into success in other fields, such as Johnny Wimbrey (best-selling author and international motivational speaker), Cooper Bates (co-founder and managing partner of Hint Mint, co-creator of TEDx Skid Row, founder of Idea Project), and Richard Means (President of RAM Custom Homes).

“KD’s educational philosophy has always been that each student possesses unique qualities and abilities,” says KD founder and President Kathy Tyner. “Our amazing instructors are able to help our students to employ their individual strengths and to tap into their creative resources so that they can realize their full potential in the entertainment industry.”

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, KD Conservatory is reflecting on the success of its past while preparing for its future.

“Because the entertainment industry is ever-changing, KD is led by its board of directors, administrators, educators, and instructors who are professionally active in the industry and who continuously search for ways to provide a strong foundation and inspiration for aspiring actors and film technicians,” says KD Director Michael Schraeder. “Our 40th year as a conservatory provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our past, but our focus is the future. Having our students succeed professionally is merely one way to measure our success. Helping them grow as people is our school’s primary mission.”

If you would like more information about KD Conservatory and its history, or information on available degree plans and workshops for adults and children, please call (214) 638-0484, email admissions(at)kdstudio.com or visit http://kdstudio.com/.

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ASHLYN NICHOLS
KD Studio & Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts
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