Rising Stars

Accents Students Benefit From Classes in All Aspects of Life

In 2011, after a successful career as a model and owner of two prosperous talent schools in Pennsylvania, Donna CoccodrilliSheska and her husband, Jerry, decided to retire and move to Orlando. Donna never dreamed of opening up another school until last year when she received a call from Mike Beaty, president of the Model and Talent Expo in Dallas.

“Mike asked me to scout talent for him in Orlando,” Donna said. “I brought three kids with me to the expo, and all three came home with pending contracts. That experience opened my eyes to all the raw talent there is in Orlando and inspired me to open Accents Model and Talent Center, where I could share my expertise and provide guidance to those seeking to get into show business.”

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Donna CoccodrilliSheska, owner of Accents Model and Talent Center, seeks success for each of her students.

Accents Model and Talent Center officially opened this past May. The 3,000-square-foot facility, located at 2411 W. Sand Lake Road, offers a variety of classes, including acting, modeling, vocal training, personal development and etiquette. There is also instruction in makeup application, skin and hair care, and even a cooking class. Its ballroom dance class has become such a favorite among students that, beginning in September, the school will offer an additional class Friday evenings from 7:30-8:30 p.m., and it will be open to all ages.

The center offers an impressive 60-hour program. Students attend classes every other Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Toward the end of the program, there is a taping of everything the students have learned, and a professional photographer is brought in. Students can then have a head shot, portfolio and comp card made. In May, a variety of top agents visit the center to see a showcase of the students’ talents.  This is an incredible opportunity the students may not have otherwise.

If students finishing the program are not ready for the showcase or feel they have not quite grasped everything, Donna allows them to take the program again, free of charge.

“I want all my students to succeed,” she said. “Some students need more time than others. I don’t want any student leaving the school until [he or she is] fully trained.”

The majority of students who attend the school range in age from 8-18, but all ages are welcome.

“We currently have students from age 5 through 62. Here in Orlando, there is a big market for lifestyle print work and commercials needing models and actors of all ages,” Donna proudly pointed out when talking about the diversity of students at her school. “Accents represents everyone. On the first day of class, I tell all the students to look around at each other and know that we are family. We are not here to criticize but to cheer each other on.”

Donna says everyone, particularly children, benefit from the program because it builds self-confidence and offers insight on all aspects of personal presentation.

“Not every child is going to go on to be a successful model or actor, but they will learn the tools to succeed in whatever they choose to do in life,” she said. “Kids who have acting and modeling training tend to do better in school, because they have excellent public-speaking skills and, more importantly, self-confidence.”

In addition to the personal development, Accents’ students gain valuable insight into show business. Donna has been in the industry for almost 40 years. She knows exactly what casting directors are looking for and has connections to top agents. All of the instructors at Accents Model and Talent Center are working professionals. This summer, top casting director Mark Mullen held an acting workshop at Accents. Mark also conducts castings for commercials and print work at the center.

Those interested in signing up for the program may attend one of the school’s free auditions, which are held every three weeks. If preferred, parents may contact the school and make arrangements to speak with Donna privately.

For more information about Accents Model and Talent Center, call 407-420-7231 or visit www.accentsmodelandtalent.com on the web.💓

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