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Best Places To Find A New Hobby

By Juliet Farmer

New year, new hobby. If you're looking to hone a skill, learn a new trade, or find a hobby, there's no better time than the present. Whether you're a budding or seasoned actor looking to hone your craft, a shutter bug who wants to perfect your photos, a green thumb with a landscape project, a meat lover who wants to appreciate the art of butchery, or an aspiring winemaker, here are the top places to find a new hobby in Sacramento.
1/23 - arts and culture - new hobbies - Actor's Workshop - Actor's Workshop of Sacramento
Photo Credit: Actor's Workshop of Sacramento

Actor's Workshop of Sacramento
1721 25th Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 591-6104If you want to learn the craft of acting or hone your existing skills, head to the Actor's Workshop of Sacramento, which offers group classes and private acting lessons for all ages, as well as a summer theater camp for kids and teens.

The affiliated Actor's Theatre of Sacramento has staged hundreds of plays and runs an annual one-act play festival and teen and children's shows performed by Workshop students.

Acting classes are taught by award-winning acting coach, Ed Claudio, whose career spans more than 40 years as producer/director of over 100 full length plays, acting instructor, playwright, and actor in over 150 plays in the United States and Europe. He is a winner of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission Theatre Award for Arts Education.

Among the classes taught at the Actor's Workshop of Sacramento is Acting For The Camera; Directing; Script Analysis; Acting Theory; Speech For The Theater; Theater History; Great Plays Of The Western Theater; Improvisation; Scene Work; Story Telling; and Technique.

Weekly, continuing classes include adult scene study and a teen acting workshop. Currently, there is a weekly Wednesday evening drop-in Adult Scene Study Class from 7:30 p.m. to about 10 p.m. for $20 a week. The weekly Teen Acting Workshop is Mondays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (call for pricing per month). Private acting classes are by appointment and tailored to your schedule and needs (prices vary, call for details).

1/23/12 - arts and culture - new hobbies - Digital Camera - Juliet Farmer
Photo Credit: Juliet Farmer

Photography My Way
2740 Fulton Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 781-0880
WebsitePhotography My Way offers classes taught by Chad and Kimberly Bills of Rocklin, both child and family portrait photographers. Course offerings start with "The Basics," for those who need help using their Digital SLR camera, where you'll learn about your camera's dials, buttons, features and switches; how lenses work and what the numbers and letters on them mean; focusing techniques; your camera's sensor; resolutions and file types; automatic exposure modes; the role of hoods, filters and other attachments; and camera and photography terminology.

Class two, "Exposure," covers how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work together to create the exposure you need, and gives you a thorough understanding of your camera's creative exposure modes (aperture/ shutter priority, program, manual), including how they work, when to use them, and why. "Composition," class three, covers the most effective compositional techniques and how to apply them, including five quick adjustments to bring out the best composition in the images you already have, and an image critique by a professional photographer.

Class four, "Lighting," will teach you how to make the most of natural and ambient lighting; give you an understanding of what great lighting looks like, including where, when and how to find it; and how to use natural and studio lighting to create back, front, side, soft, main and fill lighting for your subjects, as well as how to use affordable, easily found materials as light modifiers and reflectors. If you're looking for Photoshop skills, class five covers workflow process for editing and storing both Raw and JPEG images; selecting, sorting, color balancing, cropping, touch-ups, finalizing and storing your images efficiently; editing images in software; and how to make sure your printed images look as good, if not better, than what you see on your monitor. Classes range in price from $49 (The Basic) to $159 (Exposure – Photoshop).

1/23/12 - arts and culture - new hobbies - Landscape - Juliet Farmer
Photo Credit: Juliet Farmer

Learning Exchange
1111 Howe Avenue, Suite 115
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 929-9200If you want to improve your landscape, the Learning Exchange can help via a landscape design workshop with award-winning landscape designer Michael Glassman. The three-day course will teach you how to plan a functional outdoor living space to suit your home and personal taste (the final session is an individual meeting with the instructor to review your plans). Glassman boasts more than 30 years in landscape design and was co-host and designer of Discovery Home Channel's series "Garden Police" for two years. His work has been covered in nearly 50 Sunset Magazine feature articles, and he's been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, This Old House Magazine, Garden Design, Backyard Designs, and Landscape Architecture. Landscape Design Workshop tuition is $99 ($94 for LE members).

Insider tip: If you plan to take lots of LE classes, membership of $29 annually allows $10 off registration fee--a one-time fee assessed per transaction--for the next 12 months, plus $5 off tuition per class you take—except online classes.

1/23 - arts and culture - new hobbies - Butcher - Juliet Farmer
Photo Credit: Juliet Farmer

Taylor's Market
2900 Freeport Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 443-6881Taylor's Market's in-house butcher, Danny Johnson, leads regular classes on the art, with each class focusing on a certain aspect or type of meat. Johnson graduated from the Oregon Meat Cutting School and has been working at Taylor's since 1983 (he became part owner in 1987, and, eventually, sole owner, with his wife, in 2007). According to Johnson, "A good butcher should know how to feed the animal, eat the animal, and everything that has to be done between those two points."

Recent course offerings included Butchering 101: The Pig and Sausage Too!, about pork cuts, preparation, cooking techniques and sausage making; Butchering 101: Poultry, Seafood and Knife Skills, focusing on poultry, seafood and knife skills, selecting poultry and seafood, butchering techniques and preparation methods; Butchering 101: Basic Butchering Principles and Techniques, directed at the home butcher or chef; and Butchering 101: Focus On Lamb, including an in-depth presentation on lamb butchering techniques. All courses are $40 per person and include a light lunch.

1/23 - arts & culture - new hobbies - Winemaking - Revolution Wines
Photo Credit: Revolution Wines

Revolution Wines
2831 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 444-7711Revolution Wines offers a Vintner's Experience/Custom Crush/Make Your Own Wine class that's a hands-on winemaking program with a focus on the science and art of winemaking. The Vintner's Experience is a comprehensive winemaking program where you crush the grapes, learn the process and chemistry behind the art of winemaking, and end up with a case of wine to take with you. Prices start at $495. (Insider tip: If you're very ambitious/looking to start your own winery, there's a premium package with prices starting at $3,000, depending upon the grapes and cooperage used for the project, which includes crushing, pressing, racking, yeasts, nutrient, all lab services/panels, topping the barrel and labs during aging, storage, bottling, bottles, corks, capsules, etc., and ultimately produces 23 or so cases of wine.)

Juliet Farmer was born and raised in Sacramento, where she resides with her husband, two cats, and rescued greyhound. She is a freelance writer who regularly writes about food, pets, health and wellness, entertainment, and more.
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