Trainer Bash Dibra's New "Star Pet Workshop"
Got an exceptionally charismatic canine? A fascinating feline? Convinced your little darling has what it takes to take on Broadway, the cinema or television? Then perhaps your pet has Star Pet potential.
Convinced that almost any dog can become a star-quality performer, celebrated dog trainer Bash Dibra, guru to such human superstars as Mariah Carey, Kim Basinger, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, has created Star Pet Workshops, new animal-actors workshops designed to transform even the most dedicated couch potato pets into bono fido performing stars, ready for the big time, and big fees, of television, theater and feature film.
Take a few minutes and view the recent casting call held at this year's Pets, People and Parks event in May at the Van Courtlandt Park in New York City.
Would-be superstars will be selected for theatrical training at a casting call, to be held in Manhattan rehearsal studio, where potential pupils will be screened and elevated, not only for abilities but for temperament and charisma. Those who make it through the screening process will undergo a six-week course of instruction in those exacting techniques that transform pet into performing professional. At the end of the course, each dog receives a diploma and videotape of its newly acquired thespian techniques; each is entered automatically in the Star Pet Workshops registry, a system which gives graduates access to those professionals in advertising, promotion and film who regularly use animal actors. And, of course, Star Pet Workshops serves as booking agent for its graduates.
Says Dibra, "There's a star dog born every day. It's all a matter of showing it how to shine!" At Star Pet Workshop, aspiring dog stars are taught to sit up and beg, carry objects, crawl, roll over and play dead, jump into someone's arms, and sneeze or speak on cue. In the workshops setting, Bashwhose own roster of film credits is impressiveintroduces the dogs to real-life working conditions, from bright lights to loud noises, always with careful attention to the animal's sensitivities and sensibilities. Of course, it isn't only the dogs who need theatrical training; owners must learn the professional skills needed for commercial or film shoots.
Bash believes that some dogs love performing, revel in stardom, and come to life when the camera begins to roll. It's for those dogs that Star Pet Workshops is intended. "I never listen to stage mothers," Bash says. "I listen to the animals. They tell me if they enjoy performing or would rather just hang out under the bed. I never, ever force an animal to perform." But for those animals who preen before admiring eyes, who adore being brushed, pampered and massaged, and for whom performing simply an exciting kind of play, Star Pet Workshops can provide a substantial payoff.
According to Bash Dibra, animal actors have gotten the short end of the residuals leash. "Everyone knows that a cute animal can sell almost any product." But while a commercial may be shown thousands of times, animal actors collect only a flat fee. Dibra believes it's time for change. He is a strong advocate for animal actors' rights, from residuals to health insurance, and plans to develop an Animal Actors Guild. Watch out, world, here they come!...a new breed of actors with all four feet on the stardom ladder.
Star Pet Workshop students will automatically have their portfolios and creidts featured on the Star Pet website, where they are viewed by infludential producers and art directors. Star pet also acts as strong advocate for animal-actors' rights, from residuals to health insurance.
Bash Dibra is an acknowledged expert in the field of animal training, and the trainer of choice to the world's most influential people, from Henry Kissinger and Martin Scorsese to Alec Baldwin. He is author of two bestselling books, with a new book, "DogSpeak", scheduled for Fall 1999 publication by Simon & Schuster. Bash has countless contacts in the advertising and film industries and understands what it takes to "make your pet a star."
So if your pet turns heads (canine and human), then he's got what it takes to take him to the top. He may go in an understudy...but with Star Pet Workshop behind him, he'll definitely come out a star!