Aikan Performing Arts offers effective performing arts training in the Greater Philadelphia area. Through our performing arts classes, participants are sure to acquire important values and skills, which will become a part of their daily lives. Equipped with positive self-confidence, our participants make valuable contributions to their community, and are prepared for the challenges and fun of the entertainment industry.
Since Chais was a little girl, she has shown an interest in acting. As novices to the industry, we knew she would have to be trained to succeed. Chais has been in acting classes with Mr. Carr from Plaza 7, Bruce Robinson, and John Pollotia. She attended each of these classes until their expertise had been achieved. She attended classes with Marc John Jeffries; however, being an accomplished actor who receives many roles in television and movies, he had to defer his acting classes to his career.
Naz Danz cast Chais and Nakia Dillard in a film called Just Us. After watching a rehearsal, we were talking with Nakia and we mentioned we were looking for a reputable acting class for Chais and he mentioned that he and his family operated an acting class. After a little research and conversations with friends in the business, we realized that Jerry has been a fan of Nakia’s work as an established actor; his favorite was the television series The Wire. We also discovered we were all part of a movie called Sinner City by Domini Quinn.
We joined Aikan Program in October 2017. It is a family-based organization consisting of Nakia Dillard and several family members that runs the Aikan Acting Organization like a family. Occasionally have mystery guests come to classes to support, educate and instruct students. Chais really enjoys this because she learned so much and applied it to her craft. It gives her an opportunity to ask questions and interact with the guests who are from various cities and occupations in the entertainment business. Chais met other children her age or older and they all got along instantly. Chais was instantly blessed with opportunities; acting in a music video by Jermaine Quick; “Old Head web series by Tony Chennault and Mike Chism; stage plays “Where Are the Tubman’s” and “Not Without My Hijab” by Kaliek Hayes and Bilal Islam, from The Childhood Lost Program, with our play cousin Stephen Gardener, Felicia Woodard, Diana Mapp, and Connie Grier. Not Without My Hijab was first performed in Philadelphia but was extended to play in New York and at that showing, we were blessed to find out the play was going to tour four other major cities. All of these opportunities were provided by Nakia and Aikan Acting staff within a nine-month period. They had even more opportunities, but because of the school work and rehearsals, we did not want to overburden Chais. Almost all opportunities received, Chais was monetarily compensated.
We learned early in Chais’s career that money was not the objective, honing her craft, being happy while learning, and setting and reaching her dreams were what would be important. Chais doesn’t HAVE to act, she LIKES to act, and she has family support and prayers to guide and protect her on her journey. This Garner family encourages anyone who is looking for an acting class to contact Aikan Acting Class at http://www.aikanacts.org or call (215) 324-0632. You won’t be sorry. The classes are affordable and capable students get work while in classes week-to-week. We feel privileged to have met the Dillard family and are proud to share our story of Chais’s dream of being a famous actress.
My name is Vann Barrett and I am an actor. As of this month, April 2022 marks my 2nd year with Aikan Acts. My time spent has been very rewarding. I continue to challenge myself as well as be challenged a student while moving forward in class. The hands on approach received from my teacher 'Ms. Lenny' who is a seasoned S.A.G. actor is second to non in comparison to other acting schools. Not only does Aikan Acts provide quality teaching for the students but all students are given countless opportunities to audition and book work and see what it's like to be in front of the camera in an actual film. This is one of the perks as an 'AIKAN STUDENT' No other acting school does this.
Because of the no nonsense approach, I've been able to apply myself being in close to 30 projects, while also securing Representation/Agent. This results from not only learning the basis of acting but the business. I owe it all to Aikan Acts and the owner Nakia Dillard, a seasoned and hands on S.A.G. actor who's been active in both Film and Theatre for over 20 years; and who serves as a great example for us all.
I have only been with Aikan for a short time but I’ve had the pleasure of networking with many talented artists of all ages and backgrounds. I look forward to working closely with them as time goes on!
It's because of Aikan Acts that I have grown and excelled! As an actress of a certain age who stopped my passion because of “life” as people say, I considered giving up on following my Personal Legend of acting. The program has encouraged me and has reminded me me of who I am and what I was created to do. Nakia has helped to shape my career as a professional actress on and off of the stage. This program sets you up for success, as it also teaches you the business of the business! The teachers are working, experienced, and dynamic talents themselves! The holy impossible is possible and I am glad the be molded and sharpened by this illustrious entertainment enterprise! Many thanks to you Nakia, Mom Gloria and Ms. Lenny!
Peace and Love!
“I love my teacher Ms. Liz, she takes her time with teaching us how to become a better actor. She teaches us how to bring out emotions, and facial expressions and she also teaches us how to be professional during auditions and on set. “
Parent of acting student
“My experience with Aikan Acts has far exceeded my expectations. From day one, we have been greeted with professionalism, and most importantly honesty. Everyone is very knowledgeable about the entertainment business from all aspects. We are not just learning the acting part but we are learning the financial part as well. My son LOVES it. Hands down, I would recommend Aikan Acts every time.”
Hello my name is Ibn Mayes I have been with Aikan Acts for about 3 years I have been on several projects from film to live plays . I have learned so much being apart of this family. I say family because we stick together helping each other when on set together. It’s just a great experience for me, As I’m reaching my goals and dreams of becoming an actor. I learn something from every set I’m blessed to be apart of. Thank you Aikan Acts
Rachel J. Hayes
I have been attending Aikan Acts for 1 year now and have already been cast in two films. My teacher, Ms. Liz teaches us everything from tongue-twisters, performing monologues, doing voice-overs to preparing us for auditions and being in a film set or on the stage. The teachers are working actors themselves and we get a lot of casting calls.. We also learn about all aspects of the film industry. I recommend that all aspiring actors join Aikan Acts
Aikan Acts classes are incredible! I was pushed toward new levels of excellence and growth. The staff is consistently kind, courteous and professional. I learned new skills to help me be more effective and engaging in my full-time career as a speaker. The camaraderie and classroom spirit also deserve applause. I highly recommend this high-value service to professionals seeking training and development in their craft as an actor, speaker, moderator and public performer.
Aikan acts have taught me so much from the second I got there. When I joined Aikan acts I was considering acting as a career but after being with them for only a few months I knew for a fact that acting was what I wanted to do. Not only did Aikan acts help me practice my craft but they also helped me with my confidence. They taught me so much about staying true to myself. So thank you to Aikan acts and my teacher Ms. Liz for teaching me more things about the craft of acting than I can even count.
I have wanted to be an actor since I was in high school, but somehow I stumbled into a different path. Years later I was able to reclaim my opportunity for greatness. I met actor, writer, director & entrepreneur, Nakia Dillard. He is an accomplished actor and community activist with loads of experience, plus he is the founder of Aikan Entertainment Solutions and Aikan Acting Academy. I had the opportunity to take an acting class with Aikan Acts. It was thrilling to say the least. I learned so much! I pushed myself and found myself in so many ways. Thanks to Aikan Acts, in the Spring of 2019 I had my first opportunity for a walk-on role in a film. Being there was surely one of the highlights of my life. Later that year I was offered a gig as a hand model for the Census, again, another opportunity from Aikan Acts. All of these opportunities paid me well. This organization is serious about getting actors paid and allowing our gifts and abilities to shine.
Ida L Wilson
Hello my fellow and future Artists my name is Ida L Wilson. I am a student of the "Aikan Arts performing Arts located in Philadelphia. I have been a student since December of last year. I been blessed and highly favored since I have been with "Aikan Acts". I am exceptionally blessed by the teaching given by Ms. Lynne she has help me grow so much in such a short amount of time. This is truly a company who cares about their students success. Since being with "Aikan Acts"., I have been blessed and highly favored to be featured in not one but two motion pictures, and also were cast in another.
This I can honestly say this is a family oriented company who treats their students like family.
I am so honored to be a part of the "Aikan Performing Arts family., I want to thank Nakia Dillard and his Mom Ms Gloria and most of all Ms Lynne for all of her expert teachings in helping me to become a better Artists.
May God continue to bless our "AIKAN ACTS FAMILY "
"This past year has been nothing short of amazing! After attending two acting workshops with Troy Roland in 2013, and attending numerous acting classes, my personal experience and growth through Aikan Acts has been a blessing. I have booked roles in various films throughout the year. Films such as Touched, Finding America, Solomon’s Temple and Terra Antigua. A video included is Sheep4theslaughter which is on YouTube, Touched, which is on Vimeo and a TV show called, The Book of Nimrod, in which I am also a camera man.
I recently booked a walk-on role as a Wall Street Telegraph Employee on The House of Cards. This is all due to God’s great plan for my life, the amazing coaching of Kamal Bostic-Smith and the outstanding leadership and drive of Nakia Dillard. The rest of the Aikan team is very talented as well and I can’t wait to work with them soon. Nakia is always aspiring to push us toward greatness. I am thankful I took the step and joined the Aikan Acts team and landing job after job. I appreciate all that Aikan has done for me. Thank you all!"
"Aikan Acts is worth giving a try. Since childhood, I've had this dream of acting and entertaining but never followed through with it. At the age of 27 after graduate school, I realized I had to take control over what I wanted for myself, out of life, but most of all what made me happy. Working a 9 to 5 sure was not it, so I finally enrolled in Aikan Acts January 2015. Enrolling was my first step in taking control.
My first class was scary but very rewarding. I walked out of there excited and inspired. Prior to Aikan, I had no acting experience and no real knowledge of the industry. It has been almost a year and I have been on a several auditions and casting calls. I have landed a principal role in a recurring stage play, a web series, and a film. I have even done some extra work as well. This is all a very big deal for me and I'm so thankful I found Aikan Acts. Aikan offers so much, from a family friendly environment to instruction from working actors, to advice from special guest such as celebrity acting coaches, directors, musicians, actors, etc. As a result of fully taking charge, I have gained confidence in myself and my abilities to actually make my dreams my reality. Thanks, Aikan."
"Man, where do I start? There are so many things Nakia Dillard has done for me and the rest of the Aikan Team. Before I met Nakia, I didn't know how things worked I had an idea but I wasn't sure. Aikan Acts gives you the blueprint for a successful acting career by teaching you about the business and the techniques to get yourself work. They teach you the importance of networking and encouraging others. I learned when you help people along the way, people will do the same in return.
Whenever I had questions they were always a phone call away. They also teach you to never stop learning and never stop growing. You’re making progress, it's just a slow process. Aikan Acts tells you that anything is possible and you can fulfill your dreams. Tobi Gadison, Kamal Bostic-Smith and Miranda Thompson teach you everything about the craft.
I learned how to analyze a script, how to push myself and work on my levels as an actor and get into emotions. I learn a lot on how to get into monologues and they also teach you their side as actors getting into the business. They bring in special guests that have given me more goals and things to work on. Additionally, they really stress creating your own work and creating z lane for yourself as an artist. They have tons of resources available to you, such as books and webinars. I've booked roles in stage plays, feature films and short films through Aikan Acts and I'm still in contact with them. They provide opportunities to audition for projects as well. If you join the Aikan Acts team your joining a supportive group that encourages you to follow your dreams. Nakia Dillard and Gloria Dillard and the rest of the teachers have not only been great teachers but great friends who have made an impact in my life."
"There's so much more to say but, I figured I'd keep it short. :)
Since I've been in the Aikan adult acting class, I've grown as an actor and have been able to book some great projects!
I want to also say that I've had the great opportunity to be a part of a great community of artists and teachers that feels like a family. I'm always encouraged to go further and do more as an actor and there is great comradery and a sense of support from everyone. Thanks!"
"I approached Aikan Acts because, as a 67-year-old male with a deep fear of public speaking, I needed help in conquering this fear. For years, as part of my employment duties, I had to give tutorial classes and speeches at various state institutions and Temple University. I watched as preceding speakers captivated their audiences while on the other hand I lost my audience due to the obvious fear and nervousness I displayed.
In the past, I have read that some now prominent actors overcame their fear of public speaking and even speech impediments through acting. With that in mind, I enrolled in Aikan Acts acting classes.
Not knowing what to expect, I was surprised to find the instructors were actual working actors with credits in film, television and on stage. One thing I liked was their “down-to-earth” approach and encouragement.
On the very first day of class, one instructor, whether know or unbeknownst to him, hit at the very core of my problem and reason for enrolling in this class. He stated, "as an actor you cannot be afraid, timid, shy or even afraid of embarrassing yourself." This resonated with me and gave me encouragement to continue. Further encouragement was given to me by Ms. Gloria Dillard, the mother of Aikan Acts founder, Nakia Dillard, when she said to me, “Jerry, you sometimes have to be like a child again and put aside your inhibitions.” I took that to heart.
Subsequently, I also attended master acting classes sponsored by Aikan Acts and featured acting coaches with A-list clients such as Queen Latifah, The Will Smith family, The Wayan’s family, Common as well as other actors. These coaches gave helpful critiques of monologues and assigned impromptu tasks while in class. These classes were well worth the cost, but more importantly, they were insightful and a great learning tool to all the aspiring actors in the class. I am finding the Aikan Acts experience to be one of the most positive learning experiences of my life. I would without hesitation recommend Aikan Acts to any and all aspiring actors. I enrolled in Aikan Acts with the intention of just overcoming my fear of public speaking, but who knows."