New York Film Academy
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New York Film Academy Faculty


Acting for Film Department

Glynis Rigsby Glynis Rigsby
Chair of Acting for Film Department

MFA Directing, Yale School of Drama. Credits include Britten's Rape of Lucretia for the Opera Project, Britannia Triumphans for the Yale Center for British Art, Naked Angels, New Dramatists, Public Theater, HERE. Member SSDC.

Victor Verhaeghe Victor Verhaeghe
Meisner Technique, Acting for Film

Victor Verhaeghe has begun filming his third season in the recurring role of Damien Fleming in the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire", starring Steve Buscemi. Other television credits include: Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Damages, Bored to Death, Ugly Betty, Fringe, Sex and the City, Spin City and the Law & Orders (nine times).

New York Film Academy acting school instructor Edward O'​Blenis Edward O’Blenis

MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama.

Edward has performed in numerous television and film roles include Law and Order SVU, a recurring role on Bill Nye the Science Guy, a starring role in the film Eden alongside Anna Farris (Sundance 1995), and Proud (starring Ozzie Davis). His national network commercial ads include Heineken, Subway Sandwich, Bank of America, Wendy's, and Verizon Business DSL Bigger-Busier spot. Fox Fellow and recipient of Fox Foundation Grant to research new digital technology in Acting.

Happy Anderson Happy Anderson

Happy Anderson’s Television credits include: The Knick, Banshee, Unforgettable, Deadbeat, Blue Bloods, White Collar, Boardwalk Empire, Forever, The Carrie Diaries, Smash, Eden (pilot), Army Wives, Bar Karma (pilot), Onion Sportsdome, Onion News Network, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: CI, Law & Order, Book of Daniel, As the World Turns, One Life to Live, Guiding Light, and All My Children. He has also voiced many characters for the video games Grand Theft Auto V and Max Payne 3. Film credits include: Cold In July (with Michael C. Hall and Sam Shepard), Blue Caprice (with Isaiah Washington and Joey Lauren Adams), Going The Distance (with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long), Duplicity (with Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, written and directed by Tony Gilroy), Redacted (written and directed by Brian DePalma), Hit Men, Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale, Brutal Massacre: A Comedy, Winter, and the short, Postures. Theatre credits include: "Merchant of Venice" on Broadway, The Public Theater, The Old Globe, New York Shakespeare Festival (Delacorte Theatre), Shakespeare Theatre of D.C., Classical Theatre of Harlem.

Happy received a BFA in Acting from Ithaca College and an MFA in Acting from Indiana University. He won numerous awards and scholarships for excellence in Acting, including the 2001 NSAL. He is a member of SAG, AFTRA, and AEA.

Blanche Baker Blanche Baker

A veteran actor of stage and screen, Baker first made her television debut in the miniseries Holocaust for which she won an Emmy Award and went on to appear in numerous other television movies and series, including the recent HBO film Taking Chance. She is also well-known for her turn in the classic film Sixteen Candles and she made her Broadway debut in 1980 in the Edward Albee adaptation of Lolita.

Lea Brandenburg Lea Brandenburg
Acting for Film

BA University of Illinois. Actor in films, theater and voiceover including Julie Johnson with Lili Taylor and Earthy Possessions for HBO with Susan Sarandon. Co-author of the textbook: "The Actor's Workbook: How to Become a Working Actor".

Anna M. Cianciulli Anna M. Cianciulli
Acting for Film

Editor of the Italian edition of Sanford Meisner's "On Acting" ("Sulla recitazione") Nomination - Best Actress - International Festival of Cinema and Technology. Director and Actor for dramatic presentations at: The Kitchen (BAM Event); Joyce Soho; St. Peter's Church; Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central Station. Collaborations staged with Domenica Cameron-Scorsese; Kevin Bacon and Michael Bacon; Felix Cavaliere, Brian Dennehy; Roberto Benigni.

Carlo D'Amore Carlo D'Amore

Carlo is an award winning actor, playwright, director, and educator with decades of experience in theatre (Broadway, off Broadway, regional and international credits), television, national radio, and film. He has been involved in groundbreaking productions across the country. His hit solo play NO PAROLE was named one of the top ten plays in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007 and was nominated for an Audience Favorite Award in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland the biggest theater festival in the world. He has been an educator for seventeen years and has extensive teaching credentials, which include collaborations with The New Victory Theater, The American Place Theater, Queens Theater in the Park, The Red Ladder Theater Company, the Educational Network of Artists in Creative Theater, and NY Film Academy.

His Broadway credits include appearances in the Roundabout Theater Company's production of Tennessee William's "Summer and Smoke" directed by David Warren, and "Latinologues" at the Helen Hayes Theater, directed by Cheech Marin, in which Carlo played nine characters to sold out crowds. Latinologues was the first fully Latino written, produced, and directed production in Broadway history. Performances Off and Off-off Broadway include appearances at the Lark, Urban Stages, Repertorio Espanol, Ensemble Studio Theater, Manhattan Playhouse, Nada 45, The Theater at Riverside Church, The Rattlestick Theater, Lucille Lortel Theater and Saint Veronica's Theatre. He has been awarded several grants for his work from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and is currently working on FEET FIRST another solo piece focusing on the true story of his uncle's fascinating life. He is also developing NO PAROLE into a feature film.

Rod Gailes OBC Rod Gailes OBC
Writer, Producer, Director

Rod Gailes OBC is a writer, producer, and director for both the stage and screen. A University of Michigan graduate and alumnus of NYU’s Graduate Film Program, he studied under noted filmmakers, Raoul Peck, Nancy Savoca, and Spike Lee, before directing the award winning classic, “Twin Cousins.” As a working filmmaker, Mr. Gailes has a sizeable body of short films and 2 independent features as well as groundbreaking work in New York’s theatre community.

His work as a director & developer of new theater work continued in 2012 when OBC directed the first developmental workshop of Disney’s “The Lion King Jr.” in partnership with Disney Theatricals and Harlem School of the Arts as well as the Araca Festival hit, "CAKE" by newcomer Shawn Nabors. His NY International Fringe Festival Hit, “UNSPEAKABLE,” a dramatic fantasia inspired by the life of comedian Richard Pryor, is currently in development for a pre-Broadway run.

Michael Laibson Michael Laibson
Acting for Film

Michael Laibson is an Emmy winning Producer of Daytime Dramas. For over twenty years, he led the creative teams at All My Children, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, and Another World.

He started in the business as an actor, getting his degree in Theatre at UCLA, and then performing in Los Angeles and New York in productions ranging from classical to musical. He directed Loveliest Afternoon of the Year, Thieves, and Loneliest Game in Town in NYC before moving into Television Production.

Michael directed the award winning production of The Savior of Fenway at the New York International Fringe Festival, the critically acclaimed Christopher Durang play, Laughing Wild for the Garage Theatre in Teaneck, NJ, and most recently the revival of Eugene O"Neil's Pulitzer Prize winning play, Anna Christie at the Tank Theatre in Manhattan.

Michael has been teaching Acting for the Camera and Directing Actors at the New York Film Academy (in NY, Abu Dhabi, and DisneyWorld) for over ten years. He also is on staff at Primary Stages, the Equity Theatre in NYC, and at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Nicolas Kane Landry Nicolas Kane Landry

Studies with Jeff Goldblum, and Martin Barter. TV credits include DAYS OF OUR LIVES, GUIDING LIGHT, AS THE WORLD TURNS, GENERAL HOSPITAL and the Showtime series, RUDE AWAKENING starring Lynn Redgrave. National commercials, independent feature films, including HOBOKEN LOU which was nominated for the 2002 b-movie award.

Brian O'Neill Brian O'Neill

Television: Guest and Co-starring star roles in “Law and Order,” “The Sopranos”, “ The Corner (Emmy Award Best Mini – Series) “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “The Jury,” “Damages”, “,” Person of Interest”, and “Unforgettable”, “The Following”, “Elementary”, “666 Park Avenue”;

Feature Films: Supporting roles in “The Lost Words”, “Laws Of Attraction” (with Julianne Moore), “Brooklyn Rules” (with Alec Baldwin), “Chapter 27”, “The Bourne Legacy”, and The Coen Brothers “Burn After Reading”, and “East Of Acadia.

Theater: Roles at Yale Rep, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, North Carolina Shakespeare, The Flea Theater, Snowmass Rep, and many others.

Writer: 2004 recipient of the Julie Harris National Playwrighting Award for his play GRASS ISLAND, which has received readings at the Actors Studio in New York City featuring Ellen Burstyn, Marcia Gay Harden, and for The Berkshire Theatre Festival with Jane Alexander. His play, TO SEE THEM SAY, was recently selected as a 2012 O’Neill Summer Theatre Conference semi-finalist. His short screenplay THE RENOVATION received Honorable Mention at the California International Shorts Festival and his latest script, VIVA, RADILLA, received the Best Short Screenplay Award at the 2013 Woods Hole Film Festival.

Liz Ortiz-Mackes Liz Ortiz-Mackes

LIZ ORTIZ-MACKES: Owner, Casting Solutions and I Ain't Playin' Films. Casting director and indie film producer credited on projects which have screened at hundreds of US and International film festivals including: Sundance, Toronto, Palm Springs, HBO Latino, Urban World, Slam Dance, Berlin, Hamptons, South Africa, Costa Rica, Martha's Vineyard, Hamptons, Famous Monsters of Film Land to name a few, and have aired on HBO, Showtime and Cinemax; cast "Lost Revolution," with Oscar winner Melissa Leo and Aaron Stanton (Mad Men, The Nanny Diaries), current/recent projects: the completion of "Indelible," with Tristan Wilds ("Secret Life of Bees","Half Nelson" and 90210); the features: "Someone Else" a Korean American thriller set in lower Manhattan, "North and East" about a brilliant young inner city composer who risks a scholarship due to his challenges with anxiety disorder, "Long Shadow" an improv based film exploring postmodern relationships, Short films: "Soul Dancer" an experimental piece directed by Oscar winner Igor Martinovic, "Can't Dance" a romantic comedy being developed as a feature, "Chat", a modern day teen Twilight Zone, "Those Uptown Girls" about 3 generations of Harlem women, "Garabatos" a pilot & other TV projects featuring Latino-American talent for Sinamaica Productions, multiple commercial spots for HL productions along with several other film & TV projects in development. Was a SAG and Equity franchised talent agent on both coasts; Author of the highly acclaimed book "Ace Your Acting Audition," published by S.O.M.E. productions; currently on the faculty of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts; New York Film Academy, and conducts on going workshops for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation;, (Liz Ortiz-Mackes)

Rico Rosetti Rico Rosetti

Rico is an actor/director/teacher based in New York. He's taught classes or led workshops at Rutgers University, The Acting Studio in Philadelphia, Pratt University, Delaware County Community College, among others. Stage credits include A Doll House (Torvald), American Fairy Tales (ensemble), Trojan Women (Menelaus), Gingham Dog (Vince), Our Lady of 121st St (Balthazar), Hurlyburly (Eddie). TV: "Law & Order," "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Guiding Light," "All My Children." As a director he has helped develop a number of original works, including A Gentleman from Mississippi which premiered at the Century Theater in NYC before touring nationally. Rico holds an MFA in Acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.

Lester Thomas Shane Lester Thomas Shane
Speech, Shakespeare, Dialects

Lester Thomas Shane, Carnegie-Mellon University, Edith Skinner, Larry Carra, Fran Bennett; Directed over fifty productions in Europe, New York and Regional Theatre including Artistic Director, Shakespeare at the Met, Jacksonville, FL, Director in Residence, The Basic Theatre, NYC. Screenwriter: Tyrone Power, Carmen Miranda, James Brown (A&E, Biography), Nazis and the Occult (Discovery) Fox: The First 50 Years (AMC) Walk Like A Man (SBN). Author/performer of the award-winning one man show, Mortal Coil which will open in Norway in April 2012 under his direction. Faculty member: New Actors Workshop, American Academy of Dramatic Arts; Pace University. Member: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SDC, VASTA
David Vando David Vando

Scholarship student at Columbia University, BS Contemporary Literature, MFA Playwriting, Folger Library Fellowship in Shakespearean Studies recipient, Forest Robert's International Playwriting Prize winner, whose theatre works have been performed in Europe as well as America. Published works include, THE MASK AND THE MIRROR, an anthology of three plays, and SHAKESPEARE FOR THE 21st CENTURY going into its second edition.

Edmund Wilkinson Edmund Wilkinson

As a professional actor Edmund has performed in nearly 100 plays, on Film and in many of the N.Y. based Television series. Trained in a variety of performance styles he holds a MA degree in acting pedagogy from ESC/SUNY. For five consecutive summers he directed the acting program for the NYFA summer intensive at Harvard University. As an indication of his lifelong passion for the performing arts, Edmund likes to mention that by the age of 35 he had seen each of Shakespeare's 37 plays in professional productions (at least once).

Daniel Winerman Daniel Winerman

Daniel Winerman has directed and developed new plays at Ensemble Studio Theater, Primary Stages, Geva Theatre Center, New Dramatists, Lark Theatre, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Flea Theater, Midtown Int'l Theatre Festival, Fordham University, Atlantic Theater Company, Boston Playwrights Theatre, Young Playwrights, Inc., New York Int'l Fringe Festival, Samuel French Short Play Festival, Summer Shorts Festival @ 59E59 Theater, NYU's Dept of Dramatic Writing, and NYU's Dept of Musical Theatre Writing. He has received a Drama League Fellowship, a BFA in Drama from NYU, and an MFA in Directing from Boston University.

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