Acting
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  • NYFA Los Angeles Welcomes Casting Director Nancy Nayor as Guest Speaker

    This month, New York Film Academy Summer program acting for film and filmmaking students were invited to a Q & A with casting directing extraordinaire, Nancy Nayor after watching “Before I Fall,” which she has cast. Director of the Q & A Series Tova Laiter hosted the evening.

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    Nayor who served for 14 years of head of Universal Feature casting before striking on her own, is best known for her work with directors such as: Steven Spielberg Spike Lee, Ron Howard, Oliver Stone, John Hughes & Sam Raimi’s among many others.

    Her movies include the following: “Act of Valor,” “Ouija,” “Road Trip,” “The Whole Nine Yards,” “The Grudge,” “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “When a Stranger Calls,” “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” “Darkman,” “Casper,” and Wes Craven’s “Scream 4.”

    Nayor gave the students a strong list of do’s and don’t within the casting room. One that surprised many students was: do not shake hands, especially during germ season. Casting directors can meet with over 40 people in a day. They cannot afford to get sick.

    The biggest tip of the night was not to be too nervous and to not over-rehearse before going into an audition so the emotions can shine through. Prepare, yes, but Nayor shared that actors are not necessarily required to be off book, and should not be nervous about every flub. Directors are looking for multiple things, such as how well an actor works with a group or their ability to improvise. But most importantly, they want to know that an actor can be human on camera.

    Laiter asked Nayor about the difference between casting for comedy and drama. Nayor mentioned several differences: “I think it’s different in the sense that there’s a comic timing. People who have it are born with it. You can develop it, but in the end, you’re either born with it or you’re not. In dramatic casting people have to really go for it. Actors really have to commit.”  

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    Nayor also advised dramatic actors to stick to the script more so than comedic actors who may improvise. “When I worked on ‘21 and Over,’ people came into the audition room idolizing these two great writers from ‘The Hang Over.’ But the writers were so tired of their own words. They wanted the actors to improvise… ”

    One student asked, “How do you get discovered?” Nayor responded, “There’s no way you can be undiscovered, technically, because there’s this thing called YouTube. I’m a big believer in self-tapes, whether that’s actors and writers coming together or you writing for yourself. You don’t have to wait for permission to be creative. That project can be a calling card for you.”

    Laiter shared that some of the people who work with Spielberg, whether a composer or cinematographer, had said in NYFA Q&As that he had found them by watching movies on TV late at night, so you never know who is going to see it.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Nancy Nayor for taking the time to speak with our students. Naylor has done casting for 12 films scheduled for release in 2017 including “Delirium” and “Scorched Earth.”

     

    July 27, 2017 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 480

  • NYFA Summer Camps on the Universal Studios Backlot

    Each summer, teens and tweens flock to the Los Angeles campus of the New York Film Academy to learn the basics of filmmaking. No matter which program a student elects to take, one of the highlights is always getting to shoot a short film on the Universal Studios Backlot.

    These projects range from mise-en-scene to continuity exercises, montages, and short films. All of the one-week students go to the lot once during their time at camp. Students participating in the three-week, four-week, and six-week programs go to the lot every week they are here. 

    On their scheduled shoot days on the Universal Studios Backlot, summer camp students spend all day on the lot — from nine in the morning to five at night. After their full day on the backlot, students take their footage and edit it the next day of class. Then, campers screen their films in front of parents and friends at a special final screening at the end of their course.

    Since the students are working with professional equipment and on a real set, the responsibilities are huge. Even though this is a learning experience for all of the students and we have instructors and teaching assistants supervising the campers, students are completely responsible for making sure they get every shot they need. Campers learn to plan every angle to get enough coverage, make sure the light is right, direct their actors to hit their marks, and more.

    In class, directing instructors and camera instructors cover the different professional crew positions responsibilities, including how to properly handle equipment. Classes go over safety rules regarding equipment and safety rules regarding the backlot.

    On the last day of their program, students screen their films for invited guests in the Riverside Theatre at NYFA.

    Speaking about what the opportunity to shoot on a backlot means to the campers, Program Director Ale Salinas said, “The students at the NYFA camps in LA have the opportunity to learn their craft while shooting in places where movies like ‘Back to the Future’ or ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ were shot, and I think this is an amazing opportunity.”

    She continued, “It doesn’t matter what program the students are taking, whether it’s photography, acting, filmmaking, screenwriting, 3D animation, music video or game design. They’ll all go to the backlot and experience what is like to walk through a real outdoor set!”

    The New York Film Academy would like to congratulate our campers on helping to ensure a productive and safe set environment.

  • NYFA Los Angeles Holds Social Media Networking Night

    _DSC7452Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development Barbara Weintraub held a Social Media Networking Night at NYFA Los Angeles in late July. Over 220 students from the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus attended the event held in the Riverside Building.

    The lobby was filled with film companies like Film Independent and New Filmmakers LA. They were there to share opportunities for students, membership experiences, and career paths.

    A color-coded system helped students get in touch with other students. Small dots on name tags indicated whether the attending was an actor, filmmaker, photographer, or game designer.  

    “There are so many students that I hadn’t met,” said acting student An Phan. “I’m at the Barham building most of the time while the photography and filmmaking students are at Riverside. I never get to interact with them. I saw a lot of portfolios and I was blown away by how talented everyone was. It was great interaction. I had a lot of fun.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to wish all the students applying for professional memberships and those students teaming up to work on a project success on their next venture.

  • Gold Coast Q&A with Advanced Diploma Acting Alumnus Will Allen 

    On Wednesday, July 19, New York Film Academy alumnus Will Allen gave a Q&A at the NYFA Gold Coast campus. Since graduating in January 2017 from the Advanced Diploma of Acting program, Will has burst onto the acting scene, having already received credits on feature films such as, “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Australia Day” and “In Like Flynn.”

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    Students at the Gold Coast campus were given an invaluable insight into how Will used the opportunities and training provided to him by NYFA Australia to establish an acting career. Will explained how NYFA-run Q&A’s and master classes with industry professionals helped Copy of NU4A6298him prepare to break into the industry.

    Will was approached by Talent Manager Gael McDonald, of Williams Management, after an on-campus Q & A session about the industry. He subsequently signed with the agency and had his first audition within a matter of weeks. Will went on to get a featured extra role on “Thor: Ragnarok,” which was filmed at the Village Road Show Studio, where NYFA’s campus is located.

    As the floor opened up for questions from the students, one current acting student asked about his audition process and if he’s made any mistakes. Will responded, “There is no such thing as bad acting, there’s bad choices. Make sure your choices are on point and you’ll be fine … Everyone gets nervous. Every audition, I get nervous — but I prepare so well that when I walk into the room it’s controlled nerves so I use it to my advantage, as I would have more energy going into the room than I would if I did a self test.”

    Having graduated the from the Advanced Acting program in early 2017, Will explained the benefits of doing the second year of training at NYFA and how it’s helped him with his career: “The Advanced program is more business focused by informing you how to market yourself and how you get gigs out in the industry. In your first year you’re learning about yourself as an actor. You’re learning how to find you. In Advanced it’s business time and preparing you in how to put everything you learnt in action.”

    Copy of NU4A6320Will gave the students the following advice, “NYFA is a safe zone where you can explore and don’t feel embarrassed. Don’t pull back. Do the stuff you feel like you shouldn’t do.”

    On the feature film set of “In Like Flynn,” Will became good friends with Clive Standen, from “Vikings,” who took Will under his wing and became an ongoing mentor to him. In October 2017 Will is relocating to Canada with the aim to build and establish an acting career in American and Canada.

    July 2017 Acting Diploma student David Cook shared he appreciated this guest speaker, saying: “I liked Will’s honest approach and how he talked about always being truthful to yourself as an actor”

    May 2017 Acting Diploma student Ilia Valdez agreed, “It was wonderful to see that the lessons learned at NYFA have practical applications in the real world.”

  • NYFA Gold Coast Acting Student is Finalist in the Queensland Training Awards 2017

    IMG_2681NYFAA Gold Coast May ’17 Acting Diploma student Abeer Salem was given the outstanding achievement of being one of three finalists for 2017’s Queensland Training Awards.

    Out of 800 applicants, the Queensland Training Awards selected Abeer as a South East Queensland Regional finalist, recognizing her achievement as a vocational student. Abeer accepted her certificate at the 56th Queensland Training Awards State Gala Dinner on July 21.

    Born and raised in Egypt, Abeer found her way to the sunny Gold Coast in 2012 and has been determined to further an education in business. To date, she has completed over 15 Diplomas.

    Abeer states, “The quest for knowledge is never ending. No one is ever too good to learn. Successful people live each day with a relentless desire to improve.”_H4A5891

    After years of studying and working in business, Abeer found her passion in acting. She says, “I quit my job to attend NYFA … I’m in love with acting and its craft. If I don’t become an actor I want to teach acting. It’s my new passion in life.”

    She further explains, “I love NYFA and have known about the Academy for years. The Academy has such a great history and a fantastic support system for its actors … In my short time at NYFA I’ve learnt so much and look forward to doing the Advanced Diploma.”

     

  • NYFA Alumni interviewed for Brazilian TV Program “Planeta Globo”

    NYFA MFA filmmaking alumnus Rafael Nani recently found a unique venue to share his student NYFA experience — Brazilian TV juggernaut Globo’s program “Planeta Globo.” The program aims to show how Brazilian nationals live outside of their homeland, highlighting success stories as well as the inevitable struggles in foreign cultures. “Planeta Globo” came to interview Nani in Los Angeles while the then-student was hard at work on the set of his NYFA thesis film, “Bloody Eyes”.

    “Planeta Globo” spoke with Nani about his previous short film projects, including “Rose Garden,” which he filmed during his first year at the New York Film Academy. Nani, who recently completed NYFA’s MFA program at the Los Angeles campus, shared his perspective on some of the finer points of filmmaking and the complexities of directing a film.

    In addition, “Planeta Globo” seized the chance to shine the spotlight on five other NYFA Los Angeles grads and students: acting for film alumnae Sabrina Percario and Carolina Inoue; filmmaking student Iylia M. Idris; film and media production student Ricardo Mata; and NYFA New York filmmaking alumna Flavia Vieira. These five were showing the true community spirit of NYFA while working with Nani on the set of “Bloody Eyes.”

    Each discussed their different roles on set.

    Percario, the project’s supervising producer, discussed the challenges and advantages of working on a multicultural set. Inoue, who is in charge of production design, spoke about the importance of getting right look down for the film. Idris is both first and second assistant camera person for the film, and she explained the different responsibilities for each role. Vieira is lending her expertise to the picture as the lead makeup artist, and discussed the ways good (or bad) make up can effect the look of a film. Finally, Mata, the resident sound technician, explained the differences and similarities between working on short and feature length films.

    You can see the whole segment here, along with more interviews of the cast and crew.

    July 18, 2017 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1240

  • NYFA Filmmaking Alumnus Cartier Williams Hoofs With Smirnoff Sound Collective

    New York Film Academy filmmaking alumnus Cartier Williams is drumming up a revival in the world of dance on film with his unique brand of tap dance. Williams is a self-professed “hoofer,” a dancer who loves the element of tap that emphasizes stomps, stamps, syncopation, percussion and heel motion. With a recent collaboration with Smirnoff Sound Collective, Cartier is on a mission to bring tap back in film.

    NYFA: Tell me a little about your background and what brought you to NYFA.

    CW: Well, I started tap dancing when I was four years old, taught by my grandmother Audrey Williams. At the age of six, I performed a piece choreographed by Grammy-award winning singer Mya, and won Apollo Kids at the prestigious Apollo Theater, distinguished as one of The Apollo Theater’s youngest “Apollo Legends.”

    Later that year I was invited to the Kennedy Center Honors alongside Robert Downey Jr. When I was 10 years old, I toured with tap legends Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde, and Dianne Walker on a international tour called “Footnotes.” I shared the stage with Gregory Hines, The Nicholas Brothers, and Peg Leg Bates. On that tour I performed for two U.S Presidents and co-starred in “PBS Special: In Performance at The White House” with Bill Clinton.

    I toured Japan and the U.S in the Tony Award-winning show “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in da Funk,” co-starring Savion Glover. I performed for the AFI Awards: A Tribute To Tom Hanks. Other appearances include The State Department, CIA, FCC, New York Botanical Garden, and New York Children’s Museum of Manhattan. I performed for The Opening of the Cannes Film Festival for Moulin Rouge, appeared in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled and recently appeared in Bart Mastronardi & Alan Rowe Kelly horror film Tales of Poe.

    I ended up at the New York Film Academy in 2009 because I wanted to rekindle the love between tap dancing and film. But I also had something else on my mind, too, that I had to settle: I’m a huge fan of horror films and I wanted to become a director because of Wes Craven and the genius movie he made called “Scream.” I felt I needed to go to the Film Academy to figure this out. So I had two goals: to fix tap dancing and film’s beautiful long relationship, and learn how to make horror films.

    NYFA: Can you tell us a bit about your latest project with Smirnoff Sound Collective?

    CW: It’s funny how the Smirnoff video came about. I was on the computer and had just set up my Facebook for my new dance company and I received a message about me dancing in the video. So immediately I talked to the director Stacey Lee, who was hired by VICE to put it altogether.

    I was excited all these great brands coming together for tap dancing! Stacey and I had a great creative talk about me and my dancers and what my creative world was like. We met up a couple times and had one glitch: all the dancers except one in my company weren’t of age to be in the video. So it ended up being only me and Yusaku Komori, who you see in the video.

    A few weeks later we then shot the music video. The process was awesome! Of course early call times, breakfast, hair and makeup … It was complete fun because both of my favorite worlds are coming together all at once. Some scenes there were lots of people on set and sometimes just me and the director because maybe someone is setting something up on the next shot somewhere else.

    The most important thing as a tap dancer is good sound, so that was the first thing I wanted to talk about when I arrived. Tap dancing is percussive and visual, and for me the percussiveness is just as important as the visual. So I must say me and the sound man were best buds! Because sound is important and that was reinforced at NYFA.

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    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that helped you on your career journey?

    CW: When I was at NYFA I became so independent creatively. I learned so much about myself and the stories I wanted to tell. NYFA helped me become the confident director and writer I wanted to be. I ended up directing, choreographing,and producing my own shows when I left the school. My dancing became more powerful because I had stories to tell with the dance that was meaningful. I also learned how to work with people more [collaboratively], because tap dancing is a solo art form at heart and film is not. I learned how to be a team player and how to be patient.

    NYFA: What’s next for you?

    Next I am performing on July 22 at The Smithsonian Museum of American History for The March On Washington Film Festival closing ceremony. But currently I am in production for my new show called “ZIGITYBOP!” It will premiere at the Oslo Jazz Festival and in Zurich Switzerland this August. I recently started a GoFundMe page because I would love to bring the show back home to the states. I’m also currently writing a tap-horror short film that I will film this fall.

    NYFA: What is your greatest memory at NYFA?

    My greatest memory at NYFA was creating a show with my classmates Matt Denoma and Max Schiano called “Beautiful Choas.” It was a tap show that infused multimedia with electronic music. We performed the show numerous times in Long Island for the public school system. The kids loved it and it was just a blast for me, because the guys I depended on in film class was there for me when it was time to create a tap show. How fun!

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Cartier Williams for taking the time to share some of his story with our community.

    July 17, 2017 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 572

  • Highlights from Disney’s D23 Expo 2017

    This week, Disney held its bi-annual fan expo, D23, in Anaheim, CA. Marvel, Pixar, Disney Animation, Disney Interactive Studios, and Walt Disney Productions rolled out major announcements this weekend, while fans and industry insiders were treated to sneak-peek teasers, celebrity appearances, exclusive merchandise, incredible cosplay, and more. Here are some highlights.

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    A New “Star Wars” Park?

    Disney took the opportunity at D23 to reveal new details about its plans for a new themed-land called “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.” The project is shaping up to be one the company’s most immersive fan experiences.

    The Verge quoted Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek as explaining: “We are working on our most experiential concept ever … It combines a luxury resort with immersion in an authentic environment.” Basically, the goal will be for guests to live out their own “Star Wars” adventure throughout the course of their stay, complete with windows that look into outer space and a hotel designed like a spaceship.

    Celebrity Appearances

    Directors, stars, animators, and Disney giants were all present throughout the D23 Expo, and fans able to enjoy exclusive panels, talk-backs, and sneak-peeks presented by their favorite Disney stars. As Nerdist reported, “We saw the cast of ‘Descendants 2,’ ran into Mark Hamill and Stan Lee as Grand Marshalls of the Ultimate Fan Street Party, and saw ‘Black Panther’sChadwick Boseman running to his meet and greet. It was always good to keep an eye on the D23 app for surprise appearances.”

    Live-Action Films

    This year’s D23 Expo saw two jam-packed presentations, for animated and live-action films, respectively. Trailers, teasers, and A-list stars were in attendance to promote upcoming Disney live-action films.

    Slated for 2018 is “A Wrinkle in Time,” and director Ava DuVernay was there with stars Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling to screen the trailer. Audiences were also treated to a talks and teasers for upcoming mega projects, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

    But that wasn’t all in the live-action arena. The expo also promoted upcoming live-action adaptations of Disney classics slated to be directed by industry giants: “The Lion King” (Jon Favreau), “Dumbo” (Tim Burton), and “Aladdin” (Guy Ritchie). You’ll be able to catch Disney’s n live action adventure, “Dumbo,” on March 29, 2019. “Aladdin” has been cast. Earlier this month rumors circulated online that Disney was having trouble casting the film. Will Smith has been tapped to play the Genie. “Power Rangers” break-out star Naomi Scott will play Jasmine, and jumping on the magic carpet as Aladdin is Mena Massoud.

    Animated Films

    In the animation category, Disney screened a short film called “The Speed Test,” and hosted panels and teasers for major upcoming releases including “Toy Story 4,” Pixar’s “Coco,” “The Incredibles 2,” “Frozen 2,” “Wreck it Ralph Breaks the Internet,” and an upcoming feature from Dan Scanlon, yet to be titled.

    Perhaps the biggest news on the floor was the fact that all of the living Disney Princesses would make an appearance in “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2.”  The cast includes Auli‘i Cravalho from “Moana,” Kristen Bell from “Frozen,” Kelly MacDonald as “Merida,” Mandy Moore from “Tangled,” Anika Noni Rose from “The Princess and the Frog,” Irene Bedard from “Pocahontas,” Linda Larkin from “Aladdin,” Paige O’Hara from “Beauty and the Beast,” and Jodi Benson from “The Little Mermaid.”

    More details were also released for “The Incredibles 2.” Holly Hunter shared that her character, Mrs. Incredible, will be doing more of the heavy lifting this time around: “Bob’s actually home with the kids this time…”

    “Tangled: The Animated Series” amassed the original cast in the same place for the first time. Mandy Moore and Zachery Levi shared their enthusiasm for the characters. “Disney said they didn’t want to do the show without us,” Levi said.

    Video Games & VR

    The long-awaited third installment of the Kingdom Hearts series revealed a new playable world. Andy’s room from “Toy Story” will be a playable space in “Kingdom Hearts 3,” coming out in 2018.

    Marvel will be releasing a new VR game in 2018 titled “Powers United VR.” The game will allow the player to become their favorite hero, including Hulk, Rocket Raccoon, and Captain Marvel and will be exclusive to the Oculus Rift.

    Free Treats

    It wouldn’t be Disney if magic wasn’t present in every detail. At this year’s D23 Expo, the free swag was cold brew coffee with foam designs of iconic Disney characters — including Darth Vader. Shoppers were treated to exclusive merchandise launches not yet available anywhere else, from limited edition figurines to clothing lines.

    To see NYFA’s behind-the-scenes coverage of live events, follow us on #Snapchat @NYFilmAcademy.

  • NYFA Alumnus Manuel Garcia-Rulfo Screens “Magnificent 7” at Los Angeles Campus

    Screenshot 2017-07-17 13.23.05On Thursday, July 6, New York Film Academy alumnus, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, gave a Q & A at the Los Angeles campus. Garcia-Rulfo is known for his work on the “From Dusk Till Dawn” television series, “Cake” starring Jennifer Aniston, and “180 Grados.” 

    The Q&A event with Garcia-Rulfo included a special screening of “Magnificent 7,” and was attended by students currently enrolled at the NYFA college as well as the tweens from the NYFA summer camps. Associate Chair of the Acting Department Miguel Cruz hosted the evening.

    Garcia-Rulfo has achieved an incredible feat by working professionally in the entertainment industry both Mexico and the United States. He said he was able to achieve this by being selective with what acting projects he accepted early in his career.

    As a young actor in Mexico, Garcia-Rulfo was constantly offered roles in the telenovelas. “They offer you everything, in the beginning, to work on these soap operas. And you’re very hungry in the beginning. But I knew what I wanted my career to look like. I said no to a lot of things early in my career.”Screenshot 2017-07-17 13.23.22

    While he may have said no to parts that did not feel authentic, he poured everything into what he did love, including his studies in the 1-Year Acting for Film Program at the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus.

    Of his time at NYFA Garcia-Rulfo said, “New York Film Academy really gave me the chance to work in front of the camera – a lot! Having that experience makes you comfortable to be in front of the camera. Once you get out of here [NYFA] you know everything. I already knew all the aspects of the camera setup and crew when I was on set – having that prior knowledge was one of my favorite things. NYFA gave me a base upon which to build. For that, I am very thankful.”

    Garcia-Rulfo shared a story with the students about his time at NYFA. He and a friend decided that if they were going to work after the graduated they would need representation. They each had a reel and a short film finished. Thinking this would be enough to win over an agent, they decided to rent out the ballroom of a fancy hotel in Beverly Hills. They shipped out fancy baskets filled with chocolate to every representative. “Manuel is a great Mexican actor,” Garcia-Rulfo would tell agents over the phone. They ordered cases of champagne and food. The ballroom was decorated and soon the big day arrived.

    “I don’t think even my mother showed up,” Garcia-Rulfo said.

    The point of the story, according to Garcia-Rulfo, is that craft should always come first.

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    “There’s no formula to this thing we’re doing,” Garcia-Rulfo explained. “If I have any advice to actors it’s this: just buckle up because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. It’s very tough. But, I think we have to enjoy that experience as well. Nurture your craft.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Manuel Garcia-Rulfo for taking the time to speak with our summer camp students and our college students. Garcia-Ruflo will be starring in the remake of “Murder on the Orient Express” alongside Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Penélope Cruz coming out November 10, 2017.

    July 7, 2017 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 668

  • NYFA New York Welcomes “The Magicians” Actress Jade Tailor as Guest Speaker

    Actress Jade Tailor of Syfy’s fantasy series “The Magicians” received a warm welcome to NYFA New York City’s campus as a recent Guest Speaker. NYFA Acting for Film Chair Glynis Rigsby hosted the event, guiding the conversation through many inspiring stories from Tailor’s career. 

    “The big key is knowing your work so well that it doesn’t feel like work anymore,” Tailor told her audience of NYFA acting for film and musical theatre students. “Then you just get to play and enjoy it in the moment.”

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    Tailor is perhaps best known for her starring turn as Kady Orloff-Diaz in “The Magicians,” but NYFA students were inspired to hear the multifaceted artist’s story. The actress pursued her childhood dream despite various obstacles, and continues to nurture a passion for using her work as a platform to benefit others.

    “I’ve always wanted to fight for people who were not privileged, who had a difficult time,” Tailor shared, “And I am blessed to have this platform, and I feel it’s my duty to utilize it in any way I can. I think that’s what the drive is, now that I have some semblance of being in the spotlight: I want to utilize that for good. And I want to do work that inspires me and inspires others.”

    Growing up in Los Angeles with a mother who had worked as an actress in the 1970s and a father who had served in the Israeli Army’s Mossad division, Tailor says her family background gave her a unique perspective and helped her prepare for the realities of the industry, with a deep appreciation for training and craft.

    “In a lot of ways those two aspects [of my parents] were a foundation of me working that hard,” Tailor explained. She learned to overcome nerves as a child in acting classes with actress Dee Wallace, of “E.T. the Extraterrestrial” fame. Upon deciding to pursue acting as an adult, Tailor candidly shared that there were years of “literally counting pennies to pay the rent,” a reality that encouraged many students to hear acknowledged by a working actor.

    “It was definitely a long arduous road,” Tailor said. “But I knew I would get there if I put everything into it.”

    The actress repeatedly emphasized the importance of developing confidence and making the decision to focus on the craft above all. She shared that this shift in mindset helped her enjoy the process and connect with her character during a pivotal audition for the producers of “True Blood,” where she went on to portray lead actor Stephen Moyer’s first victim.

    “I really let go in that room and went, who is this character, what is her intention here? And I connected to the work and who she was, and I got a call a couple of hours later that I got the job.”

    After booking “True Blood,” Tailor shared, “I was like ‘Yes I made it!’ and then I got no work. There are gonna be moments where you get this great gig and then there’s a lull for a long time.”

    She stressed the importance of “having a great team behind you” as an actor, as well as “being conscious of the fact that you are going to have to sustain” through slow seasons as well as busy seasons. Tailor’s hard work was rewarded in 2015 when she booked “Aquarius” with David Duchovny: “I’ve been lucky to work with amazing people,” she said. 

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    It was while working on “Aquarius” that Executive Producer John McNamara approached Tailor about reading for a role in “The Magicians,” which turned out to be a surprising story as well. Tailor originally auditioned for the role of Margot, but producers decided the role of Kady was a better fit, a character very different from the roles Tailor had previously portrayed on television. 

    “I am so lucky to be on this amazing show that I love and that’s really fun with a great cast and crew,” Tailor said of “The Magicians.” Yet even in this busy season, the actress has her vision cast for the long term, and is working to develop projects through her own production company, Eyeris Entertainment.

    Tailor executive-produced “But I Love Him,” a film born through the actresses’ volunteer work as a domestic violence counselor. The piece dramatizes a woman’s experience through the cycle of abuse, and premiered at various festivals. “But I Love Him” is now used by various organizations as an education tool for raising awareness about domestic violence.

    Among the many nuggets of wisdom Tailor shared, she advised students to trust their own uniqueness, bring their own authenticity to each role, and build confidence through hard work. This is advice Tailor puts into practice herself. “The work is so important to me,” shared Tailor, “And I always want to do work that is meaningful and inspires me and inspires others. I think when you’re inspired yourself it’s going to read to other people and then other people are going to be inspired too.”

    When students asked about her acting technique, Jade jokes that she calls herself an “eclectic realist,” pointing to the uniqueness of each human being. “We have different things that will resonate, with some of us more so than others,” she explained. “Some people are more logical beings, some of us are more emotional beings. For me, I’m instinctively more emotional.”

    In imagining what’s next for her, Tailor shared she’d love to return to live performance. She has a passion for theatre, having sung at The Blue Note and performed in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Of the stage, Jade says, “It’s my background and my heart, and to go back to Broadway at some point would be amazing … but to do good work that inspires people, that’s really the end goal.”

    Season 2 of “The Magicians” is now available on Netflix. The New York Film Academy would like to thank Jade Tailor for her visit in our Guest Speaker Series.

    July 7, 2017 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 965