• The Shorts Show Performing LIVE at The PIT

    tourist trapFounded by New York Film Academy acting alumnus Corey Scott Rutledge, The Shorts Show team has been doing consistently funny sketch comedy in New York for five years now and have been featured everywhere from The Huffington Post to Funny or Die.

    Last year, the group began doing live scripted comedy at NYC’s The PIT, selling out almost every show. Their most recent show, Tourist Trap, was co-written by NYFA acting graduate Brooks Russell and includes the cast of NYFA grads Jae LaRoya and Dirk Otis, as well as NYFA Instructor Grant Lancaster. In fact, even the technical director is Luis Alercone, a NYFA filmmaking graduate.

    Tourist Trap came about in an effort to make a New York-centric show,” said co-writer Brooks Russell. “We all live in the city and we all share the common love/hate relationship with the city— so we wanted to make a show that delved in to that.”

    The team began throwing around ideas for a few of the sketches and then searched for a backbone to them all together. That’s when they stumbled upon On the Town, an old but fairly popular musical that just recently had a revival run on Broadway. The show is about three sailors who spend one night in NYC and go on ‘wild and crazy’ adventures, then meet up to share their adventure together.

    The Shorts Show 2015 Reel from The Shorts Show on Vimeo.

    “We started thinking what if you took that story but had the sailors just go through all of the obstacles that today’s New Yorker often faces: subway delays, catcalling, hipster-artisanal propaganda, the homeless, pigeons, Naked Cowboys, and so on,” said Russell. “We use the sailors as a vehicle to travel through this very weird, dark, and (hopefully) hilarious version of NYC that explores all of those experiences that really are unique to this city, and the musical element helps it keep an absurd, light-hearted tone in an otherwise bleak setting. Mostly because Dirk has the voice of an angel.”

    Be sure to check out Tourist Trap at the PIT on 123 E. 24th St. on Friday, December 4th at 9:30pm. For tickets and times, please visit

  • NYFA Students Attend ‘Our Brand is Crisis’ Premiere

    our brand is crisisRecently, New York Film Academy students were invited to the Los Angeles premiere of the political campaign film Our Brand is Crisis. Students from all departments and programs attended the Hollywood event.

    A narrative remake of the documentary by the same name, it stars Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton, directed by David Gordon Green and produced by George Clooney.

    The film surrounds a Bolivian presidential candidate who is failing badly in the polls and enlists the firepower of an elite American management team, led by the deeply damaged but still brilliant strategist “Calamity” Jane Bodine (Bullock). In self-imposed retirement following a scandal that earned her nickname and rocked her to her core, Jane is coaxed back into the game for the chance to beat her professional nemesis, the loathsome Pat Candy (Thornton), now coaching the opposition.

    But as Candy zeroes in on every vulnerability – both on and off the campaign trail – Jane is plunged into a personal crisis as intense as the one her team exploits nationally to boost their numbers. Our Brand is Crisis reveals the cynical machinations and private battles of world-class political consultants for whom nothing is sacred and winning is all that matters.

    NYFA acting student Christopher Rybka details his experience on the red carpet:

    Have you ever been to a premiere before?

    This was my first time! It was really exciting because I had never been to the TCL Chinese Theater. It was interesting to see the work that goes into the event—celebrities posing in different angles for photos and doing interview after interview with different news sources. They are still on the job even though the movie is done.

    Did you go with anyone?

    A lot of my classmates were there. I don’t have many occasions to wear a full three-piece suit, so it was great to suit up and see everyone else dressed to the nines. When I got the email saying I had tickets, I called my mom and she flew in from Texas to go with me. She loved it.

    Did you see Sandra Bullock?

    I saw her from a distance but I didn’t get a chance to say hello or anything. But I did say hi to George Clooney. And the director invited me to the after party, but I didn’t have a ticket. Still appreciated the offer though.

    What did you think of the film?

    The performances were amazing. As an actor, I was completely enraptured by Sandra Bullock as Jane, and she had great chemistry with Billy Bob. Their rivalry was fun to watch.

    November 23, 2015 • Acting, Community Highlights • Views: 1340

  • Northern Exposure Star Janine Turner Video Chats with NYFA Students on Acting and Activism

    On November 18th, acting students from the New York Film Academy Los Angeles were virtually visited by Northern Exposure star Janine Turner to discuss her career as an actress and activist.

    Growing up in Texas, Turner started modeling at a young age. At fifteen she moved to New York City on her own dime to become the youngest model at Wilhelmina Modeling Agency.  By seventeen she progressed to acting in Hollywood.

    janine turner

    After initial damsel in distress characters on shows like A-Team, Dallas, and Knight Rider, Turner cut her hair and studied the craft of acting at the Actor’s Studio. “I made lifelong friends with the people from acting class,” she remarked fondly.

    Turner persevered through career lulls because of her personal faith, passion for the industry and drive to succeed. With a broken engagement and eight dollars in her bank account, Turner was on the verge of giving up acting for good. After getting lost trying to run away from Manhattan, she returned to the city to audition for a television pilot. With that audition, she landed the role of Maggie O’Connell on the much beloved ensemble series Northern Exposure.

    She explained her acting process to students, following the sensory method. Turner went to the executive producers to learn more about Maggie. With each script she would call her acting coach, go over her scenes and make specific choices for her character. On set, she balanced maintaining her sensory emotive state for the character and remaining her friendly self with the cast and crew. When it comes to the notes from multiple directors on a season, Turner advised, “Listen and be open-minded, but stay true to the character—take what you like and leave the rest.”

    nyfa class

    Janine Turner has been in notable movies like Cliffhanger with Sylvester Stallone, Dr. T and the Women and hit shows like Friday Night Lights. Her current passion is towards activism. “Thespians are great humanitarians; it’s a wonderful way to feed the soul,” Turner notes. She launched and co-chairs the Constituting America foundation. It’s mission is to educate America’s youth about the importance of the United States Constitution, and encourages them to write and direct short films, PSA, and songs about the founding document and how it has shaped and protects our civil liberties.

    We thank Janine Turner for taking time to speak with us and wish her great success with her career and foundation.

    November 20, 2015 • Acting, Community Highlights, Guest Speakers • Views: 837

  • Catching up with NYFA’s Documentary Guest Speaker Series in Los Angeles

    Each week, the Documentary Department invites special guest speakers to its classrooms to provide students’ with an inside look at the professional world of documentary filmmaking. Over the month of October, we welcomed the following industry professionals:


    October 21, 2015

    nyfa guggenheim

    Documentary students from New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus recently attended the International Documentary Association’s Conversation Series with guest Davis Guggenheim. Mr. Guggenheim showed clips from his films, from his first documentary, THE FIRST YEAR, following a group of new teachers during their first year in the classroom, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, his Oscar-winning climate change documentary, WAITNG FOR SUPERMAN, his look at public education lotteries, and his latest HE NAMED ME MALALA, a portrait of Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

    Guggenheim spoke about how deeply he has been affected by each of the films he has made. “As filmmakers, we shoot to give people a chance to express their emotions and the issue they are facing,” commented Sasha-Gay Lewis (Fall 14 MFA) “But Mr. Guggenheim confirmed that often the process of filmmaking can be therapeutic for the filmmaker as well.”


    October 16, 2015

    nyfa thomas millerFilmmaker Thomas G. Miller screened his film ‘”LIMITED PARTNERSHIP” for an audience of documentary students. The film focuses on the fight for marriage and immigration equality through the story of the 1975 marriage of Filipino American Richard Adams and Australian Tony Sullivan. The same-sex couple had been granted a marriage license by a courageous clerk in Boulder, CO. Though most heterosexual married couples easily obtain legal status for their foreign spouses, Richard received a denial letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service stating, “You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.” Their fight lasted for 40 years.

    Miller told the NYFA students that he had spent ten years self-financing production of the film until, after six tries, financing finally came through from ITVS. But the wait seemed worth it when the film was premiered on the PBS documentary series Independent Lens just as the U.S. Supreme Court recognized same sex marriage in June, 2015. Rebecca Louisell, a NYFA Instructor and an Associate Producer of the documentary, also attended the screening and Q and A.


    October 19, 2015


    After a long career and successful career as a director and producer with 80 documentary, television and feature films to his credit, Harrison Engle decided to make a documentary with a crew of one: himself. When Engle met Dr. Melanie Andrews, Artistic Director of the Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble, he knew he wanted to tell the story of the group’s production of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” produced in the summer of 2015. But, Engle told the NYFA students, he knew funding for the film would be tough to find and he did not want to miss the opportunity to film the production of the play. So, using a Sony Handycam, HDR-CX580 fitted with a Sennheiser MKE-400 mini-shotgun microphone, Engle produced, shot and then edited the documentary solo. He admitted the experience of working alone was very demanding in many ways but that it had reinvigorated his lifelong love for the art and process of nonfiction filmmaking.

    November 19, 2015 • Acting, Documentary Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 844

  • NYFA Musical Theatre to Perform ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel’

    carouselContinuing on the success of its last three musical productions, the New York Film Academy Musical Theatre Program is gearing up for its for fourth stage performance, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, which will take place from November 20-22nd at the American Theatre of Actors in New York City. Based on Ferenc Molnar’s play Liliom, as adapted by Benjamin F. Glazerthe play centers on a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th century. The lead male is a swaggering, carefree carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, who captivates and marries the naive millworker, Julie Jordan. Billy loses his job just as he learns that Julie is pregnant and, desperately intent upon providing a decent life for his family, he is coerced into being an accomplice to a robbery. Caught in the act and facing the certainty of prison, he takes his own life and is sent ‘up there.’ Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day fifteen years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew. She is a lonely, friendless teenager, her father’s reputation as a thief and bully having haunted her throughout her young life. How Billy instills in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love. It’s easy to understand why, of all the shows they created, Carousel was Rodgers & Hammerstein’s personal favorite.

    “Carousel has always played a part in my life as a performer,” said director and choreographer, Chad Austin, who is an instructor at the New York Film Academy. “I have danced the role of ‘carnival boy’ in multiple productions. I knew we had the talent to tackle this massive musical, and I felt it was a great time to produce a Golden Age Musical!”

    Chad Austin with NYFA's Carousel cast

    Chad Austin with NYFA’s Carousel cast

    The NYFA cast has worked diligently these past few months going through the rehearsal process because for most of them this show is a huge stretch, both as dancers and actors. Some consider Carousel one of the best books of a musical—that alone tells you how much they have been digging into the character work in order to tell the story.

    Taking on both director and choreographer was a thrill and challenge,” added Austin. “Luckily, I was able to create most of the choreography months before with my amazing associate choreographer, Ilda Mason [NYFA Musical Theatre alumna]. While creating the concept of the show I had the freedom to make choices that might otherwise not have happened if I wasn’t wearing both hats. I think by opening night the audience will be blown away by the level of talent we have at NYFA.”

    Austin believes the performance will not only introduce a classic to our students, but also provide a story that will resonate with today’s modern audience.

    “The struggle with Carousel and other musicals from its era is that audiences sometimes feel disconnected from the material. When you strip down the themes of Carousel and tell the story it is simple and touches people of all ages. I hoped to turn an epic musical into a intimate one.”

    NYFA students, employees, and alumni may purchase up to two $10 tickets with Jordan Dragutsky in room 420 at NYFA Battery Place.

    All other general admission tickets are available at

    Music by Richard Rodgers
    Book & Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
    Based on Ferenc Molnar’s play “Liliom”
    As Adapted by Benjamin F. Glazer
    Original Dances by Agnes de Mille
    Directed & Choreographed by Chad Austin
    Music Direction by Joshua Zecher-Ross and Anna Ebbesen
    Production Stage Manager: Jhanae Bonnick
    Associate Choreographer: Ilda Mason
    Associate Director: Beatriz Cavalieri
    Produced by Kristy Cates, Mark Olsen, and Jordan Neil Dragutsky
  • Acting for Film Grad Cast on LMN’s ‘My Haunted House’

    johanna finn

    Johanna Finn

    One of the many appealing features of attending the New York Film Academy is your ability to study “bicoastally” at both our New York City and Los Angeles locations. Essentially, getting the best of both worlds. Acting for Film graduate Johanna Finn studied her first year in New York and the second year in Los Angeles. In this time, the Finnish native acted in about 35 student student films in both NYC and LA.

    “At NYFA, I learned a specific skill set for film acting, met a lot of future filmmakers, and I also learned about building a career as an actress from a business standpoint,” said Finn. “However, the great thing about life is that you are never ‘done’ and there is always more room to grow and learn.”

    Finn was fortunate enough to work with her NYFA instructor Lanre Olabisi as an actress in his award-winning film Somewhere in the Middle. Olabisi’s film won the grand prize ‘Best Feature Film’ at the San Antonio Film Festival in Texas and the audience award ‘Best Feature Film’ at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York.

    johanna finn

    Somewhere in the Middle was born out of a year long improvisational process, which made it a fascinating project for me as an actress,” recalled Finn. “The main cast was able to contribute to the script much more than in traditional filmmaking, and I have huge respect for Lanre for taking this approach as a director.”

    In the short film Hot Therapy, Finn won an award for ‘Best Actor in a Short Dramedy’ at the Best Actors Film Festival 2015 for portraying an insecure woman, battling to find inner peace.

    And now, Finn will be appearing in an episode of Lifetime’s and A&E’s My Haunted House.

    Finn says her ultimate goal as an actress is to help tell stories that create understanding, empathy, compassion, and hope in the world. “I believe that compassion is a powerful force that can really change the world. The camera comes so close to the actor in a close-up that the audience can see the actor’s bare soul living in the character, and the audience will reflect this onto themselves.”

    We look forward forward to seeing more of Finn on film and television as she continues to empower and inspire her audience.

    October 20, 2015 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1268

  • NYFA Instructor Wins New York Innovative Theater Award for Directing

    in vestmentsWe’d like to congratulate New York Film Academy Acting for Film instructor, Isaac Byrne, who recently won a New York Innovative Theater Award for Directing. The award came for his work on In Vestments, which also won Outstanding Premier of a New Play.

    In Vestments, written by Sara Fellini, is about four priests and a sacristan who are haunted by their pasts and their present addictions while they live and work in a crumbling church they are struggling to rebuild. This unique performance took place at the West Park Presbyterian Church, which was abandoned for a while and is now in the process of being rebuilt. The play was considered a site specific and immersive performance. Audience members were led to their pews and seated by nuns. In that sense, the play happened all around you, not just in front of you on a stage.

    This isn’t Byrne’s first involvement with an award-winning play. He was also nominated for directing The Other Mozart by Sylvia Milo, which won for Outstanding Solo Performance and Original Music.

    We had a chance to catch up with the award-winning director to gather some more insight on In Vestments, his career, and his teaching.

    How did you get involved with the project and where did the idea come from?

    The playwright and lead actor, Sara Fellini, took my private acting class for a year and then came to me with a play she had written called Hazard a Little Death— which I ended up directing. We produced that play several times, always using a number of former NYFA students as actors in each production. Kaitlan Emory, Tara Scalesi, Daniel Benhamu, Antonio Thompson, Brigita Cajauskyte, Linnea Larsdotter, and Mary-Anne Wright all performed roles in the various productions.

    Sara had worked for years as a sacristan at a Catholic Church in Queens and after the success of Hazard a Little Death (that play was nominated for number of Planet Connection Awards including Antonio Thompson for Actor in a featured role) she wrote In Vestments, which was inspired by her time as a sacristan.

    We developed the project over several months, with the help of some other NYFA people: faculty Rico Rosetti, John Desiderio and former students Connor Lyons and Ben Mann.

    in vestments stills
    What does this most recent award mean to you as an artist?

    It’s always nice to be recognized for your work, especially on artistically rewarding pieces that aren’t big financial pay days. I’m mostly just happy that the hard work that the cast and crew put in paid off. It’s very validating. Sometimes you make money and sometimes you don’t make money but they give you nice little award for your resume and mantelpiece.

    It gives you a little more cache when you’re meeting people, and you always meet more industry people when you get nominated for something. I’m actually meeting this week with a film and theatre producer that was one of the judges for this award, so hopefully this will lead to some more successful projects.

    How do your professional achievements and experience come into play during your teaching?

    Well, it’s always helpful to have a concrete recent example to point to when you’re trying to explain something in class. It’s good to be able to say: “that project just you saw; this is what we used to accomplish this” or “what I’m trying to show you right now; this is how that actor accomplished that performance you watched last night.”

    You have to stay fresh and in the game, I think. The industry is always changing and growing and if you keep working, you do too—as an artist but also as a teacher, too.

    in vestments play
    What advice do you have for students looking to break into the world of theater / directing / acting?

    Just know that there’s no magic day where you suddenly transition from student to artist. Your career has already begun. Your work and your attitude in the classroom is going tell everyone around you whether you are someone they want to work with. It’s not about talent; it’s about trust.

    We had a lot of people, including some very notable Broadway actors, audition for the role of Jakamo in In Vestments. But it was Pierre Marais’ incredible diligence in his time as a student at NYFA that convinced me that he could do the role. I fought for him because I knew he had the talent and the ability, but most of all that I could trust him. Pierre really was at the heart of that production in so many ways. We fell right back into the language and rhythms we had working together in the classroom and it really helped speed up and facilitate the rehearsal process.

    You never know where your next job is going to come from, but it almost always comes from the relationships you’ve built. Whether it’s a teacher or fellow student or someone you meet in an audition room after you graduate, you’ve got to get good at earning people’s trust with your skill, your attitude, and your professionalism. If you’re hard working and have a good attitude in a class then you’re building a reputation and a skill set that’s going to get you work.

    September 29, 2015 • Acting, Musical Theatre • Views: 1445

  • NYFA Acting, Screenwriting, Documentary and Producing MFA, BFA, & AFA Graduates Receive Degrees

    Saturday, September 19th was a big day for New York Film Academy Los Angeles Acting, Screenwriting, Documentary, and Producing students who received their MFA, BFA, and AFA degrees in the morning at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood. The graduates processed into the commencement ceremony dressed in cap and gown as family and friends, filling the 400-seat house, proudly looked on. Speaking and presenting diplomas as they presided over the graduation were Chair of Screenwriting Nunzio DeFilippis, Chair of Acting Lynda Goodfriend, Chair of Producing Tony Schwartz, Dean of Students Eric Conner, Chair of Documentary Barbara Multer-Wellin, and Associate Chair of Screenwriting Adam Finer.

    adele lim

    Adele Lim, Guest Speaker

    Adele Lim, the ceremony’s commencement speaker, known for writing and producing TV series such as One Tree Hill, Reign, Private Practice, and Life Unexpected among many others, delivered an extremely inspirational and often humorous speech that primed graduates to get out and conquer the entertainment industry. That evening the graduates and their guests enjoyed a chic after party at the Andaz Hotel’s Riot House Restaurant on the Sunset Strip.

    MFA in Acting

    • Tamara Bunker
    • Patrice Driver
    • Jasmine Harris
    • Charlotte Makala
    • Maria Luisa Martins
    • Anthony McBride
    • Phuthi Ngwenya
    • Lucia O’Brien
    • Amber Nicole Rivette
    • Sheila Robinson
    • Paul Romero
    • Chiffon Valentine
    • Norhanne Yessayan

    BFA in Acting

    • Victor Akintunde
    • Luis Alberto Alvarez Medrano
    • Sean Babapulle
    • Conner Blake
    • Lynn Braem
    • Rosaria Cianciulli
    • Gunner Coulter
    • Ricardo Cruz
    • Mehdi Dumartin
    • Julia Eckert
    • Patrick Ferroni
    • Selina Fraga
    • James Gaines
    • Chanelle Garrett
    • Madigan Haggerty
    • Jean-Baptiste Hakim
    • John Hardisty
    • Christopher Huff
    • Ayse Kirca
    • Michael Kunselman
    • Andrea Guillianna Martinez
    • Rene Rose Nault
    • Queenian Nneka Okagu
    • Maija Ozolina
    • Eleanor Patrikios
    • Christopher Pineiro
    • Kimberly Romano
    • Victor Daniel Rosas Martinez
    • Chandler Smith
    • Sean Spencer
    • Yulia Yusupova
    AFA in Acting

    • Guy Bailey
    • Olivia Ekelund
    • Ignacia Quappe
    • Ian Sanphy
    • James Turpin

    MFA in Screenwriting

    • Heather Hult
    • Vijayasarathy Mayalagu
    • John Russo
    • Daniel Wayne Smith

    BFA in Screenwriting

    • Lucas Snoey

    AFA in Screenwriting

    • Markel Hill
    • Daniel James Hunt
    • Jinghui Jia
    • Christopher Kühne

    MFA in Documentary

    • Mohammed Basurah
    • Xiao Chen
    • Kai Lu
    • Ivoree Myles
    • Seojong Park
    • Ma. Abigail Prieto
    • Tiffany Toulze

    MFA in Producing

    • Anishka Alles
    • Talal Alshehail
    • Ignacio Campos
    • Natasha Pineda
    • Fernanda Rouchou Malta
    • Chuhan Wang
    • Li Xia



    September 28, 2015 • Acting, Documentary Filmmaking, Producing, Screenwriting • Views: 1411

  • Student Spotlight: Connor Williams

    connor williams

    Connor Williams with Terry Kiser from “Weekend at Bernie’s”

    While many of our incoming degree program students have had some level of experience in film and acting, rarely do we come across a student with 20 movies under his or her belt. Incoming BFA Acting for Film Freshman Connor Williams directed his first short film at the very young age of 10 years old. The movie screened at festivals in the U.S. as well as Athens, Greece. After winning 50 bucks and a karaoke machine for his first film, Williams was hooked.

    As a Freshman in high school, Williams won first place in a statewide video contest. The contest earned him $1,000 and another $1,000 went toward his school, which would come in handy two years later.

    His first real big break came when he beat out hundreds of teen actors for one of the lead roles in The UnMiracle, co-starring Kevin Sorbo and Stephen Baldwin. He Skyped his audition and callback from his bedroom in Idaho. The film, which explores a suburban teen’s accidental drug overdose, comes out in 2016.

    From there, Williams played opposite Sam Rockwell in a couple of scenes in Napolean Dynamite director Jared Hess’ new comedy Don Verdean, which played at Sundance and was purchased by Lionsgate. This also comes out in 2016.

    At the age of 17, in the summer going into his senior year, Connor decided to invest every penny he had earned from acting into producing, directing and acting in his own feature film, Spoilers The Movie — a modern day version of The Breakfast Club. Using the $1,000 he earned for his school, Williams was able to rent the school for three weeks of shooting. He brought in teen actors from New York, Chicago, Texas and California. He negotiated the contract and hired Terry Kiser (Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s). The film was shot on a Sony FS 700 in 2k. The feature was made in 15 days over a 17 day period. It has since played in Florida, Texas, New York, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and California.

    Spoilers the Movie has been up for Best First Time Feature (no age limit) in two different festivals, winning Best Student Film at the Rendezvous Film Festival in Florida and Best Student Film at the Temecula Independent Film Festival. It also won The Award of Excellence at The San Francisco Film Awards. The biggest award came when Connor won $60,000 worth of rental equipment and supplies from the RXSM Self Medicated Film Festival in Victoria, Texas. Connor is also recognized as being the youngest producer ever of a SAG/AFTRA feature film, breaking the record of 18 year old Richard Switzer who was featured on Entertainment tonight.

    His film continues to propel his career in acting. From Spoilers, Williams was cast in American in Texas, starring Quinton Aaron, better known as “Big Mike” from The Blindside. Connor just spent six weeks in Utah playing the lead in the coming of age film American Nobody.

    If you would like to rent Spoilers, please go to

    Williams is currently looking to hire cast and crew from New York Film Academy to make his next feature film. If NYFA students would like to collaborate with Conner, he can be reached at

    Connor is looking forward to attending and learning at NYFA’s Acting for Film school. He has never taken an acting class…ever.

    September 21, 2015 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1757

  • NYFA Acting Students Network with Top Casting Directors

    meet and greet

    Ali Raizin looking at an actor’s headshot

    New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus hosted an evening specially designed for their acting alumni and graduating students to meet film and commercial casting directors in a personalized setting. At the meet & greet, students met one-on-one with top casting companies and casting directors to pitch their unique brand, hand out headshots, and get invaluable advice on how to successfully navigate the casting industry.

    In attendance were numerous casting companies including casting director Ronnie Yeskel (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Curb Your Enthusiasm); Fiorentino Casting (Wild Card with Jason Statham, The Big Wedding with Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace and Robin Williams, and High School with Adrian Brody); Ivy Isenberg, Owner of Isenberg Casting (Call of Duty video game series for Activision, Emmy-Winning Animated Series Robot Chicken and The Scorpion King and Chucky franchises for Universal); and casting director Josh Rappaport from Casting Brothers, with over 25 years’ experience casting commercials for Netflix, Adidas, E-Trade and Barbie, to name a few.

    casting directors

    Front row David Guglielmo (Matthew Lessall Casting), Lynda Goodfriend, Ivy Isenberg (her hands are on Lynda’s shoulder), Ali Raizin, Josh Rappaport (Casting Brothers), Steven Tyleo O’Connor (Barbara Fiorentino Casting)   Back row; Ronnie Yeskel, Barbara Weintraub, Anne Moore, Vanessa Knight (Dream Big Casting), David Seiden (Dream Big Casting)

    The event was organized by Barbara Weintraub, NYFA’s Chair of Industry Outreach and Professional Development. Lynda Goodfriend, Chair of Acting for Film, and Anne Moore, Associate Chair, guided the students throughout the invaluable evening of networking.

    Commenting on the night, Barbara said, “You could see on their faces how excited the NYFA students were to be there. The casting directors were so gracious, spending time getting to know them over a couple hours. Really great connections were made.”

    casting directors nyfa

    September 7, 2015 • Acting • Views: 2853