On Monday, February 11, New York Film Academy Australia (NYFAA) was delighted to welcome AFI Award-winning actor Simon Lyndon, and prominent Australian casting director Cinzia Coassin to our Australian campus.
Simon gathered acclaim as Jimmy Loughlin in iconic Australian film Chopper with Eric Bana, for which he won an AFI award for Best Supporting Actor and a Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for best supporting actor. He also received AFI nominations for Best Supporting Actor for Blackrock (as Ricko) and Best Actor in a telefeature or mini-series for his role in My Brother Jack.
Other film and television credits include:
Fresh Air, Sample People, The Thin Red Line, From the Outside Caught Inside, Falling into Paradise, The Glenmore Job, The Well Dust off the Wings, Beaconsfield, a younger Jack Thompson in Paper Giants – The Birth of Cleo Magazine, Larry Knight, Spirited on Foxtel with Claudia Karvan, playing The King, Puberty Blues as a surfing teacher Gumby, Police Rescue, Heartbreak High, Wildside, Underbelly Canal Road and FOX network show Roar together with fellow Australian and Blackrock co-star Heath Ledger.
Simon is also a sought-after theatre actor and director.
Cinzia Coassin started her career as a theatre/film and television actor, and has since expanded her reach in the entertainment industry. Located on Queensland’s Gold Coast, she is one of the preeminent Casting Directors NYFAA students will see
Cinzia is currently Casting Director on Australian feature films Unsound, a feature film supporting disability and diversity, sci-fi film Occupation, and Darkman. A seasoned Casting Associate and industry professional, Cinzia has been involved in the casting process for The Moon and the Sun, The Dressmaker, and Camp for the NBC Network, along with CBS pilot season 2014, The Code and Hiding for the ABC Network. She was also involved with the Australian search for the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, Hercules, The Shannara Chronicles,The Badlands and BIG VALLEY -The BFG. Additional casting project involvement includes The Strip and Blood Brothers for the 9 Network Australia, Spartacus, Legend of the Seeker, and K9 (children series), 33 Postcards, The King is Dead, Satellite Boy and 4 seasons of ABC US pilot season.
A creator of work, Cinzia is creative producer and collaborator on Holy Moselle, a feature film written by Michelle Coassin and has produced a short film festival – Ten to One – giving platform to writers/producers/directors to showcase their stories/films.
NYFA students were curious about Simon’s experience on Chopper, and Simon shared personal anecdotes; his experience of sleeping in a cell where a stabbing took place, and stories of Chopper showing off his shooting skills by having a friend hold a target.
He was generous in sharing his thoughts on acting techniques – method and physical techniques.
Students were treated to a viewing of Simon’s impressive showreel before Simon and Cinzia took questions from our acting students.
Of particular interest was Cinzia and Simon’s initiatives in creating work: Simon in theatre and Cinzia in producing a short film festival. In answer to student questions – what to do after graduating, Simon encouraged students to “make your own work! If you’re not getting cast, make a short film and cast yourself!”.
As Chair of Acting NYFAA, it is wonderful to see our ethos of Learning by Doing, so enthusiastically endorsed by our industry leaders. We all expressed our gratitude and appreciation to Simon and Cinzia, before taking advantage of photo opportunities. Some students were even treated to a moment of individual consultation.
Thank you Simon and Cinzia, we hope to welcome you back again soon!