acting school
Posts

  • NYFA Acting for Film Alumna Samantha Hamadeh Hosts Comedy Central Arabia’s “Ridiculousness Arabia”

    In 2010 Samantha Hamadeh graduated from the One Year Acting Program at New York Film Academy. Her 3.9 GPA should have tipped everyone off that she was headed toward great things. In just a few years Hamadeh was on Comedy Central co-hosting one of their most popular shows. Hamadeh sat down with NYFA Correspondent Joelle Smith, to talk about where it all began and how NYFA helped her to get where she is now.

    NYFA: When did you fall in love with acting?

    Hamadeh: I was in 1st or 2nd grade. My friend and I used to hand out little notes to people in the class to come watch our plays on the playground. There was a tree ring made of cement. That was our stage.

    NYFA: What were some challenges you faced in your craft before coming to NYFA?

    Hamadeh: Although I’m a firm believer that people are born with a talent, I still thought that there was so much that I needed to learn about myself in order to be able to understand and portray different characters. Also, I took 3 years off from the theater because I was getting a degree at university. I was nervous about getting back into the world of acting.

    NYFA: How did NYFA help you move through these challenges?

    Hamadeh: I had some of the best teachers and mentors. From Kelly Hughes to Caitlin Muelder, Scott Ferrara, Valorie Hubbard, and Anthony Montes – they were all so supportive and truly believed in me. In class, I was able to work on my technique while also developing new skills.

    NYFA: What is your best memory from NYFA?

    Hamadeh: My dream of going to film school came true! The entire experience was life changing. I also got to meet some of the most amazing and talented students who I look up to, especially Eliza Delacourt and Maria Carvalho, who are now family to me. Some of the best years of my life were in Los Angeles, both on and off campus.

    NYFA: Tell us about your show, “Ridiculousness Arabia.”

    Hamadeh: Ridiculousness is an American comedy clip show, which presents viral videos. Comedy Central Arabia got the rights and I got to co-host the Arabic version – “Ridiculousness Arabia.”

    Samantha Hamadeh | NYFA Alumni Spotlight

    NYFA: How did you become involved with the project?

    Hamadeh: I work in marketing and was at a meeting with Comedy Central because they were looking to film their stand up comedy show at my brother’s venue, Stereo Arcade in Dubai. The CC team mentioned they were also working on Ridiculousness and I got excited because I love the US version. The producer asked if I was interested in co-hosting. Obviously, I said yes.

    NYFA: What was your goal with the project?

    Hamadeh: It was pure improv so we didn’t have much time to rehearse and we filmed two to three episodes a day over five to six days. My goal was to stay focused and enjoy filming every episode. There’s no character work. What you see on tv is who I am in person.

    NYFA: What’s been the most rewarding part of being involved with “Ridiculousness Arabia?”

    Hamadeh: Being part of a production like this was a dream come true! And I enjoyed every single minute of it because I got to work with really talented guys; Mohanad, the host and Khaled, the co-host.

    NYFA: What advice do you have for an aspiring host?

    Hamadeh: You’re going to hear a lot of no’s before you get a yes. It’s hard to be patient, I know, but when the right opportunity comes along you’re going to be happy that you were.

    NYFA: Where and when can people watch your show? 

    Hamadeh: Every Sunday night on Comedy Central Arabia.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Samantha Hamadeh for taking the time to speak with us.

     

     

    August 18, 2017 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 345

  • NYFA’s Ragga Thordarson Continues to Garner International Recognition

    NYFA’s Ragga Thordarson continues to garner international recognition, this time in her native country of Iceland. Interviewed by Morgunblaðið, one Iceland’s leading papers, Ragga spoke of her success in the film and television industry as a producer, director, and consultant.

    The article went on to discuss her role within the New York Film Academy and the importance of the inclusive, diverse environment NYFA fosters.

    You can find the original article here. An English version can be found below.

    “The World of Film is International”

    Ragnhildur Magnúsdóttir Thordarson, or Ragga, as she is called, lives in Los Angeles where she works at the prestigious New York Film Academy. Ragga has produced and participated in a number of creative and film projects both overseas and here at home in Iceland and was among other things, a consultant to the team behind “The Simpsons” on the Simpsons’ Iceland episode.

    Ragga Thordarson | New York Film Academy

    “This started when I graduated with a Master’s degree in Producing For Film and Television  from New York Film Academy in March 2012. I left Iceland in 2010 and graduated two years later,” says Ragga, who has done well in recent years in Los Angeles, California, USA, as a Producer. The projects include short films that have been featured at various film festivals.

    In 2012, Filmbreak named Ragga Best Producer for one such project. Her short sketch video was named Carlos & Brandi 2 and was a follow-up to the first Carlos and Brandi, based on short episodes of the Icelandic-American couple created by Ragga. She also wrote and directed the documentary From Oakland to Iceland. Ragnhildur now works as Director of Admissions at New York Film Academy, Los Angeles, which oversees students’ applications worldwide.

    Consultant for Icelandic Simpsons

    “Before I graduated, I worked as a radio and television host (in Iceland) and as a filmmaker. So I have been producing across platforms for a considerable amount of time,” says Ragga

    “After graduating, I started working as a Producer in LA in various projects. Among other things, I worked for Reebok and was a consultant on “The Simpsons” Iceland episode. I produced and wrote content that was featured on “Funny or Die.” In fact, I was working on various types of projects. Then I started working in events for New York Film Academy. “

    Industry professionals with impressive resumes

    Ragga then began managing Q and A´s and various events at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus. “We had guests coming to Warner Brothers for screenings and Q and A’s. There were people from all different jobs in entertainment and film; screenwriters and actors, for example, such as Linda Woolverton, Josh Brolin and Jonah Hill. Then there were filmmakers, even animation experts and others, some household names and others less known to the public, but industry professionals who have great bodies of work and extensive credits, sometimes behind the scenes. These people come to share their creative and industry experiences with students. This was a great job.” Ragga is raised in the United States, but is Icelandic and has spent considerable time living in Iceland as well. She and her husband have lived in Los Angeles in recent years.

    New York Film Academy is International

    The environment is international

    Ragga managed events at NYFA until she was eight months pregnant with her first child. “I had my daughter Stella three years ago, and was what in Iceland would be considered a ‘last minute mom’” says Ragga, and laughs.

    “After becoming a mom, I went to work on new projects for New York Film Academy and because I knew the school so well, I ended up working in Admissions. My job then evolved into the position I am in now. I love this school, the departments within it work well together, and  more than half of the students are international. This is a very global environment, and it’s great to be surrounded by people who are storytellers from all over the world. You hear Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese and many more languages ​​daily here. It reflects in my opinion the cinema world which is far more international than I think people generally realize. “Hollywood is such a multinational place and New York Film Academy’s student body reflects that. Then filmmakers (including NYFA’s) meet at various film festivals across the world, with their common love of and passion for film. “

     

    July 31, 2017 • Academic Programs, Faculty Highlights, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 1305

  • 5 Things We Learned From Chris Devane’s Casting Class

    Outside of the New York Film Academy, Acting Instructor, Chris Devane is a giant in the casting industry. Devane detailed his experience with large casting calls, which can include seeing over 400 people in a single day, to an hour-long casting rehearsal with a single actress. With clients like Wal-Mart and major production studios, Devane knows everything there is to know about the casting process. Most importantly, he has been able to pass that information on to acting students. Here are the top 5 lessons we took from Devane’s Casting Class.

    1. There Are a Lot of Actors Actively Seeking Work

    Devane began the class with a simple question, “How many union actors are working in the United States of America?” After letting students take a guess, Devane revealed the staggering number.

    There are 160,000 actors in the union and untold scores of hopeful eyed youngsters trying to enter the industry every day. Perhaps more troubling is the fact that the average income for those 160,000 union actors is $7,000. This includes big stars like Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana who make millions of dollars per movie.

    Devane brought up these numbers to make a point. Those that want to act had better be prepared to work for free or very little. They will need to love their craft beacuse acting is not always kind to actors.

    “The only person who can help your career is you,” Devane told his students. “Getting success is easy. Keeping it is a challenge.” Many actors come to LA from smaller cities where they have had some success. It means nothing when they get to Hollywood. “There are no failed actors. Just people who quit.”

    Casting Tips | New York Film Academy

    1. You Have to Really, Really Love Acting

    “There’s more competition in acting than any other field in the world,” Devane said. While working for free or very little upfront may be necessary, eventually, payment will be required. “Who’s paying your rent or putting gas in your car if you work for free? This is show business,” Devane warned. Deciding how much one’s work is worth can be challenging.

    This is all part of the gig. Actors typically work twelve to eighteen hour days, six days a week. This is an exhausting and demanding schedule. All the while, actors are being judged. They’re judged for their looks, they are judged for their talent, and they are even judged for their behavior. This scrutiny tends to get the better of most people.

    Self-promotion is of the utmost importance. There are more opportunities to be seen with YouTube and other social media platforms but there’s also a bigger opportunity to fail. A good casting director will not place an actor in a role for which they are not prepared. But the advent of casting based on followers has a lot of young talent scrambling to put out any work they have in hopes of gaining a following.

    Devane suggests putting only polished work out for consumption. Start developing a style and a voice now. Don’t rely on followers. They do not denote talent. Do solid work, help others in developing their work, and promote the finished projects.

    1. Casting Has Nothing to Do with Talent

    When Devane revealed this information there was tangible hitch within the audience. Talent, fairy tales would have you believe, is the most important aspect in getting started in the entertainment industry. How else can someone with little experience get his or her start?

    Devane says the most important thing an actor should be able to do is be themselves on camera. It is the job of a casting agent to find the best person for the role and not the best actor in the world. So, if an actor is relaxed and natural on camera than they can be cast in something.

    Most people who have difficulty getting cast believe it’s something they have done wrong. According to Devane most of these people are missing a personality. Many balked at this statement because it can be rather difficult information to process. Some take it as an insult. But nothing could be further from the truth.

    The first step to fixing a problem is admitting there is a problem. Devane suggests actively listening to get more parts. Listen to the partner in the scene. Don’t just wait for the next line. Also, listen to the casting director. If one is asked to try the line a different way, you should really think about how that note changes the reading. Being able to take direction makes any actor more desirable.

    1. Reputation Travels Faster than any Human

    Reputations cannot be bought or erased. They are earned through the most precious non-renewable source, time. With this in mind, Devane advised students to guard and protect their reputations with everything they have.

    “The person who gets cast is the one who can work with the director.” Being a diva on set or overstepping boundaries will have an actor on the outs faster than they can sign a contract. Once a job is booked, it’s important to know on-set rules so as not to become a liability. “If you hear ‘points’ on set you need to know what that means and act accordingly,” Devane told students.

    Don’t turn down work. “Look, sometimes being picky can be beneficial, but when someone brings you a job turning it down can look ungrateful at best and disrespectful at worst.” When auditioning for a role make sure the shoot days do not conflict with any other projects or personal appointments. If there’s a potential for conflict mention it at the start of the audition.

    Be on time. Every minute of production can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Crew call is often much earlier and much later than an actor’s call time. There is zero excuse for holding up a production and everyone will remember who caused that hold up.

    1. There is No Way to Tell Why You Did Not Get Cast

    Devane let students in on a secret that most professional working actors do not know. He told them that not only does talent not matter but there are a million little reasons behind why an individual does get cast. “Get rid of the feeling of I could have done better.”

    Sometimes one individual will pair better with an actor that has already been cast. Other times a director might have a working relationship with an actor. Sometimes a client will change their mind and want a different look than they originally set out to cast. It could be that there was just a better actor in the room that day.

    It is important to remember that, “You’re going to be frustrated throughout your entire career. Be positive and confident in your ability, skills, and knowledge. It’s the only thing to separate you from the 180 other people auditioning for the role.”

    It’s heartbreaking to get rejection after rejection but again, acting is not for the faint of heart. It requires great passion and equally as much patience and keep in mind that somewhere out there is the perfect role.

    Devane left students with this thought, “The harder you work, the more fortune you’ll have.” Do not wait to be chosen. Be your own biggest advocate.

    July 27, 2017 • Acting • Views: 423

  • NYFA: In Celebration of International Education Week (November 14-18)

    For those of us deeply engaged in of the field of international education, last week was analogous to the film industry’s Academy Awards week. This year’s International Education Week (IEW) highlighted the international education community’s efforts to increase the number of students and scholars that cross borders worldwide and, with exuberance, showcased the scores of success stories pertaining to this global exchange of knowledge. The week was also full of discussions and musings about possible changes to the sector that may occur when the new administration begins working in Washington, DC in six weeks.

    International education holds an important place here at the New York Film Academy (NYFA), where more than 50% of the School’s enrollment is international; tens of thousands of visual and performing artists from nearly 120 countries have studied at NYFA since its founding 25 years ago, including dozens of Fulbright Foreign Students.

    For the 2nd year in a row, NYFA is proud to be ranked in the top 5 ‘SPECIAL FOCUS INSTITUTIONS’ that host international students, according to the Open Doors Report, an annual report issued by the Institute of International Education (IIE) that was released last week by IIE and the U.S. Department of State. In the 2015-2016 academic year NYFA hosted 1,492 foreign students in the College’s degree programs, and also welcomed nearly 2,000 additional international students to non-degree and short-term programs that were not counted in the Open Doors Report data.

    On the outgoing side of international education, for two decades NYFA has offered a wide range of study abroad programs at four permanent international locations (Paris, France; Florence, Italy; Gold Coast, Australia; and Sydney, Australia), as well as at many satellite locations, including Kyoto, Japan; Beijing, China; and Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    This year, NYFA made great strides in increasing study abroad opportunities by launching unique faculty led international ‘excursion’ programs, which included NYFA trips for students in the Photography and Documentary Filmmaking Departments. A total of 73 students traveled to Belize, Cyprus, and the Dominican Republic to experience unique aspects of these cultures as well as witness and develop a better awareness of important and critical events currently happening in the countries. This was part of NYFA’s commitment to the Generation Study Abroad Initiative — an undertaking to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad.

    The New York Film Academy highlighted its study abroad opportunities and accomplishments during the national celebration of International Education Week by hosting a social media contest: NYFA students and alumni had the opportunity to submit photographic representations of what “home” means to them via Facebook or Instagram by including the hashtag #NYFAInternational and tagging @NewYorkFilmAcademy. This contest was open to all current NYFA students (nearly 8,500) from the U.S. campuses in New York, Los Angeles, and South Beach, Florida, as well as students studying at all of our locations abroad in Florence, Italy; Paris, France; and Gold Coast and Sydney, Australia. The winner was announced this past Saturday and the image can be seen here.

    Michael Young, President of NYFA, recently stated, “the power of storytelling is not owned by any one nation, it is an art form the entire world needs in times of peace and stability, and even more so during chaos and uncertainty. Thanks to the most powerful form of communication that exists, we expect our students to be the voices that will be heard through the noise.”

    Like making lemonade from lemons, visual and performing artists have the opportunity to make lovely music — i.e. films, photographs, and performances — from all of the noise now out there.

    November 23, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 2442

  • 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: 2263

  • Al Pacino and ‘Insurgent’ Win Box-Office

     

    pacinoInsurgent, the second entry in the Divergent series, topped last weekend’s box office, earning over $54 million in its debut release. Starring Shailene Woodley, the films are adaptations of the popular YA dystopian series, similar to The Hunger Games’ cross-media success. Earning approximately half its budget in its first weekend, Insurgent is on track to make back its money and then some, although its opening hasn’t grown much from Divergent’s initial numbers, suggesting the audience hasn’t expanded as much as its studio would like.

    Cinderella, Disney’s live-action princess epic, performed well with $34 million in its second week, surpassing its $95 million budget with a total $122 million gross. Less successful was The Gunman, a Sean Penn action vehicle many have compared to Liam Neeson’s original foray into the genre. Where Neeson found huge success and a series of sequels and similarly-styled movies, Penn’s film looks dead in the water and may be a failed experiment for the actor. Ironically, the Liam Neeson action film currently out, Run All Night, which has also been underperforming, beat out newcomer The Gunman for the third spot in the weekend’s box office charts.

    While Al Pacino’s indie film Danny Collins hasn’t made nearly as much money as the current box office champs, it has made the most per theater, the metric most independent films in limited release use as a measure of financial success. It edged out Insurgent, earning $73,000 in only five theaters, for an average of $14,640 per theater. Danny Collins is a dramedy about an aging rocker reevaluating his life and family, with an all-star cast including Christopher Plummer, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale, and Melissa Benoist. Al Pacino, who recently spoke at the New York Film Academy about acting and Hollywood, stars as Collins.

    The box-office top ten is listed below:

    Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 2.52.03 PM

    March 23, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 2755

  • Vine Royalty King Bach is Going Hollywood

    king bach

    Hollywood and Vine means something a lot different now than it has to Los Angelinos. For them, it’s always been a famous L.A. cross-street. But these days, in a post-Facebook twenty-first century, it represents a new and fruitful relationship between two titans of culture.

    Since Vine’s launch in 2012, the Twitter-owned video app has been looping millions of six-second videos to a predominantly young demographic. And nobody’s six-second videos get looped more than King Bach, Vine’s most followed user. Bach, 26, has over eleven million followers and is truly the current King of Vine. He has bigger aspirations though, and is getting ready to conquer his next kingdom—Hollywood itself.

    It’s a long time coming. Even before he joined Vine in 2013 and earned his fanbase with his quirky six-second sketches, Andrew Bachelor studied at the New York Film Academy and The Groundlings. It was as a struggling actor laboring in the audition mines that Bachelor adopted the stage name King Bach.

    Since breaking out on Vine, Bach has already scored guest roles on The Mindy Project and Wild ‘N’ Out. It was a short jump from mobiles to TV and now a shorter jump from TV to movies as Bach has five upcoming movie projects in production. He’s even playing himself in the Zac Efron vehicle We Are Your Friends.

    Bach has no plans to retire from Vine, however, appreciating the network he’s building his empire from. He likens himself to Will Smith, who gained movie superstardom from his sitcom role as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. While the Fresh Prince can still dominate the box office, there’s a good chance he’ll be competing with a King someday very soon.

    March 16, 2015 • Acting, Entertainment News, Filmmaking, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 24944

  • Acting Alumni Spotlight: Mia Ella Jordan Stars in ‘Basketball Girlfriend’

    Mia Ella Jordan

    Within two months of graduating from New York Film Academy’s One-Year Acting for Film Conservatory, Mia Ella Jordan was cast in the feature film, Basketball Girlfriend, which is now available to rent on RedBox. She was also in Jez Dior’s music video, Who Drank My Whiskey, which, at one point in time earlier this year, was the #1 song trending on Twitter. Aside from those two projects, she was the lead actress in the short, I-589, which premiered at the LA Indie Film Festival.

    Hailing from Santiago de Chile, Mia had originally auditioned with Basketball Girlfriend director Jean-Claude La Marre for another project and, some time later, he called her in to audition for the role of Jenny and cast her that day. This is fairly common in the industry, so don’t get too discouraged when you don’t land the initial audition. Maintain strong relationships with directors and casting directors.

    Mia had been working in theatre for quite a while and while she loved it, her heart was in film. After attending an international school fair in Santiago, she was drawn to NYFA. Mia felt the Acting for Film courses were the perfect compliment to her previous acting training in theatre.

    “The Meisner technique has been the most useful to me in terms of auditioning and being on-set,” said Mia. “I’ve heard from a lot of actors and even some agents that Meisner doesn’t help in auditions, but to me listening is everything because it sustains my being in the present and so it instills me in my truth.”

    Mia eventually hopes to reach a point in her career where she can choose specific roles that truly resonate with her. As an actress, she believes she has a wonderful responsibility with the audience and wants to honor it by creating and being a part of projects that truly inspire and make a difference.

    Recently, Mia finished acting in another music video for Jez Dior’s single, Clean Me Up. She’s also finishing up filming a short film, I Forgot You Were Here, where she plays a blind woman in a troubled relationship. “I love it because it’s not moral and I believe art never should be,” she says.

    Check out Mia Ella Jordan in Jez Dior’s Who Drank My Whiskey.

    August 13, 2014 • Acting, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4402

  • Literary Agent Says TV is Where it’s At

    melinda jason

    Once again, producer Tova Laiter put together an exclusive event for New York FIlm Academy students in Los Angeles. One of the toughest obstacles coming out of film or acting school is landing the right agent — or landing any agent for that matter. Given the full house at Warner Bros, Theater 4 for this event, students were anxious to get some inside information from Melinda Jason and her business partner Simon Ore. Melinda is a prominent literary agent at Conspiracy LLC – with her partner Simon Ore – a production and management company based in Los Angeles. As a former lawyer at 20th Century Fox and former Head of Literary Department at Gersh, Melinda has also established producing deals with Universal Television, Disney and Sony Pictures, and has produced five feature films. Some of the talent she is most famous for discovering are Michael J. Fox, Dean Pitchford (writer of Footloose), Ron Bass (writer of Rain Man and My Best Friend’s Wedding), and David Saperstein, whose manuscript Cocoon she sold to Fox. Melinda and Simon Ore are currently developing an animated series, several feature films, and several television pilots, including one in partnership with Producer Nick Welchsler (The Road, Requiem For A Dream, Sex, Lies & Videotape, Drugstore Cowboy).

    Melinda wasted no time in getting straight to the point, “In order to get yourself out there nowadays you have to be a great writer, get a producer, make content and create experiences!” Melinda, who has a first look deal with Fox Television, thinks television is where it’s at today. “TV is great now, it’s on a higher level intellectually, you can get your writers paid and once they are respected there they really get to show what they’ve got. These writers really think, they do research. The arch is different than in film, the characters have a lot of potential. TV is about being strategic.” Melinda clearly cares about her writers.

    Simon spoke in terms of what young writers tend to do when getting off the ground. “Sell your passion!” exclaimed Simon. “Once you are in, find the happy medium in compromising with your work.” Don’t sell out, don’t be unreasonable and inflexible.

    Melinda continued on, saying how a good writer must constantly read. “Read good stuff and bad stuff, lots of it. Go to places like www.simplyscripts.com and do the work.” Simon added that a writer needs to be patient. “Some of it is not over when you’re done. Take a break. Come back to it.”

    One thing the pair really stressed is how in today’s market, writers need to MAKE CONTENT! “Create something, put it on the internet.” However, once you get the ball rolling with credibility, it is important to know where content belongs. “Know the networks, they want different things,” said Melinda. “You have to know where content could live.”

    Her final words of advice, “You have to be really careful to never make a choice based on money. Follow your passion. You must feel strongly about it!”

    September 27, 2013 • Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Screenwriting • Views: 5240

  • Miss Universe Olivia Culpo Hones Her Craft at NYFA

    Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 4.54.00 PM

    Miss Universe Olivia Culpo with Roger Del Pozo

    With beauty and talent under her belt, Miss Universe Olivia Culpo is determined to bring her career to the world of acting. First, she admits, she must learn how to truly master her on-camera presence. Lucky for her, part of winning the coveted Miss Universe title comes a full scholarship to the New York Film Academy. “Working with NYFA throughout my reign has been so helpful, the school has so much to offer and I am excited to further my career with the skills they taught me.” says Culpo.

    NYFA, a hands-on international school of the arts, has been a proud sponsor of the Miss Universe Organization for several years. Past contestants have continued their training at the New York Film Academy Acting for Film School, including Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008, who was on NBC’s The Apprentice, Crystle Stewart, Miss USA 2008, who became a series regular on Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse, and Stormi Henley, Miss USA 2009, who was a semi-finalist on American Idol Season 10.

    Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 4.44.15 PMThis Tuesday, the Rhode Island native and current titleholder, was part of a special one-on-one workshop with NYFA Director of Acting and Musical Theatre Admissions, Roger Del Pozo, at the school’s brand new Battery Park location. Del Pozo has maintained a career of working with actors through his professional casting and audition work in the industry. His experience and expertise in regards to “on-camera presence” for this particular NYFA workshop were very relevant due to Culpo’s recent work as a television correspondent. “It was great working with Olivia,” says Del Pozo. “She was very funny, charming and easy to work with. I think that she will make a great actress, as she is not only very beautiful, she is also extremely comfortable on camera. She was able to be herself and get her personality across, which is half the battle.”

    Like any aspiring young actress, Culpo has been bouncing around from audition to audition, hoping to land her first break through role. She says she’d really love to be a part of a romantic comedy or “chick-flick,” specifically with a comedy actor. Her plans are to head west within the next few months in order to further pursue her acting passion in Los Angeles.

    -Frank Pasquine

    September 16, 2013 • Acting • Views: 3624