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  • ‘Absurd Person Singular’ Concludes Summer Series of Student Directed Plays at New York Film Academy (NYFA)

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    The Acting for Film department at New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) finished off their very successful Summer Series of Student Directed Plays with the amazing production Absurd Person Singular, written by Alan Ayckbourn and directed by BFA Acting for Film student Iunia Dinu, mentored by instructor Riley Steiner.

    Absurd Person Singular is a 1972 play divided into three acts, documenting the changing fortunes of three married couples. Each act takes place at a Christmas celebration at one of the couples’ homes on successive Christmas Eves.

    “Taking a play from paper to stage takes a lot of hard work, teamwork, and structured creativity,” says student director, Iunia Dinu. “In a world that is fueled by constant distractions, I wanted to help tell three important stories through an entertaining medium. Alan Ayckbourn’s phenomenal comedic writing made it almost easy for us to get into the groove of the play. I wanted to tackle the issues of gender equality within marriages, specifically focusing on ignorance, power struggles, and ambition.”

    Absurd Person Singular
    Dinu adds, “Overall, it was a fantastic experience where I learned about the importance of having a clear direct vision, how to communicate ideas over to my actors, and how to work collaboratively with other people in a structured creative environment.”

    Gloria Kare, a BFA Acting for Film student, had a blast, saying, “What a pleasure and an unforgettable experience to have worked in such a demanding and fun play!”

    Michael Murdasanu, another BFA Acting for Film student, agreed, calling the production “something that was really fun and challenging. I’ll never forget the experience.”

    Absurd Person Singular Absurd Person Singular

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    August 15, 2019 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 213

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Sam LaFrance Featured in Road Theatre Company’s Summer Playwrights Festival

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    Lost Boy, a play written by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum Sam LaFrance, was recently featured in Road Theatre Company’s Summer Playwrights Festival.

    LaFrance attended the 1-Year Acting for Film conservatory at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus in 2008. He currently works as the building manager for NYFA-LA’s Barham building.

    Lost Boy tells the story of a man being released from prison after kidnapping several children 22 years earlier. The play was previously part of NYFA’s 2019 Winter Series of Student Directed plays. LaFrance directed the production, mentored by full time instructor David Robinette.

    “I saw a few Student Directed Plays and figured this would be a good opportunity to workshop one of my own projects,” LaFrance told NYFA. “It’s a great opportunity for anyone who loves theatre. You are completely immersed in it and that’s an amazing feeling.”

    The tenth annual edition of the Road Theatre’s Summer Playwrights Festival staged nearly 40 staged readings of new plays in just eight drama-packed days. The festival concluded on August 4, after staging readings at both the Historic Lankershim Arts Center Theater and Gallery and the Road Theatre’s 77-seat venue in the NoHo Senior Arts Colony. The fest is considered one of the largest playwright festivals in the nation.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Acting for Film alum Sam LaFrance on the success of his play Lost Boy and looks forward to future productions!

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    August 13, 2019 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 254

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film Joshua Morel To Appear In ‘Wonderland’

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum Joshua Morel will appear in Wonderland, an upcoming film by director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day).

    Wonderland is based on the novel of the same name from the detective series, Spenser,  created by Robert B. Parker. The film is being distributed by Netflix and will be released in 2020.

    Mark Wahlberg stars as the title detective, and the film boasts an impressive cast, including Winston Duke, Alan Arkin, Bokeem Woodbine, Colleen Camp, Iliza Shlesinger, Marc Maron, and Post Malone.

    Morel completed the 1-Year Acting for Film Conservatory at NYFA’s New York campus in 2013. Wonderland is his first supporting role, and is a speaking role; he will be featured in four scenes, completing some very impressive stunts. On top of that, Morel is now eligible to join SAG-AFTRA.

    New York Film Academy congratulates Acting for Film alum Joshua Morel on his role in Netflix’s Wonderland and encourages everyone to check it out when it is released next year.

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    August 7, 2019 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 294

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film Alum Noor Naem Shouts Out NYFA on YouTube



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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) alum Noor Naem just finished studying the 4-Week Acting for Film Workshop at our Burbank campus and let the world know on her wildly popular YouTube channel, Noor Stars. Noor Naem

    The video was published in the middle of Naem’s studies, on July 15, and has already racked up millions of views. In the video, Naem talks about her time so far at the Burbank-based campus and shows off some of her NYFA swag.

    Her YouTube channel has 12 million followers and features Naem’s highly energetic, bright personality reviewing everything from Apple products to makeup and expounding on all the facets of daily life. 

    New York Film Academy congratulates YouTube star Noor Naem on graduating the 4-Week Acting for Film workshop and looks forward to seeing what she has in store for her followers next!

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    July 30, 2019 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 802

  • Themo Melikidze, New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film Alum, Interviewed By Georgian Journal

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum Themo Melikidze was recently interviewed by the Georgian Journal, one of Georgia’s leading online publications.

    The up-and-coming actor was born in Georgia’s capital city, Tbilisi, before moving to New York City, where he attended the 1-Year Acting for Film Conservatory at NYFA in 2012.

    Since then, he played Khasan Dudayev on Fox hit 24: Legacy and co-starred as the Boston Marathon bomber in 2016’s Patriots Day, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Lone Survivor.) The film also starred Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, and NYFA Acting for Film alum Lana Condor.

    Themo Melikidze

    In the Georgia Journal Q&A, Melikidize talks about his journey from Eastern Europe to New York Film Academy to Hollywood. He also discussed The Murder of Venus Xtravaganza, his off-Broadway show that is most personal to him and that he is most proud of.

    Melikidize also spoke of the connection he still keeps to his home country, including an upcoming project based on the medieval Georgian hero, David the Builder. “Being a Georgian is something I’m very proud of,” Melikidize tells the Georgian Journal. “It gives me unbelievable motivation—there’s not too many of us so whatever I do, I do it in the name of my country.”

    New York Film Academy encourages everyone to check out the full interview with Themo Melikidze here.

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    July 26, 2019 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 591

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Holds Acting for Film Workshop in Shanghai, China

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    Earlier this month, New York Film Academy (NYFA) held a five-day Acting for Film intensive workshop in Shanghai, China. The workshop, which ran from July 15 – July 20, was taught by Anne Moore, NYFA-LA Associate Chair of Acting, and focused on the Meisner technique. The workshop culminated in filmed monologues and scenes.

    Shanghai China July 2019

    Shanghai China July 2019“At this point in my life, it’s very hard to find people that still inspire me,” says Mike Wietecha, one of the students from the class. “Ms. Moore definitely inspired me as a teacher and and an actor. I can’t remember ever learning this much useful information in such a short amount of time.

    “Thank you for an amazing week,” he adds.

    The workshop took place on the Shanghai Theatre Academy Campus, and had a dozen students, as well as a Chinese translator. Half of the scenes were filmed in English, and half of the scenes were filmed in Chinese. The program was organized by Dr. Joy Zhu, PhD, NYFA Executive Vice President, China Region, along with an alum from the the NYFA MFA program.

    “It was very exciting to see how receptive the students were to the acting techniques and exercises I put forth,” says Moore. “They were not only able to grasp these concepts, but also able to apply them to their scene work. It was amazing how much they grew and learned in one week.”

    Shanghai China July 2019
    Interested in attending our next workshop in Shanghai, China? You can find more information about the program here.

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    July 26, 2019 • Acting, China, Study Abroad • Views: 569

  • Playwright Lindsey Ferrentino Visits New York Film Academy (NYFA) Production of ‘Ugly Lies the Bone’

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    On Monday, July 1, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film department had the opportunity to host a special performance of Ugly Lies the Bone, directed by NYFA Acting for Film alum Coco de Bruycker. This special performance was followed by a Q&A with playwright Lindsey Ferrentino and actor Ralf Little, who were in attendance for the show.

    Ugly Lies the Bone tells the story of Jess, a veteran returning from her third deployment in Afghanistan who was wounded in action. She has been assigned to a new video game therapy—an immersive virtual reality experience created to distract soldiers from their pain. However, ignoring her actual reality proves more difficult than it seems. The spotlight is on Jess as she navigates her new life, desperate to feel comfortable in her—literally—new skin.

    Lindset Ferrentino Ugly Lies the Bone

    Director Coco de Bruycker worked with the NYFA Acting for Film department to arrange the Q&A after connecting with Lindsey Ferrentino. “That we had the honor to play Ugly Lies the Bone for Lindsey Ferrentino is truly amazing, says de Bruycker. “Truthfulness is probably the biggest thing I take away from her … It impressed me how much time she actually spends on research and discovery as you go. And that’s also one of the reasons why I chose to do this play.”

    Actor Luke Sweeney, who played Stevie, was inspired by the fact that Lindsey and Ralf came to the show and spoke afterwards. “I was just very grateful to have them in the audience,” says Sweeney. “They both have big things happening in their careers and personal lives right now and for them to take a night to come and see us perform was a gift … It also inspired me to know that even though there may be some quiet months, Lindsey and Ralf still work really hard to make sure they are making a living doing what they love. It gave me an immense amount of confidence starting off my career path to know that even the best actors and storytellers you meet are still navigating their way.”

    Actress Isabelle Germain spoke of the difficulty of working on the play, telling NYFA, “Becoming Jess was one of the toughest challenges I’ve had as an actor … I absolutely love this play and all of the characters within it. Ugly Lies the Bone was a cathartic, healing experience.”

    Lindset Ferrentino Ugly Lies the Bone

    Ángel Gabriel, who played Kelvin, was excited to be a part of the production. “To have the playwright with us on Monday with one of the original cast members was surreal,” says Gabriel. “A truly mesmerizing night for all of us … The universe prizes you when it sees the hard work and determination that you put in. I couldn’t be happier with the results.”

    de Bruycker discussed the process of directing the play: “In rehearsals—and also during the shows—we discovered so many things together, both cast and crew as a team, and I’m utterly grateful for all those different angles …The show taught me also to trust the team, the process, and myself. Any creative work is unpredictable, sometimes painful, and Ugly Lies the Bone shows that pain doesn’t necessarily have to discourage you. It’s empowering. You can use anything on your way, both the highs and the lows.”

    de Bruycker was thrilled to have been able to make the Q&A work, adding, “I’m so glad we could unite the playwright with our actors and great crew at New York Film Academy for a night. And also the audience in the tears and laughs they shared together every night we brought this story to life. Thank you.”

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    July 19, 2019 • Acting, Guest Speakers, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 531

  • New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) Kicks Off 2019 Summer Series of Student Directed Plays

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    The New York Film Academy-Los Angeles (NYFA-LA) Acting for Film department kicked off their Summer Series of Student Directed Plays with three amazing productions: Us & Them by David Campton, directed by Janey Nel (NYFA 1-Year Acting for Film) and mentored by instructor Mary Sala; In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar, directed by Elisa Nanty (NYFA alum) and mentored by Associate Chair of Acting, Anne Moore; and Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel, directed by Bita Arefnia (NYFA BFA Acting for Film) and mentored by instructor Cathy Giannone.

    Us and Them is meaningful play that begins with two groups of wanderers looking for a place to settle. They agree to share and mark the line between their territories, then build a small wall. The wall is built higher and then still higher. Suspicion and mistrust grow to the point where the groups must inevitably explode in conflict. “I have learned so much about acting through this process,” says student director Janey Nel. “The message of the play was very important to me as I grew up in South Africa where racism is still very much an issue.”

    In Love and Warcraft follows Evie Malone—gamer girl, college senior, and confirmed virgin—who has it all figured out. She not only does she command a top-ranked guild in Warcraft with her online boyfriend but also makes a little cash on the side writing love letters for people who’ve screwed up their relationships. Love is like Warcraft, after all—it’s all about strategies, game plans, and not taking stupid risks. “Wanting to put up a cheerful play for people to just unwind and laugh still came with its challenges,” says student director and NYFA alum Elisa Nanty about her experience. “But what got the team and I through it was learning to trust in ourselves, each other, and the process.

    Dry Land is a play about unwanted pregnancy, female friendship, resiliency, and what happens in one high school locker room after everybody’s left. “I wanted to tell this story now because I believe it speaks to the time we’re living in,” says student director Bita Arefnia.

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    July 11, 2019 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 444

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Welcomes Emmy-Award Winning ‘Veep’ and ‘Arrested Development’ Star Tony Hale

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    New York Film Academy held a Q&A on June 26 with film and television star Tony Hale, following a screening of HBO’s Veep—the award-winning comedy series that skewers American politics. The event was moderated by NYFA-LA Acting for Film Associate Chair, Anne Moore, and held at NYFA’s Burbank-based campus.

    Tony Hale

    Tony Hale is best-known for his work as youngest sibling Buster Bluth on the critically-acclaimed Fox sitcom Arrested Development, and as Gary Walsh on HBO’s Veep, which he won twoEmmys for. Recently, Hale starred in Toy Story 4 as Forky, a beloved new character. 

    Hale discussed his start in acting to begin the Q&A. “I was not a kid who was into sports, and so my parents just didn’t know what to do with me,” he told a captivated audience of NYFA students. “And they found this children’s theatre, called Young Actors Theatre … I’m such an advocate for arts in schools just because—even if you don’t make it a career, like I did—certain personalities need that environment to thrive.” Moore and Hale then discussed how they met, at one of Hale’s first productions in New York City.

    Tony Hale

    The actor went on to discuss how he got his start in the business. He acquired his first agent and did a lot of commercial work and theatre before the audition for Arrested Development in 2003. A casting director remembered him from a previous audition and called him in for Buster Bluth. “I don’t know what that’s saying [about me] … he’s just kind of a man-child,” Hale joked about the casting director thinking of him for Buster.

    Moore asked Hale about how he approaches his characters. Hale remembered a film he was working on in the mid-2000s, and he really didn’t like the character. “The character I was playing—I didn’t like the guy, ‘cause he was kind of a player, he was manipulative … And I was just like, ugh, I know people like this … I just didn’t like this character.”

    Tony Hale

    Someone advised him that “Tony, you have to realize that these characteristics are inside of you.” Hale said it was a wake-up call: “It’s so refreshing … the fact is I would be lying if I said I never had moments where I’ve been manipulative … you have to find those places in them that are inside of you.”

    Tony Hale wanted to leave the students with a bit of advice from his most recent film, Pixar hit sequel Toy Story 4: “One thing that Forky said in Toy Story that I love [was] ‘It’s gonna be okay.’ Because it really is. It’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster—like life!—but just coming back to the space of like, it’s alright, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to unfold in time.”

    Tony Hale

    New York Film Academy would like to thank Emmy-winning actor Tony Hale for speaking to our students and sharing his experiences and insight.

    Tony Hale

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    July 9, 2019 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 325

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film Alum Alaia F Featured in Vogue India

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    The India edition of Vogue magazine recently released a profile on New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum Alaia F, featuring Instagram posts and photos of the up and coming talent.

    Alaia graduated from the Fall 2016 1-year Acting for Film conservatory at NYFA’s New York campus, where she learned from a professional, experienced faculty of working actors in a broad array of core classes that trained her for the kind of technical, emotional, and physical work necessary for film acting.Alaia F

    Acting runs in Alaia’s family. Her grandfather is Kabir Bedi, a renowned Indian actor whose career spanned Asia, Europe, and the United States. Her mother is Bollywood actress and popular television talk show host Pooja Bedi.

    Vogue describes Alaia as “Bollywood’s upcoming debutant.” Photos and Instagram posts of Alaia were included in the piece, including her recent attendance at the ICC Cricket World Cup, where she was seen with film star Saif Ali Khan at the India vs Pakistan match.

    Alaia will be making her professional acting debut with Saif Ali Khan in Jawaani Jaaneman, directed by Nitin Kakkar and co-starring Tabu, Chunky Pandey, and Kumud Mishra.

    New York Film Academy looks forward to the release of Jawaani Jaaneman and congratulates Acting for Film alum Alaia F as her career begins to take off!

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    July 5, 2019 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 629