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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum A.J. Rivera Joins All-Star Cast of Netflix’s “Another Life”

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum A.J. Rivera is following up several high-profile guest roles on television with a starring role in Netflix’s highly-anticipated new sci-fi drama, Another Life. 

    The 10-episode series is getting a lot of buzz since being picked up by Netflix last April, in part because of a veteran television cast. The cast includes Battlestar Galactica star Katee Sackhoff, as well as Alex Ozerov (The Americans), Jessica Camacho (The Flash), Barbara Williams (Mayans MC) and Lisa Renna (The 100). Also starring are film stars Selma Blair (Hellboy, Cruel Intentions) and Justin Chatin (Dragonball Evolution, War of the Worlds.) 

    The show is part of a continued campaign by Netflix COO Ted Sarandos — who spoke earlier this year with NYFA — to produce original content and dominate the longform storytelling market. It tells the story of a team of astronauts and scientists on a mission to search for intelligent life. It was created by Aaron Martin (DeGrassi: The Next Generation).A.J. Rivera

    A.J. Rivera plays Bernie Martinez, a microbiologist on the spaceship who also serves as part-time chef. He is part of the show’s comic relief, where his character uses jokes as a form of currency. Rivera is no stranger to comedy — his previous regular role on a TV series was with the John Stamos vehicle Grandfathered, as Victor.

    Rivera has also appeared on numerous other television shows, including Goliath, Jane the Virgin, Lethal Weapon, Shameless, 2 Broke Girls, Baskets, and This is Us. He attended New York Film Academy’s MFA Acting for Film program in September 2011, at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus. There, he was able to train with talented faculty members currently working in the industry, and collaborate with film school students on the backlot of Universal Studios.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates A.J. Rivera on his latest success, and looks forward to seeing him on Netflix’s Another Life in 2019!

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    September 28, 2018 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2270

  • And the Oscar Nominees are…

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    86th oscars

    We all dream of someday having our own Oscar nominations, but for now let’s see which talented artists and films were nominated for this year’s 86th Annual Academy Awards…

    Best Motion Picture of the Year
    Nominees:

    • American Hustle (2013)
    • Captain Phillips (2013)
    • Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
    • Gravity (2013)
    • Her (2013)
    • Nebraska (2013)
    • Philomena (2013)
    • 12 Years a Slave (2013)
    • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
    Nominees:

    • Christian Bale for American Hustle (2013)
    • Bruce Dern for Nebraska (2013)
    • Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
    • Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
    • Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

    Continue Reading

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    January 16, 2014 • Academic Programs • Views: 4394

  • Tips From a Commercial Talent Agent

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    CA1A5875-1

    Jennifer Boyce, the head of the Commercial Talent Department at The Savage Agency for 22 years, spoke to more than 60 acting students in the Welles Screening room at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. The Savage Agency has been one of the top agencies for young talent – from ages 3 to 40 – for over 35 years. They represent actors for theatrical, voice over, and commercials.

    Here are some of the facts that she feels are important for new talent to know:

    1. Having an awesome photo is important! If you are not known to the Casting Director, they have no imaginations. Have several pictures with different looks. Once the Casting office gets to know you, they will have an idea of your type.
    2. Be a “CAN DO” client. Jennifer said, “I work for free until you work, so if I worked for a year for you to finally get a job, that’s one day’s work. You will earn $627.00 at scale for a commercial. I will make $62.70. So I don’t make money unless you make it. So I want clients to work. If I make a suggestion you should pay attention to that. You have to show me you are passionate about this.”
    3. An audition is not a pedicure appointment. You have to really want it. If you don’t there are lots of others who do. Every audition is an opportunity! When you are starting out, you should be willing to do everything.
    4. Don’t just rely on your agent. Don’t just sit by the phone and wait, complaining that your agent isn’t doing anything for you. “I make 10%, so I always say I will do 10% of the work, but you have to do 90%. I get you in the door, but after that the rest is up to you.” It’s important to create your own work – be in plays, improv groups, get yourself out there.
    5. If something is not working, don’t blame your agent, look to yourself.
    6. At the end of the day your job is to audition. Some actors hate the casting process. Get used to it. They might pick somebody because they look like their sister or girlfriend, but that is what happens. You can’t control what they are looking for, but you can control what you do in the room. If you’re getting callbacks, you are doing your job. If you don’t get the job, it’s not on you. You can’t get involved in the politics. That’s the only way you can enjoy being in the business.

    CA1A5857The audience had many questions for her, including the following:

    Q: How do you choose new clients?
    A: I usually choose through referral. If it’s not a referral, I go off picture and resume submission. I look for a GREAT picture, lots of training, improv groups, Second City and Groundlings. A lot of commercials are improv and funny, so those skills are especially important to me.

    Q: How many head-shots should I have?
    A: Have one good headshot to get you to see the agent. But don’t spend a lot of money on it, because most likely your agent will want you to get new ones. Every agents has different taste. A theatrical headshot is different – you need one great one. For commercials, you should have several looks that show different types that you can play.

    Q: What do you look for in a headshot?
    A: For commercials, I look for a headshot to be well lit. I want it to “pop” and see what role you’re going to play.

    Q: How easy is it to get Non-SAG actors into auditions?
    A: It’s getting harder to get commercials for non-union actors. A production company has to write an “essay” about why they need to use you for a union production, and if they don’t have a good reason, they will be fined $750. Casting has become more competitive so the Casting Director is not as willing to bring in non-union actors anymore because of this. They are more likely to call in names and their heavy hitters that they know. So new actors have a harder time getting in. Not everyone gets in to every audition – no matter who they are.

    Q: What about sending candy or gifts to an agent in order to get a meeting?
    A: I never open anything from anyone I don’t know. Better to send a postcard. A postcard is a very nice way to introduce yourself, and I can see it without opening anything.

    NYFA thanks Jennifer for taking the time out to provide invaluable advice for our acting students. Her final words of advice could not be more helpful, “Be grateful and thankful for every opportunity you get.”

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    July 25, 2013 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 40693

  • Michael Cudlitz Discusses His Acting Career with NYFA Students

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    1

    Last week, the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles screened the final episode of the television series, Southland, and the fourth episode of Band of Brothers. Why you ask? Because of our special guest, actor, Michael Cudlitz. From his introduction to when he left the stage, Michael was very down-to-earth and cordial – something that is truly refreshing in this town.

    Michael discussed his fondness for TV work, due to the fact that most series are very character driven. He also talked about coping with the ups-and-downs of being an actor. Even Michael is currently “unemployed” (although, of course, he has prospects) and this didn’t seem to bother him in the least. He encouraged NYFA’s acting students to surround themselves with positive people who motivate, not bring them down, and to always be doing something to progress their career. “I think it’s all hard and it’s all exciting,” added Cudlitz.

    2Another aspect of acting that Michael stressed was research and “doing your homework.” Michael had been on at least twenty ride-alongs with cops while preparing for his role of Officer John Cooper on Southland. Though, he admits he was fairly unprepared for his role as a World War 2 soldier in Band of Brothers.

    “You need to just go with what’s there. You need to live in that moment… What’s important is, whatever work you do at home, trust that it’s going to be there when you’re at work, and forget about it, in a way. I mean, forget about it in the moment. Don’t get so lost in the process, that the process is screwing you up. Because other people, other actors, directors, everyone’s going to bring different elements into it, things that you never thought of, and it’s going to help elevate what you’re doing.”

    All in all, his love of acting was very inspiring. He’s truly the kind of guy you’d want in your group of friends. It’s clear that his success was a result of focus and hard work.

     

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    July 17, 2013 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 4780