blanche baker

  • Joe Lisi and Col. Jack Jacobs Host Acting & Filmmaking Workshop for Military

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    Guest Instructor, retired NY Police captain and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Joe Lisi takes questions from participants after a day of filming.

    In the spirit of the Holiday Season, the New York Film Academy believes giving back to those who served and continue to serve our country in the military is of great importance. That is why NYFA founder, Jerry Sherlock, himself a veteran, was delighted that so many members of our nation’s armed forces have taken the opportunity to study and develop their passion in the visual and performing arts at NYFA’s campuses in New York City, Los Angeles, and South Beach, Florida.

    To further the College’s commitment to supporting our nation’s servicemembers on a broader scale, NYFA and the NYFA Office of Veterans Services developed a new program offering multiple free 1-day Master Classes—taught by media and entertainment industry luminaries—to veterans and active duty military members. This ongoing program will take place at all three NYFA domestic campuses.

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    A participant receives instruction on the Canon 5D camera system from one of NYFA’s classroom instructors.

    On December 12th, 2015, veterans and active duty military members from the Tristate area attended an exclusive 1-day Acting & Filmmaking workshop at the New York Film Academy’s beautiful campus in downtown Manhattan. In addition to the intensive hands-on master classes, the invited guests also had the privilege of an intimate sit-down lunch with the Chair of the Veterans Advancement Program, Medal of Honor recipient and NBC/MSNBC on-air personality, Colonel Jack Jacobs. As a finale for the day of instruction and filming, the students met with the renowned film and television actor—and U.S. Marine veteran— Joe Lisi for a critique of their films and a discussion about the industry and career paths.

    The ambitious goal of teaching participants the basics: framing the “shot,” rehearsing lines, directing actors, and filming—all in one day—was successfully implemented by NYFA faculty, Blanche Baker (Acting), Jonathan Whittaker (Filmmaking) and Bart Mastronardi (Cinematography) who each relied on the proven method of “hands-on,” learning by doing.

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    Masterclass guests pose with Medal of Honor Recipient and NYFA Veteran Advancement Program Chair, Colonel Jack Jacobs.

    Since 1992, the New York Film Academy, an accredited and military friendly school, has been offering the world’s most hands-on, intensive programs in Filmmaking, Acting, Game Design, 3D Animation, Screenwriting, and many more. Our faculty is comprised of industry professionals, many of which are still active creatively in their chosen fields! For assistance beginning your education in the visual and performing arts, please visit or contact our Veterans Admission Team at

    -Jim Miller & Chris Paparis


    January 5, 2016 • Cinematography, Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 4722

  • NYFA’s Blanche Baker Reunites with Molly Ringwald in “Wishin’ and Hopin'”

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    NYFA Acting Instructor Blanche Baker with actress Molly Ringwald

    One of our beloved Acting Instructors, Blanche Baker, is getting us into the holiday spirit, as she will be starring in Lifetime’s Wishin’ and Hopin’ alongside Chevy Chase, Molly Ringwald, Annabella Sciorra, Meatloaf and more. The story is based on the New York Time’s best-selling Christmas novel from Wally Lamb, which tells the tale of young boy growing up in the 60’s, dreading his upcoming school Christmas pageant.

    The young fifth-grader, Felix Funicello attends a Parochial School, and you know what that means — nuns. In the holiday film, Blanche has the honor of playing Mother Superior at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School. “What actress doesn’t dream of playing a mother superior?” says Baker. “They put a lot of effort into the casting, looking all across the country to find an amazing group of young actors. They were great to work with and I’m sure you’ll be seeing some of them again.”

    In addition to working with a group of new young actors, Blanche worked with a number of well known names, including former co-star Molly Ringwald, whom Blanche played the older sister of in the 1984 John Hughes classic Sixteen Candles.

    “What I especially like about the producers is that they recognize the value of keeping a core team together from film to film. It’s hard work but we know we can trust and count on each other to come up with something we can be proud of.”

    You’ll have a chance to see Blanche and this star-studded cast on December 8th, where it will have its television world premiere on Lifetime at 8pm EST.


    December 3, 2014 • Acting, Community Highlights • Views: 7260