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  • The Power of Music: Being Part of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Glee Club

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    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) Glee Club is an extracurricular club that not only affords NYFA students another way to express themselves artistically, but brings them together and bonds them through a joint love of music and song.Glee Club Summer 2018

    Sunny Amara, a member of the Glee Club for six semesters and its current choreographer, calls being in the club “a new, exciting, thrilling experience every time. There’s nothing I love more than taking the stage and performing my heart out. The Glee Club has been a perfect place for that. It’s just so much fun.”

    Amara also echoes the sentiment shared by many in the Glee Club, that “the basis of Glee Club is a love of music, a love of singing and a love of performing that we get to share with audiences. And to me, that’s tops.”

    Amara adds, “Watching my choreography come to life with these beautiful, singing souls is an experience unparalleled by any. We work hard in rehearsals getting the music and dances to their best, then we get to pour our hearts out on that stage. There’s nothing better than that to me.”

    These sentiments aren’t just felt by Amara, but by many of the members of the NYFA Glee Club. Lara Heine is studying for her BFA in Acting at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus and is also a member of the club. After a performance at the end of last summer, Heine put her thoughts into words, writing the following piece, entitled “The Power of Music”:

    Music and Dance is like therapy for many people. It eases your soul and spreads happiness.

    At least that is how I always felt. As acting students, we are constantly on the go and expected to give our all. On very rare occasions we get something rewarded.

    That is why I chose to sign up for the Glee Club. To give and receive in return. 

    This semester was filled with a lot of talented and driven people and putting on a performance with them was an honor for me. Melissa Sullivan, our teacher, created an amazing lineup of thoughtful chosen group and solo pieces.

    Glee Club Summer 2018Most of us didn’t know each other when we met for our first rehearsal. Over the span of a few short weeks, we rehearsed some of the most challenging musical theatre pieces. We ended up growing, as a group and as people.

    Musical theatre is not always easy. The pressure to be a triple threat is high. When we were doubting ourselves, Melissa would listen and help us to see the positive and move past it.

    On the night of the performance our nerves were blank. During the final rehearsal, everyone was anxious and worried about different pieces and organizational things. The decorations kept falling of the walls and some of the choreography looked funky. Funnily enough, I was never worried if we were going to be able to pull it off. I just knew I was surrounded by so much talent and creativity that whatever happened, we would be fine. 

    And that was the case. Despite some doubts and worries, we went on stage and performed the hell out of it. As they say: “The show must go on.”

    The audience was blown away. They loved every single one of us. I could tell. The choreography was suddenly remembered by everyone, and the harmonies of all the group pieces were completely pitch-free. We all loved every second of it. We gave our heart and received so much love by the audience. All the hard work paid off. It was an awesome result after one semester of a lot of rehearsing. 

    Thank you to everyone who made this performance so amazing. And a special shoutout to Melissa, who has been our sunshine throughout the whole time.

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    November 12, 2018 • Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights, Student Life • Views: 1022

  • NYFA Covers Young Storytellers’ Final ‘Glee’ Big Show

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    glee cast

    As part of our on-going collaboration with the wonderful Young Storytellers Foundation, New York Film Academy students and alumni recently got the chance to film “THE FINAL GLEE BIG SHOW.”

    Glee cast members Mark Salling, Dot Marie Jones, Harry Shum Jr., Max Adler, and Alex Newell along with Chrissie Fit (Teen Beach Movie, Pitch Perfect 2) performed four different short screenplays written by a group of inventive middle schoolers.
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    The connection between Glee and Young Storytellers dates back to the organization’s very beginnings when Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk helped create what is now YSF. Since then, Mr Falchuk has regularly brought the cast of Glee to perform the student’s material as part of YSF’s “Big Show.” With Glee now coming to a close after six seasons, this performance truly marked the end of an era.

    NYFA was honored to be part of the experience, and congratulates the cast and crew of Glee as well as all the Young Storytellers Writers.

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  • NYFA On the Lot: Paramount Studios

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    New York Film Academy Acting for Film students on the Paramount Studios backlot

    New York Film Academy Acting for Film students were recently invited to tour Paramount Studios, and visit the set of NCIS: Los Angeles, the popular television drama starring Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J.

    In the conference room with Erik Whitmyre, Co-Producer for NCIS: Los Angeles

    In the conference room with Erik Whitmyre, Co-Producer for NCIS: Los Angeles

    Paramount Studios, the last major studio in Hollywood proper, moved into its current home in 1927. Paramount built its legacy as the home to legendary actors and directors including Mae West, W.C. Fields, D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, the Marx Brothers, and Claudette Colbert. Students entered the historic lot, walking past trailers and crew working on the hit TV show, Glee, before moving onto the Technicolor building. Working on projects for HBO and Marvel, Technicolor has the highest security for any post-production building in the world.

    Inside the conference room, Erik Whitmyre, Co-Producer for NCIS: Los Angeles, spoke to excited students about all aspects of filming and post-production. He spoke about what makes an actor great, the importance of physical continuity (while being able to alter the emotional performance of his/her character), attitude on set, how the voice translates on film, and what makes a great close-up.

    On the set of NCIS: Los Angeles

    On the set of NCIS: Los Angeles

    Students then visited the editing team, where Assistant Editor Eric Wilson showed them the latest episodes they were working on. Whitmyre explained the evolution of technology, the systems that editors had worked on in the past, and what they are working with now. Students also spoke with VFX Supervisor Robert Konuch. Along with Russell Welch and James Olney, the team had overseen the effects on CSI: Miami, and are now working with the NCIS: Los Angeles crew. Robert and the team were busy at work, adding snow to a winter scene shot in the desert. Before leaving the NCIS set, students got to take a visit to the set of NCIS headquarters.

    The students ended their tour at the studio’s Bronson Gate, where Norma Desmond entered the lot in Sunset Blvd. Legend has it that the upper filigree was added to the gate after a throng of adoring female fans swarmed security and climbed the gate, trying to chase silent film star Rudolph Valentino!

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    March 27, 2013 • Academic Programs, Acting • Views: 5124

  • Sarah Louise Wilson’s Feature to Air on PBS This Weekend!

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    Actor Steve Talley in ‘The Accidental Death of Joey by Sue’

    New York Film Academy MFA Film student Sarah Louise Wilson is riding a wave of success. Her films have played at 30 festivals worldwide. Her first short film, which premiered 3 years ago at Frameline, continues to make the rounds on the festival circuit, and is used as an educational tool in classrooms. She wrote, produced, and starred in her first feature film, Jelly, alongside Natasha Lyonne (Slums of Beverly Hills, But I’m a Cheerleader), and Ed McMahon in his last film role. Shot on 35mm, the film was sold to Sundance Independent and IFC. Her second feature length film, The Accidental Death of Joey by Sue, was bought by PBS, and will make its television premiere this weekend. Variety called it “Stylish and strange enough to mark Sarah Louise Wilson and [co-writer/producer] Neal Thibedeau as helmers to watch.”

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  • New York Film Academy Graduates on Season 3 of Glee

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    Chord OverstreetNYFA Graduate Chord Overstreet busts a move as Sam “Trouty Mouth” Evans on Glee

    The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has reported that New York Film Academy graduate Chord Overstreet may return to Glee in a reoccurring capacity in Episode 8 of the series’ third season. Chord plays character Sam, who was last romancing Mercedes (Amber Riley) in the second season finale. Chord previously had an on screen relationship with character Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron). “Unlike other Glee relationships, they may stay together all the way to the end of the year,” Riley told THR recently. “I think what you’re going to see is what a positive relationship looks like with those two.”

    Naya Rivera with Heather MorrisNYFA Graduate Naya Rivera (right) as Santana Lopez on Glee along with blonde love-interest Brittany (Heather Morris)

    Fellow New York Film Academy graduate Naya Rivera plays manipulative “Cheerio” Santana on Glee and has appeared in all 66 episodes. Naya, who previously took a March 2008 eight week screenwriting workshop at NYFA New York, has been praised for her role as a cheerleader coming to terms with her sexual orientation after developing feelings for fellow cheerleader Brittany (Heather Morris). For her work, Naya was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress/Television category at the Imagen Awards, and she and her co-stars won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Naya was also nominated in the Favorite TV Actress – Leading Role in a Comedy category at the 2011 ALMA Awards. She came in at number 43 on the Maxim Hot 100 list this year and was ranked #1 on the AfterEllen Hot 100 list. Naya signed a recent deal with Columbia Records to produce a solo album.

    New York Film Academy congratulations our alumni on their continued Glee success and can’t wait to tune in for tonight’s new episode!

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    October 18, 2011 • Acting • Views: 8373

  • New York Film Academy: What Makes Us Unique

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    New York Film Academy is one of the fastest growing, most hands-on film and acting schools in the world. With programs in filmmaking, acting, cinematography, producing, photography, game design, musical theatre, animation, screenwriting, documentary, broadcast journalism, and much more, there is a course for you! Check out a few reasons to study at New York Film Academy:

    Photo of Chord Overstreet

    NYFA Graduate Chord Overstreet stars as Sam on TV Series Glee!

    HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS: New York Film Academy offers the most hands-on film program in the world. From week one, film students have access to cameras and acting students perform screen tests.  In one year, students can expect to make 8 films and work on at least 28 more.

    Aubrey Plaza in Funny People

    NYFA Graduate Aubrey Plaza stars as Seth Rogen’s love interest in Funny People. She also stars alongside Amy Poehler in TV Series Parks and Rec.

    COLLABORATION BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS: Students are able to network with filmmakers, producers, cinematographers, actors, performers, animators, photographers and game designers without leaving the building! New York Film Academy supports collaboration between our departments through informal mixers, mandatory pitch sessions, and joint projects. Producing students are required to team up with filmmakers for at least one project. In addition, New York Film Academy offers regular casting calls through CASTNYFA (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU-hWengEMU) that allow student and alumni actors to audition for up to 100 filmmakers at once, all casting upcoming projects.

    Lisa Cortes

    NYFA Graduate Lisa Cortes Co-Produced the Oscar-Winning film Precious 

    ACCESS TO INDUSTRY: New York Film Academy’s outstanding faculty includes several Oscar and Emmy Award winning filmmakers. Teaching staff have worked professionally for companies/networks including HBO, Disney, Discovery Channel, Fox, Comedy Central, Bravo, History Channel, and more. In addition, they hold degrees from NYU, UCLA, USC, AFI, and Columbia. The Musical Theatre instructors starred on Broadway in Wicked, The Addams Family, Chicago, Les Miserables, and more. Producing mentors have screened features at Sundance and Cannes in the past year. In addition, New York Film Academy invites several guests from the industry to screen work and provide advice and guidance. In the past few months, students have heard from actors including Sir Ben Kingsley (Ghandi), Kevin Kline (The Ice Storm), Glenn Close (Dangerous Liasons), Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket); directors including Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind); producers including Al Ruddy (The Godfather), Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman), and Debora Cahn (Grey’s Anatomy/West Wing). Steven Spielberg (Jaws) and Nancy Myers (It’s Complicated) will both speak this month.

    Paul Dano in Little Miss Sunshine

    NYFA Graduate Paul Dano starred in Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood

    DIVERSE STUDENT BODY: New York Film Academy has a student body that draws from over 76 countries. Students bring with them different artistic sensibilities, stories, and belief systems. This diversity of background allows students to receive a variety of opinions on their work and reveals new perspectives that strengthen them as artists. In addition, students have opportunities to network with filmmakers all over the world that will later provide valuable connections if they pursue international film production.

    NYFA Graduate Camilla Luddington as Kate Middleton

    NYFA Graduate Camilla Luddington (right) starred as Kate Middleton in Lifetime’s William & Kate.

    LOCATION: New York Film Academy is constantly expanding. Students can do year-round courses of study in New York, Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi, and Australia. The New York Film Academy also offers short-term opportunities at Disney Studios Florida and Harvard University and has international locations in Paris, France; Lugano, Switzerland; Mumbai, India; Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy; Moscow, Russia; Kyoto, Japan; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, Korea; Lagos, Nigeria; Shanghai, China; and Beijing, China.

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    May 27, 2011 • Acting • Views: 4686

  • Chord Overstreet: From New York Film Academy to Glee

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    Chord Overstreet is the new heartthrob of primetime TV.

    Sam Evans and Quinn Fabray

    Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet) and Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron) sing a duet on Glee

    Chord, who stars as Sam Evans on ABC’s Glee, has broken into the industry with his singing, dancing, and “trouty mouth” as Glee characters Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron) and Santana Lopez (NYFA Screenwriting alum Naya Rivera) vie for his heart.

    Photo of Chord Overstreet

    Chord Overstreet received his training in September 2008 at New York Film Academy’s Four Week Acting Workshop. He is now slated to star with Ashley Green (Twilight) in the soon to be released A Warrior’s Heart. Says Chord on his recent success and all the fans that come with Glee: “I just don’t know what to expect, you know? It’s going to be fun though.”

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    April 4, 2011 • Acting • Views: 5560