Glynis Rigsby

  • Industry Trend Series with NYFA Alumna Caitlin Cooke: Casting Associate at Donna Grossman Casting


    This week, Acting for Film Chair Glynis Rigsby welcomed back her former student Caitlin Cooke for an Industry Trends Series discussion. Aside from her acting career, Cooke is a Casting Associate at Donna Grossman Casting, a full service boutique casting company based in Manhattan. Donna Grossman Casting cast commercials, print, beauty, editorial, TV, film, theater, web series, live events and special projects.

    caitlin cooke

    photo by Alejandra Arias

    Cooke began the talk by saying, “This school to me, it kind of makes me emotional,” said Cooke. “It brought me a lot of friends and a lot of opportunities and I met a lot of people in the industry. Everything I learned here was helpful. I learned a lot of the business side. Also the access to the equipment I had here is insane. Access to the industry here was way better than other places. And the advice that Glynis [Rigsby] and other instructors offer is invaluable.”

    Facing the competitive field of actors after graduating, Cooke landed notable TV series and feature films such as Emmy-winning NBC series, “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and the star-studded comedy blockbuster, “Grown Ups 2.” Most recently, she had the chance to guest star in an episode of “Tough Love,” a web series created by her friend Steven Bell. To further her and her friends career, she created an original series, “Rules of Cool,” which she was able to sell.

    “Creating your own work is very important,” she said. “When you get out of school you’re not sure what to do next. We decided to take control and create our own opportunities.”

    Cooke provided invaluable insight into the casting process, breaking down the process and providing tips and suggestions to improve NYFA Acting for Film students’ auditions.

    “Auditions are like a first date,” said Cooke. “Act natural, but if it doesn’t work out there’s always someone else. Always take a chance and always listen to what they have to say. Always be appropriate for what the role is. Look appropriate for what you’re doing.”

    NYFA would like to thank Ms Cooke for taking the time to speak to our students, and we wish her the best of luck on her blossoming career!

  • ‘Justified’ Star Erica Tazel Surprises Acting Students at NYFA Battery Park

    Erica Tazel

    “Justified” actress, Erica Tazel

    This past Thursday afternoon, the New York Film Academy One-Year Acting students were surprised with a special guest, actress, Erica Tazel. Erica is best known for her role of Deputy U.S. Marshal Rachel Brooks on the hit FX television show, Justified. Moderating the event was Acting Chair, Glynis Rigsby, who was more than delighted to pick the talented young actress’ mind.

    While Erica was, for the most part, a working actress coming out of school, she reached a point while living in Los Angeles where she had to make a game changing decision in her life. She was offered a teaching job at Spelman College in Georgia, but wasn’t sure if that would be giving up on her career. After a personal one-on-one with her agent, Erica made the decision to turn down the job, even though it would bring stability to her life. As fate would have it, Erica was called in to audition for a pilot the next day. That pilot was Justified. And not only did she nail the audition, she is now a series regular on the hit show that just wrapped its 5th season.

    However, auditions were not always automatic for Erica. “I don’t even call them auditions anymore,” said Tazel. “I call them opportunities.” In a business that requires a thick skin and the ability to accept rejection gracefully, Erica developed several techniques to bring the whole process into a positive light. It was this attitude, in addition to her obvious charm, beauty, and talent, that has enabled Erica to reach her current level of success.

    Another interesting anecdote from Erica’s talk was how she told the students that she sat down and watched the entire first season of Justified during the hiatus. She carefully studied her part and the show on a whole. With that, she came up with several suggestions for the writers of the show. Low and behold, her initiative ended up creating an entire episode, devoted to her character and her ideas. Just goes to show the kind of commitment and enthusiasm that is needed to succeed in this industry.

    Aside from being a terrific actress and charismatic speaker, Erica is heavily involved with a charity called Get on the Bus. The charity reunites children in California with their mothers and fathers in prison. It is a wonderful cause and something Erica cares very deeply about.


    April 11, 2014 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 8125

  • True Blood’s Stephen Moyer Charms NYFA Acting Students

    moyer glynis

    Stephen Moyer with Glynis Rigsby

    Acting students and True Blood fans were treated to an exclusive event at the New York Film Academy in Union Square. Stephen Moyer, who plays Bill Compton on HBO’s True Blood, introduced and screened an episode he directed entitled, Somebody That I Used to Know. Stephen was so excited to speak to the students, he grabbed the microphone before the screening to introduce himself and the episode. Incorporated into his introduction were his charm and sense and humor.

    Stephen has recently been living in New York City as he prepares for his role of Captain Von Trapp on The Sound of Music, which will be a live 3-hour broadcast of the original 1959 Broadway production, executive produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. He will star alongside Carrie Underwood, Laura Benanti, Audra McDonald and Christian Borle, which airs on NBC on December 5th.

    Stephen Moyer

    During the Q&A with NYFA Acting Chair, Glynis Rigsby, Stephen recalled his hard work and dedication to his craft that led him to his current status in the business. He even broke down scenes for the audience to get a sense of his directing style in this specific episode on season 5. Through entertaining anecdotes and insightful industry knowledge, Stephen had the entire house engaged and entertained. It’s no wonder he’s an A-class talent on the screen.

    Even after the event, Stephen took the time out to speak personally with several students, including signing autographs and taking photos with hardcore fans.





    November 22, 2013 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 8644