• NYFA Presents: The Rock The Vote Rally 2020


    A rousing group of New York Film Academy students, faculty, and staff from all three campuses (New York, Los Angeles, and South Beach) participated in a Rock the Vote Virtual Rally yesterday. The Rally included special guest, Tony-nominated actor Daphne Rubin-Vega (Broadway’s RENT, Les Misérables, The Rocky Horror Show ), who shared stories of her immigrant family background, becoming a U.S citizen, and the imperative to vote. 

    NYFA Producing alum Lisa Cortes (producer of the Academy Award-winning Precious, recent Emmy Award-winner for The Apollo, and producer/co-director of the just-released Stacey Abrams documentary All In: The Fight For Democracy) spoke of the importance of voting in light of the long history of voter suppression in the U.S. In the making of All In: The Fight For Democracy during the COVID pandemic, Cortes talked about how her NYFA Producing education proved so valuable in pulling together the project during such challenging times. Attendees were treated to a special viewing of the All In trailer and a special musical clip of Janelle Monae performing the closing title song from the film. 

    Also joining via specially recorded video clips was Nikki Renée Daniels from “Hamilton” and Shoshana Bean from “Wicked”,  A special “Get Out The Vote” tribute by Lin Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton capped the Rally. 

    The event was co-produced by NYFA Producing Chair Neal Weisman and Chair of the Musical Theatre Department, Kristy Cates. 

    “Our sincerest hope was not only to invigorate the NYFA community to become excited about and committed to voting, but to inspire everyone in attendance to reach out to their circles and do the same.” – Kristy Cates

    NYFA’s Rock The Vote efforts include a Zoom room every Tuesday from 1 p.m. ET – 4 p.m. ET that offers voter registration and mail-in ballot assistance for NYFA students, faculty, and staff from all three campuses. Please stop in and check your registration, apply for absentee ballots, etc. Further information is available on the NYFA Voter Resources page.

  • Hamilton’s Greg Treco Gives Master Class to New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Students


    Actor, singer, and dancer Greg Treco arrived at the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) on April 9 to hold a Master Class with NYFA’s Musical Theatre students.

    Treco is originally from Nassau, Bahamas, and is currently the standby actor for Aaron Burr, George Washington, and Lafayette/Jefferson in Hamilton on Broadway. He most recently wrapped up playing Burr in the Chicago company of Hamilton: An American Musical. 

    Greg Treco

    His other credits include Taboo on Broadway, the Off-Broadway hit Zanna Don’t, Miracle Brothers at the Vineyard Theatre, Neil Berg and Robert Schenkkan’s THE 12 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and Roar of the Greasepaint at Goodspeed Opera House. 

    Treco was also a finalist on WB’s Popstars, with other TV credits including a guest-starring role on the CBS sitcom Whoopi. He also recently created the choreography and movement for the acclaimed short Celeste, which opened the Brooklyn Beats Film Festival earlier this year. 

    PCMT students chosen to perform in Treco’s Master Class each presented a song and received one-on-one coaching from him on their selections and individual performance. Treco’s goal was to encourage the students to think outside the box and develop a deeper connection to storytelling, imagery, and text. 

    “I was impressed by the amount of tools Greg gave each performer to help them reach what they wanted,” shared PCMT student Santiago Roma. “He was able to identify what was getting in the way of each actor and find a solution to that problem.”

    Treco helped bring clarity to the many complexities of song performance and storytelling, offering constructive feedback for each student and helping them to better understand the audition process.

    PCMT student Jennifer Johansson told NYFA, “What I found most fascinating about the Master Class with Greg was how big of a difference he made with each one of the students’ performances. Whether it had to do with the physicality or the story in itself, I could see and feel the difference between their first and their last passes. It was really cool to watch it happen in such a short amount of time.”

    Broadway actress and PCMT Creative Director Kristy Cates, who worked with Greg in 2004 on a show at the Eugene O’Neill Center, was also in attendance. “I saw him go on as Aaron Burr a few months ago and he was so wonderful that I knew I had to have him come in and do a Master Class with the students,” Cates told NYFA. “He is a beautifully nuanced, yet specific, actor and is just an all around wonderful person.”

    The Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy thanks Hamilton actor Greg Treco for giving our students the opportunity to study and learn from one of the theatre world’s best!


    May 13, 2019 • Guest Speakers, Musical Theatre • Views: 1752

  • NYFA Teams Up with Gotham Paranormal Research Society to Investigate Manhattan’s Most Haunted Mansion


    It’s one thing to act in a horror film, it’s quite another to be a part of the real thing. Last week, New York Film Academy students and NYFA Acting for Film instructor, Blanche Baker (“Sixteen Candles” and “The Girl Next Door” ), teamed up with Gotham Paranormal Research Society to help with an investigation at the oldest and one of the most haunted houses in Manhattan, the Morris-Jumel Mansion. The mansion is also noted as the location where Lin Manuel Miranda wrote two songs for the Broadway smash-hit, “Hamilton.”

    haunted mansion

    “A big part of acting is learning to take chances,” said Baker. “Which means, taking risk…but these risks don’t usually involve the paranormal.”

    In the hopes of documenting paranormal activity from the alleged resident ghosts, students used their acting skills to reenact historical site-specific scenes from the early 19th century. Each student played roles of people who have lived in the house, including Eliza Jumel, who is said to frequently haunt the house.

    haunted mansion

    According to Angela Artuso, Director of Gotham PRS, the use of “trigger objects,” or objects from the period in history a ghost is said to be from, has been a very effective tool for paranormal researchers trying to document activity.

    “Just being able to be in a time period to get a reaction from anything that could possibly be living here is just so fun and cool,” said Pilar Martinez (2nd-year Musical Theater student).

    haunted nyfa

    After acting out three scenes on each floor, students and paranormal investigators attempted to communicate with any entities present using K2 meters and white-noise radio scanners like the EchoVox and Spirit Box. The result? Responses to their questions as well as odd electrical anomalies around the house caught on-camera and on audio devices.

    Students and faculty left the mansion both spooked and intrigued by the captured footage, and hope to return to further investigate the possible paranormal activity at the Morris-Jumel Mansion.


    October 31, 2016 • Community Highlights • Views: 3523