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  • NYFA Hour Chats with Acting for Film Instructor Ken Lerner

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    New York Film Academy Acting for Film instructor Ken Lerner was the most recent guest on NYFA Hour. Lerner brought great advice from his acting class The Business of Acting and personal stories from his journey including shooting “Happy Days” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

    The New York Film Academy Hour is a weekly podcast hosted by Joelle Smith and Pegah Rad on The Popcorn Talk Network. A prestigious alumnus or highly touted faculty member gives a mini master class each week on their cinematic specialty.

    Lerner discussed comedic acting by highlighting moments from his career including playing the lawyer who is stabbed in the back in “Running Man” and the Snicker’s commercial for which he won an award.

    When asked about how he prepares for his roles Lerner had this to say:

    “When I was younger I did really a lot of research. I would call up hospitals if I was playing a doctor or a heroine addict. I even went to a friend who’s an obstetrician and watched. I asked cops if I could do a drive around. They said no, but I tried. I once played an army guy on Project X. I went out to the air force and watched the guys work. You pick up things. I did the research, that’s what I advise my students.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. Lerner for coming on The Popcorn Talk Network to discuss his career. You can watch Lerner in episodes of “This is Us,” “Legion,” and “Feud: Betty & Joan.”

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    March 17, 2017 • Acting, Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 2188

  • Big Night for Diversity at 68th Annual Emmy Awards

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    Records were broken and laughter was had at last night’s 68th Annual Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Throughout the evening, the New York Film Academy participated in a live twitter feed, with many of its students and followers following along.

    The event began with a hilarious opening monologue from Kimmel, where politics and diversity were some of the more popular talking points. The issue of diversity was again brought up, with its first winners, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, winning awards for writing in a comedy series for their show, “Master of None.” Their award-winning episode “Parents,” focused on the two’s relationships with their hardworking immigrant parents.

    While Ansari didn’t have a chance to give a speech, Yang had some powerful words about Asian American representation in Hollywood. He pointed out that there are 17 million Asian Americans in the U.S., as well as 17 million Italian Americans.

    “They have ‘The Godfather,’ ‘Rocky,’ ‘Goodfellas,’ ‘The Sopranos’…We have Long Duk Dong,” Yang said, referring to the character from “Sixteen Candles.”

    Following their win was Kate McKinnon, who was awarded with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her various sketches on “Saturday Night Live” — most recently noted for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton.

    via GIPHY

    Again embracing diversity, The Outstanding Comedy Actor award went to Jeffrey Tambor, who plays a transgender woman in the Amazon series “Transparent.” While accepting the award, Tambor encouraged the industry to offer more opportunities to the trans community.

    The big winners of the evening were “Game of Thrones,” “Veep,” and “The People vs O.J. Simpson,” which NYFA instructor Ken Lerner appeared in. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” beat out “Frasier’s” 37 total awards with a record-breaking 38 Emmy awards.

    Handing out the award for Best Actress in a Limited Series to Julia Louis Dreyfuss was former NYFA Guest Speaker Bryan Cranston, who has several Emmys of his own from his remarkable work on “Breaking Bad.”

    A touching moment during the evening came when the award ceremony recognized the work of the late Garry Marshall, who spoke graciously at NYFA’s Los Angeles campus a few times over the years. Marshall was remembered for his groundbreaking television work on “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley,” “Mork and Mindy,” and others.

    As the evening came to a close, Kimmel said his last words, which included an inside reference to his longtime pal Howard Stern, saying we “hit ’em with the Hein!”

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    September 19, 2016 • Entertainment News • Views: 2074

  • NYFA’s Ken Lerner Appears on HBO’s “Silicon Valley”

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    Mike Judge’s HBO comedy, Silicon Valley, which surrounds the lives of young computer programmers who head out to Northern California to succeed in technology, has been a wild success thus far. Now in its third season, those of us at the New York Film Academy may recognize Acting for Film Instructor Ken Lerner in a few episodes.

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    Ken Lerner, left, and T.J. Miller in “Silicon Valley.” Credit John P. Johnson/HBO

    Lerner has been playing the character of Arthur, who is Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti’s Business Manager.

    In addition to his teaching at NYFA, Lerner has acted in many major film and television productions, including his most recent appearance on the FX’s mini-series The People Vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. He’s also appeared in The Mentalist, NCIS, In Plain SightTwo and a Half Men, Desperate Housewives, Castle, Weeds, CSI, Without a Trace and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He has had over 40 film roles, including Unlawful Entry, The Doctor, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Running Man, The Story of Us, Immediate Family, Irreconcilable Differences and Project X. In addition to film and television, Ken has starred in productions at The Pasadena Playhouse and Garry Marshall’s Falcon Theater and off-Broadway.

    “My experience in the industry seems to be the biggest factor in my ability to be trusted that I know what I am teaching them, especially about auditions,” says Lerner. “I constantly use my acting jobs as reference for my students’ learning.”

    Mr. Lerner is just one of the many examples of how our students have the privilege of working with current industry professionals who can provide unparalleled insight into the business.

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    July 7, 2016 • Acting, Community Highlights, Faculty Highlights • Views: 5085

  • Ken Lerner’s “Friends” Reunion on ‘The People Vs O.J. Simpson’

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    David Schwimmer and Ken Lerner in the premiere of ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” (FX)

    If you’ve been watching FX’s popular new mini-series The People Vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, you may have referenced another 90’s moment outside from the infamous Simpson murder trial. If not, what you TV buffs should have noticed is New York Film Academy’s Acting for Film instructor Ken Lerner reuniting with David Schwimmer—both appeared on a Season 9 episode of Friends titled “The One With the Soap Opera Party.” Ironically, Lerner plays attorney Howard Weitzman, who is ultimately replaced by attorney Robert Kardashian, played by Schwimmer.

    Coincidentally enough, Lerner guest-starred in the one-off “Friends” role as a professor who traps Ross (Schwimmer) and then love interest Charlie (Aisha Tyler) in a less than enthusiastic conversation. Not to worry, Lerner is merely showing off his acting chops here—he’s actually a captivating teacher at the Academy.

    Kudos to Mr. Lerner, who will also soon be appearing in the Mike Judge, HBO series Silicon Valley.

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    February 11, 2016 • Acting, Entertainment News, Faculty Highlights • Views: 6026

  • Ken Lerner Brings His Vast Acting Experience to NYFA

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    Ken Lerner

    Actor and NYFA Acting Instructor, Ken Lerner

    One of the finest and most accomplished feelings for a teacher is when his or her pupils succeed in the real world. Such is the case with New York Film Academy’s Acting for Film Instructor Ken Lerner, who is not only recognized for his long-standing career as an actor but also for his help in getting thousands of actors cast in movies, television shows, pilots and plays.

    Ken’s audition technique and scene study classes are exciting places to grow as an actor. His technique combines the wisdom of the great acting teachers with whom he has studied—London, Stella Adler and Peggy Feury—with his own extensive hands-on experiences in movies, TV shows, plays and commercials.

    “I love teaching at NYFA because of all the countries that the students come from,” said Lerner. “It is a melting pot of experiences — the enthusiasm of these actors is energizing.”

    Similar to many of NYFA’s staff of talented instructors, Ken has continued to work in TV, movies, and commercials for the last 36 years, making his a recognizable face everywhere he goes. He has appeared in more than 100 top television shows, including The Mentalist, NCIS, In Plain Sight, Two and a Half Men, Desperate Housewives, Castle, Weeds, CSI, Without a Trace and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He has had over 40 film roles, including Unlawful Entry, The Doctor, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Running Man, The Story of Us, Immediate Family, Irreconcilable Differences and Project X. In addition to film and television, Ken has starred in productions at The Pasadena Playhouse and Garry Marshall’s Falcon Theater and off-Broadway.

    “My experience in the industry seems to be the biggest factor in my ability to be trusted that I know what I am teaching them, especially about auditions. I constantly use my acting jobs as reference for my students’ learning.”

    Ken’s experience on sets and on stage give him the ability to share inside information with his students. Ken’s positive approach to the work and outstanding ability to break down scripts help him to nurture and bring out the best qualities in his students. Ken works and auditions all the time and imparts his experiences in his own funny, gentle but firm way. His technique gets results, as evidenced by the success of his students, who star on shows such as House, CSI, Cougar Town, Burn Notice, Scrubs, CSI: Miami and many others.

    Ken uses his extensive contacts in the industry with directors, producers, casting directors and agents to offer special events for his students and monthly industry nights as a public service to the acting community.

    His advice to all of his acting students and those pursuing the craft is to work hard and bring their special qualities to their auditions. “They are unique, and they must bring that into the audition rooms.”

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    January 12, 2015 • Acting, Community Highlights • Views: 5499