NYFA Acting for Film
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  • From the Olympics to “Vikings” with New York Film Academy Acting Alum Ragga Ragnars

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film alum Ragga Ragnars has quite the resume: the two-time-Olympic-swimmer-turned-actress recently snagged a role on the hit show “Vikings.” NYFA had the chance to sit down and catch up with her via email in between her busy schedule filming in Ireland and Iceland, to discuss her transition from athlete to actress.
    NYFA: First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you to the New York Film Academy?

    RR: I have been a swimmer all my life and for about 15 years I was a professional swimmer. I swam at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, and after sitting out the 2012 Olympics to have my son, I decided that it was time to pursue my other passion, acting.

    I have always loved California and, as a teenager, I swam in Mission Viejo, where I also attended high school for a while. I also swam in Ventura for a while in my 20s and always loved coming to California. It had always been like a second home to me. So when I was looking at acting schools, NYFA kept popping up.

    I had looked into NYFA a few times before and decided I would start with an 8-Week Acting for Film program to see if I liked it. I had my son and my family with me and needed to make sure it was the right choice before committing to a longer course. I, of course, loved the 8-week program and enrolled in a one-year program right away.

    NYFA: Do you have a favorite NYFA moment from your time studying with us?

    RR: I made so many great friends while attending NYFA and got to know so many amazing teachers and instructors. There are so many moments that stand out for me and it’s hard to choose just one to mention. I do remember some great Q&A sessions with people from the industry that really taught me a lot. I also loved working on the backlot and getting to experience that aspect of the courses.

    NYFA: Why acting? What inspired you to shift gears in life to pursue your acting career?

    RR: Acting has always been a passion I have had. While I was swimming, acting was always in the back of my head. I don’t think it’s something I decided. I just always knew I would be an actress. Since I can remember, I knew that it was something I had to do.

    NYFA: You came back for the 1-Year Acting for Film program after finishing a short-term program with us — what made you decide to go to our conservatory?

    RR: I had such an amazing time in the 8-week program that I knew I wanted to keep going. I wanted to see how it would work out having a family and a young son with me so far away from the rest of my family. It was easier than I expected and my son loved the California sunshine, so it was a no-brainer. I also knew I had more to learn from the great teachers and instructors at NYFA.

    NYFA: Many of our students can relate to your experience of coming to learn the arts in a foreign country. What was it like for you as an international student, coming to study at NYFA Los Angeles? Can you tell us a bit about that experience?

    RR: Because California has always been like a second home to me, I almost felt like I was not an international student and more of a local. I knew LA pretty well and while at NYFA I got to know the city better.

    The only thing that I can remember being a difficult aspect of being an international student was to make sure that all of the paperwork was correct and that I had everything in order. With great help from NYFA it wasn’t too hard, but with getting a Visa, applying for an OPT and all of that, it was definitely a challenge. It was all worth it and I am so happy I decided to give it a try.

    NYFA: You’ve competed in the Olympics as a swimmer, and now you are working as an actor on “Vikings.” As a career-changer, what would you say was the most challenging and the most surprising part of going from one intense career to another?

    RR: The most surprising thing is how similar my life is, from when I was a competitive swimmer. Working on a big production is hard work, I want to stay in good shape and get ready for a day of work similar to when I was competing. I work out, warm up before big scenes, meditate and take care of what I eat in the same way I did when I was preparing for the World Championships or competing at the Olympics. There is so much time spent in preparing for scenes, learning dialogue and text, working on a character and getting ready. I am happy that I have years of experience as a swimmer in being focused, determined and knowing that nothing comes for free.

    It takes hard work for a long time to achieve goals and you have to be willing to put in the time and effort.

    NYFA: Can you tell us about your experience working on “Vikings” — are there any surprises or challenges you’ve encountered in working internationally in Ireland and Iceland?

    RR: Ireland and Iceland are quite similar places. I feel like Irish people have a lot in common with the Icelandic — very welcoming and have a bit of a small town vibe to them, just like in Iceland. It has been difficult to be away from my son who attends school in Iceland, but I travel back and forth quite a bit and he comes to Ireland every time we can manage that. I have loved the process so far and I am looking forward to continuing working internationally and broadening my horizon even more in this field.

    NYFA: Do you have any advice for our current students in transitioning from our conservatory training to the real world?

    RR: My advice is to set goals with everything you do and want to do in life and enjoy the process, the good and the bad.

    Rejection from one place is not the end of the road.

    Also, there is not one way to achieve success in this business. I signed with an agent before I even finished NYFA, I had a few agents who wanted to sign me and I thought that was the only way to get ahead. Then when I realized that the partnership was not working, I decided to do it on my own and that proved to be the right way for me at the time.

    But I learned from every failed audition and self tape, from every production I worked on while on my OPT, and I always kept up a positive attitude towards my goals.

    NYFA: Would you say your time studying at NYFA was at all useful in preparing for the work you are doing today?

    RR: Absolutely. I learned so much while attending NYFA. So many things were new to me as an actor before I attended NYFA. I feel like I got a very extensive overview of techniques and tools to choose from while working. Not everything that I learned works for me and some things I learned I have kept on learning after NYFA. I keep in touch with some of my teachers in NYFA and I feel like all of them took a real interest in teaching us and even as a former student, being able to send a quick line to a former teacher and still getting help with something is amazing.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Ragga for taking the time to share a part of her journey with our community.

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  • “The Truth” About New York Film Academy Acting Alum Fahad Olayan

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    Since he was just a teenager, New York Film Academy (NYFA) alumnus Fahad Olayan has had a solid plan for his life. Through hard work and determination, he has already achieved a lot of his dreams.

    He began his acting career in his native country of Saudi Arabia with the sitcom “Tash Ma Tash” in 2013, before going on to book several more television shows. He found success in America when he was offered a role on National Geographic Channel’s “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman,” where he played King Hussain in the episode “Proof of God” in 2017. Olayan’s latest project, “The Truth,” has been raking up awards. And now, he’s taken the time to catch up with NYFA Correspondent Joelle Smith to discuss the role festivals play in the success of a film and what it was like to find most of his crew here at NYFA.

    NYFA: When did you first know you were in love with acting?

    Olayan: I started when I was 13 years old. I attended school for theater. I was the supporting character in many different roles. In 2007 I began applying for jobs at production companies as an actor. I remember one of the directors was impressed by my audition. From that audition, I managed to book more than 10 TV series. In 2011, I considered moving my career to LA to pursue my dream. I studied English for two years and then went to NYFA to study acting and filmmaking. Once I graduated I immediately planned on making a movie.

    NYFA:  What was your first performance?

    Olayan: In 2007, I had the opportunity to work on a production for a big channel in Dubai. It’s called MBC. It is the biggest channel in the Middle East.

    NYFA:  How did you end up at NYFA?

    Olayan: I wanted to learn how to perfect my acting skills and learn more about editing, writing, and filmmaking. It was great because it also gave me the opportunity to learn from professional people, who have been in the industry for a long time.

    NYFA: What was your favorite part of the education experience? Did you have a favorite class? Which one?

    Olayan: I got to collaborate with many new artists who are excited about making it in the industry. Each one had a fresh perspective on the craft. I also enjoyed the classes that were offered. My favorites were stunt training and sitcom. I also had the privilege of learning from Michael Zelniker. He is a mentor to me. He is an exceptionally talented individual and advisor at NYFA.

    NYFA: Why is an intensive program vital to your development as an actor?

    Olayan: It is vital because so much goes into acting. You take classes that help you learn about voice, movement, script analysis, observation, and how everything connects to each other. As an actor you need to learn about the different elements that go into the craft of acting. It broadens your horizons and makes you appreciate the art.

    Fahad Olayan With Alejandro Gonzalez

    NYFA: Can you tell us a bit more about your project, “The Truth”?

    Olayan: “The Truth” is an important project for me. It really touches home. I thought long and hard about this project for a few months because it has a very important message for the world: It focuses on racial profiling.

    Once I was ready to work on the project I met Nicolas Jung, a unique and exceptionally talented person who helped with co-writing, was the assistant director, and was one of the main actors as well. I strongly believe that this film wouldn’t be what it is without him. His outstanding writing skills and authentic acting skills took this project to a whole new level. The other actor, Dave Belvederi, and the cinematographer, Joseph Hamilton, also contributed to the success of this project. It is important to be smart and to choose a good team to work with so that there is a good collaborative environment on set.

    Once the project was completed, I submitted it to many different film festivals around the world. However, the most important festival that took notice of my film was in Saudi Arabia, where it won the award for best film out of hundreds of other projects.

    The best part was that it was awarded and announced by the King of Saudi Arabia’s son, which was a huge privilege, and it went on national news.

    NYFA: How did you prepare for this role?

    Olayan: I poured myself into the character that I played. I made the circumstance real to me. There was a lot of stunt training involved and intense rehearsal to achieve my goal.

    NYFA: Any chance for a sequel?

    Olayan: Yes, there will be a second part, I will refrain from giving too much detail to leave everyone in suspense.

    NYFA: What did you learn from making this film?

    Olayan: I learned that making a movie is not just about the name or title, it is an art. A lot of passion, imagination, and commitment goes into it. The most important thing that I learned was how to communicate with the audience. Once you get that, there is a feeling of having reached a huge accomplishment.

    NYFA: What’s up next for you?

    Olayan: Nicolas and I have written and acted together in two short films. Our first film was “Losing Life,” which won over 10 awards across the globe. In addition to all that, we have currently written two feature films and will produce one in 2018. We are currently in the preproduction process with one of the scripts and the other is in rewrites. When I am not working on these projects I am finding other ways to get ahead in my career.

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Fahad Olayan for speaking with us about his work. 

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  • New York Film Academy Acting Alumni Dr. Ariel Orama López Stars in Award-Winning “Cielos Negros”

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    Photo courtesy of Dr. Ariel Orama López.

    NYFA Acting for Film Dr. Ariel Orama López (AG Orloz) is already both an actor and a psychologist, but he added cover model to his impressive list of job titles recently when he was featured on the cover of Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Día newspaper, along with his fellow cast and crew of “Cielos Negros.” The surreal short film, which was produced and created in López’s native Puerto Rico, has screened and won festival prizes worldwide — from winning Best Foreign Short Film in Marbella, Spain to screening at the GeoFilm Festival in Padova, Italy.

    López is an associate producer of the film and also plays the lead character, Larry, a man whose life is transformed after the inexplicable disappearance and mysterious reappearance of his new love, Angel, at la Laguna del Condado. Directed by Alexis Aguirre, “Cielos Negros” was selected out of 6,000 submissions from 90 nations for the GeoFilm Festival in Italy and has received distinctions and laurels in several international festivals — including the Martinique International Film Festival, Puerto Rico Horror Film Fest and Puerto Rico Queer Film Fest. “Cielos Negros” was also a finalist at DirecTV Cinema Plus, winning third prize.

    “Cielos Negros” film poster via IMDB.

    The success of “Cielos Negros” has taken on special significance in the wake of hurricane Maria, coming as a clear reminder of the resilience and inspiration alive in the work of Puerto Rico’s artists. In the midst of this busy season of rebuilding in Puerto Rico, Ariel took the time to correspond with the NYFA Blog about his journey with “Cielos Negros” and beyond.

    NYFA: First, can you tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you to NYFA?

    AOL: In terms of my background, I was blessed with the privilege of combining two fascinating professional roles. I am a Puerto Rican professional actor and media (clinical) psychologist. In terms of my artistic role, I have had the opportunity to work and collaborate in commercials, theatre, short films, indie films, documentaries, series, television programs, media writing, and voice-overs, combining to more than 200 projects in the arts.

    In 2010 I became a member of the Colegio de Actores de Puerto Rico as a collegiate professional actor. I am also a certified Executive Coach (specialized in Crëative Life Coaching) from TISOC, Barcelona, Spain and a licensed clinical psychologist with the Academia (Assistant Professor – University of Puerto Rico in Humacao).

    One of my unforgettable moments of inspiration that motivated me to continue developing as an actor was my selection as a finalist of “Taller Telemundo: Actores,” in Miami, directed by the well-known actress nominated for an Oscar in the movie “Babel (2006): the distinguished Mexican actress and professor Adriana Barraza.

    After all this wonderful creative experience that include laurels from Spain, California, Puerto Rico and Orlando, I decided to move to Los Angeles in the Summer of 2011 for an intensive course, performing in 14 short films in California during my NYFA Los Angeles training in Acting for the Film.

    A still from “Cielos Negros” via IMDB.

    After NYFA, I had the privilege to work as the creative coach and consultant for the television program “Idol Kids Puerto Rico” (from the recognized English franchise Idol ©), and offered courses at the Colegio de Actores de Puerto Rico and other relevant forums about Psychology of Character. I currently work at UPRH as an Assistant Professor of Psychology.

    NYFA: Do you have any favorite NYFA moments from your time studying with us?

    AOL: I have wonderful memories of every NYFA and Universal Studios corner in LA, magical contexts where we performed for most of our projects. I can remember all the experiences and knowledge acquired in the courses with the excellent professor Denis McCourt, who inspired me to continue developing both as an actor and in other roles — for example, as as a singer — in order to enrich my level of performance.

    I studied in the adult program at Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico: during this time, I won a prize as a composer in Miami and participated as a baritone in several choruses and concerts. Definitely, NYFA inspired me to reach new dreams and to believe in myself.

    NYFA: What initially drew you to “Cielos Negros”? What is the film about?

    AOL: “Cielos Negros” is an experimental LGBT short film based on a Puerto Rican story story by writer David Caleb. Larry, the main character, is “a insecure man who found the reason of his freedom after the disappearance of Angel (his new love) in an unexplained event at la Laguna del Condado in Puerto Rico.”

    The director is Alexis Aguirre, who invited me to participate initially as the lead actor and then as an associate producer. When I read the script, I connected immediately with the surrealism of the story and also with the sublime ending that distinguishes this creative masterpiece in contrast with other diversity films that still have predominant and subjective elements of heteronormativity: Here the love without gender wins, without tragedy. I must say that I am really surprised with all the laurels received and we are very excited to our new Official Selection on GeoFilm Italy, that include more than 6,000 participants from 90 countries around the World.

    A still from “Cielos Negros” via IMDB.

    NYFA: Have you been able to be present at any of the festivals where “Cielos Negros” has played?

    AOL: During the last year I was working hard on the publication of a book and had to observe all the success of “Cielos Negros” from the distance: considering that Italy is one of my world contexts of inspiration as an “Uomo Universale” apprentice, I am willing to be part of this wonderful presentation of our short film at GeoFilm in Italy. Definitely, we have reasons to celebrate and I hope to be part of it!

    NYFA: For our students, do you have any advice about transitioning from life as a student to working in the business as a professional?

    AOL: The best lesson I have learnt is that an actor who develops the capacity to transform literally for the director’s eyes and vision without any doubts, the one that has no fear to explore the diversity that coexists in all our dimensions — intellectual, spiritual and physical — is the actor that will succeed.

    And when I define success, I refer to the great responsibility of creating a vivid performance, and an artistic project, that can be appreciated in different countries — and in your own country — as something different, creative, universal and valuable, with its own individual life that is superior to each component (the actors, the producers, the director), and with a quality and fingerprint that transcends frontiers. When we have the privilege of touching other cultures virtually with our art and performance, and it is received with enthusiasm, we have received the best prize: the one that is superior to any economical benefit.

    NYFA: What’s next for you? Can you share any upcoming projects, or what you’re working on now?

    AOL: I am one of the leading actors of the Puerto Rican film “Etreum” (Vicente Juarbe, Idalia Perez Garay), that is in postproduction. We are waiting for this creative newborn with great expectations for 2018.

    Also, I will be working on new creative projects that recently are touching my soul that combine music, writing, and acting. It will be an eternal adventure!

    One of my dreams is to be part of NYFA faculty and offer courses in Psychology of Character and Creative Coaching for Latin American Actors. Also, to develop new courses in Spanish related to acting.

    I love my heritage and I want to pay it forward to my beloved NYFA, hopefully soon. Thanks for believing on us, NYFA Alumni!

    ¡Un abrazote desde Puerto Rico!

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Dr. Ariel Orama López for sharing part of his story with our community.

     

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  • NYFA Acting for Film Alumna Elena Wang Takes “Allegiance” From Broadway to LA

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) alumna Elena Wang is seeing her name in Broadway lights. Wang is no stranger to the stage. She has performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall with Daniel Dae Kim in “The King and I.” She worked alongside Tori Kelly in “Oz” and has also worked with Shaquille O’Neal through NYFA and Taylor Swift through Sony. Having performed in Australia, Singapore, and England Wang will make her LA stage debut in “Allegiance,” a new musical inspired by the true story of writer George Takei’s time spent in an internment camp on American soil.

    NYFA: When did you realize you wanted to be an actress?

    Wang: I was born in Singapore but I was raised in Australia. I was blessed to have attended a school (St. Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls) that’s very strong in the arts.  When I was 12, they put on the production of “The Wizard of Oz.” I was cast as Dorothy.  I realize now how big of a leap they took to cast a little Asian girl for that role, but it was also an eye-opening experience for me. Acting and singing was something I really loved and it was a thrill to bring a character to life regardless of my race. That process was the very first spark of understanding that this could be something I could do for the rest of my life.

    NYFA: What was your first acting gig?

    Wang: I had to move back to Singapore for my family after high school. As luck would have it, I was able to get into a theater program I had had my eye on. During my graduation show of “Once on this Island,” where I played Asaka, a leading theatre company discovered me. Wild Rice is known for their large-scale production of “Beauty World.” They needed a leading lady and they entrusted me with the role. It was the role that got me ELLE’s ‘Breakout star of the year award’ and opened several doors for me. I was incredibly blessed that it was my first.

    NYFA: What brought you to NYFA?

    Wang: I grew up loving film. A year after my big break in Singapore, I landed a role in “The King and I” that was to be staged at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London starring Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost,” “Hawaii Five-O”). After performing for 5000 people every night, I realized that film was still something I wanted to try. So I took the leap, left London, and started fresh in Los Angeles at NYFA. I read that NYFA was hands-on and more practical-based, which was something I wanted.

    NYFA: Do you have a favorite class or moment from your history at NYFA?

    Wang: Singing has been a huge part of my career. I am an actor first and foremost. I would have to say my favorite class was Meisner class. We really got to dig deep. The class allowed us to be in front of the camera and experience what it was really like to be on set. In the two years that I attended NYFA, there were plenty of similar opportunities for which I am grateful.

    NYFA: What did you learn at NYFA that helped you most in your career?

    Wang: That’s a big question because we covered so many things. I would have to say learning how to be in an audition room, how to cold read, how to break scripts down and how to do it in a short amount of time. They were able to teach me what it is like in the “real world,” so even if it was daunting post-graduation, I still felt confident and prepared.

    NYFA: What was the audition process for “Allegiance” like?

    Wang: I didn’t have to audition for the cast that will be coming to LA in 2018. I made my Broadway debut in 2015 with “Allegiance.” However, for the Broadway audition, it was intimidating, to say the least. I stumbled upon the open call auditions via a friend whom I haven’t seen in years. This was just two years after graduating from NYFA. At the time, I was mainly focused on my VISA applications to be able to stay and continue working.  

    Professionally, I’d already performed in music videos, commercials and a pilot. But, I had not sung for four years. I had to wait six hours among hundreds of other hopeful actors because I was not Equity. It felt alien to include singing with my acting audition, but I guess something clicked that day. I got through the first three rounds of auditions, which required me to sing and dance for the panel.  

    They then gave me two days to learn some material for the lead role. Lea Salonga had set dates off for other commitments, and they needed someone to take over when she was away for those dates. The rest of the cast flew into LA from New York. There is a video online that shows the last round of the audition process, “Trek to Broadway – Episode 2 – ‘All We Need is the Girl.'” It is George Takei’s documentary on their road to Broadway with Allegiance. I’m lucky that I get to look back on the moment they offered me the position. Till this day it still feels like a dream, but now I get to say that it’s my life.

    NYFA: Have you had an opportunity to meet George Takei? What was that like?

    Wang: I love George and we have known each other for two years now. He was so wonderful, and nominated me for the Paul Green Award 2016 for the most promising young actor. I received the award in front of artistic directors and founders of theaters across the nation. George won the Person of the Year Award in 2016.  I have also played the role of Kei several times on Broadway and acted alongside him every day and night across 2015/2016.

    It has been nothing but an absolute dream. He is the grandfather I never had and the most loving and sincere person I have ever known. If I were to say something to him, now, it would be “I love you very much.” Five days after I return from Singapore I will be doing a press/promo tour in Hawaii and Japan with George and our producer/writer Lorenzo Thione. It also coincides with my birthday and I can’t think of anyone else better to spend it with!

    NYFA: What, if anything, does this play mean to you on a personal level?

    Wang: On a broad level, this show is about how Japanese Americans were captured and placed in internment camps after Pearl Harbor. As long as you looked like the enemy, you were considered the enemy. It is also loosely based on George Takei’s life, as he was interned as a child.  

    This story is important for all to see. Generalization of race is still an ongoing issue today.  Having grown up in western countries, being the minority has always been a part of my life. I absolutely relate to the themes within the show of family and endurance.  

    The character Kei whom I’ll be playing in LA in 2018 finds herself through turmoil and stands up for what she believes. Together with her family and her community, they find strength in faith and love. So much of this within my own life has been true. Through my travels, I’ve had to find a deep inner belief that I do belong, regardless of my race. I intend to fight for my dreams. Breaking convention and showing the world that I belong in this industry has been an ongoing theme in my career so I am so happy to be able to continue to find myself within this show.

    NYFA: Tell us a little about the character you play.

    Wang: I believe through our troubles and failure, we find ourselves on a level we never knew before. [My character] Kei Kimura had to grow up without a mother. She drowns in her responsibilities, which includes looking after her younger brother, Sammy. But after facing turmoil, she finally finds her vulnerability, falls in love, and gains the strength to fight for her rights. She becomes a new person and a renewed daughter and sister.

    NYFA: What has the rehearsal process for “Allegiance” been like?

    Wang: For the Broadway show, it was an entirely new experience. I had never been to New York City. The moment I moved, it was press events and rehearsals for both the lead and my feature role as Nan Goto. Lea Salonga was not available until the second week.  The show had been in the works for eight years prior but it was all new to me.

    After four days of rehearsals, taking on a double track immediately felt like boot camp.  The rest was amazing. During previews, we would make changes in the day and perform it to a paying crowd that night. It was hard work but also a dream come true.

    NYFA: What’s up next for you?

    Wang: There are lots of exciting new projects coming up within the Broadway community. We just had the world premiere of “Bastard Jones” Off-Broadway, and due to amazing reviews, I am looking forward to the next exciting phase of the show. It is the one show that the writers Marc Acito (“Allegiance”) and Amy Engelhardt (“The Bobs”) entrusted me to play what was originally an English comedic ingénue. They wanted the casting to represent “real” America. I love being a part of “colorblind” casting.

    We also just went through the first industry showing of “Tiananmen.” It follows the journey of Xirui (whom I play), a young college girl who leads the hunger strike during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. I adore this show so I am excited about its next steps.  

    I am enjoying the flow of my Broadway dreams but I am still very much in love with film. Any support, however, NYFA can give (even this blog) is the support I am grateful of.

    The New York Film Academy would like to congratulate Wang on all of her success. Be sure to check out “Allegiance” when it comes to the East West Players beginning February 22. Tickets are available here.

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  • New York Film Academy Alumna Kellyanne Chippendale Talks “Meisnered” at NYFA Los Angeles

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    On Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, director and comedian Kellyanne Chippendale brought her short documentary “Meisnered” to the New York Film Academy. The film chronicles her experiences studying the Meisner Technique, and how it changed her life. The documentary also includes the short film “Getting Meisnered.” Director of the Q&A Series Tova Laiter and Chair of Acting for Film Anne Moore hosted the evening.

    Kellyanne Chippendale had an unconventional path into the entertainment industry. She began the same way as many, with a passion for watching movies that was passed down from her parents. But by the time she was in college, her focus had shifted. She went to school for broadcast journalism, focused on becoming an educator, and thought about having a family.

    “I taught every single subject and every single grade except math,” Chippendale said. But something was missing. She wanted to try acting, but the audition process never seemed to go her way. “I’d prepare so well and then once I got into the room…” So she did what any rational adult would do: She joined a stand-up comedy class. When they asked her to come back the following season she knew she was on to something.

    Her continued hard work led her to wear many hats for the company. “I started producing my own shows because that’s the only way you can make money in comedy when you’re first starting out.” She began with dinner shows, where patrons would pay $50 a table to have dinner and a show. Through this she began to form relationships with other comedians, getting invited to perform at other shows, and building a roster for her own performances.

    Her film “Getting Meisnered” is about this process of becoming an actress and, more specifically, about her instructor, Wolfgang, who helped her have a major breakthrough in acting through the Meisner technique. She says this experience changed her life. The idea of working off an actor’s true essence and building a scene with a partner was a philosophy she was able to take into her real life.

    Moore and Chippendale gave a short demonstration of one of the Meisner exercises. One actor makes an observation about the other. Then the statement is acknowledged and repeated as the actors search for the truth in the moment.

    One student asked which books would be best to read if they were interested in studying the Meisner technique independently. The answer they received was “Meisner on Acting” and Larry Silverberg’s four-part series “The Sanford Meisner Approach: An Actor’s Workbook.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Chippendale for taking the time to speak with our students. Check out her short film “Getting Meisnered” on IMDB by clicking here.

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    November 16, 2017 • Academic Programs, Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 1803

  • NYFA Gold Coast Holds July 2017 Acting for Film Mid-Year Student Performances

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    This September, New York Film Academy Gold Coast Campus held the July 2017 Acting for Filmmaking mid-year performance showcase for an enthusiastic invited audience.

    The mid-year performances provide Acting for Film students the important opportunity to gain hands-on experience, utilizing what they have learned so far in their course whilst working on challenging material.

    Directed by Acting Lecturer, Veronica Neave, students performed excerpts from the play “All In The Timing” by David Ives.

    On the choice of material: “The world according to David Ives is a very odd place,” explained Neave. “It is enchanting, perplexing, incessantly intelligent and side-splitting funny. The July actors have risen valiantly to this challenge and have give an outstanding performance.”

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    October 11, 2017 • Academic Programs, Acting, Community Highlights, Film School • Views: 1451

  • NYFA Gold Coast Celebrates Jan ’17 Acting for Film End of Year Screenings

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    In early September 2017, the New York Film Academy Gold Coast campus held the January 2017 Acting for Film end of year screenings at Event Cinemas in Pacific Fair.

    As a part of the New York Film Academy Australia’s commitment to hands-on education, the event was a glamorous and festive occasion that allowed the students to share their hard work in class projects with an invited audience of friends and family along with teachers and classmates.

    The opportunity to celebrate their school accomplishments and experience a formal screening was not to be missed.

    “It has been a pleasure seeing the students of January 2017 grow and develop into wonderful actors, which was portrayed through their screening tonight,” said NYFA Australia Acting Chair Stuart Lumsden. “On behalf of all the staff and lecturers at the New York Film Academy, Gold Coast, we would like to give our sincerest congratulations for all you have achieved throughout the year.”

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    September 15, 2017 • Academic Programs, Acting, Community Highlights, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2015

  • NYFA Gold Coast Hosts Advanced April ’17 Actors Mid Year Screening

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    This August, the New York Film Academy Gold Coast Campus held the Advanced April 2017 Acting for Film mid-year screening showcase. As a part of NYFA Gold Coast’s continued commitment to hands-on learning, the screening showcase provides acting for film students with the experience and opportunity to share their work with invited guests.

    Directed by Senior Acting Lecturer, Adam Couper, the students screened their 30-minute TV pilot “Eternity” in the Southport Campus theatre.

    Mr. Adam Couper states, “It’s one thing for student actors to work on existing scenes from film and television, but part of the purpose of this pilot exercise was to involve them in creating their characters from the ground up. And they all embraced the process with great verve, to populate the pilot with truly unique characters telling a story they made their own.”

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    August 31, 2017 • Academic Programs, Acting, Community Highlights, Film School • Views: 2584

  • NYFA Gold Coast May ’17 Actors Shine in Mid-Year Performance

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    This August, New York Film Academy Gold Coast Campus held the May 2017 Acting for Film mid-year performance showcase.

    As a part of the New York Film Academy Australia’s commitment to hands-on learning, the mid-year performance showcase allows students to put what they have learned throughout the semester into practice and gain real-world experience performing curated material for an invited audience.

    Directed by Acting Lecturer Veronica Neave, acting for film students performed scenes from “Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” by award-winning playwright Daniel Evans, in the Creative Space at the purpose-built Southport campus of the New York Film Academy Gold Coast. The play re-imagines Sophocles’ infamous tragedy in modern Australia, in a darkly comic tale of modern community.

    “I chose this particular script for this group because they are all really adventurous,” said acting instructor Veronica Neave.

    Senior Acting Lecturer Adam Couper stated, “It’s always exciting to see young actors take that step from the classroom to the stage, when all the practice becomes real and for a magical night we get a glimpse of the actors they’ll become.”

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