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  • Colonel Jack Jacobs Announces BFA Programs for Veterans at New York Film Academy (NYFA)

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    In a broadcast studio at the New York campus of New York Film Academy (NYFA) last week, Colonel Jack Jacobs joined NYFA’s President, Michael J. Young, and Myrta Vida, a recent graduate of NYFA’s Screenwriting program, to film a very special announcement to the veteran and military communities. Together, Colonel Jacobs, Mr. Young, and Ms. Vida announced that the NYFA’s New York City campus recently joined the NYFA’s Los Angeles and South Beach, Miami campuses in offering Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Filmmaking and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Acting for Film.

    (from L to R): Colonel Jack Jacobs, NYFA President Michael J. Young, NYFA Alum Myrta Vida

    Veterans may now use their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to study in these BFA degree programs at the NYFA-NY campus located off Battery Park in the historic and vibrant downtown Financial District of New York City.

    In many cases, veterans and their eligible dependents looking to use the Post-911 GI Bill may have their tuition and fees covered in full by the Yellow Ribbon Program.

    In addition to NYFA’s bachelor’s degree programs, veterans may also apply their GI Bill Benefits to the college’s 1-Year and 2-Year Conservatory Programs and graduate degree programs in 10 distinct areas of visual and performing arts study.

    In the public announcement video, which will be released in coming weeks, Mr. Young states, “Veterans who have the passion and commitment to become creative professionals excel in our many degree and certificate programs, which all share a philosophy of hands-on intensive learning.”

    The video features Colonel Jacobs, Chair of NYFA’s Veteran Advancement Program.  Col. Jacobs is a is an Army veteran who received the nation’s highest military honor—the Congressional Medal of Honor—for his exceptional acts of bravery during the Vietnam War; he is one of only 71 living Medal of Honor recipients. Col. Jacobs is also a media personality who can be seen regularly on NBC and MSNBC, and is often on shows including Morning Joe, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow, and Bill Maher.

    US Military Servicemembers and their dependents can visit www.nyfa.edu/veterans to learn more about our programs. For questions and to apply, please contact veteran@nyfa.edu or call Christopher Paparis at (212) 966-3488.

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    December 19, 2019 • Acting, Film School, Filmmaking, Veterans • Views: 670

  • New York Film Academy Producing Alum Federico Guarascio Coproduces Festival Hit ‘The Fourth Kingdom’

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    The Fourth Kingdom, a documentary directed by Adán Aliaga and Alex Lora and coproduced by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Producing alum Federico Guarascio has been storming the festival circuit since its premiere earlier this year.

    The film documents a redemption center in Brooklyn founded by a Spanish ex-missionary where cans and plastic bottles are exchanged for cash—a “Fourth Kingdom” of plastics, and a hub for immigrants and underdogs who desperately believe in the American Dream.

    Federico Guarascio

    Since its premiere last February at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Short Film, The Fourth Kingdom has been selected in 20 film festivals—eight of them Oscars-qualifying—and has won two of them, including the Brooklyn Film Festival, which allows the short film to be considered for the Academy Awards. 

    It has additionally screened at the Rooftop Summer Series, the Americas Film Festivals, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, DOC NYC, and opened at the United Kingdom’s prestigious Sheffield Doc Fest.

    Federico Guarascio originally hails from Italy and first came to New York Film Academy through the Torno Subito program, a joint public/private sector work study initiative that supports new talent development in the Italian film and television industry and is based in Italy’s Lazio region. New York Film Academy provides the “study” element of the program, with students enrolling in short-term workshops across various NYFA disciplines. Once their program is completed, graduates return to pre-arranged film and television internships in Italy.

    Alex Lora & Federico Guarascio

    Alex Lora & Federico Guarascio

    Guarascio first attended the 4-Week Producing workshop at NYFA’s New York campus, and was so impressed that he subsequently returned to enroll in the 1-Year Conservatory in Producing. Upon graduation, Federico has remained in New York City to work on a variety of film projects, including The Fourth Kingdom.

    “[NYFA] proved to be essential during my journey with this doc,” says Guarascio, “and it would not have been possible for me to get this far without the skills I learned in your classes and, for that, I am immensely grateful.”

    Guarascio’s talent as a producer was evident early on. “As a student, Federico showed all the hallmarks of a fiercely independent producer,” recalls NYFA-NY Chair of Producing Neal Weisman. “He consistently demonstrated a great passion for the process and a curiosity which inevitably led to to interesting projects. It is no surprise that Federico has moved on to find success with films moving onto the festival circuit. We are very proud.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Producing alum Federico Guarascio on the success of The Fourth Kingdom and encourages everyone to check out the film’s trailer, available on Vimeo. 

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    December 16, 2019 • Film Festivals, Producing, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 875

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography Alum Denice Flores Exhibits ‘Naked Cowboy: The Backstory’

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    Most New Yorkers and countless tourists to the city have seen the Naked Cowboy, but probably never outside of Times Square; New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography Alum Denice Flores is changing that with her new exhibition, Naked Cowboy: The Backstory.

    The body of work is the latest from Flores, who hails from Honduras and graduated from NYFA’s 8-Week Photography Workshop at our New York campus in 2014. Naked Cowboy: The Backstory is Flores’s first at the Soho Photo Gallery in Tribeca and opened on December 3. 

    Denice Flores naked cowboy

    Portrait of Robert Burck at home painting his underwear. Queens, NY. February, 2019. ©Denice Flores Almendares

    Naked Cowboy: The Backstory includes an installation as well as a slideshow that follows the life of Robert Burck, who has made himself a New York icon by performing as the Naked Cowboy in Times Square for years. Included in the exhibition will be some of his personal belongings, which will be on display in a recreated version of his living room. 

    Flores mixed traditional photographic methods with audio to create a digital presentation for Naked Cowboy, that together with the installation, gives a look into the subject’s life as an ordinary man, as well as his life as a performer and all that goes into it. The project continues the documentation of people’s inner lives that she has provided in her work since studying at NYFA.

    Flores’s work will be displayed until December 21, and is her second exhibition in the US; her first, The Last Italians, was showcased at New York’s International Center of Photography in 2016. 

    New York FIlm Academy congratulates Photography alum Denice Flores on her latest exhibition and encourages everyone to check out Naked Cowboy: The Backstory at the Soho Photo Gallery.

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    December 6, 2019 • Photography, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 555

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism Update – December 2019

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    While workplace events are starting to give way for holiday events, there is still a lot happening in the New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism department.

    We start off with good news from NYFA grad Clyde Gunter, who is starting a 13-month paid internship program next month at ESPN. Clyde will spend time assigned to various departments across the company, learning how this sports media giant works. At the conclusion, he’ll be given an opportunity to join the ESPN staff. Of course, this means moving to Connecticut where the ESPN “mothership” is located in Bristol. Congratulations, Clyde!

    Broadcast Journalism Update December 2019 Clyde Gunter ESPN

    Continuing with sports, alum Gillian Kemerer—after winning a fellowship to study Russian in Moscow—is now producing a new program for the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), which has 24 member clubs in Belarus, China, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, and Russia. After leaving NYFA, Gillian became the American programming chief (as well as lead US anchor/presenter) for Asset TV. But sports were always her first love, and now she’s found a way to combine hockey and TV. (I wonder how you say “slap shot” in Russian?)

    Broadcast Journalism Update December 2019 Gillian Kemerer
    The Fall 2019 1-Year Broadcast Journalism students had a chance to go behind the scenes at NBC News recently. Thanks to Col. Jack Jacobs (USA, ret.), who is a contributor to MSNBC, they got to visit a network control room, go out onto the studio floor where a program was taking place, plus get their pictures taken on the set of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. By the time our students graduate, they’ve already seen major production facilities.

    Finally, we said goodbye to our Fall 8-Week Broadcast Journalism workshop students. As always, they came to NYFA with a variety of personal goals. They left with a deep skillset, and the knowledge that they are now multimedia journalists.

    New York Film Academy wishes the recent grads the best of luck!

    Broadcast Journalism Update December 2019 8-Week Graduation

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    December 4, 2019 • Broadcast Journalism, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 480

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism Update

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    When last we encountered New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism grad Bryanna “Red Carpet” Reynolds, she was quitting a paying job in Australia to follow her dream to Los Angeles. And while she has only been there a matter of months, she seems to have settled in very well! But her big break came on a “black carpet.”

    View this post on Instagram

    🎬RED CARPET REPORTING IN HOLLYWOOD! Dreams come true 😍 So happy to be reporting for @redcarpetreport I spoke to the stars of American Horror Story @ahsfx at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on the ‘black carpet’ celebration of AHS celebrating their 💯th episode ✔️ Still can’t believe this happened 😍 A year ago I was dressed up as a bird/pumpkin being boiled in a cauldron on a Kids’ show and this year I am interviewing on red carpets in Hollywood 🤣 Believe in yourself and chase your dreams! Thank you so much to @redcarpetreport for believing in me 👏 and allowing me this opportunity 🤩 Content will be available online soon! Stay tuned for more next week 💕 Thank you to my family, friends and colleagues who also believed in me and got me this far! I couldn’t have done it without you all 💕 . . . . #producer #believe #reporter #tv #dream #achieve #broadcast #aspire #journalist #goals #la #aimhigh #media #bryannareynolds #lovemylife #hollywood #losangeles #freespirit #positivevibes #aussiesinla #beyou #australian #australiansinfilm #americanhorrorstory #fx #redcarpet #ahs #hollywoodforevercemetry

    A post shared by Welcome To The Days Of My Life (@bryannareynolds) on

    Another alum who is doing well, this time in New York, is Nicole Abebe. Nicole is back from Lagos, and getting some NYC media experience. She writes, “I’m a commerce reporter at the Daily Mail. So I write articles on fashion, beauty and lifestyle products.”

    International students who complete the 1-Year Broadcast Journalism conservatory are eligible to remain and work in the United States for one year, in order to receive Optional Practical Training (OPT).

     

    Sometimes it takes a while for news to make its way from Tokyo to New York. So I just learned about a NYFA alumni event that took place in Japan a little while ago. Ryo Matsuo was there to represent the Broadcast Journalism department. (That’s him on the right, in the picture below.) Ryo is a busy multimedia journalist in Tokyo, putting into practice the skills he learned at NYFA.

    Ryo Matsuo Broadcast Journalism Update

    And speaking of graduates, congratulations to the September 2019 4-Week Broadcast Journalism students. Here they are on Graduation Day. I will leave it up to you to pick out the two faculty members in the picture. Here’s a hint…Daniel Hernandez and Fabiola Torres.


    Finally, I am not a NYFA grad. I have been at the school for 6+ years, and I still don’t have a certificate. (Obviously I am not applying myself…) However, I know enough to be heading back to Kazakhstan in early December to co-teach a 1-Week Journalism workshop sponsored by the US State Department. (I was there at a conference in April.) 

    Given that I don’t speak either Kazakh or Russian (the second national language), I am going to be relying a lot on NYFA faculty member Evgenia Vlasova. As all of our grads know, Genia’s Russian language skills are flawless!

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    November 14, 2019 • Broadcast Journalism, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 422

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre Alum Lisa Monde Stars in Off-Broadway Anne Frank Musical

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    Lisa Monde, an alum of the Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at New York Film Academy (PCMT at NYFA) recently appeared in Anne Frank, The Musical, an Off-Broadway limited production that ran in September. 

    Monde plays Edith Frank, the mother of Anne Frank, the teenage girl whose posthumous diary has become one of the most read and discussed stories of the Holocaust. The production was the domestic Off-Broadway premiere of a successful French musical, and featured a dozen artists recreating the life of Anne Frank with music and lyrics written by Jean Pierre Hadida.

    Lisa Monde
    Monde hails from Russia and was one of the very first alumni of NYFA’s Musical Theatre program, having attended the 1-Year conservatory in 2009 at NYFA’s New York campus. She is an award-winning actress, singer, director and writer, who began her career in Europe and has since worked Off-Broadway in various plays and musicals. 

    Her credits include Dali’s Dream (Coco Chanel); Arsene Lupin VS Sherlock Holmes (AJ Raffles Holmes); The Elizabeth Taylor Story (Elizabeth Taylor); Ghost Writers (Mary Shelley); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hippolyta); Of Mice and Men (Curley’s Wife); La Cage Aux Folles (Jacqueline); Dracula. Finding of a Shadow (Mina Murray); Teach Me How to Die (Poet); True Confessions of the Straight Man (Rebecca, various); and Romeo and Juliet (Lady Capulet).

    Additionally, Monde has appeared in the web series Existentialism and Callie and Izzy and starred in the feature film The Most Dangerous Man UVX by Future Proof Productions, which is set to premiere later this year. Monde has also has produced, written (book and music), and directed eight staged musicals and seven plays.

    “I am very honored and excited to be playing the part of Edith Frank,” says Monde of her latest role. “First of all, playing Edith is a challenge, in the best possible way. I remember, how when I studied at NYFA, we did character work and learned how to prepare as actors—thorough research, lots of reading, trying out different approaches and emotions for the character. And I do the work every time and apply those skills in my career pretty much every day!

    “Since it’s a musical—it’s not just about telling the immortal story of Anne Frank and her life in the Secret Annex, but also about expressing the feelings and complex emotional states of characters through music,” continues Monde. “Which brings me to the second exciting challenge—music. The composer and author of Anne Frank, The Musical, Jean-Pierre Hadida, has created a very complex musical score, which is meant for singers with great technique and extensive vocal ranges … I really hope that thanks to the rich musical material, very important story—which we all should remember and never forget—and an interesting creative approach of the director/producer, David Serero, this musical will extend its run and find its way to Broadway!”

    Lisa Monde Anne Frank
    Monde was joined in the cast of Anne Frank, The Musical by David Serero (Otto Frank), Kristyn Vario (Anne Frank), SaraKate Coyne (Margot), Wendell Hester (Peter), Jacob Waid (Herman Van Pels), Mackenzie Tank (Augusta Van Pels), Erik Contzius (Fritz Pfeifer), Jordan Flippo (Miep), Alex Schecter (Slammer and U/S), and Emily Samuelson (Ensemble and U/S). The production was directed by David Serero and adapted into English by Dylan Hadida. Performances were held at the Center for Jewish History and ran from September 11 – 24, 2019.

    New York Film Academy congratulates PCMT at NYFA alum Lisa Monde on her latest role and wishes her success as her career, both on- and off-stage, continues to grow!

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    October 1, 2019 • Musical Theatre, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 186

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alumni Debut Feature Film ‘Cheerleader’

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Filmmaking alum Irving Franco debuted his first feature film, Cheerleader, produced in collaboration with two fellow NYFA alumni, brothers Dario and Fabián Vejarano.

    Irving, who grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from NYFA’s 1-Year Filmmaking conservatory in 2008 at NYFA’s New York campus. There he met fellow 1-Year Filmmaking student Dario Vejarano, who originally hails from Spain and who shot Cheerleader as director of photography. His brother Fabián attended NYFA’s 8-Week Screenwriting workshop in July 2014.

    Irving Franco Cheerleader

    NYFA alum Irving Franco

    “My time at NYFA was really important to me,” says Franco. “That’s where I met some great friends and long-term collaborators. That’s where I had the chance to try things, experiment, mess up, and learn. Filmmaking is not easy, but it is a deeply rewarding experience. NYFA is where that started for me.”

    Franco’s hard work, networking, and experimenting paid off as he was able write and direct a feature film, Cheerleader, which has gone on to perform well on the festival circuit since its premiere. 

    The film tells the story of Mickey, a promiscuous teenager reeling from heartbreak who seeks calculated revenge on her ex-boyfriend. To date it’s been an Official Selection for a dozen film festivals across the country—including the New Orleans Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, and Florida Film Festival—picking up several nominations and awards along the way, including two special jury prizes and a top 40 ranking out of 7,500 Slamdance Film Festival submissions.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA alumni Irving Franco, Dario Vejarano ,and Fabián Vejarano on the success of Cheerleader and encourages everyone to check out the film, available now on iTunes and Amazon video.

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  • New York Film Academy New York (NYFA-NY) Chair of Cinematography Piero Basso Shoots New Features & TV Series

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    It’s been a busy year for cinematographer Piero Basso, AIC—in addition to becoming the new Chair of Cinematography at New York Film Academy New York (NYFA-NY), Basso has recently seen the premieres of two feature films he worked on as director of photography and will soon be seeing the debut of a television series he shot.

    Basso, who originally hails from Italy and was an instructor at NYFA for years before becoming Cinematography Chair, served as director of photography for the feature film Working Man. The film received a strong welcome at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, with Basso’s cinematography especially highlighted in a positive review from The Hollywood Reporter. 

    With a solid cast and great looking photography, the film is expected to have a strong run on the festival circuit and will hopefully reach a larger and larger audience.

    Piero Basso
    Dafne
    , a feature film Basso shot in Italy last summer, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in the Panorama section and went on to win the prestigious FIPRESCI award for Best Feature Film of Panorama. 

    The film has an upcoming release in Italy and has been already sold in several countries around the world (France, Spain, and Japan, to name a few), and will also most likely have a very strong festival presence. The film has been very well received by critics, including a positive review covering the film’s award-winning premiere at Berlin.

    In addition to the two features, Basso also shot a high-profile television series for one of Italy’s major networks, RAI. The series was shot over a year ago but its upcoming premiere will coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Aquila Earthquake, which is the fictional drama’s subject. Basso served as cinematographer for all 12 episodes of the high-quality series, which will be premiering later this Spring.

    These projects haven’t distracted Basso from his new duties as Cinematography Chair, however. “Since I became the Chair of the Cinematography department last fall I have been crazy busy figuring out how to run the program and make sure the student experience is at its best as it was with my predecessor,” Basso tells NYFA. “But now it’s starting to feel like the time to work on expanding and promoting the program to make sure it will find even better and more students in the future.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA-NY Chair of Cinematography Piero Basso on the premieres of his work and looks forward to seeing his further success in both cinema and with our students right here at NYFA!

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    March 2, 2019 • Cinematography, Faculty Highlights • Views: 183

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) to Host National Bullying Prevention Month Screening of “Thirsty”

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    October is National Bullying Prevention Month and to bring awareness to the cause, the Filmmaking school at New York Film Academy (NYFA) is hosting a screening of Thirsty with its filmmakers. Described by as a “post-queer musical biopic,” Thirsty follows bullied girly-boy Scott Townsend as he grows into revered drag queen Thirsty Burlington, fighting obstacles along the way only to discover what he really wants is self-acceptance.

    The musical drama was released in 2016 and won Audience Choice for Best Narrative Feature at the Boston LGBT Film Festival, Best Narrative Feature at the Harlem International Film Festival, and the Jury Prize at the Portland Film Festival. It will be screened at NYFA New York’s 1st Floor Theatre on October 11th.

    Margo Pelletier directing Marilyn Matarrese and Deirdre Lovejoy

    Margo Pelletier directing Marilyn Matarrese and Deirdre Lovejoy

    The screening will be followed by a Q&A with producer Lisa Thomas, actors Jonny Beauchamp (who plays “middle” Scott Townsend), and Michael DiGioia (Uncle Gene), Choreographer Alexandra Amirov, and editor and NYFA alum Fabrizio Famá. Thomas is an industry veteran who has worked on Wonder Showzen and Ugly Americans. Beauchamp has appeared in Penny Dreadful and Stonewall. Famá has worked on many Italian feature films, documentaries, and shorts.

    The 97-minute feature film was directed by the late filmmaker Margo Pelletier, who was known for her exploration of gender and identity. She previously made the documentary Freeing Silvia Baraldini. Thirsty stars Scott Townsend as himself, lending a unique realism to its ability to tell a story based on his life. Deirdre Lovejoy (The Wire, The Blacklist) co-stars as Townsend’s addiction-addled mother Doris. Keith Leonard plays opposite her as Townsend’s absent and abusive father. Before her death, Pelletier had told Variety that a “good percentage” of the cast is LGBTQ.

    National Bullying Month began in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. It was originally the first week in October and has since expanded to include the entire month. Studies have shown bullying causes “school avoidance, loss of self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression.” Learn more at StopBullying.gov. If you or someone you know is struggling, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online or at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You may anonymously report cyber bullying here and also find help and resources here.

    Prior to the Thirsty screening, NYFA will also be hosting a Wellness Day event from noon to 5pm on the 5th floor student lounge in NYC. View some statistics on bullying below:

    National Statistics

    Been Bullied
    • 28% of U.S. students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying.
    • 20% of U.S. students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.

    Seen Bullying

    • 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.
    • 70.4% of school staff have seen bullying. 62% witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month and 41% witness bullying once a week or more.
    • When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time

    Watch the trailer for Thirsty below:

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    September 21, 2018 • #WomenOfNYFA, Diversity, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Musical Theatre • Views: 1492

  • Alum Ludovic Coutaud Brings Lunatic Clowns to the Drama Book Shop

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    New York City is a thrilling and challenging place to be an artist. For NYFA Acting for Film Conservatory alum Ludovic Coutaud, creating site-specific shows crafted to play off iconic performances spaces within the city has helped him forge a specific and entirely original path as a performer, producer, and creative director.

    Coming up this summer, Lunatic Clown And Cie, the international theatre company Coutaud founded and serves as artistic director, brings The Book Wives Club (or The Closeted Beards) to the iconic Drama Book Shop library. Here, he tells the NYFA Blog what it’s like to perform original clown shows in New York City, and why it’s important for artists to produce their own work.

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

    LC: I studied Acting for Film at NYFA in 2011, and had a blast learning from this very talented faculty. I had visited the campus two months prior as a New York tourist with my parents and loved the idea of studying acting in another language among other foreigners. That is something that makes New York Film Academy such a strong, diverse school. We were 12 students in my class and only three Americans were present. I remember liking to call my class the United Nations of NYFA.

    NYFA: Why acting and directing? What draws you to storytelling through performance?

    LC: I started directing in Marseille, France where I am from, with my first acting teacher directing the end-of-year kids’ shows. It was a true leap of understanding the craft even better, and I found myself being able to communicate my directions more specifically having known what it was like to receive notes. It also taught me the importance of collaboration.

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

    LC: I loved every class for several reasons. The one I discovered entirely and had the most fun with was maybe Maggie Reed’s TV Sitcom and Soap Opera class during the second semester. These formats are very uncommon where I am from (especially the laugh tracks in the background). I learned lots of new tricks and techniques that I still use to this day.

    NYFA: Tell us a bit about your company Lunatic Clown And Cie. What inspired you to start the company, and how do you juggle your multinational and genre-bending productions?

    LC: I have written, directed and produced a dozen of shows in New York City under my name and I have developed a new style through these selections of projects. I’m now six years into the process — but I’ve been called a “clown” all my life!

    For those who know, clowning is a word that resonates out of the ordinary for certain cultures. For example, here in America clowns are often associated with birthday parties and dark serial killer stories. Well, my company, style, and the values behind every show aren’t remotely close to that. I call my clowns “tall children,” or poetic souls. Many names could be found. The style is complex.

    When I first discuss it with the actors involved in my company, I share information with them — like a chart of what to do and not do, and how to find the goal to achieve. Each clown piece is one simple, heartfelt story. I want to always find all the possible nuances and converse about the topic with all my clowns one on one.

    After 7 years juggling between the arts and other wonderful jobs, I have luckily been able to maintain my main target to why I came to New York in the first place. That’s also why it was time for me to brand all of my style under a name that would be catchy, mysterious yet personable: Lunatic Clown And Cie.

    NYFA: As a producer and performer, what challenges do you face when creating your shows, and how do you overcome those challenges?

    LC: Producing a show is hard work, yes, but if you do believe thoroughly in the project, things seem to flow a bit more. Throughout the years, struggles have shifted. My hat of producer joins creative, executive (financing), and supervising roles. Where other projects would hire three people, I found myself loving to do these three positions. My style being different, I needed to have very strong collaborators by my side who would understand me 100 percent. From show to show, I have found that person to assist me along the way on one or two projects, co-direct or even invest in the shows — and most importantly, friends who believed in my work.

    To this day, gathering a group of passionate risk takers, willing to join a community of artists and be clowns, has been a challenge. From all these hats, I would say I added the one of “eager artist hunter” to amplify the panel of the performers who I had the chance to work with.

    NYFA: Your summer show The Book Wives Club (or The Closeted Beards) uses clowning to explore the theme of denial. What an interesting combo — what led you to this theme? Why this show, now?

    LC: The Book Wives Club (or The Closeted Beards) takes on the very important theme of denial indeed because it has been a subject of mine for a long time. My first short play Denial was a success, also at the Drama Book Shop, in 2016. It was a piece with words and lots of audience members came to find me afterwards and said, ”Did you write this? Thank you. I would love to see more about that theme from you in the future.”

    I remember thinking how interesting that was, so I did find the inspiration to write two new pieces: Look at Me, and now this one. This time, I decided to explore that major topic through physicality only. Again, you realize that clowning and performance art here is the same family for me.

    Timing is very interesting and the society we live in fascinates and aggravates me at the same time. I had a list of eight shows of mine waiting around and I picked this one because I got the Drama Book Shop. This the third time that I have contacted the Drama Book Shop team. Four pieces of mine have swept the stage of the Arthur Seelen Theatre already and this time I had decided to rock the library.

    That location is ideal for several reasons; it is an actor’s temple, it gathers stories waiting to be told, it is a pleasure to work with the staff and is a centered location for many involved. The show is not Rated R but for everyone. This piece is for all. I look forward to discussing this piece with the audience members.

    NYFA: What’s next for you and The Book Wives Club (or The Closeted Beards)?

    LC: The Lunatic Clown And Cie show Voyage will be next at the New York New Works Theatre Festival 2018 at Theatre Row in September.

    NYFA: Would you say that your time at NYFA was at all useful for preparing for the work you are doing now?

    LC: NYFA was indeed very helpful since I had the chance to work on several student films and learned from other departments and teachers. My curiosity and the proximity of campuses made me eager to keep learning and that hasn’t changed.

    Congratulations, Ludovic! If you’re in New York City, get your tickets for The Book Wives Club (or The Closeted Beards) here.

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