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  • “On the Other Side of the Wall” With Elizabeth Grimaldo

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    Elizabeth Grimaldo was already a household name in her native Panama when she came to study Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy, but since then her career has truly crossed international borders. Now based in Miami, the singer/songwriter and actress recently made her U.S. television debut on Telemundo NBC ’s Al Otro Lado Del Muro, tackling an intense storyline involving immigration, human trafficking, and unbreakable family love.

    Here, Elizabeth shares a bit of her amazing story with the NYFA Blog.

    Feliz Miercoles?? ?: @mauricionovoaofficial

    A post shared by Elizabeth Grimaldo ? (@lizagrimaldo) on

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

    EG: I’ve been on TV since I was 12 years old as a singer, which is also my profession. It started in a national singing contest for kids (Canta Conmigo), which opened so many doors for my career in Panama. At the age of 15, I started acting in my first soap opera as the main character, and it was an amazing experience. My next big project, at the age of 18, was Romeo and Juliet the Musical as Juliet, at the national theater of Panama City. That was a dream come true, to perform there.

    That play turned on my hunger for the performing arts, and I knew I wanted to dedicate myself to this field. One month after the play finished, I went straight to the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.

    NYFA: Do you have a favorite NYFA moment from your time studying with us? Or did anything about your program particularly surprise and challenge you?

    EG: Many things were challenging. Acting is hard work, and not many people understand what it really takes to build a character who is nothing like you and convince an audience that it’s “real.”

    I remember one of my coaches, Michael, used to challenge me a lot — which I am grateful for, because I admire him as a person and professional. He was so passionate in every class, every detail, and most important, he wanted us to do what it takes to be great. He cared and wanted us to succeed. He told us once, “Imagine all the secrets that someone would need to know about you to play you perfectly.”

    That was the most challenging part for me, because I realized in that moment how far I was from knowing my character. I realized what it takes to do the job. It’s not acting; its life, and a lot of research.

    NYFA: Before coming to NYFA, you acted in Panama’s Summer Dreams. How has your process changed regarding performing, since your studies and other experiences in Miami?

    EG: It’s totally different. I started to act without having studied acting. Now that I have studied acting (which you never stop doing), I wish I could go back and do it again with what I know now. It’s been a satisfying and fun process.

    NYFA: For our international student community, can you offer any advice on studying in the U.S.? Can you tell us a little bit about your experience of coming from Panama to NYFA Los angeles?

    EG: It was the best decision of my life. It’s hard yes, but it’s so worth it.

    I know it’s scary to leave home and pursue a dream by yourself out there, but let me tell you something: it’s going to change your life in so many positive ways! I accept that I felt overwhelmed many times missing home and feeling lonely, but all those situations that I went through back then in Los Angeles made me the strong, independent, and passionate woman that I am today.

    NYFA made me grow as a professional and a human being. I learned so many things and I am grateful and happy for it.

    NYFA: How did your experience on Canta Conmigo come about? What was it like achieving second place?

    EG: It was amazing. It changed my life, basically. So many doors opened for me after. Since then my career in Panama has been accepted and successful, thanks Gob and to the people that has been supporting me since the beginning. I feel blessed that I have been able to represent my country in the U.S. and make them proud.

    NYFA: As a singer and musician, what most inspires your work?

    EG: I could say experiences, in every sense of word, which led me to start writing songs. It’s funny because that process started when I was at NYFA living by myself for the first time. I wrote my first songs back then.

    I use to think I couldn’t write lyrics, but I was wrong. Experiences are necessary to tell stories from the heart.

    But what inspires me the most is my mom. She is my drive, the one who encouraged me to do this and helped me in everything. She believed in me since I was three years old and sang for the first time, Cucurrucucu Paloma. Everything I do is dedicated to her.

    NYFA: Can you tell us how your work with Telemundo came about, and a bit about your character?

    EG: This February I had my debut on American television in the Telemundo NBC series Al Otro Lado Del Muro, which means “the other side of the wall.” I still don’t have words to express how happy I am for this opportunity. It was an honor to work with renowned actors such as Gabriel Porras, Litzy Martinez, Marjorie De Sousa and Adriana Barraza, the Oscar nominee for the movie Babel, who was my coach here in Miami at her school Adriana Barraza Black Box. Being able to work with Adriana on my first job was a dream come true.

    The series talks about immigrants and their different stories. My character is Raquel Aranda, a Salvadoran immigrant who arrives in the U.S., running from the human trafficking. Later, she is separated from her family and unjustly deported to Mexico. She tries to cross the border, again facing dangers in order to be with her family and her one-month old child.

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  • NYFA Acting Graduate Publishes New Book Based on Creativity

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    Sinapsis

    New York Film Academy acting graduate Dr. Ariel Orama López published a new theoretical framework based on Creativity and the recent findings of Neuroscience: the textbook is called CRËATIVE SYNAPSE: CRËATE.YOUR.UNIVERSE© (2013). It is the first theoretical framework that explains the behavior of the human being by integrating the following variables: creativity, neuroscience, and the new influence of the virtual universe. The collection book will be presented in the atrium of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, in a distinguished context of artists, health professionals and academics.

    Dr. Gregory J. Quirk, a prominent American researcher specialized in Neuroscience & Luca Spaghetti, the well-known Italian amico writer -who served as a guide to Elizabeth Gilbert on her journey through Italy while writing Eat Pray Love– elaborated the prologues of this substantial investigative work of thirteen years: they provide in their prologues a nourished and accurate view of this text book, according to their experiences. The art of the book includes the precious paintings and drawings of Ektor Rivera, Celestino & Ramon Bruin (from the Netherlands).

    The text arises from a practical & theoretical framework created by Dr. Ariel Orama López that departs from his preparation, experience and knowledge in science, human behavior, natural sciences and performing arts. It includes experiences of the author -with a logbook on his sensible hands- in contexts gifted with creativity and spirituality such as Mexico, California, Spain and Italy.

    AG COLOR

    Dr. Ariel Orama Lopez

    Ariel is a Puerto Rican professional actor & psychologist. He is a collegiate actor of the Colegio de Actores of Puerto Rico, a certified Executive Coach (specialized in Crëative Life Coaching) from TISOC, Barcelona, Spain and a licensed clinical psychologist. He was selected 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 & professor Adriana Barraza.

    Ariel Orama has worked in commercials, theatre, short films, indie films, documentary, series, television, media writing, and voice-overs, summing more than 200 projects in arts (2001-2013). He is also a composer and singer: one of his songs (Seré/I’ll be) was selected for the Puerto Rican dramatic documentary The Eyes of the People (producers: Roberto Ponce & Gladys Albino) and his song (Alto Vuelas/ Flying Higher) was selected as the official Puerto Rican song for the World March from the Peace, celebrated in Argentina and New Zealand.

    He performed in fourteen Short-Films in California during his NYFA training in Acting for the Film (Los Angeles). Recently, he was selected as the Creative Coach & Consultant for the television program Idol Kids Puerto Rico (from the recognized English franchise Idol ©) and have offered courses at the Colegio de Actores de Puerto Rico and other relevant forums about Psychology of Character.

    Ariel directed and starred on the Puerto Rican Short-Film ESTEB∆N, which received national and international laurels and/or nominations (Director’s Choice: Best Film, Top Ten Film, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Editing & Best Music) in following contexts: Spain, California, Orlando and Puerto Rico.

    The Puerto Rican actor has received different awards in performing arts, including Best Direction Selection, Best concept, Best actor & Best Script. Ariel was one of the five recipients of the Sor Isolina Ferré Medal in Education of the Government of Puerto Rico, unique National distinction in service and education.

    Dr. Orama is member of the new movement Voces Unidas por el Cine Puertorriqueño and this special project has been presented on Telemundo (Acceso Total) expressing about of all this wonderful initiatives and his vision about the film in the Island.

    Currently, Ariel is co-directing and working as the scriptwriter (producer: Vane Vélez) for a documentary that will be presented on Festivals based on the emerging Film Industry in Puerto Rico -the “Shining Star of the Caribbean”-, called CINECONTRASTES©: it includes testimonials of relevant figures such as Jacobo Morales, Idalia Pérez Garay, Vicente Juarbe, among others relevant figures of the Industry.

    The book appeals to artists, academics, psychologists and to the general public. It is published in Spanish and soon in English. It can be acquired in different libraries of the World, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony.

    Prsentacion libro Dr Orama sept2013

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    September 9, 2013 • Acting, Diversity, International Diversity, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 8719

  • The Brazilian Invasion

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    DeboraRodrigues&AlDanuzio2

    Over the years, the New York Film Academy has welcomed many talented actors and filmmakers from Brazil. This past year has provided much of the same. Acting for Film student, Al Danuzio, has worked as an actor in film, TV, and musical theater, working for Latin companies like Telemundo-NBC. The 24 year old actor, from Maranhão, has lived in the United States for five years now and hopes to eventually return to São Luis after he completes his studies at NYFA in 2015. “My goal is to be able to bring great productions from there (US) over here,” says Danuzio. “Bring professionals from there to here, produce things here to take there.”

    When asked about his experience at NYFA, Al says, “[NYFA] The best decision I ever made in my professional life. I feel I am being prepared by some of the top professionals in the film industry – people who are actually working. Also, I am surrounded by people who take the craft as a serious profession.”

    Al has also worked as an Assistant Producer of the New York Casting of La Voz Kids for Telemundo-NBC and El Factor X for Mundo Fox – both Spanish versions of the reality shows The Voice and The X Factor.

    This September, he plans to shoot a few more films, including How to Kill My Boyfriend, with NYFA director Alfonso Perugini, and Bom Dia with fellow NYFA Brazilian actress, Debora Rodrigues.

    Since coming over to study Acting for Film a year ago, Debora has acted in around 37 movies, booked two roles in plays, received an award for Best Short at the “Best Shorts Festival” in California, and performed at venues like Dixon Place, The Players Club, and Ripley Studios.

    “NYFA has been an amazing experience where you can make a lot of movies, meet a lot of people with the same interests, learn how to act on a movie set, and literally live your dream!” exclaims Debora. “Since starting, I have raised the bar on my overall goals. I will continue to work hard and apply everything that I’ve learned in class to the real world.”

    The two recently attended this year’s Brazilian Film Festival in New York City. The annual event honors the best and the brightest of Brazil’s innovative new cinema. It brings together Brazilian celebrities, actors, musicians, directors, producers, and, needless to say, is a terrific networking opportunity. “The quality and quantity of Brazilian productions have increased a lot in the last decade,” says Danuzio.

    Al and Debora are just two of the many talented actors, filmmakers and performers that have honed their craft at the New York Film Academy over the years. We look forward to meeting many more talents in our workshops in Rio and trips to São Paulo, as well as those who venture out to our LA and NYC locations.

     

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