Written by: Allie Feinstein
Week 7: Monday August 17th-Sunday August 23rd
This week was filled with interesting speakers, all of which had incredible stories and advice to offer to my group of students at the New York Film Academy. Actress Trilby Glover emphasized the importance of being self-motivated in a competitive industry; casting director Ronnie Yeskel expressed her fondness of bold choices, skill, and a great headshot for actors; director Brett Ratner inspired with his own insatiable enthusiasm and tales of his journey to success; actor Jason Alexander noted networking no-no’s. All in all, my goal was to absorb as much information from these people as possible and, with this new sense of enlightenment, chart plans for my own unique future in the business of entertainment.
My weekly update:
Monday August 17th: Marvel – Production Office
Tuesday August 18th: NYFA – Classes
Wednesday August 19th: NYFA – Classes; Master Class
Master Class with up and coming actress Trilby Glover
Thursday August 20th: Marvel – Production Office
Got a tour of the Iron Man 2 editing and special/visual effects departments today!
Friday August 21st: NYFA – Classes Master Classs
Master Class with famous casting director Ronnie Yeskel
Master Class with popular director Brett Ratner
Saturday August 22nd: BBQ at Brett Ratner’s house!
This incredible director welcomed a select group of students into his home, where he insisted on giving a grand tour. In the lower level, Brett has his own private dance floor, specially designed for John Travolta and Olivia Newton John after the release of Grease. Apparently, because they were so famous, they couldn’t go to clubs without interruption so the dance room was built just for them! The home was filled with photographs of popular figures in entertainment who he had befriended such as Michael Jackson and Madonna. I also fulfilled a lifelong goal: seeing an orange Kid’s Choice Awards blimp up close : P After the tour, Brett treated us to lunch and screened various projects including his first student film from his days at NYU, music videos he’d directed for artists like Mariah Carey and Madonna, and a part of his new film New York, I Love You.
His energy was truly inspiring.
Sunday August 23rd: Q&A
Q&A with Jason Alexander at Warner Brothers Studios. In reply to an intriguing question, Jason spoke of not only networking, but networking in the most beneficial way. From my two months in LA I’ve deduced that when you are starting out in this industry and just beginning to build contacts, you encounter so many actors, producers, directors, agents, etc. that it’s difficult to distinguish who is legit from who is all talk no action. Jason’s tips: make sure the relationship can be a two way road, i.e. you each have something to bring to the table and collaboration could potentially enable a goal to be realized. He also cautions not to bring your resume or other information to one person who you believe can get in to the primary person you’re after. For example, Jason said he particularly dislikes when he is given things and asked to pass them on to Jerry Seinfeld :P
Next post…Last Week!