September 30, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Five Questions for a Fall Semester at Tisch Student

Doug Gleicher left New York City for St. Louis but his passion for music brought him back. He is spending his fall semester taking classes in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music through the Semester at Tisch Program. Here’s a little more about Doug:

Why did you want to study away for a semester?
I grew up in New York City and obviously feel a strong connection to it. When I moved to St. Louis to attend Washington University, I didn’t know exactly what my passion was. Now that I know it is music and entertainment, leaving St. Louis to study in one of the epicenters of the music industry seemed like a no-brainer.

Your major at Washington University is Comparative Literature. Why recorded music at Tisch?
I major in Comparative Arts at Wash. U. because I love writing and foreign language. The music majors at Wash. U. are focused heavily on classical music, but my focus is contemporary and popular music: Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B, Reggae, etc. The Wash. U. music department is great, but for what I’m interested in, making the move to ReMu at Tisch and studying exactly what I’m passionate about was an easy decision.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gleicher.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gleicher.

Please tell us about some of the courses you’re taking at Tisch.
Right now I’m taking a lot of in-studio courses, which is amazing. I’m learning how to mix, engineer, and record at the highest level. I’m also taking voice lessons and a music business course, and I’m starting a course on women as entrepreneurs at the end of October. Not to mention working in A&R at Columbia Records – which I got connected to through ReMu.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gleicher.

Photo courtesy of Doug Gleicher.

What are you most looking forward to this semester?
I’m most looking forward to being fully immersed in music and music business. It still seems surreal to me that I’m being graded on things I would be doing on my own time anyway. There’s always something going on in the city as well, so I try to go to at least three shows a week – a luxury that you won’t find in many other places.

A number of students who participate in the Semester at Tisch program have never been to New York City prior to entering the program. What’s a must to see and do in New York City?
A must see and do in the city… That’s tough. There’s so much to do. I’m sure everyone says see a Broadway play but I’d say just experience the culture of as many parts of the city as possible. Don’t rush to make it to Times Square either. There are so many great things to see and do so I also wouldn’t stress over trying to do everything. Go try a restaurant in a new neighborhood as often as you can, and try to get to a few concerts. Also just go out one night and see where you end up.

Applications for the Spring Semester at Tisch Program are being accepted on a rolling basis. Apply now!

You can follow Doug on Instagram @dougieson.

August 22, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Adrián Fernández on Cuba and Photography

Adrián Fernández will be a visiting scholar at Tisch this fall. He teaches Photography: On Location in Havana in the spring semester. In this interview, Adrián shares his creative process and what students should expect from the semester in Cuba.

What drives your creative vision as a photographer?
I pursue images that bring questioning to an audience, that are suggestive further than visual experience only. My photographs are means of dialogue with a certain context, object, aesthetic or concept. Studio photography has brought great opportunities for several of my series as I can control every detail about the final image. In my case that’s important, I like to create an image, to build it from the ground up, leaving few spaces to causality. I plan myself before I photograph; I sketch and write about some of my ideas and how can they be produce, afterwords the image is a result of all the previous work. I get inspired by films, advertising photography, art history in general but above all things I get inspired by things that happen in the everyday life, and most accurately, by Cuba. I find my roots to be deeply adhere to my country and most of my inspiration comes from there, although my photographs at some point don’t have a sign that says MADE IN CUBA, by the contrary. When photographing I aim for wider meanings and ideas that can exist within the image and that enables its life once it’s out there far from its original context and from the artist that produced it. A good photograph has enough autonomy to have a life of her own.

Do you have a particular style of photography?
Every project I undertake demands its own way of photographing. I always look for the most effective way of photographing for each series, that, not necessarily needs to look similar than the previous one. Each series has to offer me a new challenge somehow, otherwise it is to boring if I end up using the same method I used last time. Each series has a time of research in which I define every aspect about the image. Once I settle that, then comes the production moment, when I exploit the entire workflow getting results and accumulating enough work to edit afterword. When I feel I’m repeating myself with the same formula, then that’s the moments I stop and move on with something else.

22940026Cuba is certainly a unique place. What makes it unique from an artist’s perspective?
I agree, is definitely a unique place!!! From my perspective it’s the mixture of cultures, races, tradition, language and idiosyncrasy what makes it so rich and open. I’m not talking about blue beaches and palm trees and old American cars in the streets of Old Havana. That’s definitely a part, which those of you who decide to come to Cuba will see, enjoy and get tired of too. I’m talking about the people, about how they drive themselves, about how Cuban society works on a daily basis. I’m talking about walking a lot and seeing and experiencing first hand. It’s a complex context that escapes a tourist’s shallow eyes, but when observing closer, a much deeper Cuba reveals.

What do you hope students in the Tisch Cuba program capture with their lens?
What I always request of my students as our program begins in Havana is that they get rid of every previous assumption of how they thought Cuba and Havana would be like (because it’s not). They must be open minded and be willing to immerse into Havana’s daily life, meeting
persons in the street, going to shows, fairs, taking the buses etc…all of that will give them a firsthand experience that nobody can change or interfere with. Then, their photographic work has to be a result of that experience and their thoughts about it.

What will students take away from spending a semester in Cuba?
Each of them will have a different experience by the time the programs ends.  Regardless of their personal feelings by the time of their departure (some of them will love to stay 3 more months, others not so much), to have been in Havana, Cuba for three months it’s today an invaluable opportunity as they are accessing a much discussed and criticized country to which (yet) not so many students (Americans) access, so it preserves the unknown’s exotic patina. They’ll acquire extended knowledge in Cuban arts and culture as well as society all through the hands of field professional of the art from the Ludwig Foundation and Havana University which will be your main host institutions from the Cuban side.

Photographer Adrián Fernández studied at the Superior Institute of Art and at the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts. His solo work has been exhibited in Cuba and the United States, including the Houston Center for Photography in Houston, Texas, and the Center for the Development of Visual Arts and the Juan David Gallery at the Yara Movie Theatre Cultural Center, both in Havana, Cuba.
Read his full bio and visit his website.

The application deadline for the spring 2015 program Photography on Location: Havana is October 1. Learn more and apply.


August 19, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Faculty Firsts

We each have a story, especially about our first job.  Sometimes our first professional opportunity fuels our passion and launches our career, and sometimes it terrifies us or others.

Below is an excerpt from our upcoming newsletter article “Faculty Firsts”. We asked Tisch Open Arts faculty how they started in their particular craft and what their first “real” job in their industry was. This is what Angela Pietropinto, director of the Open Arts studio, had to say:

Looking back, I feel that I was blessed to have been born and raised in Greenwich Village. Years ago, the Village was teeming with artists, not just stars. The first theatrical production that I saw was The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill starring Jason Robards. It was playing at the famed off-Broadway theater Circle in the Square located at Sheridan Square which I could see from my bedroom window. Like so many small theaters, it has been replaced by luxury apartment buildings.

Angela Pietropinto's copy of the TV Guide which listed the PBS special The Miraculous Mummer. In those days, Angela went by Angela Peters.

Angela Pietropinto’s copy of the TV Guide which listed the PBS special The Miraculous Mummer. In those days, Angela went by Angela Peters.

When it came time to choose a college, I chose NYU’s Washington Square College of Arts and Science partly because I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I was an English major with a Drama minor. In those days, there was no Tisch but NYU had an excellent drama department in the School of Education and that is where I spent most of my time doing plays. It was through my association with NYU that I was given the opportunity to have my first professional experience in a Christmas special which was filmed in St. John the Divine Church and aired on PBS. It was a dance-drama entitled The Miraculous Mummer. With a mixture of pride and horror, my parents watched me come up from a massive pulpit as Satan denouncing the new born babe. And thus began my love affair with theater.

I subsequently went on to get my MFA in Acting at the new-found Tisch School of the Arts in their Graduate Acting Department. Thanks to the training that I received there, I have enjoyed a long career in theater, film and television. This fall I will be working on a new HBO mini-series as well as teaching Tisch Open Arts courses. Although I have performed on five continents, I have never gotten out of the Village or NYU.

–Angela Pietropinto

Angela Pietropinto teaches Acting for Stage and Screen in Semester at Tisch every spring semester. She also teaches Acting I and Comic Relief in Tisch Open Arts every fall semester.

Read more “faculty firsts” in the upcoming Tisch Special Programs newsletter.

July 30, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Taking the Minor in Producing Abroad

Dramatic Writing + Politics + Producing = One Busy Student!

NYU undergraduate student Lizzie Johnson spent part of her summer with Tisch in the Producing in London program, with courses taught by Sharon Badal and Jack Lechner. The two courses she took fulfilled requirements for the Minor in Producing but after catching up with Lizzie, it certainly sounds like other aspects of her studies at NYU will be encouraged by her experience of studying abroad.

Please tell us a little about yourself: I am a sophomore at NYU double-majoring in Dramatic Writing and Politics, and I am pursuing the Minor in Producing. I’m originally from Michigan, but I also lived in Germany and California. Traveling is one of my passions, so Producing in London seemed like a great opportunity for me, especially as a producing minor.

How did taking producing courses in London differ from taking producing courses in New York City? The classes were much more intensive than they would’ve been if I had taken them in New York, but that is expected considering we were squeezing a one-semester class into 12 school days. There was also a big difference in the guest speakers and references. Rather than seeing a show on Broadway and talking about it, we saw Henry IV, Part One at Shakespeare’s birthplace. We also had various guest speakers from the British film industry, such as representatives from the BBC and Film4.

Students in the Producing in London program outside the Warner Bros. Studio.

Students in the Producing in London program outside the Warner Bros. Studio.

Please tell us about the courses Producing Essentials and Media Moguls. What should a student expect? Producing Essentials is all about the basics of being a producer. You learn about acquiring rights, finances, distributing your movie, production, and the producer’s relationship to all parts of TV shows, movies, theatre productions, and new media projects. In Media Moguls on the other hand, you learn about the big Hollywood producers that have molded the American film industry to be what it is today and how they got it there.

Why do you think it’s important to understand the role of a producer in all creative fields, be it film, television, theatre, music, dance, or new media? As a student pursuing the Minor in Producing, it is essential for me to understand the role of the producer in order to later perform my job to my best abilities. Producers are important because they get projects moving and keep them on track, so if you understand your role as the producer, it is easier to make your project a successful piece of art and entertainment.

As a dramatic writing student, how did studying in London inspire you? London is so full of beauty and culture. While New York has a certain energy that fuels my creativity, London has an elegance that is captivating. Being home to so many wonderful authors, poets, and playwrights, inspired me to explore different types of writing that I hadn’t really considered.

What are some of your favorite sites in London? The London Eye at night is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. While it might sound cheesy, I would highly recommend using one of your few free days to take a bus tour. There is so much beauty in the city that it is easy to miss something extraordinary. I always knew that Big Ben would be incredible up close and personal, I did not realize how much intricate details it has and how awe-inspiring it is when the sun hits it. Definitely a great place to be inspired by.

What did you take away from your overall studying abroad experience? Studying abroad was a wonderful experience. I met lots of great people and tried lots of things that I hadn’t otherwise. It was also nice to be there for such a short period of time because I spent so much time trying to see everything that there was no time for me to be homesick. I would recommend this program to anyone considering it.

July 10, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Locking and Popping in New York City

Tisch’s own Alan Watson, administrative coordinator at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, and instructor for the Open Arts summer course Steps Rhythm, and Movement of Hip Hop Dance, will be competing in the hip-hop dance competition StepYaGameUp 2014. This is one of New York City’s most anticipated annual dance competitions.

Alan Watson's photo by Samantha L. Siegel

Alan took some time out today to answer a few questions for us.

How did you get involved in hop hop dance?
After studying briefly in high school, I got involved in hip hop when I moved to New York City to become a student at NYU. Since then, I’ve studied different forms of freestyle hip hop, danced with a few different crews, and now primarily teach and battle.

How would you describe your style of dance?
When I’m battling, it’s all about being funky and charismatic, as I compete in the “Locking” categories at battles. When I’m teaching, I hope to infuse freestyle into my hip hop choreography. In either case, I’m usually keeping it fun with deep connection to the music.

web-AlanWatson-SamanthaLSiegel-46Who influences your moves?
Most of my moves are influenced by “old school” party grooves, popping, locking mixed together to create something new and fresh. I’m always trying to keep a connection to the old while infusing some of the new.

Is this your first time competing at StepYaGameUp?
I’ve competed in StepYaGameUp for 4 years, and each year I feel like I get closer and closer to the goal of eventually winning. We’ll see how this year turns out :)

StepYaGameUp 2014 is produced by the first hip-hop dance choreographer and dance pioneer, Buddha Stretch. The event will be held on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19. Judges on the panel include legendary pioneers in street dance and international street dancers. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Photos of Alan Watson by Samantha L. Siegel.

June 27, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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RADA Helped Marcela Unlock Her Tools

Marcela Biven ’14 (BFA, Drama) spent her final semester at Tisch School of the Arts as part of the London program Shakespeare in Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. We often hear from our RADA program’s alumni that the experience is unlike any other and here Marcela shares her personal story of getting what she “craved” in London.

Why did you want to be part of a specialized program in the Arts of Shakespeare?
As actors we are apprentices to language. We are a playwright’s vessel for the transference of meticulously placed words on a page into agents of change. There is no better way of befriending language then working with Shakespeare. To be immersed and eventually freed from the seeming “confines” of Shakespeare’s vernacular and pentameter was a prospect that enticed and excited me about RADA. Scores of great actors have revered Shakespeare as an actor’s best work out and that was exactly what I craved: material that demands engagement of an actor’s intellect, sentimentality and empathy.

A unique point of the program at RADA is the one-on-one tutorials offered to students. What did you learn about yourself in the tutorials?
Classes at RADA provide a good deal of creative and technical intimacy with the teachers. Generally we worked in two groups of eight. Yet, it was in the one-on-one tutorials that I decisively quit prioritizing my work ethic for time to productively explore. It was in these tutorials that the pressures of “right and wrong” and “good and bad” dispersed from my consciousness and confidence took root. The teachers became creative confidants urging me to never settle but to keep moving forward and through the text, to relax, breathe and let the words coming out of my mouth surprise and excite me.

Spring 2014 RADA cast of Titus Andronicus with director Mel Jessop.

Spring 2014 RADA cast of Titus Andronicus with director Mel Jessop.

Students in the RADA program also collaborate with screenwriting students in the spring and playwriting students in the fall. Please tell us about your collaboration with the writing students?
The collaboration between the screenwriters and the actors kicked off directly after finishing our program and final show at RADA. It was a thrilling time where we diverted from time honored work saturated with the imprint of great portrayals past to explore the fresh, incredible imaginations of our peers. With the writer’s scripts, fresh out of the brain bank and the product of their semester’s work, we found the playfulness of creating something new with the best textual litmus tester as our aids: the writer of the work! And the scripts varied in genre from sci-fi adventure to heart break and drama. It was in this time that I felt the rigor of the semester in Shakespeare inform the confidence I felt in contemporary work.

London is a popular study abroad destination for students. What made the city exciting for you?
London is where a theater lover finds his kindred spirits. As a young actor this exhilarated me, appealing to me to finagle a way to see every film and show possible. Where New York is a buzzing stimulant, London acts similarly but allows space for thoughts to grow on unfamiliar streets and sights unseen. Taking long walks with friends ultimately would turn into adventures the likes of haphazard dance parties on the West Bank bopping along to Indian music, spur of the moment movies at the BFI, running through water fountains, tiny antique and book shops, many pubs with many different personalities and killer coffee stops. While I was very close to the people in my program, sharing a common language made it possible to strike up friendships outside of NYU London.

Now that you’ve graduated, what from your study abroad experience or training at RADA is influencing your professional career?
I have been given the keys to my own actor’s tool box. For some time I felt that I was collecting instruments of knowledge from my teachers only for them to be placed under lock and key in a box that I could not easily access. Leaving RADA I knew the tools, whether insight from teachers or exercises, that I had collected, recovering those from my earlier studies, and I feel ready to build a life as an actor. Even more, I felt my fear of being seen turn to excitement to share what made me feel whole and alive.

The application for Shakespeare in Performance at RADA spring 2015 will be available on July 1. Please visit the Tisch Special Programs website for the full admissions calendar.

May 23, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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The Anticipation of Tisch and NYC

HighSchoolGeneralIn a little more than one month there will be over 200 high school students coming to New York City to spend four weeks at Tisch School of the Arts. The students will be part of the Tisch Summer High School Program and receive professional training in drama, dramatic writing, filmmaking, photography and imaging, and recorded music, as well as an immersion in the arts and culture of New York City.

This is the first article of our three-part series in which we follow five high school students who have been accepted to the Tisch Summer High School Program. What we first wanted to know as they start preparing for this exciting opportunity is what they are looking forward to and hoping to get out of Tisch and living in NYC. Mid-program we’ll check in with them again to learn all about creating and collaborating. At the end of the summer we’ll share with you their final thoughts on their experience at Tisch.

Now let’s meet Austin Weyant (Drama), Alex Welch (Dramatic Writing), Audrey Elizabeth Thomas (Filmmakers Workshop), Annie Choi (Photography and Imaging) and Spencer Light (Recorded Music).


I am 16 years old (soon to be 17), finishing grade 11. I live in Calgary, Alberta and attend Strathcona Tweedsmuir School, a private school (Grades 1-12), located south of Calgary. I was accepted into the Stonestreet Screen Acting workshop. I applied to Tisch because of its great reputation, and because I know will learn a lot from the instructors (and I want to spend the summer in NYC).

At Tisch, I am most looking forward to being around kids like me, who love movies and acting. I am also looking forward to learning from great instructors and improving my acting skills. What’s not to look forward to in NYC? A burger at the Shake Shack in July, Broadway, Times Sq, Central Park at night.

I am hoping to take away new skills, contacts with great instructors who might continue to mentor me, and a group of new friends. I love SNL! It would be a dream come true to meet some of the cast this summer.
–Austin Weyant

Dramatic Writing

I’m a high school junior living in Weston, Massachusetts (a suburb of Boston). I love writing, acting, directing, and dance. I have been accepted to the Dramatic Writing track of study. I applied to this program in order to improve my writing skills, connect with other writers, and spend a summer living and working in New York City at my dream school!

I am most looking forward to working with the incredibly brilliant and qualified Tisch faculty as well as meeting other passionate writers.
I am most looking forward to taking advantage of the amazing cultural opportunities of New York City- seeing plays and analyzing the writing style, etc etc.

I am hoping to leave this program a stronger writer, a better collaborative worker, and with a better sense of myself and my future. I hope to use the cultural offerings of New York City as part of my learning and writing experience this summer
–Alex Welch

Filmmakers Workshop

I live in Seattle, Washington, and I attend Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences. I absolutely love to sing and create films. In my spare time I’m involved with multiple leadership activities, as well as different parts of the arts. I was fortunately accepted into the NYU Tisch Summer Film Program! I have wanted to attend NYU since third grade. A few years ago, before I was eligible to apply I found out about the program and have counted down the days until i was able to apply.

I am really looking forward to meeting young filmmakers with dreams like myself. I can’t wait to collaborate and get involved with them to make incredible pieces of art. I can’t wait to explore the NYU campus and meet people!

I am hoping to learn more about the filmmaking process and to work with others that can teach me while I teach them. I’m really quite excited to extend my skills and help them grow. I just want to keep learning! It would be fun to just explore the city for a while, I would love to have an unscheduled evening to just explore.
–Audrey Elizabeth Thomas

Recorded Music

I am from Los Angeles, California and I attend the Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California. I am extremely interested in pursuing a career in the music industry. I am very passionate about music production and music business. I was accepted to the Clive Davis Institute of Record Music Summer Program for the summer of 2014. I chose to apply for this program for various reasons. Primarily, the programs description really appealed to my interests, and the offered courses fascinated me. Secondly, New York is my favorite city in the United States and I am counting down the days until I can explore the city with new friends.

I am looking forward to getting a hands on education about how artists effectively work in the studio. I am also looking forward to exploring the arts in New York and seeing the culture of the city in all artistic forms.

I’m hoping to take away a greater understanding of the music industry to be able to make my creative visions come to life, make new friends with similar interests with whom I can collaborate musically with, and gain a new appreciation for all artistic art forms in the diverse city of New York. One thing I would love to do while in New York is try all different types of foods and see the Museum of Modern Art, and if possible see as many concerts as possible!
– Spencer Light

Photography and Imaging

I am a junior at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) High School. I enjoy dancing and taking photos. I dance a variety of genres ranging from hip hop to ballet, and jazz to acrobatics. I help out at my dance studio by hosting photo shoots for the ballerinas in their tutus, and that’s what really sparked my interest into applying for the Tisch Summer High School Photography and Imaging Program.

I’m looking forward to learning all the ins and outs of photography like working with film and black and white images. As of now, I only work with my DSLR camera, but by the end of the program I hope to be able to work with both film and Photoshop.

I’m excited about exploring New York City from eating at their famous Shake Shack to standing in the middle of Times Square. Definitely the one thing I want to do while I’m in New York is visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
–Annie Choi

We can’t wait to talk to our students again! The second article in this series will be posted in July. Will they have had a burger at the Shake Shack by then? We’ll find out!

May 20, 2014
by Alana Bonilla
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Four Years Without Coffee

I survived four years without coffee.

Four years ago I was graduating from high school and New York University was my dream school that I would be starting in the fall. That summer I had my very first internship at Warner Bros. Studios in California. When my boss took me out to coffee I ordered hot chocolate (it was the middle of July). He told me that once I moved to New York and was in college all I would drink was coffee. I was a ball of energy and never needed coffee to keep me going.

High School Graduation

When I arrived in August for move-in-day I felt like I was coming home. The summer between my junior and senior year of high school I had participated in the Tisch School of the Arts Summer High School Filmmakers Workshop. That summer made me fall in love with NYU but especially with Tisch. It confirmed that I wanted to study film and more importantly it gave me the opportunity to meet other students that were just as passionate about filmmaking as I was, if not more.

Freshman year

The hardest part of being a freshman was that I didn’t know anything. I went the wrong direction on the subway, I ran out of meal swipes two weeks before school ended and I very quickly spent all my graduation money on Broadway plays, concerts and maybe a little too much shopping.

I also took a class called Three Moments in Witchcraft. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn any spells but I received a good understanding of witches presence throughout history. One of my favorite activities was going on a freshman dorm camping trip! I never thought living in New York City I would have a chance to sleep below the stars.


Freshman year was also my first winter. Since I am from southern California I had never lived in the snow much less owned a winter coat. Having my first snowball fight in Washington Square Park was more fun then I had ever imagined.

First snow angel

As snow turned into flowers blooming I finished my freshmen year.

I returned to Warner Bros. that summer without ever having a sip of coffee. My internship was spent reading scripts and I began to learn the balance of telling a good story and making a lot of money. I enjoyed my summer but I was so excited to go back to school.


My first semester as a sophomore, I enrolled in one of my favorite classes, Sight and Sound: Film. I reunited with my crew from the Tisch Summer High School Program to make five short films shooting on 16mm film and editing on a Steenbeck. Making movies in black and white in New York was simply the best. I did have a few sessions of overnight editing where others were slurping coffee nonstop. I thought I might need coffee but I remained determined and never took a gulp.

we titled our crew Double Indemnity

We titled our crew Double Indemnity


Editing on a Seenbeck

That semester I also took Introduction to Web Design and Computer Principles, I thought I was going to be a computer master but I soon found out the computers were not my thing.

What was my thing was break dance club and joining a sorority. Most of my closest friends were also Film and TV majors. I enjoyed their company but I wanted to get to know other students with different majors. I also wanted to get more involved in the NYU community so I decided to join a sorority. I made friends that majored in chemistry, studio art, and economics. I love Tisch but meeting students who were passionate about something different then me gave me a better understanding of the whole NYU community and not just my Tisch family.

My Sorority

That summer between my sophomore and junior year I worked on Pretty Little Liars at Warner Bros. and had one of my favorite internships ever! I was doing what I loved on a show that was more like a family then anything else. It was difficult to leave my internship but studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic made it much easier. I completed my internship and the next day I flew 12 hours to arrive in Prague!


Studying abroad in Prague was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. I learned the two most important words in Czech: Brambory and Zmrzlina. The first meaning potato and the latter meaning ice cream. I knew no matter what restaurant I went to I would be able to eat both of those things and be happy! For Czechs, instead of coffee, beer was consumed at every meal and was cheaper then water. I shot on 35mm film and also traveled all over Europe. Studying abroad was so valuable because I learned how filmmaking worked in a different part of the world. I liked working with different teaching styles and understanding how to look at telling a story with a different perspective.

Paris Ronda, Spain

For my second semester junior year I returned to New York but I wasn’t quite finished with studying abroad. I enrolled in Topics in Cuban Culture, which is an Open Arts course. All semester we learned about Cuba and for spring break we actually traveled to Havana! It was different then visiting the Czech Republic because I learned about the culture by experiencing it. With Cuba I had an understanding of what it would be like before I went. Meeting the people, dancing and walking around Havana was a beautiful experience. From diving in the ocean to break dance battling a Cuban, it was an experience I am so glad I took advantage of. When I was in Cuba I did have an espresso after every meal but I was soaking in the culture.


I worked at Warner Bros. for my fourth and final summer. I am so glad that Warner Bros. gave me the opportunity to try so many different things while interning and helped me decide what I wanted to do in the entertainment business.

For my fall semester senior year, I worked at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at NBC, 30 Rock and took an Open Arts class that was entitled Motown Legacy. It was a blast working at Jimmy Fallon, taping a live show every day was such a fast paced learning experience that I could not believe how much I got to see. Everyone drank coffee to keep them going but I never had to make it for them. It was also amazing taking a class about Motown. Now whenever a Motown song comes on I can tell you the name of the artist singing and what year it was released.

Jimmy Fallon

I was going to graduate early but I decide that I wanted to get a producing minor and I am so glad I stayed for the final semester. Getting the producing minor opened my eyes to another side of filmmaking that I really enjoyed.

My little sister is a freshman here at NYU in Tisch and I would like to be in New York as she experiences her college career. It is so exciting to watch her go through some of the same experiences and making her own. I still have so much to learn but I am sure it will all go by very fast. I am so happy I took pictures and wrote things down. I have had a variety of shared memories!


I am about to graduate from the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and I can’t believe how fast it went. I now give directions to tourists on how to use the subway. I have my own kitchen and make my own meals. I have become quite the baker. I now know about New York thrift stores and student rush for Broadway. I attend much less concerts and instead use Ticket Central for discounted tickets to movies. My love for NYU has really grown into my love for New York City. I am not ready to leave a city that I am able to navigate so well. I would love to live abroad and may move back to California but I hope to be in New York for at least a little while longer. Moving to New York from California was big step. I am so happy I did it because it gave me so much responsibility. It made moving from New York to Prague a much easier transition. I feel that it has prepared me to make a home wherever I decided to start my career.

I have had several all-nighters including when I spent a whole night on the set of a major motion picture as a background artist and when I stayed up till 4:00am in Prague to hear who won the presidential elections.  My determination has outlasted my need for caffeine for four years!


Working as an background artist on Now you See Me

As I move onto the next chapter of my life I may have a Starbucks cup in hand but I assure you my determination has not dwindled and it is probably nothing more then hot cocoa topped with whipped cream.

May 19, 2014
by Alana Bonilla
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Weekend Adventures: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I wanted to spend a day exploring Wiliamsburg because I have heard there is a lot of great food to try and I wanted to visit a new neighborhood. Going to NYU I often find myself getting in the same routine. I like to stay by school because I know which restaurants I like best and I can easily navigate the area. At least once a month I like to challenge myself by visiting another neighborhood to get a better sense of New York City and its boroughs. I feel that I am living in New York City and I should take every advantage to see as much as I can especially when it is only a subway ride away like Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

You may know Williamsburg,Brooklyn as hipster central but there are many more sides to discover of this popular neighborhood with all things old and new. So take the L train to Bedford Ave. and discover Williamsburg on your own!

I visited Williamsburg through different sites but also through my palate. Brooklyn has a vast amount of cuisine spanning from street food to chocolate made from the best cocoa beans in the world. Williamsburg is known as one of Brooklyn’s “foodiest” neighborhoods so come with an empty stomach because it will be more than full when you head home!

Right as you get off the train you will find Oasis. They have a great selection of Mediterranean food that is easy to eat while walking around. I recommend the Falafel, it was delicious and a perfect snack for my weekend adventure.



While walking around Williamsburg keep your eyes open for street art. It could be stickers under your feet stuck to the ground or it could be a mural of a squirrel by ROA. ROA is a very well known street artist who many paints in black and white. He also usually paints animals that are native to the area, like a squirrel for Williamsburg. If you want to see more of ROA’s work here is a great site!

street art


Now that you have had a falafel and have taken in the street art, I recommend dessert at Mast Brothers. A Mast Brothers Chocolate bar was listed in The New York TimesA History of New York in 50 Objects.”It stated “Brooklyn never hit bottom as deeply as the Bronx, but it began hemorrhaging its population in the 1950s in a mostly white, middle-class exodus. Today, the borough is booming again, inching toward its peak population of nearly 2.7 million in 1940, as young couples gentrify neighborhoods that not long ago were considered marginal at best. Brooklyn has also become a global brand, most identified with artisanal businesses, like Mast Brothers Chocolate of Williamsburg, which opened in 2007.”- Lucas Jackson/Reuters


Mast Brothers’ name comes from the sail boats that bring chocolate to them. They pick the cocoa bean that every chocolate bar is made from. This gives each bar distinct flavors. There are free samples of all the chocolate so make sure you choose the right one…. or ones.


My favorite part of Mast Brothers is that everything is made in Brooklyn including the paper the chocolate bar is wrapped in.


After filling your stomach with some lovely delights I would head down to The Sketchbook Project. The Sketchbook Project is a growing library of sketchbooks made by everyday people and well known artists. Anyone can buy an empty sketch book and decorate it however they would like. Once it is filled you return it to the library and it becomes part of the collection. The coolest part is that you can check out the sketchbooks by creating a library card in just minutes! So grab a cup of coffee and relax into a beautiful sketchbook. Oh, and did I mention it is all free?


If you are in Williamsburg on a Saturday and aren’t sure what to have for breakfast, lunch or dinner, head to Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is open from 11am-6pm on Saturday and has over 100 food vendors. It does get a bit crowded and sometimes the lines get a bit long. Here is the video of the wait at Smorgasburg at Mighty Quinn’s BBQ tent vs. going the Might Quinn’s location in the East Village.

While at Smorgasburg I had Dough which makes wonderfully delicious donuts! These donuts are not your average morning treat. I had the hibiscus donut which was not just a perfect shade of pink, but was also to die for. So whether you prefer sweet or savory Williamsburg has it all and this was a great way to end the day.

Here are directions


I had a fantastic time exploring Williamsburg. I got a library card for the Sketchbook Project and found a new love for chocolate at Mast Brothers. I loved visiting a new neighborhood because it reminds me that I live in a place that has so much to offer. One of my favorite parts about living in New York is that so many different things are so easily accessible. In Williamsburg I found a great mix of food to try and street art to take in. I am sure I will be visiting again soon.


Where are your favorite places to go in Williamsburg?