November 26, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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From Summer Student to a Semester Away

Erin Delaney is a visiting student from Kenyon College. She started taking classes at Tisch during the summer of 2013. This semester she is studying away from her home school and spending her fall semester at Tisch focusing on cinema studies. She’s been up to some pretty exciting things while in New York City. Here’s more about Erin:

You took classes at Tisch the past two summers and now you’re here for the fall semester. What keeps bringing you back to Tisch?
I’ve taken cinema studies classes at Tisch the past two summers, and they have been some of my favorite classes I’ve taken thus far in college. I love the blend of writing and film that the major offers – I didn’t even know it was a major until I started taking classes at Tisch. After my first summer, I designed my own course at Kenyon using some of the knowledge I gained at Tisch, a sort of introduction to film history including some basic elements of film criticism and theory, and was able to get the syllabus approved at Kenyon. That allowed me to get my basic cinema history knowledge into place, and now that I’ve given myself a good foundation, I wanted to come back to Tisch to take more advanced classes that I would not be able to teach myself.

How do the courses you are currently enrolled in differ than your area of study back home?
The film department at my home college is only a few years old, and is primarily production based. I’m an English and film double major and am primarily interested in blending the two, which cinema studies allows me to do. Oddly enough, I prefer writing about a film to either viewing a film or actually writing a film. I think there are great overlaps with film theory and literary theory, and I believe in the potential of analyzing a film as a text. I think of cinema studies as a logical extension of my English major that combines something I’m good at (writing) with something I love (film).

You’re also earning credit with an internship this semester. Please tell us about where you are and what you’re doing.
I’m interning for a small film production company, Saetre Film. I was trying to figure out what I would intern in this summer, and Tisch has a great career development website you can register with when you are enrolled here. I decided to take advantage of that and figure out if film production is something I would potentially want to go into, or get an internship in this summer. Turns out, I’m happiest when I’m writing about film rather than developing it. Now that I know that, I think I’ll have a better chance of finding an internship I enjoy this summer.

Last month you participated in the CMJ Music Marathon. What was that like? How were you involved?
At my home college I’m the General Manager of our radio station. CMJ (College Media Journal) holds a music conference and festival every year where General Managers can get a free badge to talk to other college radio staff and industry personnel, which our radio station (WKCO 91.9, Gambier, Ohio) never gets to attend because the conference is so far away. Luckily for me, the conferences are held at Kimmel and the showcases for bands labels want to show off are scattered around the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. I got some valuable insights talking to other radio staff and label representatives, and got to discover some great new acts that I’ll be spinning when I get back to Kenyon second semester.

What advice do you have for students thinking of studying away from their home school?
Make sure your credit transfers, and budget everything very carefully. Try to learn the geography of the city as soon as possible, and definitely take advantage of the half-priced movie tickets at Ticket Central.

What’s next for Erin after a fall semester at Tisch?
I’m looking forward to getting back to our radio station and taking charge there. I’ve already registered for my classes next semester, but am developing a syllabus that I am going to try to get approved for fall 2015 which delves into Queer Cinema with a heavy supplement of criticism and theory. Hopefully I’ll be getting an internship I care about this summer using the experience I’ve had with my internship this semester.

November 24, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Special Guest Lecturer: Rick Schmidlin

Rick Schmidlin

Rick Schmidlin

Film producer and preservationist Rick Schmidlin visited the Tisch Open Arts class Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch recently. He visited Tisch earlier this year in April and he came back to give students in the class insight into working with Walter Murch and his overall experience in the film industry.

Here’s what one student had to say about the lecture with Rick:

This week we had the pleasure of having Rick Schmidlin as our guest lecturer. Rick is a passionate film producer and preservationist savant who is known for his work with “The Doors” as well as his restoration of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil. Last night, Rick immersed us in his story of working with Walter Murch on re-editing the latter classic. Rick described everything from the moment he got the green light from Universal to having dinner with the Murch family and getting to know Walter. Using notes left behind by Welles himself, Walter and Rick carefully reconstructed the film for a more concise story. In doing so Rick was reminded of the discipline of editing and how one shot could change the entire story.

In addition to talking about Walter, Rick discussed his life experiences within the industry: painting images of studio heads, musicians and the world in which he works. His commitment to film preservation reminds us of its importance as we move forward into a digital era. Speakers like Rick are among one of the reasons I enjoy this class. By following his experiences with Walter we get a very human impression of the famous editor which could never come from a book. We also get a chance to see other artists working in the film industry and get a realistic portrayal of its trials, idiosyncrasies, and successes which leave us craving for more.
 
–Ryan Grippi
The course Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch is taught by Brane Zivkovic.

November 24, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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Building Résumés with the BBC

Every fall and spring semester we are eager to hear what programs or shows our students in Television Production with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will be assigned to. In these “attachments”, students apply their training from the first half of the semester to a professional BBC production unit in the second half of the semester. These assignments vary each semester, depending on what the BBC has in production at that time.

Left to right back row: Ishan Seth, Graham Raubvogel, Collin Hutsell, Avery Ksander-Turner Left to right front row: Sarah Sommers,  Liv Senghor, Claire Mordowanec, Mirsada Abdool-Ramen

Left to right back row:
Ishan Seth, Graham Raubvogel, Collin Hutsell, Avery Ksander-Turner
Left to right front row:
Sarah Sommers, Liv Senghor, Claire Mordowanec, Mirsada Abdool-Ramen

Here’s what our eight students currently in London are up to:

The Graham Norton Show
Student: Sarah Sommers

Sarah is a fully-integrated member of the BBC’s world famous, award-winning comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show. As well as supporting the office team with research and helping in any other way that may be required, Sarah is also part of the studio team at the Thursday recordings at the London Television Studios on the South Bank. Sarah will look after studio guests and assist Producers, Assistant Producers, TV crew and studio staff during the recordings.

Friday Download
Student: Collin Hutsell

Working on the team of the BBC’s award-winning, and very fast moving children’s TV show, Colin is in a key role to support this small but very busy production. This program has a very collaborative team with everyone getting involved in all aspects of production. The show will be in studio (London Television Studios on the South Bank) prior to delivering the final program in December so towards the end of the attachment Colin will be working with the VT Editors offering edit support.

BBC College of Production Website
Student: Mirsada Abdool Raman

Mirsada is assisting the website’s Producer/Director making films for the BBC Academy, College of Production website. Mirsada has an opportunity to get involved in every aspect of production including self shooting, writing articles and editing films, as well as overseeing a film from the early research stage to planning and scheduling film shoots. Mirsada may be asked to film behind the scenes of a number of well known BBC productions.

BBC News (Forward Planning Desk)
Student: Avery Ksander-Turner

Joining the award winning and globally recognized BBC Newsgathering Division in New Broadcasting House, this student is assisting in forward planning and general duties across all bulletins. The attachment exposes the student to state of the art broadcasting techniques, giving him experience in finding stories, assisting on shoots, providing in depth research to tight deadlines for the BBC’s celebrated specialist reporters for a 24-hour news gathering service across radio, television and online.

Radio 1 Interactive (Visualization for radio)
Student: Olivia Senghor

Olivia is assisting the Radio 1 interactive team to create online content to support radio producers. This attachment is with the BBC’s premier youth music station and requires creativity and ability to work to tight deadlines making short films of a high standard for a discerning audience. Olivia is working in studios and on location and may also be asked to edit short films on Final Cut.

Pointless Celebrities
Student: Claire Mordowanec

Claire joins the production team of one of the BBC’s best loved quiz shows, Pointless. She is working with the team of Pointless Celebrities, the celebrity version of the show. Claire helps out in all aspects of the studio preparation and production and will work on the studio recordings at Elstree Film Studios for two weeks. During this period Clair will look after guests and offer support to the production team and crew. She is working at the production office supporting the post studio production team and is helping out during the editing process.

BBC London News
Student: Graham Raubvogel

Graham is assisting the news gathering team on BBC London News. He is setting up stories and working on the planning desk of a busy newsroom. Graham has gone on location with reporters covering local stories in and around the south east of England. Part of Graham’s experience may also include operating a camera, editing short films and setting up location shoots.

BBC Political Unit (Daily Politics and Sunday Politics)
Student: Ishan Seth

Ishan is working in the world famous BBC Political Unit assisting in the day to day productions of the two high profile shows that are recorded at the Millbank studios. He is experiencing working on the studio programs as well as occasionally working on location supporting the political reporters. During this attachment Ishan may be fixing interviews and films, and writing briefs for authored pieces.

Applications for the Television Production with the BBC fall 2015 program are being accepted until February 13, 2015. Please visit the Tisch Special Programs website for the application and admissions details.

November 24, 2014
by Jack Serio
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Office Chats: Olivia Wendel – Performance Studies Minor

Office Chats is a recurring blog series where we talk to fellow Tisch students and teachers about their minor, extracurricular activity or anything interesting they are currently working on. The goal is to learn something more about the people around us and the programs Tisch and Tisch Special Programs has to offer. This week we spoke with Olivia Wendel who’s minoring in Performance Studies.

Hometown
Lexington, Massachusetts

Year at NYU
I’m a Junior!

Major
I’m concentrating in Drama and Performing Arts in Gallatin.

Minor
Performance Studies

Can you tell me a little about Performance Studies? How does this differ from a Drama major/minor?
Performance Studies analyzes the principals of performance in the context of stage performances as well as studio art, film, extending as far as performance of everyday life. For example we’d look at the performance of getting dressed in the morning and how that in itself is a performance. We’re not simply analyzing characters or actors in a play, but rather how human beings in the every day perform in our society. I would say it differs from a Drama major because there’s no studio time. While we read about and analyze great theatrical practitioners and performers, we are not rehearsing their theories like a Drama major would.

What’s the workload like?
The workload is a lot of reading but it’s manageable, especially if you find the information interesting. In the Intro to Performance Studies class you get to read a wide range of material ranging from performance of dance to the performance of race.

Why did you choose this minor?
I chose this minor because as an actor and someone who studies Drama I like to gain as wide an understanding of the art form as I can. I also think it’s important to hear what other people have to say about the art form you’re pursuing, even if you disagree, because it expands and informs your perspective.

What are you hoping to do when your done with school? Do you see this minor helping you in anyway?
I’m not sure yet! I’ve always wanted to be involved artistically in my profession. I’m also a singer and I love musical theatre so maybe pursuing that! I definitely see this minor helping me. It’s already taught me so much, especially in a critical way. I think I can look at a piece of theatre or art and analyze it more critically now and with wider understanding.

Who would you recommend minor in Performance Studies? What type of student?
I’d recommend Performance Studies to anyone who loves theatre and art. It’s really invaluable stuff that you read and learn. I’d recommend it to any student, but especially Gallatin students because we have a book list we all assemble for our final colloquium and you’ll do a lot of valuable reading in these classes if you’re concentration is Drama like mine!

To learn more about the Performance Studies minor click here or stop by the Tisch Special Program Offices!

November 19, 2014
by Jack Serio
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November’s Must See List: Film

Well, we’re here. It’s reached below freezing temps in the Big Apple and no one is happy about it. It’s too early! Come on! Well, anyway, the best cold medicine (see what I did there?!) is undeniably the movies. This weekend is the perfect time to snuggle up in the warm comfy chairs of the movies and get away from it all for a few hours. This list might also come in handy over your Thanksgiving break when you’re looking for something to do! Remember, you can buy half-off movie passes through NYU Ticket Central! Never pay full price!

Intersellar

I haven’t heard this many people talking about a movie in a long time. And from the sounds of it, Interstellar is living up to its hype! Interstellar represents more of the thrilling, thought-provoking, and visually stunning filmmaking moviegoers have come to expect from writer-director Christopher Nolan (The Batman Trilogy). The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. You can’t get much better than that! Here’s how it’s billed: With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history; traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars. interstellar-poster

BIRDMAN

All drama students should see this movie. Both a haunting portrayal of theatre and film, this movie really does have something for every Tisch student. Both Edward Norton and Michael Keaton give incredible come-back performances that the Oscar community is already buzzing about. The film is also shot to look like it is all one take, which is compelling enough, throw in some career-defining performances and a great script, and you’ve got a fantastic night out. Here’s how it’s billed: BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.birdman-click

Whiplash

Here’s an odd paring: The guy from the State Farm commercials and the kid from The Spectacular Now. Well however odd it may be, J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller are tearing up the screen in Whiplash. One of the most exciting movies to come out this fall, Whiplash is an intense, inspiring, and well-acted sophomore effort from director Damien Chazelle. If you can’t get tickets to Interstellar and/or BIRDMAN because everyone in town is trying to, go see Whiplash, you won’t be disappointed. Here’s how it’s billed: Andrew Neyman is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability-and his sanity.WHIPLASH+onesheet

The Skeleton Twins

This is by far the most surprised I have been at the movies this fall. Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig give outstanding performances in The Skeleton Twins. Ty Burrell is equally as excellent, though a more minor character. These three comedic actors do not shy away from their funny side. There are certainly some laughs in this movie, but their performances are by far so much more heartbreaking. I sincerely had no idea these three could be so genuinely serious and dramatic. This is the type of indie movie you’ll want to brag to your friends about, the type of movie probably only you will have seen. But it’s so worth it. Here’s how it’s billed: When estranged twins Maggie and Milo  feel they’re at the end of their ropes, an unexpected reunion forces them to confront why their lives went so wrong. As the twins reconnect, they realize the key to fixing their lives may just lie in repairing their relationship.MV5BNzk5MjM3NDEwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIxNjYzMjE@._V1_SX640_SY720_

The Imitation Game

Opening on November 28th, The Imitation Game features an outstanding starring performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, illuminating its fact-based story. With a seemingly promising performance from Kiera Knightly, this is a not to be missed film. Catch it before all your friends do so you can lecture them about how you knew about it first. Here’s how it’s billed: In THE IMITATION GAME, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.MV5BNDkwNTEyMzkzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTAwNzk3MjE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_

 

Movies that didn’t make the cut, but you should totally go see:

  • Foxcatcher
  • Gone Girl
  • Dear White People
  • Love is Strange
  • Art and Craft
  • The Theory of Everything
  • 20,000 Days on Earth

November 17, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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A Skype Chat with Charles Koppelman

Students in Brane Zivkovic’s Tisch Open Arts course Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch got to talk to Charles Koppelman last week. Charles, author of “Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain Using Apple’s Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema”, offered students a rare glimpse into Walter’s creative process. Here’s what one student had to say about the chat:

Charles Koppelman

Charles Koppelman

Journalist and filmmaker Charles Koppelman discussed with the class (via Skype) about the cherished and intimate time he spent with Walter while he was editing Cold Mountain. While he depicted this experience as one of the best times of his life, the class was eager to ask questions about Walter’s day-to-day habits. Walter, working on a high-budget film, was under a lot of pressure and Koppelman became Walter’s ultimate companion. Walter would get into his editing zone, and Koppelman said it was like watching an orchestra composer. While composers move their bodies to the rhythm of a musical piece, Walter would do his dance to the rhythm of editing. The faster the scene, the more animated he became. This routine would typically go on until 2 or 3 in the morning. After a long day’s work, Charles and Walter would walk home together and meet up again at 8 am sharp. Koppelman soon realized he was going to have to learn to keep up! In the times they spent together out of the studio, Walter would talk about things like particle science or an anecdote from the time he was creating the sound design for Apocalypse Now. Charles was humbled to be there for Walter to keep him sane, but also bewildered by his stamina, vast knowledge and general zest for life.
–Dyani Douze

This was Charles’ second discussion with students about Walter Murch. Charles joined the spring 2014 class via Skype again in March.

November 17, 2014
by Jack Serio
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Staying in NYC for Thanksgiving?

Well,  it’s just about the start of the holiday season! Starting with Thanksgiving, the holidays, the gifts, and the family time begin to snowball. It’s my favorite time of the year and we just so happen to be in one of the most exciting cities to celebrate it in. If you’re like many, you’re not going home for Thanksgiving. For a lot of people home is too far, too expensive to get to, and you can’t justify the cost, especially since our break is so short. And I know for a lot of you, this may be your first Thanksgiving away from your family. But, do not fret! You live in the most exciting city in the country and I can guarantee you will have more fun here with your friends, than with your creepy uncle back home! Here’s a quick list of some awesome things to do for your first Thanksgiving in NYC!

  1. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (duh!): This is a no brainer! How many times have you watched this thing on TV? Now it’s time to see it in person! Grab some friends, and some hats and gloves, and go get your tourist on! Here’s a map of the parade route.
  2. Parade Balloon Inflation: Ok, this is cool! Something not too many people know is that you can see all the balloons in person without going to the parade. The night before Thanksgiving, grab your friends and your hats and gloves again, and head over to The Museum of Natural History to watch the balloons get inflated. From 3 to 10pm you can see all your favorite cartoon characters get filled up! Arrive later in the day to see them to more fully formed.

    2009.11.25_Macys Inflation Day

    Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation

  3. Black Friday: Ok, this is dangerous. You all know Black Friday, but you might not know how crazy insane NYC gets for Black Friday. If you still don’t have the aforementioned hat and gloves, this is the time to buy them. Check online at all your favorite stores and see what crazy deals they’ll be offering. Needless to say, this is the Friday after Thanksgiving.
  4. Holiday Markets: For all you hipsters that can’t be bothered with name brand stores, be sure to check out the dozens of holiday markets starting to pop up all over the city. The most recognized are the Union Square Market and the Winter Village at Bryant Park (there’s free ice skating here!),  also super fun are the two Artist and Fleas markets in Chelsea and Williamsburg! Finally, there are markets in Columbus Circle, Grand Central Station, and Astoria that are all worth visiting!

    Bank-of-America-Winter-Village-at-Bryant-Park-Photo-by-Bryant-Park-Corporation-1-1

    Winter Village at Bryant Park

  5. Store Windows: Only in New York are store windows more exciting than the store. Check out this map and take a tour of some of the most impressive holiday store windows in the city! These things are really cool, you might even get a good Instagram pic out of it.

    barneys-holiday-window-1040ssl120210

    Barney’s Store Window

  6. Friendsgiving: Ok, this is the most important thing. If you’re staying here for Thanksgiving, get some friends together and celebrate as a group. There is nothing more depressing than sitting in your dorm alone on Thanksgiving. Find a friend who has a kitchen and start your own Thanksgiving tradition. You don’t even have to cook turkey if you don’t want to! Get take out! Do whatever! But be with your friends around a table, share stories, laugh and enjoy yourself. Here are some helpful Friendsgiving tips from Buzzfeed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jack

November 10, 2014
by Jack Serio
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Nailing That Audition

images

Nailing That Audition

10 Tips and Tricks On How To Get The Part

Having directed a number of productions before, one thing I find my peers constantly asking me is what it takes to really knock an audition out the park. In short, there is no magic formula of things you can do to insure you get the part, but there a certainly things you can do to improve your chances.

  1. Spend time with your monologue. Spend time picking it and spend time rehearsing it. It’s always clear when someone has picked something the night before. You should be comfortable with your monologue. At the same time, know when it’s time to change monologues. I often see actors use the same monologue over and over, make sure your performing from a varied selection of work. Don’t sound like a broken record.
  2. Enter the room with confidence. Don’t give up the power.
  3. Dress like you. People will tell you there is a dress code to auditions, and there is, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for personality. When you walk in an audition room you are selling yourself, be yourself. Don’t wear a ripped t-shirt and jeans, dress up, but dress up like you would dress up.
  4. Always wear what you wore to the audition to the callback. It helps us remember you.
  5. Spend some time on your resume. This is important, we really look at these things. (For the love of God don’t let there be typos.) We want to see what you’ve done. If you list something under “Special Skills or Talents” like a dialect or an impression, be ready to do it in the audition room. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something on a resume like “Julia Child impression” and have asked to see it. There was no Julia Child in the play but it helps a director remember you and have a better understanding of your personality. And it’s fun.
  6. Never apologize.
  7. Don’t ever look a director in the eyes while performing. It’s uncomfortable. Look above them, not to an imaginary person next to you. Pick a spot on the wall behind the director as your focus point.
  8. Stillness is powerful in an audition room, never be afraid to take a moment. Too many actors don’t.
  9. Don’t expect to be directed, but if you are, take the direction, no matter what it is. Understand how to translate results-oriented direction into action. We want to see how actors take direction and what they’d be like to work with.
  10. Next time you don’t get the part think about this way: they weren’t looking for me. Going in to auditions I often have an idea of what I’m looking for, sometimes I see great actors who just aren’t right for the part.

November 6, 2014
by Mariangela Lardaro
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In the Classroom with Chris Newman

GodfatherStudents in the Tisch Open Arts course Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch were treated to another guest speaker earlier this week. Multiple Oscar-winning sound production engineer/mixer Chris Newman stopped by Tisch in the spring and came back to spend some time with students in the class this semester. He offered ideas on finding alternative and creative ways to achieve the right sound mix, including his experience working on such films at The Godfather. Here’s what one student had to say about Chris’ talk with the class:

Eight time Oscar nominated sound-mixer Chris Newman visited this Tuesday to share some wisdom with us. He encouraged us to think creatively about problem solving, such as using two tape recorders with different perspectives to get a two-track mix during the song in the wedding scene of The Godfather. He shared some genius tricks Walter Murch uses in his mix, such as letting the audience feel the emotion of the scene and then introducing an emotional score or covering a production recording mistake by introducing it as a natural sound earlier in the scene. We launched into an incredible discussion concerning how education should be structured and whether it was possible to teach someone how to do art. Chris Newman encouraged us to adventure and educate ourselves, to become independent and open our eyes to the marvels of the world around us.  –Fifer Garbesi

The course Portrait of an Artist: Walter Murch is taught by Brane Zivkovic.

November 5, 2014
by Jack Serio
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The Freshman 15

The Freshman 15

15 Things You Can & Should Do In NYC Right Now!

Central Park

  1. Central Park You know that place everyone keeps telling you to go to? Go there. It’s beautiful and there is no place quite like it. Anywhere. Grab a blanket and a book and find your own spot and hunker down for the afternoon. Escape the craziness of the city without ever leaving the city! You’ll also want to check the park out when it’s covered in snow, bring skates!
  2. MoMA Oh the MoMA! Wether you like modern art or not, visiting the MoMA is a must! Flash your student ID and your admission price is waived (thanks NYU!) and spend an afternoon there. Aside from their stunning permanent collection, currently on display are the Matisse Cut-Outs and the Robert Gober exhibition, both of which are there well into the winter and should not be missed!
  3. Fries of New York Ok, this one is time sensitive, so hurry! THIS weekend (Nov 7-8) potato lovers rejoice because a new pop-up exhibit on the Bowery called “Fries of New York” will be showcasing 85 different french fries served in restaurants across the city. “Fries of New York” is happening at 168 Bowery on Nov. 7 and 8 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  4. Union Square Holiday Market Knock out all your holiday shopping! It’s almost that magical time of year when Union Square is invaded by a flurry of red and white tents. You’ll be able to pick up anything from food, to clothing, to jewelry, crafts, decorations and cool knick-knacks.  Nov 20 – Dec 24.
  5. The Cloisters This is a NYC hidden gem. And also a cool spot for a date. A branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that was constructed out of sections of French medieval monasteries (they literally moved these things brick by brick from France), The Clositers offers an extensive collection of statues, paintings, stained glass windows and tapestries. Located in Fort Tryon, this could be the most beautiful part of NYC. The pristine view of the Hudson River makes the park the perfect setting for outdoor lunches, bike rides, and strolls. Get on the MTA (98 Bus) and you can get there in under an hour.
  6. Broadway This one should go without saying but, so many people don’t embrace all the theatre this city has to offer. Check out this month’s Must See List, grab some friends and some student rush tickets and paint the town red!
  7. The High Line If you haven’t been there already, now is the time! The High Line is an elevated railway transformed into a public park on Manhattan’s West Side. The park features lush horticulture, artworks, seasonal food vendors, community programing, and unique views of the Hudson River and New York City skyline. The High Line runs between Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues
  8. Saturday Night Live Freshman year is when you can get away with some crazy stuff. Like waiting in line for 18 hours. Want a ticket to watch the live taping of SNL? So does everyone else! You’re going to have to wait in line… But this is the type of friend bonding experience that everyone really should try. Get in line on 48th street between 5th and 6th.  And wait till 7AM the next morning when they hand out the tickets. To learn the tips and tricks of how to get tickets click here.
  9. Escape The Room Escape the Room is a fun, real life game taking place up in Midtown. While it looks like any other ordinary room, it’s actually a mystery puzzle. Find the clues and solve the puzzles to earn your freedom and “Escape the Room.” You have 60 minutes, so be quick! Bring your friends, it’ll be an incredibly fun and frustrating 60 minutes! Click here to learn more!
  10. Governors Island Take a day trip over to Governors Island, a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor. The five-minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan is free and offers spectacular views of New York Harbor. On Governors Island, there is something for everyone, whether it’s enjoying a free concert or kayaking along the Hudson River. The visit is ideal for anyone who wants to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city, while enjoying beautiful lawns and fun activities that are well within a student budget.
  11. Upright Citizens Brigade One of the hidden gems of NYC is the Upright Citizens Brigade a 152-seat theater that provides a performance home for hundreds of comedians and events for the bargain price of $5. UCB founding members Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh came to New York in 1996 and began their training program the following year, specializing in long-form improvisation. Many well-known comedians from the past decade began their careers at UCB and frequently pay homage to the New York headquarters when they’re in town.
  12. Be In a Studio Audience Aside from SNL there is a lot of TV being filmed in NYC! Students can enjoy free tapings of live shows filmed all over the city by simply going to the websites of their favorite shows and then checking out ticket availability and age restrictions for the taping. Shows include: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, Good Morning America, The Rachel Ray Show and The View! And no waiting in line!
  13. St Marks Place The craziest, most eclectic shopping you’ll do in NYC is on St Mark’s place, and it’s all super cheap (and chic)! Spend an hour or two walking, browsing and shopping and conclude your visit at Crif Dog, where you’ll have the best hot dog of your life. What could be better?
  14. Thanksgiving Day Parade Not going home for Thanksgiving? Spend the day with a few hundred thousand of your closest friends at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Or catch the balloons being blown up the night before from 3-10PM.  This one those things everyone should do at least once! Click here for a map of the parade route!
  15. NYC Comedy Festival You’ll have to act quickly on this one too (but it’s so worth it)! Serious heavy hitters are coming to town for the festival, like Bill Cosby, Amy Schumer, Nick Offerman, Hannibal Buress and Dane Cook! Get your tickets here!