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Brownstone PRESENTS

THE PERFORMERS ISSUE


Brownstone Editor-in-Chief JAYWON ERIC CHOE Managing Editor

KELSEY DESIDERIO Executive Editor

JAKE FLANANGIN Art Director

FRANCIS POON Deputy Managing Editor

RUSSELL STEINBERG Assistant Managing Editor

KIRSTEN CHANG CONTRIBUTORS CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

CRISTINA CORVINO MACKENZIE GAVEL JORDIN ROCCHI KRISTINA RODULFO EMILY VIEMEISTER CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

DAVID LIN FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT

BRIDGETTE DORAN

advising DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

MICHAEL SUMMERS editorial adviser

keith leighty

About WSN: Washington Square News (ISSN 15499389) is the student newspaper of New York University. WSN is published Monday through Thursday during NYU’s academic year, except for university holidays, vacations and exam periods. Corrections: WSN is committed to accurate reporting. When we make errors, we do our best to correct them as quickly as possible. If you believe we have erred, contact managing editor Kelsey Desiderio at managing@nyunews.com or at 212.998.4302.

nyunews.com


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Welcome A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

he Performer’s Arts Issue of Brownstone has been, so far, one of the most enjoyable editions to produce. Conceptualized in the vein of Vanity Fair and Nylon’s “Young Hollywood” issues, this issue profiles current NYU students who aspire to work in show business. Consequently, you’ll find some real characters featured in these pages. It was Billie Holiday who said, “There’s no damn business like show business — you have to smile to keep from throwing up.” Crudeness aside, Holiday couldn’t have put it more poignantly. Something that sets NYU students apart from others around the country is their ambition. We forego the typical college experience to move to New York City four years before most other people our age. Why? To get a head start on our careers, typically in some of the most competitive industries — ­ from business, to art, to music, to fashion. The kids enrolled in the various programs at NYU, are no exception. From aspiring Broadway actors to documentary filmmakers, every year, NYU produces some of the industry’s future leaders. Be sure to read every one of our carefully collected profiles of some of NYU’s most talented residents. Remember the names, because it’s likely you’ll be seeing them in lights in the coming years.

— Jake Flanagin, Executive Editor


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The Future of

Performa 6

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Nikomeh AndersoN

Ji Hyun Joo

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Paolo Bitanga

Chloe Jury-Fogel

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Shannon Spangler

ZACHARY LONGSTREET


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From documentary filmmakers to

choreographers, NYU has always attracted

the best and the brightest performers, not only because of its advantageous position in one of

the world’s artistic capitals, but also because of

its stellar academic programs. On any given day, there might be a screening of a student film at

Cantor Film Center,or an a capella performance by one of the campus’ talented groups. Still, the sheer amount of exposure students have to the

performing arts in New York City can sometimes

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distract us from the wonderful goings-on in

our own backyard. Washington Square hosts a multitude of talented student performers,

who produce masterpieces on a regular basis.

Hopefully this collection of profiles will act as

not only an introduction, but encouragement, to seek out some of our homegrown culture.

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Camille D’Elia

Kerry McEnerney

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Scott Gallopo

SYDNEY YEO

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY

Eamon Downey

DAVID LIN


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SOPHOMORE | TISCH: DRAMA

Nikomeh Anderson

Nikomeh Anderson, a sophomore in Tisch, first discovered her innate love for acting in the fourth grade. While participating in a school show, she realized that her love for performing set her apart from her fellow classmates. Today, Anderson, a quirky, animated student with intrinsic theatrical charm is a triple threat: actress, dancer and singer. Anderson feels her versatility as an actress is a strength. “In working, you get the people who are crazy, and then you get the stable, boring people, and I feel like I’m a good mixture of both,” she said. She acted in musical theater productions in high school, but settled on perfecting her dramatic acting in a hope to one day star in films. Her studio’s namesake, Stella Adler, has had a major influence on Anderson. She reenacted a famous clip of

Adler on the spot perfectly, tugging her hair and repeating the legendary words, “It is not glamour. It is not money. It is giving everything to art.” The actress isn’t too intimidated by the prospect of an unpredictable future. “What’s more intimidating is how other people are worried for me,” she said. “I feel like I could do it.” Earning a decent living or facing her competition are not Anderson’s main concerns. Her casual confidence is refreshing among peers who obsess over an unpredictable future. “I feel like I’m getting tools to make myself stand out and not fade into the crowd,” she said. “If that doesn’t happen because a million people like me showed up the day I landed in L.A., then I’ll go back to New York for a while. There’s always a place for me somewhere.” — KRISTINA RODULFO


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JUNIOR | TISCH: FILM AND TELEVISION

PAOLO BITANGA

Around the time YouTube launched, Tisch junior Paolo Bitanga caught student’s attention in his high school with a simple music video to the song “The Final Countdown.” A career in film was just an afterthought then, but his strong background in dance, music and acting made it clear that the arts would never just hobbies for Bitanga. After taking a film class and spending the summer of his junior year at the New York Film Academy in Universal Studios, Los Angeles, pursuing a career in film became serious for the aspiring director. At Tisch, Bitanga combined his interests in break dancing and filmmaking by directing “The Anonymous”, a documentary on the underground pioneers of the dance culture. The film is showing in November at DOC NYC, New York’s Documentary Festival hosted at the IFC Center — his biggest screening to date. Fiction film projects are also on Bitangas’ radar, the latest of which is “Comrades,” a children’s film he fully

conceptualized and is currently producing for release in February. In the future, he hopes to follow the film idols he calls “The Triangle” — Michele Gondry, Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman, who are responsible for the films “Being John Malkovich,” “Adaptation” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Gondry, who directed Bitangas’ favorite film “Be Kind, Rewind” serves as an ideal career model for the young film student. “He’s currently straddling the line between independent and studio filmmaking,” he said. “That is such an advantageous place to be. Normally the risk of being a studio director is that you’re controlled by other people’s desires.” As for his own goals, Bitanga wants to tackle the film industry in The Philippines, his native country, which he said lacks the necessary financial support. “We have quite an arsenal of independent filmmakers, but I want to help bring Filipino film to the common eye,” he proclaimed. — KRISTINA RODULFO


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SOPHOMORE | TISCH: THEATER

SHANNON SPANGLER Shannon Spangler, a sophomore in Tisch, was thrown into show business by her mother. Spangler said her mom hoped it would help her find her voice in the world. It worked. “My mom put me in my first show when I was in fifth grade,” she said. “It was so much fun and ever since then I’ve been an addict.” Spangler continued to explore her talents throughout high school and even directed her own play. But, like most other child actors, Shannon quickly learned that the field was tough and the stakes high. She would have to confront her fears and insecurities to become a confident actress. “It’s unkind at times,” she said. “You have to get beyond that to really find your acting. Despite intimidating competition, Shannon’s passion for the craft seems unshakable. From her experiences working behind the scenes to moments of tough love with professors and coaches, she has defeated inner demons and set a strong foundation on which her dreams can unfold. “I once had to read a scene with one of my teachers, and I remember she told me, ‘You’re not acting. You can be cute and quirky anywhere else but right

now I want to see something different,’” she said. “The thought crossed my mind that I can’t do this, but then I got up and told myself, ‘No, I will.’ Something snapped into place just then, and I think that was my determination.” At NYU, Shannon continues to refine her skills, while she finds solace in the fact that the only definition of perfect she has to live by is her own. “Acting is the one thing that was never easy,” she said. “I always had to keep working towards something. That’s what I love about acting; you’re never going to be done. You can always get better and explore different areas of the craft and that’s wonderful.” Spangler participated in Shakespeare in the Square during her freshman year and hopes to become further involved with NYU acting troupes and shows in the future. This is just the beginning for Spangler, but she recognizes the harsh criticisms she will face as an actress in a competitive industry. “You have to have the ability to look at things objectively,” she said. “This is not about me; this is about what I’m doing. It’s tough and it’s unkind, but once you get there, it’s worth it.” — Natalie Avellanet AND MACKENZIE GAVEL


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SOPHOMORE | TISCH: DRAMATIC WRITING

JI HYUN JOO When asked what had inspired her choice of major at NYU, Tisch sophomore Ji Hyun Joo looks back to her experience in high school. “I had always enjoyed writing,” she recalled, “but it was mostly short stories or extremely awkward poetry.” But this all changed when Joo saw the Korean film “3-Iron.” The movie was able to “reflect something so powerful on screen with little dialogue between the characters,” she remembered. The film continues to inspire Joo, who said with a laugh “I want to do that, but I dream.” So far, Joo has only had the opportunity to work with a budding filmmaker friend of hers, but she is certain that she will work with her schoolmates in the future.

Joo hopes to write for television and bringing what inspired her on the silver screen to “either a half hour or hour drama.” Joo hopes to one day work with Paul Feig and Korean director Ki-Duk Kim. She has internalized their different styles with an enthusiasm that captures her passion for writing. After describing Duk’s ability to move a story along without words, Joo declared, “I would love to see how he does that so effectively.” And given her determination, that statement seems more like a declaration of the future, than just a meek wish. — JORDIN ROCCHI AND SAHAR SALEEM


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SOPHOMORE | TISCH: FILM AND TELEVISION

CHLOE JURY-FOGEL

An aspiring actress, screenwriter and filmmaker, Tisch sophomore Chloe Jury-Fogel has embarked on a number of artistic endeavors during her time at NYU. Because the majority of her experience is with musical theater, Jury-Fogel never thought she would fall in love with film. A recent internal transfer to the Tisch film and television program, the move was inspired by a film class she took in high school. She soon discovered that being behind the camera was exactly where she wanted to be. Jury-Fogel started NYU in Gallatin to pursue a tailored degree in acting and filmmaking. After working on various film projects with some upperclassmen, she realized that a more focused academic route in film and production would be a more fulfilling and concrete way to realize her goals. Only a few months had passed before she was given the opportunity to help edit a documentary for National Geographic. She was also named a script supervisor for a television piloted created by Tisch seniors. An intern at Sikelia, Martin Scorsese’s production company, Jury-Fogel has further developed her in-

terests in film. “It’s just such a collaborative effort, you don’t realize how many people go into making a film until you actually see it happening,” she said. After being exposed to the behind-the-scenes elements of filmmaking, Jury-Fogel realized that the aspect of filmmaking that originally terrified her — screenwriting — was now her favorite. Even though Jury-Fogel is fairly new to the film world, she still has very specific career goals, and is passionate about independent filmmaking. “I don’t want to feel like I have to succumb to the mainstream scene, because I have hope in the upand-coming and the independent,” she said. She most identifies with production companies that support independent projects, even if commercial success isn’t guaranteed. With that in mind, she plans to continue exploring the many branches of filmmaking and combine new and old passions to write, direct and perhaps even star in her own breakthrough film. — JORDIN ROCCHI AND SAHAR SALEEM


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SENIOR | STEINHARDT: VOCAL PERFORMANCE AND MUSIC THEATER

ZACHARY LONGSTREET

Steinhardt senior Zachary Longstreet is at a crossroads. Like all soon-to-be college graduates, he can’t decide which path his career will take after he throws his cap in May. For someone who is as passionate about the backstage as he is starring on it, this is no easy decision. “I have a lot of opportunities,” he said. “Iʼm afraid if I go straight for the backstage stuff, I want go back to the stage.” Giving up either would be tough for Longstreet — he is well-trained both on and off the stage. He has starred in “Babes in Toyland,” performed with an opera group in Florida, and acted as assistant to the director for Steinhardtʼs production of “Sweet Smell of Suc-

cess.” His attitude toward the stage harkens back to the era when Broadway was still a budding theater scene. When asked which play heʼd like to direct himself, Longstreet insisted that heʼd rather “direct something completely new,” injecting something wholly fresh into the theater scene. How to acheive this remains an unaswered question. Longstreet plans, at the moment, to begin auditioning next semester and will see where it takes him. It could be around the country in a company tour, which Longstreet said heʼd love to do, or right here in New York. Longstreetʼs genuine passion for the theater suggests that heʼd be happy wherever he was, so long as it was close the stage. — JORDIN ROCCHI


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SOPHOMORE | TISCH: FILM AND TELEVISION

CAMILLE D’ELIA

Take a look at Tisch sophomore Camille D’Elia’s cell phone background, and you’ll see a snapshot of the NBC headquarters. The film and television student took it while on a studio tour, and keeps it as a daily reminder of her future as a renaissance woman of comedy, maybe even the next Tina Fey. She hopes to produce, write and perhaps even act in her own show à la “30 Rock”. “I think I have a drive that I don’t see in a lot of people,” she said. “A lot of them feel like they’ll go for it, or start their engine running when they graduate. My mindset is to go after it now.” D’Elia, a natural character with a penchant for humor and a healthy dose of sass, realized her aspiration in high school. Originally interested in being a bond broker, the combination of a creative writing course and growing interest in late night comedy shows led D’Elia to realize her love for writing, making people laugh and variety entertainment. Her two influences are none other than

comedy polymaths Tina Fey and Conan O’Brien. It was O’Brien’s show, “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” that triggered to D’Elia’s fiery ambition. Since enrolling in Tisch, D’Elia’s momentum has multiplied with her involvement in organizations like the Stern and Tisch Entertainment Business Association and New York Women in Communications. This past summer, she interned with New York based comedian Robin Gelfenbien to dive into the comedy industry and hone her communication skills. While her next step right now hasn’t been determined, D’Elia’s chutzpah is a force even the most intimidating industry can’t break. “I don’t even let it enter my mind that I’m not going to achieve the goals that I want to because A, what’s the point? And B, I’m going to do it,” she said. “It’s not even a thought in my mind that I’m not going to get those things that I want.” — KRISTINA RODULFO


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JUNIOR | TISCH: FILM AND TELEVISION

SCOTT GALLOPO

Tisch junior Scott Gallopo’s infatuation with film is rooted in his father’s love for technology. At a young age, he began playing with his dad’s old cameras and filming the family on holidays and get-togethers. These early virgin forays into film led him to make a mockumentary of McDonald’s when he was only 10 years old. Gallopo continued his journey in filmmaking in middle school, where he participated in a television production program and aired a short news feature everyday in homeroom. Gallopo’s dedication to film only deepened in high school where he took advanced production classes, made short films and worked on his school’s video yearbook. This trajectory led him to apply to colleges specifically for film, where he found himself feeling unsatisfied with the program he ultimately enrolled in. “I didn’t feel challenged, and I didn’t feel I was getting the most out of my education at my old school,” he said. “I just transferred [into Tisch] and everything’s been great. I’ve had so many more opportunities.” Having dabbled in editing, writing and directing most of his life, Gallopo was thrilled to direct five

short films as assignments for his “Sight and Sound” class. Now, he is working on a documentary about the Occupy Wall Street protests with his own crew. Even though he finds documentary filmmaking interesting, his true calling is in narrative film. Gallopo feels that narrative allows him to focus more on writing and directing, whereas documentaries are more or less made in the editing room. He is very inspired by directors like Martin Scorsese and Sophia Coppoloa, and writers like Aaron Sorkin. But Gallopo says that his true plot inspirations come from everyday life. He learned in a documentary about the writers of South Park, that they turn out a complete episode in six days. “If they can do that, then I can write a short film in a month,” he said. Gallopo’s adoration for film is telltale of his drive and ambition to be just like the filmmakers who influence him. He hopes to write and direct his own feature film in the future, but said for now, he’ll take the projects he can get. — JORDIN ROCCHI AND SAHAR SALEEM


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SENIOR | TISCH: FILM AND TELEVISION

EAMON DOWNEY

The calendar often looks daunting for Tisch senior Eamon Downey, who is an RA at Rubin Residence Hall, an intern at HBO’s documentary department and head of production at the Tisch-alumni-founded Park Bench Pictures. Sleepless nights for Downey are not unheard of. However, a deep love for entertainment leads the aspiring showrunner in such a way that wrapping up a project at four in the morning is no grievance. “I loved the idea of entertaining people,” he said. “It’s always been an obsession of mine to entertain a crowd.” Downey said he originally thought acting was his calling before finding himself “wanting to tell everyone what to do, as opposed to being told what to do.” Creating a film club in high school to practice filming short movies was the start of Downey’s path. Since enrolling in Tisch, he’s held positions at the International Emmy Awards and NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” during which he explored the international television market and dove into a fast-paced production of a daily show.

Downey is among a lucky minority who will have a completed television pilot by graduation. A show he’s developed for the past two years is one of two NYU projects selected for production. As one part of a larger team, Downey insists the key to success is collaboration. “A lot of [people] come in with their own ego thinking they have to be the director, or they have to be the writer,” he said. “In reality, film making and television is all about collaboration.” In 10 years, the future producer imagines he’ll be at one of many homes, reading over the script of his new TV series that just got sold to a network like Fox, and anticipating a certain Emmy nomination. However, there are no delusions of grandeur for Downey, a selfproclaimed “people person” with a knack for knowing what fills seats. “You start at the bottom and you have to have a passion for this industry to stay in it,” he said. “You have to fight through many years of having no money. You have to have perseverance. You have to have patience. You have to have your whole heart in it.” — KRISTINA RODULFO


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FRESHMAN | TISCH: THEATER

KERRY MCENERNEY

A lifelong passion for theater started early for Tisch freshman Kerry McEnerney, who claims watching the curtain call at “Annie” in kindergarten was the very moment her calling for live theater was born. The aspiring actress, who explains her hopeful future involves “either writing, directing or performing in some sort of off, off, off Broadway show,” started her journey in 2004. She attended the first of what would be five consecutive summers of musical theater camp at the Center for Preparatory Studies in Music at Queens College. She approached theater from another angle the summer of her sophomore year of high school with the Summer Arts Institute, an arts program for New York City public school students, where she focused on straight acting techniques that stick with her to this day. “I really figured out that I needed to read more, write more, and that I couldn’t just stand up on stage and expect perfection to come from there, or perfection to come ever,” she said.

Although acting inevitably involves being the center of attention, McEnerney’s influences are the brains behind “In the Heights:” Lin Manuel Miranda and Rajiv Joseph. Like Miranda, McEnerney composes original music, writes, acts and hopes to follow his model of being involved in all aspects of creating a show. “It’s not even about the end product of theater for me,” she said. “It’s about the process of theater and working with everybody.” As for tales of imminent failures that come with the industry –– turning full-time waitress or abandoning acting completely after graduation –– McEnerney’s fervor and extremely emotional, personal approach to the craft is undying. “It’s so special walking into a black box and seeing what you can do with it,” she said. “I am so excited just to make theater.” — KRISTINA RODULFO


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FRESHMAN | TISCH: CLIVE DAVIS INSTITUTE OF RECORDED MUSIC

SYDNEY YEO

At the age of five, Tisch freshman Sydney Yeo sat in the audience of the “Peter Pan Musical” and watched as the actors lit up the stage. It was on this day that the singer/songwriter within her was born. “As a kid, my mom pushed me into violin, piano and ballet,” she said. The only class I didn’t take was singing, which is weird, because that’s what I’m doing now.” Now a freshman in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music Sydney tells her life story through her lyrics and speaks out to all those who have suffered, whether from heartbreak, a lost friend or a misunderstanding. In her song “Long Distance,” she describes the pain that she experienced when a close friend be-

came inexplicably distant. In every song, she tries to incorporate the fragile beauty of nature into her lyrics to emphasize that nothing is finite. It is hard to believe that Sydney is only a freshman, just beginning to dabble in the music career. She spoke like a seasoned professional and with an air of certainty. Memories seemed to spin their way into hopeful reminders of the uncertain future as she poetically recalled lyrics of her favorite song, “Who Told You?” For now, Sydney’s songs are posted only through her MySpace page, because she modestly admitted that she would not feel right charging people since she is just starting out. — MACKENZIE GAVEL


Brownstone

The Performers Issue  

This issue highlights students who aspire to enter show business.