On Monday, December 6th, I attended the 2010 Tisch School of the Arts Gala, also known as "The Face of Tisch" Gala, at the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center as one of the Tisch Dean’s Scholars. The Gala, which is held every year and celebrates an outstanding alumnus of Tisch, this year honored actor/director Billy Crystal, Class of 1970 (BFA, Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television). At the Gala, I was lucky enough to have a conversation with NYU President John Sexton, and for the ceremony, the Dean's Scholars received front-row seats in the auditorium as Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Shaffer, Marcia Gay Harden, Jesse L. Martin, Sean Curran and many others came onstage to honor Mr. Crystal, who sat in the audience with his family. It was an one-of-a-kind experience, from laughing consistently at Mr. Williams' jokes to watching a spectacular dance number by students from the Tisch Dance department to hearing Mr. Crystal describe his NYU film classes in the late 1960s when a young Martin Scorsese was his demanding professor. After the ceremony, there was an incredible dinner for the guests where the Dean's Scholars received their own table. You can click on this link to view official pictures from the event, where you'll find a group picture of the Dean's Scholars (as well as great pictures of Mr. Crystal, Mr. Williams and many others). I am truly grateful for having been able to attend this ceremony.
The end of the semester meant saying goodbye to Sight and Sound: Film, my favorite class that I have ever taken, taught by the great professor Laszlo Santha. For my final Sight and Sound film, I had the honor of working with three great actors – fellow film student and actor Grant Rosenmeyer, who, among many other roles, played Ari Tenenbaum in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums (2001); my friend Lizzie Logan from Columbia University, who was in my third Sight and Sound movie; and a very talented actor named Angelo Niakas, who also starred in several of my classmates’ films. All three actors did extraordinary work in my film, which was titled But When We Get To The End, He Wants To Start All Over Again, and my crew members Jonah Greenstein, Alex Fofonoff and Ben Dewey were so incredibly hard-working and dedicated.
I also had the great opportunity of acting in thirteen of my classmates’ movies over the course of the semester, and I hope to post some of those movies online once they are transferred digitally (because everything is shot on 16MM film, a proper digital transfer usually takes a little while). In the meantime, I have uploaded a rough recording of my first four films for Sight and Sound: Film. The video is a digital recording of the four films as they were screened on a 16MM projector in the Tisch Steenbeck lab, and so the quality is understandably murky. But until the films are transferred properly next semester, here are the first four films I wrote, directed and edited this semester.
I also crewed on a Tisch junior's Color Sync film in New Jersey during the weekend before finals began, which was great fun. The day after I returned to Austin for the holiday season, I saw one of my high school theatre directors, Mrs. Annie Dragoo, perform in The City Theatre's production of Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling. Mrs. Dragoo was fantastic in the production, and it was a great way to jump into the Austin arts scene for my winter break.