Thursday, August 27, 2015

Meet the Mentors of 2015!

Meet the new Mentors for the NYUinLA Mentorship Program Class of 2015!!

Acting Mentors

Sonya Cooke Sonya Cooke is an actress, educator, and director from NYC. She has acted in numerous venues; some highlights have been Louie by Louie C.K. and Time Sensitive at The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. Recently, she played the title role in an independent feature, Lily Grace: a Witch Story, due out this December. Specializing in acting technique, Sonya is the owner and head teacher of The Actors Studio of Orange County and the creator of The Seven Pillars of Acting Technique. She also teaches at The Relativity School in Downtown LA. Check out, to view more information and read her blog on acting technique. She holds an MFA in Acting from UC-Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts and a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Wendi Weger Wendi Weger is a film executive and actor from Madison, WI, where everybody's always a little bit drunk. She serves as COO of Benenson Productions, where she's currently working on a documentary about a lost civilization recently discovered in the Honduran rainforest using LIDAR technology. Benenson Productions is also Executive Producing the forthcoming Netflix release Beasts of No Nation. Wendi is represented by Lemonlime Agency in Los Angeles. She's a graduate of the NYU-Tisch Cinema Studies MA program, which she most likely got into due to a clerical error.

Film & TV Mentors

Michael Milberg is Vice-President of De Line Pictures, a film and TV production company with a first look at Warner Bros. Michael started his LA career in the mailroom of iconic talent agent Michael Ovitz's newly formed management firm where he rose up the ranks. He left to work for producers, Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher, where he developed and supervised MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, BEWITCHED and JARHEAD. He then transition to DreamWorks SKG, where he oversaw BLADES OF GLORY, EAGLE EYE, THE RUINS, and TROPIC THUNDER. Michael has since made films with producers, Dan Jinks & Bruce Cohen, Donna Roth & Susan Arnold, and Jerry Bruckheimer before joining Donald De Line at his eponymous company. He currently is overseeing GOING IN STYLE at New Line, Steven Spielberg's upcoming READY PLAYER ONE at Warner Bros., as well as the second season of WAYWARD PINES on Fox. Michael is a Georgia native and graduate of TSOA's Film & TV program.

Pamela Goldstein is a literary agent at Verve. She came up through the agency ranks starting as an assistant at the William Morris Agency in 2008, was later promoted to International Coordinator in the Motion Picture Department at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in 2011, and then moved over as an agent to Jeff Berg's company Resolution in 2013, before joining Verve last October. She has also worked with producers Tory Tunnell and Will Battersby at Safehouse Pictures, and as an assistant in the Production/Development Department at Miramax and Dimension Films. Pamela is a graduate of the 2006 class at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts for Film/TV Production.

Pip Ngo Pip Ngo is an acquisitions and distribution executive at the theatrical distribution platform Tugg. Prior to his role with the startup, he worked with Martin Scorsese's team for the production of the HBO pilot VINYL. Pip started his entertainment career in New York in the operations department at Focus Features before a two-year stint with Broadway producer Carole Shorenstein Hays, working on the 20th anniversary revival of FENCES as well as the Martin McDonagh original A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE. He returned to the movie business to work in the film finance and sales department at the Creative Artists Agency, before joining foreign sales and packaging company Sierra Affinity and eventually rising to run development for its indie TV division. He's originally from San Francisco.

Kellye Carnahan is a Creative Executive at Miramax, focusing on feature film development and production including projects such as THE 9TH LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX and BAD SANTA 2. A Southern California native, Kellye graduated from the Tisch Film and TV Production Program in 2010 and moved back to Los Angeles. Kellye began her career at Verve Talent and Literary Agency before going to assist producer Julie Yorn on the set of WE BOUGHT A ZOO. Following ZOO, she served two years as an assistant/development coordinator to producer Zanne Devine. Kellye is an alum of the Tisch mentor program and a member of the Tisch West Alumni Council. In her spare time, she loves to bake and invent cupcake recipes, travel, and run half marathons in and around Disneyland.

Patrick Walmsley is a production executive at LBI Entertainment, the management and production company founded by Rick Yorn. In his six years with the company, he has worked on feature films such as THE OTHER WOMAN, WE BOUGHT A ZOO, UNSTOPPABLE, MAX PAYNE and BRIDE WARS among others. In addition to the production division, LBI Entertainment represents clients such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Benicio del Toro, Justin Timberlake and Martin Scorsese among others. A native of Cincinnati, OH and a graduate of New York University, Patrick resides in Los Angeles.

Erica Schreiber is a film/television writer and a professional reader at Imperative Entertainment. She graduated from Tisch’s Dramatic Writing Program after interning at “The Colbert Report,” and worked as a Writer’s Assistant on “Monk,” “Nikita,” and VH1’s “Single Ladies.” She was also a Producer’s Assistant on the film “The Wolverine” and has freelanced at Fox, FX Networks, and Sony. Erica is represented by Untitled Entertainment and optioned both a screenplay and a pilot earlier this year.

Volunteer Coordinator

Nicole Iizuka is a LA native who braved the cold east coast winters at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, but missed the sunshine of So-Cali. Nicole has worked for producers, agents & studio executives, yet her toughest boss by far has been her obsession with food. Two years ago she founded an experimental underground supper club Cloak & Dinner and after realizing that her torrid love affair could actually be a career, Nicole quit her creative development job at MGM for the fascinating freelance world of culinary & art. Since making the leap, she worked with the culinary team and art department on Gordon Ramsay's MasterChef and Hell's Kitchen, and with Stacey Kiebler, Debbie Fields and Chef Michael Chiarello on Supermarket Superstar. She is currently a Senior Producer at POPSUGAR overseeing lifestyle content. Nicole also blogs about my food mis-adventures on You can follow her @nicolemiizuka

NYU Staff

Melissa Brodsky-LevineAs Director of Career Development, Melissa Brodsky-Levine works to insure that students and alumni have all the pieces available to them as they prepare for successful careers in the arts. Melissa counsels and assists students and alumni in evaluating their interests and skills and how this relates to their future goals. Her Career Development team works to create a wide variety of resources and programs to assist students in preparing for their careers in the arts; including creating professional marketing materials, preparing for interviews and networking opportunities, as well as industry specific events designed to assist students in developing relationships and to expose them to professionals in their field of choice. Along with the Mentors and Volunteer Coordinator, Melissa is responsible for overseeing The NYU in LA Mentor Program. She holds a Masters degree in Higher Education and Counseling from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Lily HungAs the Assistant Director of Career Development, Lily connects Tisch artists to the tools they need to effectively pursue their professional goals. Through individual career counseling appointments and group workshops, she advises students on job search strategies, resumes and cover letters, interviewing and networking skills, internships, and mentors. Lily oversees all technical aspects of the NYU in LA Mentor Application process. Lily previously spent over a decade in commercial and nonprofit theatre, where she worked with emerging theatre artists as a line producer and programming director. She holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University and regularly acts as a consultant for new musicals.

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