Arts & Entertainment

    A Teacher of Professionals

    Acting instructor Clark Houston Lewis thrives on nurturing students’ talents


    Clark Houston Lewis working with his acting students. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Academy of Art University School of Acting instructor Clark Houston Lewis was more interested in music than theater when he was growing up. But after earning a degree in choral conducting from the Juilliard School, he gravitated to acting in off-Broadway and regional East Coast productions. He also started coaching other actors and singers. His clients have included stars like Marisa Tomei and other lead actors appearing in Broadway musicals such as A Chorus Line and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. After moving to Los Angeles, he continued coaching and also directed numerous plays, films and television shows.

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    Acting Students Infuse Pulitzer Prize-winning Play, 'Anna in the Tropics,' with Elegance


    The cast of “Anna in the Tropics.” Photo by James Beach.

    The power of literature should never be taken lightly. Especially when it involves matters of the heart.

    Earlier this month, students from the Academy of Art University’s School of Acting stepped into the roles of a varied set of characters in Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics. They revealed a profusion of emotional vulnerability, all sparked by a story. But not just any story. One of the most enduring love stories of all time, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

    Read aloud by a “lector” (a figure who traditionally read to cigar factory workers while they rolled tobacco), the novel inspires longing, lusting and adulterous liaisons among the characters—some eye-opening, others tragic.

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    Film Review: 'True Story' - Mea Culpa? - Mea Crap-a.


    (L–R) Jonah Hill as Mike Finkel and James Franco as Christian Longo in “True Story.” Photo by Mary Cybulski. Copyright © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

    Ego and narcissism mix into a fine cocktail for the setting of the latest bromance film from actors James Franco and Jonah Hill, though the seriousness of it’s premise is all too real.

    In 2002, an on the rise New York Times field reporter Michael Finkel (Hill) is fired from his prestigious journalism job for writing a composited story about a non-existent young African boy who is sold into bondage on a cocoa plantation. Finkel is stripped of all credibility, thus ruining his career. On the same day that the editor’s retraction is scheduled to print, Finkel receives a call from a reporter in Oregon, inquiring if he has any comment on the Christian Longo murders.

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    Film Review: 'Clouds of Sils Maria' - In Search of the Timeless


    Juliette Binoche (Maria Enders) in Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria.” © Carole Bethuel / CG Cinema. A Sundance Selects Release.

    In Clouds of Sils Maria, Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart both give intriguing, multi-faceted performances as they play a successful actress and her personal assistant. In this movie, which was written and directed by Olivier Assayas, we watch as the two characters are swept along by the inevitable passage of time, their different ages providing each woman with her own perspective and showing how these both clash and compliment each other. Accompanying this is an in-depth exploration of the nature of relationships, highlighting the differences between a true connection and fleeting desire.

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    Selfie vs. Self-Portrait

    As selfies continue to rise in popularity around the world, it is useful to explore the history of the self-portrait and find the distinction between self-indulgence and art

    Selfies are nothing new. People have been creating self-portraits since the 15th century; in fact, the first self-portraits were akin to modern day photo-bombs, with artists painting themselves into crowd scenes in historical, mythological or religious paintings. Jan van Eyck’s self-image can be seen in a mirror in the Arnolfini Portrait (1434). Diego Velázquez painted himself into Las Meniñas (1656), a portrait of the Spanish royal family, essentially setting himself up as the first portrait-bomber, the first truly modern artist. An infant might well have said, “Hey, I thought we were going to get a nice family portrait. What’s Velázquez’ big head doing in the shot?”

    Velázquez’ big breakout in painting himself into the portrait was essentially a statement that the artist can be more important than the painting. He proclaimed to the world that this portrait of royals also staked the claim that the artist is greater than the work itself; the artist becomes one with his art.


    Illustration by Academy of Art University student Dylan Vermeul.

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    Academy Grad Produces Popular Fresno Lifestyle Show


    Kristina Rosa working at NBC affiliate station KSEE24 in Fresno, CA. Courtesy of Kristina Rosa.

    After graduating from high school, Kristina Rosa originally planned to follow in the footsteps of her idol, celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Drew Pinsky. She was studying psychology in her hometown of Riverside when a conversation with one of her teachers made her wonder if it was the right field for her.  “My teacher pointed out that I really liked interviewing people,” said Rosa. “I realized she was right.”

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    Film Review: '5 to 7' - A Break from Convention


    Bérénice Marlohe (Arielle) and Anton Yelchin (Brian) in Victor Levin’s '5 to 7.' Courtesy of Walter Thomson. An IFC Films release.

    While an affair conducted between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m. may suggest trappings of a clichéd rom-com, 5 to 7 is much more unconventional than that. Written and directed by Victor Levin (Mad Men), the story looks at an extramarital affair through new eyes, to discover the intricacies that lurk in the places many people gloss over when making assumptions about someone’s love life.

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