New York Film Academy (NYFA) Musical Theatre School Produces “Kristy’s Lament: Another Awful Day with the MTA”

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The Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at the New York Film Academy expressed their frustrations with the New York City MTA by way of an original musical number performed by Broadway actress and NYFA Musical Theatre Creative Director, Kristy Cates.

“I have the worst train luck. I’m always stuck underground with no explanation, waiting for a train that never shows up”. - Kristy Cates, NYFA Musical Theatre Creative Director

There may be no clearer indicator of a true New Yorker than a strong opinion on the MTA, the city’s mass transit system of trains and buses. Having long instilled frustration in the hearts and minds of its millions of riders, the MTA recently received widespread objection from commuters as it announced its plans for a four percent fare hike this week. The impending spike in price was met with protest across the board, as construction, delays and an overall lack of reliability continues to inconvenience its riders.

The Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at the New York Film Academy expressed their own frustrations by way of an original musical number performed by Broadway actress and NYFA Musical Theatre Creative Director, Kristy Cates. Entitled Kristy’s Lament: Another Awful Day with the MTA, the unique song is now accompanied by an original music video produced by the PCMT at NYFA.

Strikingly relatable in its musical interpretation of the MTA woes, Another Awful Day with the MTA features Cates in multiple roles: the tragic commuter narrating the song, a rude passenger carrying numerous bags, a blatant stoner and a homeless man, among others. Cates lended a certain authenticity to her roles, citing her personal experiences on board as genuine inspiration. “I have the worst train luck,” Cates shared with NYFA. “I’m always stuck underground with no explanation, waiting for a train that never shows up, or on the car with the person about to puke.”

In fact, Cates recounted one particularly nasty commute home from her Broadway show on her Facebook account, and her story quickly caught the attention of many on social media, including lyricist Chris Giordano. He was inspired to adapt the tale into song, writing lyrics for a number that step-by-step portrayed Cates’s disastrous trip. Shortly thereafter, it was put to music by composer Ryan Edward Wise, and Kristy’s Lament was born.

The music video’s portrayal of the messy New York City public transportation system and the variety of characters it serves simultaneously showcases the creativity and expertise of PCMT’s production team. The PCMT at NYFA is able to use all of the resources shared by NYFA’s film school, cinematography school, and other departments. These resources and NYFA’s state-of-the-art filmmaking equipment, coupled with its location in the heart of New York City and ability to collaborate with the Academy’s highly-talented staff allowed “Kristy’s Lament” to take advantage of high production values and truly sell the humorous lyrics, all while supporting Cates’s powerful yet hysterical performance.

NYFA’s renowned musical theatre school, where Cates herself serves as Creative Director, prides itself on giving its students real world training that prepares them to achieve success in a competitive and empowering industry. Aspiring performers develop their skills as triple threat performers by studying with faculty — such as Cates — who have appeared in numerous Broadway and touring productions, top-rate regional theatre, opera, hit movie musicals, and television shows.

Cates is a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA and starred in “Wicked” (Broadway, First National Tour, Chicago) as an understudy to Idina Menzel before playing Elphaba. Cate also starred in “Finding Neverland” (Broadway) and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (Broadway), and has had roles in a handful of off-Broadway shows and many regional productions.

“One thing I love about working for NYFA,” Cates says, “Is their willingness to explore new projects. As a result, our ability as a program to collaborate with up-and-coming composers and lyricists.” She adds, “It was wonderful to combine the expertise of our faculty, the passion of our alumni, the ingenuity of the composer and writer, and the generosity and support of the Film Academy.”

The Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre at the New York Film Academy is proud to have Cates as an original and current member of its faculty, and was equally as proud to produce Kristy’s Lament: Another Awful Day with the MTA with her.

Press Inquiries Contact: helen.kanti(at)nyfa(dot)edu

About New York Film Academy
The New York Film Academy (NYFA) is a leading visual and performing arts school that offers courses across 15 areas of study in New York City, Los Angeles, South Beach/Miami, Gold Coast (Australia), Florence (Italy), and more locations around the world. Thousands of aspiring artists come to study at the New York Film Academy each year from over 120 countries. For more information, please visit nyfa.edu.

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Helen Kantilaftis
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