I found what I needed in IAFT!

After four months of being here, it still feels surreal that I am studying Acting at the International
Academy of Film and Television in Cebu. I can’t believe that I am already in the middle of my second
term at IAFT. Just before writing this, I was in class with our brilliant acting mentor, Alex Murphy. My
favourite part of today was the new improvisation exercise we tried. I used to be scared of improv, but
my training at IAFT has helped me let go of inhibitions, be willing to learn from mistakes, and have fun
no matter what.

Life at IAFT is great! It’s challenging and enjoyable. I’m glad I chose to jump in. I began my first
term in February 2016, just a couple of weeks after leaving my job as a medical technologist. I worked
for four years, and it was on that fourth year when I finally decided to do what I’ve been dreaming about
for much longer. I had already taken a few workshops, but I wanted more comprehensive acting training.
I couldn’t afford to study abroad yet. I wished for a place in my home country where I could build a strong
acting foundation. I was hungry for the right tools, techniques, and teachers. When I discovered that IAFT
had a campus in Cebu, I was hopeful. Now that I’m here, I am not only hopeful, I am sure. I chose
correctly when I picked IAFT. I found what I was looking for.

The admissions staff make it easier to adjust to life here. I had to fly to Cebu from Manila. It would
be my first time in Cebu, and I did not know anyone. However, the student advisors took extra care to
make sure I had a place to stay. It was a much smoother transition than I thought it would be. I am very
thankful for it.

I like that there are students and mentors from all over the world. Sharing cultures and ideas
makes people more broad-minded and unprejudiced. I also like that the school is small enough for
everyone to get to know one another. We hang out with students from different levels and programs. We
talk to all the mentors, even those whom we wouldn’t normally have classes with. Somehow, we all find
opportunities to work together. Animation and Filmmaking students get to become actors sometimes.
Acting students get to experience not only work in front of the camera, but also behind the scenes. I think
that this dynamic is very important because we learn to understand and respect each other’s roles. We
learn by doing and by being open.


It’s not all work either. There is a nice student lounge for us to hang out in, and food places nearby
that we could visit or call for take-out.

I love that I can be myself. I’m surrounded by people who enjoy a
good laugh, but who are also insightful about serious things.

I love life at IAFT! I learn something new every day. I like pushing myself, and I appreciate it when
my mentors and classmates push me to be better, too. Every class, every shoot, every person, and every
experience has something to teach you. The key is to be humble, generous, and open. I’ve been here a
term and a half, and I’m enjoying every moment of it. Coming to IAFT is truly one of the best decisions I
have ever made.

Affy Varona
20 June 2016

“My journey at IAFT-Cebu” – Miss Earth 2014

Jamie Herrell Acting

Before enrolling in IAFT, I was studying Mass Communications in Cebu City at the University of San Jose-Recoletos. I was just a typical girl going to school, worrying about normal things that college students think about. When my Dad passed away in 2013 I had to stop school to help my Mom pay the bills. Everyone thought that 2013 was the best year of my entire life because I was always in the limelight without knowing that everything to me, in my eyes, was just a job. My family and I practically lost everything that year and the gains did not weigh as much as the losses. I went to different schools asking for a scholarship, hoping I would get accepted but none were having thoughts of giving me an opportunity to show my capabilities as a student. Then, in 2014 I visited IAFT and asked if they would consider giving me a scholarship and they did not hesitate to give me a chance. I auditioned and that same day they offered me a seat in their Acting program! As a person who tried multiple times to get a scholarship, (I couldn’t afford a good school without one) I was lucky that IAFT opened their arms and accepted me!

One of the things I love the most about IAFT is the fact that they are supportive of your dreams. When I decided to join Miss Philippines Earth (and eventually Miss Earth) they said I could take a leave of absence and when I was done with everything, I could return to my classes. I was even able to apply some of the things I learned at IAFT when I was competing in Miss Earth!

After giving away the Miss Earth crown to my successor, I came back to IAFT and they never forgot about me. In fact they were very familiar with all of the activities I had been doing since I left. Now I am a 201 Acting student and I continue to learn more skills as I enhance my capabilities as an actress.

For me IAFT is a blessing. Not only are they supportive of my goals in life but they are also willing to help me grow as a person. They are so welcoming and friendly that I feel like I am just at home. I can’t ask for more!

Jamie Herrell
Jamie Herrel, Miss Earth 2014
IAFT student – Certificate Program in Acting

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