TKActing Blog

Congratulations to our Excellence Scholarship Recipients!

December 30, 2020

Contributed in celebration by TKStaff Emma Welch


We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the Excellence Scholarship at TK Studio:

Ayla Ciccone-Burton & Mary-Angela Granberry!




The Excellence Scholarship provides $1,000 toward tuition for the Two Year Acting Program for a Black artist starting at the Studio in October 2020, or January 2021. The Excellence Scholarship aims to provide an opportunity to Black artists who are passionate about pursuing acting training and are committed to excellence. The Scholarship was established through the generosity of a recent Black graduate of the Studio who believes in the richness of the work and the mission of TKS, and who wishes to remain anonymous.


The donor says of the scholarship:

“I feel so grateful that a Black artist will have the opportunity to work with caring teachers, and at a place that is actually sincere. Our people over the years have been served from the bottom shelf, and so I think it’s great for our people to be able to get top-shelf training. It is a responsibility on all of our parts to make this commitment, and to take on a responsibility to our people.”


Ayla & Mary-Angela were chosen because of their commitment to the work and their response to this question: Why do you want to train as an actor, and what does it mean to you to be a Black artist who is passionate and committed to excellence?


An excerpt from Ayla’s answer reads:

Being a black artist is precious because of the lack of representation I witnessed growing up. As a black artist the goal is to strive for excellence so that one day I can create a legacy that can withstand the test of time. I’m not saying it in a sense to be perfect, but to take my time and do the work correctly. To understand that I’m not going to get it right every time and that’s ok. It is important to show up as my best self and to be focused and consistent no matter how hard it may get. This isn’t going to work if I don’t stay honest and as human as possible.


An excerpt from Mary-Angela’s answer reads:

But the lack in freedom of my own choices ignited this desire in me to be seen, be heard, and express the things around me. Acting has proved to be a scary, yet exhilarating and exciting new way for me to do just that. I have always been opinionated and fully aware of the unique view I hold of the world….I am compelled to continue my artistic journey of expression through the form of acting; To be a voice and role model to others who have experienced the same or similar circumstances as me.

Please congratulate Ayla & Mary-Angela on this achievement, and their steadfast pursuit of excellence.



Want to be more like Ayla & Mary-Angela?
Terry Knickerbocker Studio offers comprehensive Two-Year Conservatory rooted in the Meisner technique, in a state of the art facility in Brooklyn, New York.
Interview Today for our Two Year Conservatory & Spring Intensive
Fill out an Application Here
Or Call 718-801-8999

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