The Lambs, Manhattan's oldest theatrical club located on 3 West 51st Street; has awarded two Israeli students, Oz Shoshan and Maya Avisar the opportunity to study theater in New York City with an American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) scholarship plus a one-year membership at the club. They also got an invitation to perform at the club. They have been students at AMDA for almost a year. The two met the first day of orientation at AMDA. Oz did not know any Israeli students at AMDA. He knew that Maya was also Israeli so he tapped her on the shoulder and introduced himself and said, "Hi" in Hebrew, and the two struck up a friendship.

The rest is history.

Two young aspiring Israeli actors in showbiz

I sat down with the two lucky 20-something Israeli AMDA students, and they seemed very enthusiastic to discuss their experience in Israel and New York with me. They are both excited to be "junior" members of The Lambs.

Maya and Oz came from Israel with no money. They didn't think they would survive the second semester until they received their "lucky break."

"The Lambs is such a great organization, and we hope that more young artists will join with great connection making that is important for young actors," expressed Avisar. "We are pleased to be selected out of the entire school I would say it's out of 600-700 students," Avisar said.

"It was related to the fact that our GPA was very high and we have the biggest potential for success in the industry, and on financial need." "AMDA is one of the best places I've ever been in my life." "They are doing as much as they can to help us stay here." "We're internationals, so the only chance for us to stay and work here is graduating."

It was fate that brought Oz and Maya together.

They consider themselves very fortunate to pursue their drama education and their dreams here in the United States.

"We came here to follow our dream, and I always believed that if you want to do something you need to go big or go home," Maya said. "If you do it, you need to do it right, and the best place to study and perform musical theater is in New York City."

Both students want to remain in the U.S.

because there are more opportunities for careers in the arts rather than in Israel. They are celebrating the holidays (Hannukah) in the U.S. for the first time. They miss their families in Israel but keep in touch with photos, cell phones and using Face-Time.

The Israeli-Hollywood connection

Oz Shoshan has been a dancer in Israel since he was 16-years-old. He remembers dancing in his living room at the tender age of three. His inspiration is always to dance, act and sing. He joined The Bacheva Dance Company. He has a unique 'Hollywood' connection to the film, "Bobbi Jean" which is a documentary about the eccentric dancer. It was a surprise hit at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

He is friends with both Bobbi and her Israeli boyfriend, Orr who is in the documentary film.

The two were close friends in the same dance company for two years. Oz had a cameo appearance in the upcoming film, "Mr. Gaga" which is another documentary film about the former artistic director's life, Ohad Naharim.They were shooting the film for eight years while Oz was part of the dance company. He has not seen the film, "Bobbi Jean."

"We had our huge 50th Anniversary for Batsheva, so we did this song for a Passover dinner. I was in the first line center, and I got to see my face on the big screen!" Shoshan gushed. "I am excited and honored because it was around the world! I didn't know I got to be in the movie, but I got to see it with my parents!"

"All my life I wanted to be a dancer and was a member of the Batsheva Dance Company— but I was on stage, and something was missing—there wasn't the excitement that I felt," Shoshan stated.

"I was standing on the stage in an Israeli theater doing "Hair" The Musical. It was my first musical ever. It was opening night, and I remember, the lights were coming on and the curtain opened and I had felt something that I never felt before and it was something complete of being myself on stage. It happened because I was singing, acting and dancing—it had the whole package."

Israel doesn't have quality theatrical schools, so he headed for New York and AMDA. His ambition once he graduates AMDA is to become a successful actor on Broadway and in films.

Congratulations and good luck to these two talented Israeli drama students!