Archive for September, 2010

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From Passion To Program: Join Me At The TV Academy

September 22, 2010

Wednesday, September 29th I’ll be the guest for the Mid Morning Exchange at NATAS New York. Those are the folks who organize the New York Emmy Awards and many professional programs and film screenings in New York for members who work in television production, entertainment and news.

I’ll be talking about the journey of ON THE SCENE, originating with my personal passion for arts and entertainment, to pitching the show concept, to evolving the show over these five years and the lessons learned along the way. I’m so excited about this and honored to be at the Academy.

It’s informal, a small group so we can really have a conversation and learn from each other.  Go to http://www.nyemmys.org for the details and make your reservation!

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I Interviewed Bebe Neuwirth Tonight

September 14, 2010

“I’ve wanted to meet you for 20 years.”

First words out of my mouth tonight as I was introduced to Bebe Neuwirth.

I loved “Cheers” and her character of Lilith. I remember watching the show with my Mom and Dad and just laughing along with that unforgettable cast of characters.

Tonight, she was one of the stars at a benefit for the Actors Fund. It was held on an estate in Englewood, New Jersey, where the actress Gloria Swanson lived in the 1930s.  The Actors Fund operates an assisted living center and nursing home in Englewood, which I visited earlier in the day. A beautiful place where anyone who worked in the performing arts…from actors to stage hands…can find a home in their later years.

I also interviewed (and met for the first time) Brian Stokes Mitchell and it unexpectedly led to a great conversation between us about the meaning and impact of art on our lives.  He’s returning to Broadway to star in “Women On The Verge of Nervous Breakdown” at Lincoln Center along with Patti LuPone and de’Adre Aziza. (I interviewed de’Adre for ON THE SCENE when she was Tony nominated for her last Broadway show, “Passing Strange.” She should have won.)

Besides the two Broadway veterans (Mitchell and Neuwirth) I spent a couple of minutes talking with Hunter Ryan Herdlicka who is 23 years old, fresh out of college, who landed a role in “A Little Night Music” on Broadway…his first Broadway audition, he said, amazingly enough.

What an interesting night, it’s why I love what I do, and I hope it’s the beginning of more interviews and conversations with these incredible talents.

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Congrats To Dratch!

September 8, 2010

So my congratulations to Rachel Dratch…the birth of her son was just announced.

I interviewed her in April for ON THE SCENE when she was starring in the play “Sylvia,” a comedy in which she played of all things, a dog.

I remember us talking about how she’s often also played children or adolescent characters (usually boys and the casting by this point must leave her rolling her enormous eyes!) on Saturday Night Live.

I’m also not surprised that she’s guarding her privacy these days and not disclosing the father.  She struck me as terribly shy,  and nervous about being interviewed.  No need to be…she’s intelligent about her craft and genuinely funny.