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Monday, April 12th, 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom! 
Special Guest Panel: The Creators of #MyCorona – Kirk Zeller, Phil Gorn, & Crystal Carson
Think back to one year ago: the world was at a standstill and filmmaking was halted for the foreseeable future. Since then, productions have found a way to make things safe, and this team of creatives led the way! 

You’re invited to join us next Monday, April 12th on Zoom, as we catch up with these filmmakers and learn about their filming process during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Shot on a closed set in both Nebraska and Los Angeles, hear how their ingenuity and perseverance led to a full-length feature film! 

is a producer of the movies #MYCORONA, DIRECTING REMOTELY AND FILMMAKING DURING THE PANDEMIC: THE MAKING OF #MYCORONA, THE PICTURE OF DARIA GRAY, and FINDING ALOHA, as well as the SILICON PRAIRIE CENTER SERIES. Kirk has returned to his home state of Nebraska and is the founder of the Silicon Prairie Center Studios where the romantic comedy #MyCorona was filmed. Kirk has a Doctorate of Business Administration from the International School of Management (Paris), MBA from Imperial College London (London), and BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he spent much of his degree studying at Nanzan University (Nagoya, Japan) and Senshu University (Tokyo). Kirk appeared in a number of commercials and television shows during his time in Japan. Kirk has lived, worked, and studied in the US, Europe and Asia and traveled to more than 50 countries.

PHIL GORN, Director of #MYCORONA, was born & raised in San Francisco, and became a projectionist in his family’s repertory movie theater when he grew tall enough to see out of the projection room window (similar to the boy in Cinema Paradiso). Graduating from San Francisco State University, he began writing, producing, editing & directing features. After exploring representation for his own films, Phil found a need to start his own sales company — for himself as well as his fellow filmmakers.

CRYSTAL CARSON starred in and was the Casting Director for #MYCORONA, and has been one of the top acting coaches in LA for 25 years. She is the creator of “The Actor’s Mind” visualization method, “ReActing by Heart” emotional connection exercise and “Auditioning by Heart” audition technique for film and television. She grew up in Nebraska and majored in theatre at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Not a stranger to the life of a working actress, she was a series regular for five years on GENERAL HOSPITAL, had recurring roles on JAG and DALLAS, and starred in films like WHO’S THAT GIRL with Madonna.

The Hollywood Salon
Panel with the #MyCorona Filmmakers
8:00-10:00PM PST Monday, April 12th

The Hollywood Salon
Panel with the UNL Carson Theater School
8:00-10:00PM PST Monday, May 10th

Connect with the Carson Theater School NEXT MONTH at the Hollywood Salon. The panel will be led by Theatre Department Chair CHRISTINA KIRK and will include Nebraska Repertory Artistic Director ANDY PARK and St. Louis Black Repertory Company Producing Director RON HIMESExplore opportunities in regional theatre and reconnect with Carson Theater Alum!


The Hollywood Salon
CaliBraska Update with Erica Larsen-Dockray
8:00PM – Monday, May 10th

Catch up with ERICA LARSEN-DOCKRAY, the founder of CALIBRASKA ARTS INITIATIVE at next month’s Salon! Registration is open summer programming, and she’ll share about the online and in-person classes available in all areas of the arts. BONUS: She’ll be inviting some of her teaching artists to share their experiences of exploring Nebraska and teaching in Scottsbluff!



Monday, March 8th, 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom! 
Special Guest: Geoffrey Lower – Actor

It has been 30 years since this month’s guest and our founder Todd Nelson appeared together in “The Diviners”, a play at UNL’s Johnny Carson School, directed by Judi Dickerson. Our guest went on to appear in many more plays on a variety of stages.

You’re invited to join us next Monday as we catch up with him on Zoom! Stop by and hear how his time at UNL shaped his career, leading him to Julliard and beyond!


GEOFFREY LOWER is an award-winning actor who has worked with Oscar-Winning Director Steven Spielberg, shared the screen with Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and can be seen on timeless TV hits like FRIENDS, DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN90210, NCIS, and many co-starring roles in his career spanning 30 years.

Attending the UNL Johnny Carson School and later the JULLIARD SCHOOL, Geoffrey went on to work as an actor in classical theaters in NYC, Hartford CT., and Washington D.C. with such names as Joseph Papp, Richard Thomas, Brian Bedford, and Kelly McGillis. In addition to his stage work, which landed him the Philadelphia Drama Critics’ Award for Best-Supporting Actor, Geoffrey has worked with Matthew Modine on Roger Spottiswoode’s AND THE BAND PLAYED ON, and with John Lithgow, Peter Gallagher and Francis McDormand in JOHNNY SKIDMARKS.

Recently, he had the pleasure of working on the independent film DISRUPTED, written and directed by Andre Welsh. The film is currently making its way through the film festival circuit. Geoffrey is excited to share with fans his talent of playing his first full-blown psychopath.

Born in Casper, Wyoming to British ex-pat parents, he grew up in a construction household where his two older brothers became a contractor and a structural engineer. Geoffrey carries both a general construction and a real estate license and has remodeled and flipped many houses in his Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake with his wife Karen. 

Geoffrey splits his time between acting, creating homes for Angelenos with his wife, hanging out with his sons, and a large Akita named Kioko.

THE Hollywood Salon with Geoffrey Lower
8:00-10:00PM PST Monday, March 8th

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s Zoom Party together!



Monday, February 8th, 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom! 
Special Guest: Leta Powell Drake – Actress, Producer, Writer

This month’s guest made a fresh name for herself when a compilation of her celebrity interviews went viral via Twitter last November.  Many have said her bold, brash interview style was legendary for its time, as she interviewed stars like Carrie Fisher, Tim Curry, and Tom Hanks.

Join us next Monday to meet her (on Zoom) & hear how this Cornhusker made her mark! And how Johnny Carson himself dubbed her, “Leta of Lincoln.”

LETA POWELL DRAKE is an actress, writer, producer, and perhaps best known to Nebraskans as KALAMITY KATE, the television personality from CARTOON CORRAL (1967-1982). She made a name for herself over a 50 year professional broadcasting career.

She moved to Lincoln in 1960 for her post graduate studies, and it was at that time that she began working for KLIN Radio and KOLN-TV. Notably, she produced the 10/11 Morning Show for 25 years, interviewing more than 1,000 movie and TV celebrities, humanitarians, and two presidents, and boasts more than 10,000 television shows hosted and produced during her career.

Notably, she has her pilot’s license, and flew the F-4 jet with the Blue Angels. When the pilot found out she had her pilot’s license, he allowed her to take the controls! She also flew in the All-Women’s Transcontinental Air Race and twice placed in the top ten.

She spent three years writing THE CALAMITIES OF KALAMITY KATE, which looks back and reflects upon her work during the Golden Age of television. Drake is known for her work to help those suffering from muscular dystrophy, and has been awarded numerous honors for her work both on and off of the silver screen.


Click below to play the interview compilation that became a viral sensation!

THE Hollywood Salon with Leta Powell Drake
7:00-9:00PM PST Monday, February 8th

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s Zoom Party together!


Miss the Three Minute SalonFest? View HERE.

We invite you to take a look at the projects of NCCers who shared their work at the SalonFest – from Los Angeles, to Nebraska, to Australia! Be sure to click on the document with hyperlinks that says “READ ME“, since many folks sent us their online content!



Monday, January 11th, 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom! 
Special Guest: You and Your Fellow NCCers

2021 is here! And with it, our annual mini film festival – now showing on Zoom! We look forward to seeing your work and celebrating the New Year with you!

You’ll have three minutes to share whatever you’d like. Details on how to showcase your work are below. See you Monday!

SALONFEST: THE THREE MINUTE FILM FESTIVAL, our ever-popular NCC mini-film festival, makes its debut on Zoom! This is where we will show three minutes of anything you want to showcase – for your Hollywood Family.

There’s a ton of talented folks in the NCC, and many of you have found ways to create some amazing work the past year – despite a pandemic! This is our chance to see a bit of what you’ve been up to.

Cue up your latest short, reel, or anything you helped to create, and we’ll show three minutes of it at the January Salon. You’ll get a minute to tell us about it, before or after. (Got something longer? Barter with others to share your time…)  Please send your files to Roslin at and she will handle the tech!

It will be an eclectic and fast-paced evening…no telling what surprises we will be seeing. Webisodes. New acting reels. Docs. Kickstarter promos. All kinds of YOUR latest masterpieces. Whatever you want to share with the group — this is your chance to show off.

If you know what you’ll be sharing, give us a heads up on our socials — then we can update everyone here what to expect in the next email blast. Or just show up Monday and surprise us.

Come to share or come to see what your friends have been creating. It’s a great way to get to know all the talent in this group, develop collaborations, and to participate by showing us what you got in a safe and friendly environment. SalonFest is always one of the most fun Salons of the year.

THE NCC Three-Minute SalonFest 
8:00-10:00PM Monday, January 11th



Monday, December 14th, 2020 
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom! 
Special Guest: GABRIELLE UNION – Actress / Producer 

The holidays are right around the corner! This year, we are gathering on Zoom for our biggest event of the year – the NCC Hollywood Salon Holiday Party! We look forward to celebrating with you, toasting the end of one of the most interesting years of our lives.

Joining us is a very special Hollywood Cornhusker. Though she lives in LA, she’s not forgotten her roots, nor her football loyalties! Come hear how this powerhouse creative has developed a career by honoring her passions and living her truth. 

GABRIELLE UNION is an actress, producer, activist, and a 2020 Time 100 cover honoree. Gabrielle is a leader and advocate for inclusion in the Entertainment industry, and formed her production shingle, I’LL HAVE ANOTHER, in 2018 with the goal of authentically telling stories of marginalized voices. She is also a champion of breast health and combating sexual violence.

Notably, she relaunched her haircare brand, FLAWLESS BY GABRIELLE UNIONfor women with textured hair. Prior to relaunch, Union joined BITSY’S as a cofounder with the goal of making healthy, allergen-friendly, school-safe snacks. She also partners with New York & Company to create the GABRIELLE UNION COLLECTION. In 2017, she became a New York Times bestselling author with the release of her book WE’RE GOINGTO NEED MORE WINE: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated and True

This is Gabrielle’s first Salon – we hope you’ll be there to give her a hearty NCC welcome! 

7:30-9:30PM Monday, December 14th

: We have so much talent in this group! We are excited to announce that some of the NCC’s stand-up comedians and musicians will be sharing special sets throughout the evening! 

RAFFLE: We have many exciting prizes coming to you from Nebraska-based businesses including VIC’s POPCORN, DOROTHY LYNCH, THE HENRY DOORLY ZOO, LOTUS HOUSE OF YOGA, and RUNZA

RSVP & DONATE: Because we’ll be on Zoom, there’s no caterers, bartenders, or fancy space to rent. But if you can, we would appreciate a donation  so we can continue bringing the Salons to you month after month, year after year. Be sure to RSVP for entry and donate if you can – we would be very grateful. But more importantly, we want you there! 

Celebrate with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s Zoom Party together!


Save The Date: The Holiday Hollywood Salon
December 14th from 7:30-9:30 PM – on Zoom!

You are cordially invited to the 28th Annual (First Time Virtual) Hollywood Salon Holiday Zoom Party! We want to celebrate with YOU and our Hollywood Nebraska family. Join us on Monday, December 14th for laughs, music, & our special guest…
Actress, Producer, and Omaha Native
Gabrielle Union

You won’t want to miss Gabrielle and all the NCC gang from Hollywood to Omaha – or wherever in the world you are. We’ll all gather, remotely on Zoom, on Monday night, December 14th from 7:30-9:30pm for our 28th Holiday Party. We’re starting a little earlier so folks joining us from Nebraska and beyond can make it!

Know that we are putting together a great show for you – TWO HOURS of schmoozingmusiccomedySanta,  and a very special conversation with Omaha-born actress Gabrielle Union, joining us for her first Salon! Tickets will be available this week via our website…stay tuned!


Happy Thanksgiving!
From the Nebraska Coast Connection
On this day of gratitude, we would like to thank YOU. You have helped make the Nebraska Coast Connection possible these 28 years, with 25 of them hosting monthly Salons! We couldn’t have done it without you. In the spirit of thanks, enjoy a compilation of your 25th Birthday year toasts here!

We are so grateful to connect with new and familiar faces each month, near and far, on Zoom. Seeing you has helped us remain positive through this time. Though 2020 has been unique, it’s still got love to share! Come closer for our BIG ANNOUNCEMENT… 


Actress, Producer, and Omaha Native Gabrielle Union will be our Special Guest at the December 14th Holiday Salon! 

You won’t want to miss Gabrielle and all the NCC gang from Hollywood to Omaha – or wherever in the world you are. We’ll all gather, remotely on Zoom, on Monday night, December 14th from 7:30-9:30pm for our 28th Holiday Party. We’re starting a little earlier so folks joining us from Nebraska and beyond can make it!

Know that we are putting together a great show for you – TWO HOURS of socializingmusiccomedySanta, and a very special conversation with Omaha-born actress Gabrielle Union, joining us for her first Salon! Tickets will be available soon…stay tuned!
Happy Thanksgiving! We wish you and yours all the best on this day!

-Todd & the NCC


Monday, November 9th, 2020 
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom! 
MICHAEL TUSHAUS – Director / Cinematographer / Editor / Composer

Who ever said you can’t do it all? This month’s guest has talents which run the gamut from technical to artistic, and he wants to share with you how he has made a lifetime career by doing exactly what interested him.

On Monday, drop into Zoom to hear his inspirational story, and about the fellow Nebraskans who have encouraged his creative career along the way. See you then! 

MICHAEL TUSHAUS is a native of Nebraska and received his bachelor’s degrees in both theatre and music from Hastings College. As of 2019 he has been inducted in the Hall of Fame at Hastings, and is now based in Las Vegas and has been making films and videos for over 30 years as a director, cinematographer/videographer, editor and composer. In 2013, Michael formed his production company, Digisphere Productions, which he owns, manages and provides many forms of production resources including, Cinematography, Directing, Producing, Editing, Music Score Composing, and 5.1 Surround Sound Design/Mixing.

Digisphere Productions’ inaugural production, three commercials for Michael’s parents’ bookstore, Prairie Books & Gifts, received two regional Emmy® nominations for Commercial Campaign and Musical Composition/Arrangement and Michael received his first Emmy® Award win for the latter. He received his 2nd Emmy® for his Commercial Campaign for the same bookstore in 2017. In total, his talents have garnered him 5 Emmys® and 17 Emmy® nominations from 2014-2019 for multiple commercial campaigns he has filmed and directed in the Heartland and Pacific Southwest Regional NATAS Chapter regions.

Michael’s love of filmmaking and entertainment started while growing up in Nebraska. He directed his first feature at age 17, and while at Hastings College, he was cast in TO WONG FOO, THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, JULIE NEWMAR. After graduating with honors, he moved to the LA area where he worked as a theatrical set and lighting designer, master carpenter, and technical director. He also built a robust acting career landing roles in film, TV, commercials, and stage.

Notably, he was the lead in TERRITORY 8 for which he also scored the original soundtrack, and his two latest feature film releases in 2020, for which he was Cinematographer and Producer, ABIGAIL HAUNTING and AN IRISH STORY: THIS IS MY HOME, can be found on Amazon.

Michael has garnered dozens of film festival awards and nominations including nods for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film, Best Actor, Best Sound Design, and Overall Excellence awards for his films. Clients include Cirque Du SoleilHuffington PostNBC, & UFC.

You can find out more about Michael’s work at his website and via social media.

Check in with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s have some fun together!


Monday, October 12th, 2020 
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom! 
JIM WHITE – Vice President of Human Resources at Paramount Pictures
DEBBIE BENAMI-RAHM – Talent Acquisition at Paramount/ViacomCBS

In April we said we’d be back at the Culver by now..! We understand this is a challenging time wondering how the Hollywood landscape will transform. 

In an effort to support the NCC community, we are bringing you two high-level hiring execs NEXT MONDAY! They will let you know where the jobs can be found and how to hone skills at home, which could allow for a stretch into new career opportunities. There are jobs, and these two will help you find them!

JIM WHITE is originally from Carter Lake, Iowa, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Bellevue University in Nebraska, with his postgraduate master’s degree in adult education/cultural diversity from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. His professional life has led him to work in more than 20 countries worldwide.

Jim has successfully held executive-level careers in such high-profile entertainment companies as Blockbuster EntertainmentUniversal Music Group/Napster, and Activision/Blizzard. For the past 14 years, he has served as senior vice president in human resources at Paramount Pictures. As the first in a trilogy of books, White authored “The World is a Safe Place,” in which he personalized his unique worldview to gently draw people into deeper modes of self-exploration and discovery.

DEBBIE BENAMI-RAHMM.S., MHC, has worked with Fortune 300, Fortune 500 and startup companies. Debbie is currently a member of the Paramount Pictures/ViacomCBS Talent Acquisition team.

Debbie is an acclaimed keynote speaker and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, who has provided her signature “Tap Your Talent“™ speech to corporate leadership retreats, professional association audiences, and universities around the country.
To attend the Salon, please RSVP via the link below. You’ll get the Zoom meeting info after you RSVP. You will also have an option to make a donation which helps us keep bringing the Salons to you.
Check in with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s have some fun together!


Monday, Sept 14th, 2020 
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom! 
Our Special Guest: HEATHER MARION, TV Writer/Producer

Next Monday’s Salon will feature a Special Guest who began working as an assistant in Hollywood, and is now a TV Writer/Producer on one of the most critically acclaimed shows on the air!

Join us as we hear how her personal upbringing in Nebraska and her journey working in various writer’s rooms has led to none other than the creation of her own autobiographical pilot!

HEATHER MARION is a TV Writer/Producer with credits including APPLE’s upcoming series, SHANTARAM, AMC’s BETTER CALL SAUL, and HULU’s THE ACT. She’s developing a true crime limited series with UCP for which she’s Creator/Writer/EP. Heather is also developing an adult animation limited series adaptation of Katherine Dunn’s ballsy novel GEEK LOVE with WARNER BROTHERS for which she’s Creator/Writer/Co-EP.

Fantastically, her unique Nebraska upbringing has been inspiration for her autobiographical comedy pilot BURY ME – about growing up in a funeral home in South Central (Nebraska). The pilot was included in Sundance’s Inaugural Episodic Writer’s Lab. Marion earned her MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA and got her start in the biz as a Hollywood assistant. She’s repped by Evan Silverberg at Management 360 and attorneys Ken Richman and Robby Koch at HJTH.

What will be your next Coast Connection? Heather and Jon Bokenkamp connected for the first time last month at our Hollywood Zoom Salon, where Jon was a guest. He shared with her about essential writer’s room software, and we’ll hear about how one pro writer helped another on Monday! Whether you have an interest in writing or producing hit shows, you’ll want to connect with Heather! 

To attend the Salon, please RSVP via the link below. You’ll get the Zoom meeting info after you RSVP. You will also have an option to make a donation which helps us keep bringing the Salons to you. Check in with your worldwide NCC Family. Let’s have some fun together!