Author Archives: Jamie Ball

NCC Salon Monday 10/10: Creative Director & Musician/Artist Nick Davidge

This Director has a story we can all relate to. He came to Hollywood from the Midlands (of England, not Nebraska) and made his success with music, art, advertising and entertainment. Now he works at the top levels of the business and is shaping the way technology and entertainment play together. 

English Rock Star. Cutting-Edge Multimedia Artist. Creative Director, Independent Filmmaker and Haunt Designer. This guy wants to meet YOU, and you just might end up in his next commercial, music video, short film or haunted house. Come meet a very cool, entertaining and talented guest at the next Salon.

Nick Davidge is the award winning Executive Creative Director and a founding member of GreenLight, a digital content studio and branded entertainment agency. Finding new, innovative ways to tell stories has led to a number of ground breaking programs including last year’s Lady Gaga performance at the Grammys (remember the digital spiders crawling on her face? That was Nick’s challenge), the Uncut short film series, as well as the critically acclaimed Re:Generation Music Project and documentary films. Other accolades include “The Social Music Project featuring Reggie Watts” (which picked up multiple awards including a Cannes Lion), as well as the new digital series, “Huddle Up” starring NFL quarterback Cam Newton for Under Armour.

Before partnering up to start GreenLight, Nick was a creative director at Chiat Day one of the most prestigious advertising agencies in the world. While at Chiat, Nick oversaw the creative vision for a number of international brands like Nissan/Infiniti, Whiskas, Washington Mutual and most notably PlayStation, playing a key role in the launch of the extremely successful PlayStation 3 and PlayStation portable.

Nick has been focused primarily on creating campaigns to help brands and music artists exceed their potential in the ever evolving digital realm where he has won many international industry awards for creative excellence, innovative thinking, execution and results. Recently acquired by Live Nation, GreenLight is embarking on the next phase of its evolution deepening its pedigree in the music space.

Nick’s affinity with music stretches back to his roots as lead singer and guitarist of British band Airbus, who received critical acclaim for multiple records and were signed to BMG London.

In his spare time Nick is focused on the convergence of interactive theater and technology. This passion has lead to an annual Halloween haunt production with other industry professionals featuring holographic projections, sound design, live actors and immersive sets.

Every month your Hollywood Salon brings you terrific guests who teach, inspire and motivate you to become the best YOU that you are here to become. All we need is you. Hope to see you on Monday, October 10th.

Salons are a great way to network, catch up with old friends and new ones,
and have a taste of home in Hollywood.

  
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Sept 12th Salon with Voice Over Artist & Actor Mari Weiss

Longtime Salon-favorite Mari Weiss makes a return visit to the Hollywood Salon on
September 12th to help you start or kickstart your voice and commercial career. And this just in…she’s bringing a talent agent with her! 

Mari Weiss is a Chicago native (Go Cubs!) who received her M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!). She is a client of the prestigious William Morris Endeavor agency as a Voice Over artist and over her 25+ year career has been the voice of such brands as McDonalds, Blue Cross, Intuit, Yoplait, Public Storage, Staples, Suburu and Chrysler to name a few.In front of the camera, her recent TV credits include HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, BONES, BLACK-ISH, and MAD MEN as well as hundreds of commercials for State Farm, AT&T, You Tube and many others.

(One of Mari’s popular commercials running right now is with the kid telling his parents he’s going to work for GE and his dad says he can’t lift the hammer. Mari is the mom, “it’s ok though, you’re going to change the world.”)

Mari serves on the SAG-AFTRA Conservatory committee, teaching their Voice Over classes on the AFI campus — she’s coached many actors to successful careers of their own. Don’t miss this chance to meet Mari, and get your own voice working for you.

UPDATE: Mari is bringing a special guest with her: Commercial Talent Agent REBECCA HARGROVE with the AVO Talent Agency. Rebecca has over a decade of working with some of the biggest names in the voice over industry, at Talent Group, Abrams Artists and William Morris, before joining AVO. She prides herself on discovering and developing new talent, and turning them into some of the highest earners in the biz.


Also at the September Salon…A SPECIAL REPORT FROM THE OMAHA COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE
Screenwriter Tony Moton has just returned from Omaha after what proved to be a highly successful presentation of his award-winning screenplay “All Bets Are On” at the Omaha Community’s Playhouse on August 22nd. Moton directed a cast of 16 in a staged reading of the feature-length screenplay before a capacity crowd of 500 in the Hawks mainstage theater at the country’s largest community theater. The show featured actors John BeasleyPatricia Belcher and a bevy of Omaha talent. Cast members Ivan Lovegren and Tom Katsis will join Tony to give us some highlights of the event. “All Bets Are On” won a coveted Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award while Moton was in UCLA’s master’s program of screenwriting. Moton, a former Omaha World-Herald entertainment columnist, also has a master’s degree in journalism from UNL.


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Actor/Writer/Musician Duo Kirk & Joni Bovill Headline at August 8th Salon 

Partners in life. Partners in the business. Our August 8th Salon will give you insight into acting, writing and music from a talented husband and wife team.

Kirk and Joni Bovill have 100+ credits between them as actors, writers, producers, singers and editors. They started their own indie record label, Elmo Records in 1999 and released two critically acclaimed CDs. CCM Magazine labeled them as one of the top 5 indie artists in the last decade. From there they branched into Hollywood.

Kirk transitioned from a marketing position in high technology in his mid-40s and has been a working character actor ever since. Upcoming films include 20th CENTURY WOMEN with Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig & Billy Crudup, and A CROOKED SOMEBODY with Ed Harris & Amy Madigan. He’s appeared in a number of TV shows including CSI, CRIMINAL MINDS, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, SHAMELESS, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, GREY’S ANATOMY, and SONS OF ANARCHY. Other movies include CONTRABAND, GET ON UP, FREE STATE OF JONES and TEXAS KILLING FIELDS. Also a writer and journalist, Nebraska-native (and UNL grad) Kirk is developing a number of tv and film scripts.

Joni is from Mississippi and has been a successful commercial actor with a growing number of television credits. She soon begins the third season of Amazon Studios hit show BOSCH in her recurring role of Ida. Last fall, she was seen in Will Smith’s feature film CONCUSSION. Joni’s recent commercials included the Super Bowl spot for Apartments.com with Jeff Goldblum & Lil’ Wayne and the final Nike send-off for Kobe Bryant in the “I Hate You” campaign. She sang in both.

Come meet them at the August Salon and soak up some of their sage advice. If you are a working actor in films, tv or commercials, or a screenwriter or musician – or like Joni and Kirk, all of the above – you better not miss this Salon.

Salons are a great way to network, catch up with old friends and new ones, and have a taste of home in Hollywood.

 
Salons are always on the Second Monday of every month.
7:30 to 10:30pm at the Culver Hotel in Culver City, California.
Nebraska Coast Connection presents
The Hollywood Salon…
Where Glamorous Nebraska Meets Down-Home Hollywood.

 

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July 11th Salon with TV Writer/Producer Sam Johnson


Sam Johnson has come a long way from his native Omaha. Television comedy has been the better for it.

At the July Salon we will welcome back an old friend of the Nebraska Coast, television writer/producer Sam Johnson. Sam has had a guiding hand in such classic tv as FRASIER, NEWS RADIO and HOT IN CLEVELAND.

Sam has been a TV comedy writer for nearly 25 years.  As a fifth generation Nebraskan, Sam grew up in Omaha. At Yale, Sam met his writing partner Chris Marcil, and they wrote for many publications including The New Yorker, Mademoiselle and The New York Times. After a stint editing National Lampoon magazine, their early career in television included writing for two of MTV’s groundbreaking animated series BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD and the pilot for the spinoff DARIA.

They then moved to Los Angeles as story editors on the NBC hit comedy series NEWS RADIO, working their way up to executive producers during the show’s fifth season. They joined FRASIER in its seventh season as Co-Exec Producers and were promoted to Executive Producers at the start of the tenth season.  Sam was nominated for multiple Emmys and FRASIER won Outstanding Comedy Series during his tenure. They also wrote for HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER among others.

More recently, he wrote for the TVLand series HOT IN CLEVELAND, running it during its final season, and last year’s NBC series CROWDED.  He will begin work on a new series for Netflix in August.

Sam hasn’t been back to a Salon for many years, so don’t miss this chance to meet him and hear his secrets of comedy writing. Hope to see you at the Salon on Monday, July 11th in Culver City. 

Salons are a great way to network, catch up with old friends and new ones, and have a taste of home in Hollywood.

 

 

Salons are always on the Second Monday of every month.
7:30 to 10:30 at the Culver Hotel in Culver City, California.

 Nebraska Coast Connection presents The Hollywood Salon…
Where Glamorous Nebraska Meets Down-Home Hollywood.

 

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Monday’s NCC Salon Guests: UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Carson Foundation Reps

The UNL Chancellor will be coming to the May 9th 
Hollywood Salon. 
Come meet the man who has headed the University of Huskers since 2000, and has been a major supporter of the arts throughout his distinguished career. He’ll be joined by reps from the Johnny Carson Foundation. 

Chancellor Harvey Perlman has had a huge impact on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During his tenure, a film production program was added to the theatre department, becoming the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. Performing Arts and Journalism programs were also expanded, and a new Emerging Media Arts Center was announced, thanks to a multi-million dollar gift from UNL Alum Johnny Carson. Two of the leaders of the Carson Foundation will be joining the Chancellor at the Salon to share their plans with us!

For Nebraska sports, Chancellor Perlman also presided over the switch to the Big Ten, the Husker Football stadium expansion as well as several coaching and athletic director decisions.

A York, NE native, Harvey earned a bachelor of arts in history and a juris doctorate from the University of Nebraska. During his law school years, he was editor in chief of the Nebraska Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif, a law honors society. He joined the NU law faculty in 1967, becoming Dean of the Law School in 1983. He has also held permanent or visiting positions at the law schools of University of Chicago, Virginia, Florida State, Puget Sound, and Iowa. In 2011, Perlman was named an Honorary University Professor of Xi’an Jiaotong University, in Xi’an, China. This rare lifetime appointment recognizes Perlman as an accomplished scholar or professional of important international reputation and honors his significant efforts in globalizing UNL.

He has always been a big supporter of the Nebraska Coast Connection, and has long promised to come visit us at a Salon. This appearance will come in the final months of his tenure as Chancellor, as he will return to faculty status at the UNL College of Law next fall.

We look forward to hearing the latest news on the Johnny Carson Emerging Media Arts Center, as well as other plans for the university for which Chancellor Perlman planted the seeds during his incredibly productive leadership role.


Also coming to the May Salon…
A REPORT ON CALIBRASKA ART & ANIMATION WORKSHOPS
Scottsbluff native Erica Larsen-Dockray is an alum of CalArts and Inner-City Arts. In 2012, Erica brought her profession of teaching animation home for the summer, offering classes in animation, art, and creative writing for multiple generations in Western Nebraska. An instant hit, this little experiment has steadily grown and gained partnerships with local businesses such as The Historic Midwest Theater, Inventive Media, West Nebraska Arts Center & Western Nebraska Community College.

Calibraska is seeking support to keep the workshops running, and Erica will be giving a brief presentation at the May Salon to update us on the coming summer plans.

For further information please visit:  www.calibraska.org and like their facebook page at facebook.com/calibraskaarts. To donate please visit:  http://www.wncc.edu/wncc-foundation/giving-opportunities and make sure to designate CALIBRASKA in the Tribute section of the form.

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May 9th’s NCC Salon Guest will be UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman

The UNL Chancellor will be our guest at the May 9th Hollywood Salon. Come meet the man who has headed UNL since 2000, and has been a major supporter of the arts throughout his distinguished career.
     Chancellor Harvey Perlman has had a huge impact on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During his tenure, a film production program was added to the theatre department, becoming the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. Performing Arts and Journalism programs were also expanded, and a new Emerging Media Arts Center was announced, thanks to a multi-million dollar donation from the Carson Foundation.

For Nebraska sports, Chancellor Perlman also presided over the switch to the Big Ten, the football stadium expansion as well as several coaching and athletic director decisions.

A York, NE native, Harvey earned a bachelor of arts in history and a juris doctorate from the University of Nebraska. During his law school years, he was editor in chief of the Nebraska Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif, a law honors society. He joined the NU law faculty in 1967, becoming Dean of the Law School in 1983. He has also held permanent or visiting positions at the law schools of University of Chicago, Virginia, Florida State, Puget Sound, and Iowa. In 2011, Perlman was named an Honorary University Professor of Xi’an Jiaotong University, in Xi’an, China. This rare lifetime appointment recognizes Perlman as an accomplished scholar or professional of important international reputation and honors his significant efforts in globalizing UNL.

He has always been a big supporter of the Nebraska Coast Connection, and has long promised to come visit us at a Salon. This appearance will come in the final months of his tenure as Chancellor, as he will return to faculty status at the UNL College of Law next fall.We look forward to hearing the latest news on the Johnny Carson Emerging Media Arts Center, as well as other plans for the university for which Chancellor Perlman planted the seeds during his incredibly productive leadership role.

Hope to see you at the Salon on Monday, May 9th in Culver City.

Salons are a great way to network, catch up with old friends and new ones, and have a taste of home in Hollywood.

 Salons are always on the Second Monday of every month.
7:30 to 10:30 at the Culver Hotel in Culver City, California.

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April 11th Salon with Director Donald Petrie

Director Donald Petrie will be returning to the Hollywood Salon on Monday, April 11th.

Since the 1980s, he’s directed features with Julia Roberts, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Gene Hackman and Jack Lemmon & Walter Matthau with Ann-Margret, among many more.

Though he has a soft spot for Nebraska and has spent much time teaching at the Johnny Carson School for Theatre and Film at UNL, Donald is actually from New York City. Born into a creative family (his producer/actor/writer mother and director father were both in the business, and his brother Daniel is a writer), he started as a television director on THE EQUALIZER  series in 1985.

Since, he has directed films such as MYSTIC PIZZA (1988), OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS (1990), GRUMPY OLD MEN (1993), THE FAVOR (1994), RICHIE RICH (1994), THE ASSOCIATE (1996), MY FAVORITE MARTIAN (1999), MISS CONGENIALITY (2000), HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS (2003), WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT (2004), JUST MY LUCK (2006) and MY LIFE IN RUINS (2009).

As a young man just starting out in the business, Donald actually served as the driver for Laurence Olivier during the production of THE BETSY in 1978. (Imagine what a great job that must have been!)

Donald loves to mentor new talent, and you won’t want to miss hearing his advice for your career. It all happens at the April Salon on Monday, April 11th in Culver City. See you there!

Nebraska Coast Connection presents The Hollywood Salon…
Where Glamorous Nebraska Meets Down-Home Hollywood.


ARE YOU A CHAMPION?

Champions are the lifeblood of the NCC. The folks who donate their time or money to keep us going. The NCC is an all-volunteer group, and we can’t do it without you.

See the CHAMPIONS section of our website to learn how you can be a part of it.  And THANKS for supporting us however you can!

NCC IS ON FACEBOOK, too…like us here

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NCC Salon is Monday 3/14 with Editor Mike Hofacre

Omaha native and UNL Theatre grad Mike Hofacre has edited for directors Milos Forman, Adam McKay, Judd Apatow, Paul Feig, Michael Mann, Danny DeVito, Ryan Gosling and Jodie Foster.

He worked on many films including THE FORTY YEAR OLD VIRGIN, ALI, HOFFA, MAN IN THE MOON, STEP BROTHERS, THE BEAVER and MATILDA, as well as editing independent films WINTER IN THE BLOOD, SHELTER, and FRANKIE GO BOOM.

Come meet Mike at Monday’s Salon where he’ll be sharing about all these major feature films, plus his new award-winning documentary about mental health, WALKING MAN.

One of his first documentary editing gigs was on Todd Nelson‘s award-winning film about a street kids theatre project, SURVIVING FRIENDLY FIRE, which screened in over 50 film festivals worldwide.  Mike also is a stage director, most recently directing for five seasons at the Central Coast Shakespeare Festival.

Don’t miss this chance to learn from a pro editor/director and a really nice Omaha guy who’s doing what he loves in Hollywood. The March Salon will be Monday, March 14th at the Culver Hotel.
                 
Salons are a great way to network, catch up with old friends and new ones, and have a taste of home in Hollywood.

 Salons are always on the Second Monday of every month.
7:30 to 10:30 at the Culver Hotel in Culver City, California.

Nebraska Coast Connection presents The Hollywood Salon…
Where Glamorous Nebraska Meets Down-Home Hollywood.

Did you catch the half-hour special on Nebraskans in Hollywood (including the Nebraska Coast Connection) on WOWT Channel 6 in Omaha?

 
WOWT’s special by Brian Mastre aired March 3rd on Omaha’s WOWT 6. Check it out (in four parts) on our NCC website here.

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Sad news to report…
World-renowned radio personality Charlie Tuna has died.

One of the most influential voices in radio and television, Charlie grew up as Art Ferguson in Kearney, Nebraska before becoming a radio legend.

He guested at the NCC Salon in April 2008, where he regaled us with stories of his long career in showbiz, from playing records at the school dances in Kearney to becoming one of the biggest stars in morning radio, an announcer for game shows, and getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was an inspirational guest, a great Nebraskan, and we will miss him.

Check out his LA Times obituary…and Charlie’s own website to leave a memorial message.  RIP, Charlie!