Category Archives: Hollywood Salon

Hollywood Salon: Always the Second Monday of the month at the historic Culver Hotel, Culver City, Los Angeles. The Hollywood Salon is an educational program of events featuring guest lecturers working in film, television, entertainment and the arts, sponsored by the Nebraska Coast Connection.

 

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!


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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 roslin.real@gmail.com 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! 

THE HOLIDAY HOLLYWOOD SALON
7:30-9:30PM Monday, December 14th


ENTERTAINMENT
: 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 www.MichaelTushaus.com 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!

Monday, August 10th, 2020 
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom! 
Our Special Guest: JON BOKENKAMP – SHOWRUNNER


We hope you can join us NEXT MONDAY for what promises to be an epic Salon with a showrunner from the heart of Nebraska! Tune in on Zoom to hear how the NCC shaped his path in becoming a successfully sought-after storyteller in Hollywood.

Prior to the Covid realities of working from home, he regularly commuted from Kearney to LA, digitally and in-person. His process now makes him a pioneer of the remote writer’s room! 
 
JON BOKENKAMP created and serves as an executive producer on the NBC drama THE BLACKLIST. A native of Kearney, Nebraska, Bokenkamp’s feature film work includes the thriller THE CALL for Halle Berry and IFC TriStar Pictures, an adaptation of the serial-killer novel TAKING LIVES for Angelina Jolie and Warner Bros., and PERFECT STRANGER for Halle Berry, Bruce Willis and IFC Columbia Pictures. He has collaborated with such directors as Tony Scott (TOP GUN), William Friedkin (THE EXORCIST) and Joe Carnahan (THE GREY). He also served as a creator and executive producer on NBC’s THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION, a spinoff of the original series. 

Bokenkamp attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, before graduating with honors from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In addition to his work in television and feature films, Bokenkamp is the founder and creative director of the World Theatre in Kearney. To adapt to the realities of the pandemic, the World Theater moved heaven and earth to build a new drive-in movie theatre. In a full circle twist, drive-ins were the subject of Jon’s thesis project at USC, the documentary, AFTER SUNSET.

Production of THE BLACKLIST was interrupted due to Covid, and Jon quickly adapted that episode to serve as the season finale – finishing out scenes using animation. We’ll be showing you part of that successful episode, the evolution of the idea, and the preparations being put in place to shoot post-Covid. We also have to know more about the launch of the World Theater’s Drive-InJoin us as we cover these subjects and more next Monday.

What will be your next Coast Connection? Whether you have an interest in writing or producing hit shows, you’ll want to connect with Jon at the next Salon on Monday, August 10th! And mark your calendars – September’s special guest is Writer and Executive Story Editor HEATHER MARION of BETTER CALL SAUL.

To attend the Salon, please RSVP via the link below. You’ll get the Zoom meeting info after you RSVP. You will have an option to make a donation, which helps us keep bringing the Salons to you. 

NCCers have joined us from all over the globe with Zoom.
Check in with your worldwide NCC Family on Monday as we keep up our streak of over 300 consecutive Salons!

Monday, August 10th, 2020 
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
Our Special Guest: JON BOKENKAMP – Showrunner

We hope you can join us a week from tomorrow for what promises to be an epic Salon with a showrunner from the heart of Nebraska! Tune in on Zoom to hear how the NCC shaped his path in becoming a successfully sought-after storyteller in Hollywood.

Prior to the Covid realities of working from home, he regularly commuted from Kearney to LA, digitally and in-person. His process now makes him a pioneer of the remote writer’s room!

JON BOKENKAMP created and serves as an executive producer on the NBC drama THE BLACKLIST. A native of Kearney, Nebraska, Bokenkamp’s feature film work includes the thriller THE CALL for Halle Berry and IFC TriStar Pictures, an adaptation of the serial-killer novel TAKING LIVES for Angelina Jolie and Warner Bros., and PERFECT STRANGER for Halle Berry, Bruce Willis and IFC Columbia Pictures. He has collaborated with such directors as Tony Scott (TOP GUN), William Friedkin (THE EXORCIST) and Joe Carnahan (THE GREY). He also served as a creator and executive producer on NBC’s THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION, a spinoff of the original series. 

Bokenkamp attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, before graduating with honors from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In addition to his work in television and feature films, Bokenkamp is the founder and creative director of the
World Theatre in Kearney. To adapt to the realities of the pandemic, the World Theater moved heaven and earth to build a new drive-in movie theatre. In a full circle twist, drive-ins were the subject of Jon’s thesis project at USC, the documentary, AFTER SUNSET.

Production of
THE BLACKLIST was interrupted due to Covid, and Jon quickly adapted that episode to serve as the season finale – finishing out scenes using animation. We’ll be showing you part of that successful episode, the evolution of the idea, and the preparations being put in place to shoot post-Covid. We also have to know more about the launch of the World Theater’s Drive-InJoin us as we cover these subjects and more next Monday.

What will be your next Coast Connection? Whether you have an interest in writing or producing hit shows, you’ll want to connect with Jon at the next Salon on Monday, August 10th! And mark your calendars – September’s special guest is Writer and Executive Story Editor HEATHER MARION of BETTER CALL SAUL. More to come soon!

To attend the Salon, please RSVP via the link below. You’ll get the Zoom meeting info after you RSVP. You will have an option to make a donation, which helps us keep bringing the Salons to you. 

NCCers have joined us from all over the globe with Zoom.
Check in with your worldwide NCC Family on Monday as we keep up our streak of over 300 consecutive Salons!