Yearly Archives: 2015

The Nebraska Coast Christmas Party is Monday, Dec 14th!

It is our 20th year of Nebraska Coast Christmas parties.
Two decades of sharing holiday cheer with your Nebraska friends in Hollywood. This is our biggest and most fun party of the year!
Monday, December 14th from 7:30 to 10:30pm
The Culver Hotel, Culver City, California

Fantastic food and drink in the sexy Mezzanine Lounge at the Culver.
Live music. All your glamorous NCC friends in holiday spirits.
Super raffle prizes, special guests, a visit from Santa, and much more.

Celebrate the holidays with your Home Sweet Home in Hollywood…

Buy your tickets early and save some green.

Need more help?…ask about volunteering at the party in exchange for discounts on admission. For example, short shifts at the check-in table are a fun way to save. Always interested in cool raffle prizes, too! 

All proceeds help your Nebraska Coast Connection, so please buy your tickets at whatever level you can afford. (And if Santa’s been extra good to you this year, we even have a way for you to donate a little extra to help our hard-working volunteers attend).


 Tickets on sale now…


Carson pic

$20 million gift will establish Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at UNL

Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 6, 2015 – Those who want an education at the vanguard of new forms of filmmaking and emerging media – including virtual production, interactive and mobile media, film special effects, augmented and virtual reality, game design and more – will one day get the chance to study at the new Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The university on Friday announced a $20 million gift from the Johnny Carson Foundation, the charitable arm of the late entertainment icon and University of Nebraska alumnus Johnny Carson, to help create an academic program and facility focused on interdisciplinary learning, creativity and research in emerging media. Pending approval by the NU Board of Regents, the program will be led by the university’s Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film within the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts to provide a specialized emphasis in digital virtual production and design.

UNL and the University of Nebraska Foundation announced the gift during a celebration at the former Nebraska Bookstore building at 1300 Q St., which was purchased by the university in June. About 31,400 square feet of the 55,000-square-foot building will be renovated to be the center’s headquarters.

“Johnny Carson was an innovator of television, which was certainly the emerging media of his era,” said Allan Alexander, president and a director of the Johnny Carson Foundation. “Because of this and his legacy at Nebraska, we are especially pleased to support the education endeavors of many future generations who wish to follow in his footsteps as media innovators.”

Jeff Sotzing, an advisor to the Carson Foundation’s board of directors and Johnny Carson’s nephew, said, “This gift and what it seeks to build upon within higher education will absolutely make a difference in how students today and in the future learn about media and how they master modern trends and advances.”

UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said the university is extremely grateful to the Johnny Carson Foundation for its on-going commitment to the lasting legacy of Johnny Carson on its campus.

“This generous investment will once again have an enormous impact on our students,” Perlman said. “Johnny Carson’s education at Nebraska prepared him to succeed in an era of change, and this gift ensures the university is able to prepare many future generations of students for careers in the ever-changing arena of media arts.”

Charles O’Connor, the Hixson-Lied Endowed Dean of the Hixson–Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, said the gift helps the university build on the success of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and creates new opportunities for students to expand their knowledge of today’s emerging media art forms that are positioned at the intersection of film, design, computational technologies and commerce.

“This generous support will help the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film reach its goal of increasing access for students wanting to study film and emerging media while building a new program of real regional and national distinction,” O’Connor said. “The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts is a vision that is unique, innovative and achievable. It will increase the working power of our graduates and their ability to contribute to the growing tech sector in Lincoln and Nebraska. It represents a long-term, strategic partnership between the Johnny Carson Foundation and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, establishing a signature legacy in the name of one of UNL’s most distinguished graduates.”

Graduates who complete coursework in the new program will be especially prepared with media arts skills that can be used in various professions, including filmmaking, game design, television production, theater, advertising, social media, business, architecture, science, education and agriculture, among others.

The university’s plan for the center includes hiring a director, offering new courses and curriculum, and officially opening the Johnny Carson Center in 2018. Plans also call for increased student enrollment.

The $20 million gift is directed for renovation and development of the center’s physical space and a permanent endowment at the NU Foundation to provide annual support for the Johnny Carson Center’s programs and future capital needs. The center will include design and editing labs, scoring and recording studios, video and audio editing rooms, classrooms, sound stage, faculty and staff offices and more.

The Johnny Carson Center will engage partners from across campus, other universities and the private and public sectors through an advanced development studio, emerging media arts symposium, master classes, internships and more.

NU Foundation President and CEO Brian Hastings said the university once again celebrates a long and generous history of support from Carson, the longtime “Tonight Show” host who grew up in Norfolk and who graduated from the university in 1949.

“Through the years, Johnny Carson and his charitable foundation have made incredible philanthropic investments that have bolstered the university’s education in key areas of theater, film, broadcasting and emerging media, truly increasing our strength in these areas,” Hastings said. “We cannot thank the Carson Foundation’s representatives enough for their care and vision.”

In 1978, Carson established the Johnny Carson Scholarship, a permanently endowed fund to provide awards to Nebraska high school graduates. He made a gift in 1988 to support the construction of the Lied Center for Performing Arts, and the black box theater adjoining the main stage was named the Johnny Carson Theater in his honor.

In 2004, Carson gave $5.3 million to support theater and film programs at the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and to renovate and expand the university’s Temple Building, home to the theater program and where Carson studied.

After Carson’s 2005 death, the university received a $5 million gift from his estate to create an endowment to support programs in theater, film and broadcasting. The university’s theater arts department was renamed the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.

The Johnny Carson Foundation has given $2.25 million since 2011 in support of the Johnny Carson Opportunity Scholarship Fund, a permanently endowed fund that provides annual scholarship assistance to students from Nebraska who study in the Carson School. In 2013, the foundation made a gift of nearly $600,000 for renovation of the Johnny Carson Theater.

Find more on this story at:

carolersINVITATION: 34th Annual LA Holiday Caroling FestivitiesSunday, Dec. 06, 2015

Singers and musicians of all talent levels and ages are invited to participate in a fun and rewarding community service activity. It is a very fulfilling opportunity to give and receive joy, happiness and holiday spirit to and from the elderly residents, care-takers and participants while enhancing one’s own perspective or appreciation of life, health and family.                                                                    Bottom line: Everyone greatly benefits from this heart-warming event.                                     All effort given to participate, support and promote this activity is greatly appreciated!  Together we have the power to make a difference and the world a better place! Santa Claus will be joining us!  Music books and refreshments provided at all 5 performances.

4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

  • West Hills Health & Rehab Center. (meet main lobby-perform room to room)

7940 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, 91304   818-347-3800


5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Two performances staged simultaneously-select your own option

  • Topanga Park Retirement Center. (meet/perform main dining room),

7945 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Canoga Park, 91304  818-716-9900

  •  Topanga Terrace Subacute & Skilled Nursing Facility (meet main lobby-perform room to room)

22125 Roscoe Blvd., Canoga Park, 91304  818-883-7292


6:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

Two performances staged simultaneously-select your own option

  • Meridian of West Hills-formerly Hallmark-West Hills Assisted Living (meet/perform main dining room)

6833 Fallbrook Ave., Canoga Park, 91304  818-883-4123                                                                     

  • Fairwinds-West Hills (meet/perform main dining room)

8138 Woodlake Ave., West Hills, CA 91304 818-713-0900


7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

  • Post-Caroling Wrap PartyHome Town Buffet,

6705 Fallbrook, Canoga Park, 91307   818-883-4123


If unable to attend, you’re encouraged to take your own group or individually visit your local senior centers or shut-ins. This simple act of kindness can make a difference and add true meaning for all involved this holiday season


Details:  Vincent J. Leinen/KC 4th Degree at (818) 342-9336 or  or               
Experience the power, magic, and impact of giving music!

Casting Associate/Producer/Actor Troy Daniel Smith

Nebraska boy, living his dream in Hollywood. Moving up through the ranks in casting, putting what he has learned into his acting career, and now partnering in his own production company. Seems like a good guy to know, don’t you think?

Arriving in Los Angeles from Bellevue, Nebraska, Troy’s career in the entertainment industry began – as so many do – with acting, appearing in TV shows such as Wilfred and All My Children.

Troy has worked as a Casting Associate for Howard Meltzer, casting for hit TV shows like Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana, Best Friends Whenever, and Lab Rats, as well as the feature film The Impossible.

In 2011, he co-founded Exit 43 Productions with the purpose of telling original and compelling stories through film, beginning with their debut project, the feature film Lonely Boy.

Exit 43’s follow-up film will be the feature length version of Felly, written and to be directed by Alev Aydin, and produced by Troy.

He is a member of SAG-AFTRA, Film Independent, the TV Academy, and the Casting Society of America.

On Monday, Troy will give you a leg up on your career. He’ll teach you the tricks of the trade from the casting department’s perspective along with his real world experience as an actor. Another not-to-be-missed Salon guest!

Come schmooze with Troy at the November Salon on Monday, November 9th at the Culver.

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

Salon Monday: Dialect Coach Judi Dickerson

Special Guest: Judi Dickerson, Dialect Coach for films including GLADIATOR, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, AMERICAN GANGSTER, JURASSIC WORLD, SAVING MR BANKS and many more

You’re Russell Crowe and you need to sound American. You’re Natalie Portman or Jennifer Lawrence or Colin Farrell and you need to add a dialect for your next big film. Who you gonna call? Our October Salon guest, of course…

Judi Dickerson has more IMDB credits than any Salon guest we’ve ever had. She’s one of the top Dialect Coaches working in Hollywood today, and she’s been on the sets of hundreds of films, tv shows and stage productions, helping her clients sound authentic and get their voice and dialect just right.

She’s worked repeatedly with Russell Crowe, Colin Farrell, Gary Oldman on films like GLADIATOR, SAVING MR BANKS, TOTAL RECALL, 3:10 to YUMA, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, and NOBODY’S BABY. She has coached Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor, Hilary Swank and Olivia Wilde, among many many others, honing their dialects for AMERICAN GANGSTER, JURASSIC WORLD, AMERICAN HUSTLE, CINDERELLA MAN, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, and on and on…


A teacher of the Skinner Method, her dialect work for stage has included THE KENTUCKY CYCLE on Broadway, and her television work has spanned from JOURNEYMAN to EMPIRE FALLS. Originally from San Bernadino with an MFA from SMU, Judi taught Voice and Speech at the University of Nebraska in the mid-1980s. (Perhaps she taught you there or acted on stage with you at The Temple Building?  She’d love to see her former students and colleagues from UNL, or meet you if you came through the Theatre Dept in the years after her time there).

Judi has had her share of acting and directing gigs herself also, starting with her well-known role as the Checkout Girl in TERMS OF ENDEARMENT which was shot in Nebraska in 1983. 

Actors, don’t miss this opportunity to learn the secrets of making your voice all it can be for you. Directors & Producers, you will definitely want Judi in your contact list for the next time the script calls for a dialect. She is an amazing coach and this Salon is going to be a great one.

Come see Judi at the October Salon on Monday, October 12th at the Culver.

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

NU defense still a concern

Early on it didn't appear Southern Miss coaches watched the Nebraska film. There's plenty of material there. The Eagles didn't really commit to the air ...