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, July 12th 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!
Special Guest: Actor Abby Miller

Let’s be honest: the entertainment world can frequently seem like a fortress, where only a few soothsayers know the right password to enter. Yet this month’s special guest, an actor who hails from Nebraska, has been able to utter ‘open sesame’ to some of our time’s most iconic sets.

Join us on Zoom next Monday to ask questions about how she made magic happen, booking role after role on award-winning, hour-long dramas. Hear how her acting career took her from Clay Center to the center of Tinseltown!

ABBY MILLER comes from a town of only 800 people. But their community theatre gave a girl a part in The Sound of Music, and that girl, Abigail Miller, knew at age 12 what she wanted to do for life. Studying theatre at UNL and in London, Abby got to play Ophelia and Helen Keller, honing her skills with improv and stand-up along the way.

Abby currently stars on the Apple TV+ original series HOME BEFORE DARK. Prior to this, Abby appeared as a series regular on THE SINNER, where she played Officer Caitlin Sullivan opposite Bill Pullman. Her turn as Charles Manson follower Mary Brunner on AQUARIUS came on the heels of her dynamic turn as Ellen May on the FX original series, JUSTIFIED. Abby also recurred as Emily Greenstreet on THE MAGICIANS.

Other TV credits include: IMPOSTERS, STATION 19, SNOWFALL, THE REAL O’NEALS, THE CATCH, GREY’S ANATOMY, LAW AND ORDER SVU, and MAD MEN. She also appeared in numerous feature films such as the 2010 Sundance Selection ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS and the indie feature CONGRATULATIONS (co-written by Miller).

NCCers, Mark Your Calendars!

  • Are you a Writer, Director, or Producer wanting to know more about the inner world of network television’s biggest sets?
  • Want to know what’s unique, from a working professional’s perspective, about working for a major streaming platform?
  • Come meet Abby, who can provide insight and who wants to share the secret of her magic with you!

The Hollywood Salon with Abby Miller
8:00-10:00 PM PST Monday, July 12th

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


RECAP: The June 2021 Composer Salon
Last month, we welcomed Composers Leanna Primiani, Jeffrey Gold, and Joseph Neidorf to the Salon, and we wanted to be sure you had the opportunity to listen to their incredible scores. Additionally, if you have feedback for Devil’s Threesome as they pitch their brand new animated series, please share! Click their names to be directed to their work.

BONUS: Leanna has offered to make her entire library available to YOU. She only asks that she be credited, with a listing on IMDb. Have a film that needs that final something? Check out Leanna’s library!

Monday, June 14th, 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom!

Have you ever turned down the volume during a horror movie to find…it isn’t scary at all? The epic soundtracks to the films we love help us feel as the director intended. Movies would be missing an entire sensory component without this month’s special guests and their talents.

Join us on Zoom next Monday to meet this panel of musicians, composers, and creative directors who have taken their musicianship to the silver screen to inspire us to feel a full range of emotions.

LEANNA PRIMIANI is a musical storyteller. Using electronics as well as orchestral instrumentation, she explores the limits of musical form, sound, and time. As a conductor, her credits include the NATIONAL SYMPHONY and LA OPERA. Her music is championed by the NASHVILLE SYMPHONY, the CABRILLO MUSIC FESTIVAL, and the CENTRE DE CRÉATION MUSICALE IANNIS XENAKIS (Paris). As a composer for film and television, her credits include SIGNAL, and THE BAD SEED, directed by and starring Rob Lowe.

JEFFREY GOLD began his career as a film composer in 1996 when he scored the music to his doc short, ISLES IN THE MIDST OF THE GREAT GREEN SEAWhile attending Cambridge, he scored the short film, MONK, which premiered at the Bafta Centre in Cymru, Cardiff, Wales. Other credits include TONY & LOUISEWE CAN DO BETTER, AMERICAVALLEYHEARTand the award-winning score to COIN. He is currently working on the score for the monologue, THE CLERKJeffrey is also an accomplished playwright and screenwriter.

DEVIL’S THREESOME (creative team below) is a 22-minute animated horror/comedy for adults, featuring music from the band, GWAR, and original compositions. OLIVIA TAPHORN is a Music Supervisor and clearance specialist for US and International film, TV, advertising & new media on behalf of production companies, networks, ad agencies & music supervisors. Owner of the midwest-based Rhythm and Roads, she’s cleared music for Gillette, supervised the film THE JOB, & is currently supervising the doc, OPERATION KINGPIN: 27 MINUTES AT SON TAYand the feature doc, FULL OUT


JOSEPH NEIDORF is a film composer who has written for comedy, drama, & action films, as well as reached over 1,000,000 viewers through political video soundtracks for the Biden Digital Coalition, Creatives 4 Biden, and the SuperPAC, Meidas Touch. He is in the process of founding Living Library Musican innovative service that will merge the detailed expression of custom scores with the efficiency of music libraries.

KELLY EISENBRAND is an animation comedy writer represented by The Jackson Agency. She has worked in a 2-day writer’s room at Fonco Studios, and writes for both children & adult audiences. She has a Masters in English Literature from Claremont Graduate University, & Fiction Novel Writing Certificate from Stanford University.

MARCO OLIVARES AGUILAR is a storyboard artist working in animation. He has boarded for several animated television pitches and has done animation for award-winning student films.

Are you a Director, Producer, or Actor looking for music for your project? Come meet the professionals who can provide exactly what you need, and hear how they go about collaborating to make it happen!

THE Hollywood Salon Composer Panel
7:30-9:30PM PST Monday, June 14th

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


Are you a UNL Theatre Alum? This Salon is for you! Come and meet the new team at the Carson School – from the comfort of your own home! Please feel free to spread the word to classmates around the country who you think might want to join in as well. This is our chance to get us all together digitally for a big multi-class reunion, & to meet the new generation of leaders!
Monday, May 10th, 2021
Hollywood Salon…on Zoom! 
The UNL Johnny Carson School: Christina Kirk, David Long, Michelle Harvey, & Andy Park

This month’s Salon brings you a reunion of EPIC proportions and you’re invited! Come hear from faculty, staff, and students of the current UNL Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, and hear updates about the productions & their post-Covid plans. Catch up with your fellow alumni via Zoom at this May’s Salon!

You’ll also have the pleasure of getting to hear about the Nebraska Repertory Theatre and their work this upcoming season. NCC is more connected than ever – come hear about the opportunities in regional theatrical productions!

CHRISTINA KIRK is the Director of the Johnny Carson School & Executive Director of the Nebraska Rep.  Her directing credits include THE LIVING THEATRERICHARD III, & 39 STEPS. She began her career performing at the NE Rep, and favorite roles include “B”,THREE TALL WOMEN & Violet, AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY. Her one woman show, CONVERSATIONS WITH JUDITH MALINA, was featured in Theatre Journal. She is a contributing author for THE ART OF DIRECTINGACTING IN THE SPACE BETWEEN.  She has an MFA in Directing from Columbia Univ. & a BFA in Acting from the Univ. of Illinois. She is a certified yoga instructor.

ANDY PARK has served as the Artistic Director of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre since 2017.  A sampling of his favorite directing credits include SEASHORE with TriArts Inc., PETER AND THE STARCATCHER at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, & CIRCUS CRASHERS at Actors Gym.

DAVID M. LONG (SAG-AFTRA/AEA) serves as the Head of Performance at the Johnny Carson School. He has worked in both the US and Japan, & recent credits include DRACULA: MINA’S QUEST, RHINOCEROS, VIOLET, & PRIDE AND PREJUDICEDavid received his MFA from the UW PATP and a BA in Acting from CSU Fullerton.

MICHELLE HARVEY is the Assistant Professor-Lighting Design at the Johnny Carson School. Previous credits at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre include: UNRELIABLE, WELCOME TO FEAR CITY, STILLWATER. She received her MFA from UNLV BFA from UNL.

The Hollywood Salon Panel 
with Christina Kirk & the UNL Carson School
7:00-9:00PM PST Monday, May 10th

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



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