Entertainment Business students are offered the opportunity each month to pitch their business ideas during instructor Donna Loyd’s class. Dubbed, “Art of the Pitch,” this class session features a panel of industry professionals who provide insights and advice to students as they pitch their concepts. Utilizing multimedia technologies, students are given a time limit to pitch their projects in the field of entertainment, whether through Prezi presentations, musical performances or with video accompaniment. This month, the combined entertainment industry experience of the panel was truly staggering, and included the talents and insights of the following individuals:
MARC PARISER: has over 25 years experience successfully representing writers, directors, producers, production companies, and comedians as a television packaging agent at The William Morris Agency, Creative Artists Agency, and his own boutique literary agency. In addition, Marc spent some time as Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs for Shukovsky English Entertainment, producers of Murphy Brown, Love and War, and other 1/2 hour primetime comedies for CBS. Currently Marc is founder/CEO of ShowBizCentral, a revolutionary new platform to help people who work in film, television and digital media manage their clients, projects, and careers more effectively.
ABE BRADSHAW: began his music industry career in New York City, working on the development of several platinum and diamond-certified releases at such powerhouse companies like RCA Victor, BMG Distribution, and Sanctuary Records. He had the pleasure of working closely with dozens of tremendously talented and influential artists, such as Robert Plant, Iron Maiden, Slipknot, KISS, Widespread Panic, Tommy Stinson, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the Wu-Tang Clan, Tegan and Sara, Motorhead, and many others.Eventually, Bradshaw decided to create his own music focused entertainment company, 00:02:59 Records, in May of 2005. In the past eight years, the response to the releases on 2:59 has been extraordinary. Bradshaw’s artists have appeared on television in House, Grey’s Anatomy, Sons of Anarchy, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’ Brien, CBS News Sunday Morning, One Tree Hill, Friday Night Lights, The Big C, Bored To Death, Wildfire, and several films and advertisements. 2:59 artists have been on National Public Radio and are on heavy rotation on Sirius, XM, and terrestrial radio. 2:59 have also received rave reviews and features in Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, The Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Paste, Harp, Vanity Fair, Performing Songwriter, UNCUT, Mojo, New York Post, Billboard etc, The releases on the label have also received celebrity raves and support from the likes of Bono, Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, Jim Jarmusch, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, and many more.Abe Bradshaw is also a high-demand Music Supervisor for various film and television projects. Some of his completed feature film projects include Anamorph, starring Willem Dafoe and Scott Speedman, and Good Day For It, starring Robert Patrick and Hal Holbrook. Current feature film projects include Murder Of A Cat, starring Greg Kinnear and Nikki Reed, and Amira & Sam starring Martin Starr and Paul Wesley.
TYANA PARR: currently works with Stevie Wonder & his production production, handling the brand & all tour components. She began her acting/singing career at the Sarasota Players in Florida with the Production “Jesus Christ Superstar” and quickly moved on to other productions such as “Oklahoma”, “Ah Wilderness”, “40 Carats” then proceeded on to the Asolo Opera Guild while she earned her degree after receiving a scholarship to Manatee Junior College. At the Asolo (on The Ringling Museum properties) she performed with many casts and notable troupes such as the Turnau Opera in productions such as Die Fledermaus, Dido And Aeneas, The Medium…and many more.
She then received a scholarship to North Texas University and studied composition and arranging in the primo Jazz College now named University of North Texas.
Her Television and Film credits include Diagnosis Murder, Deep Space Nine, Spiderman, Golden Girls, Hollywood Homicide, The L Word, Corky Romano, Eulogy and many others.
Her touring and musical credits include Engelbert Humperdink, REO Speedwagon, Kevin Costner, Jack Black, Great White, David Hasselhoff, Patsy Meyer, Bill Hayes and many more with award winning songs in children’s music, commercials, television and film.
BARBARA NILES: hails from New York City,where for 20 years, she was on and off Broadway,and seeing the country by performing at Regional theaters and on National tours. While in NY, she co-created a series of seminars and classes for lawyers-Acting For Professionals, teaching them acting techniques that could improve their communication and presentational skills in and outside of the Courtroom.Upon relocating to Los Angeles some 20 years ago, she continued acting, but also jumped into the world of voiceover. She became a booth director at the Daniel Hoff Agency and then went on to do the same at McCarrell and Assoc. where she still works. She is a voiceover actress herself, but now spends a good deal of her time teaching Voiceover Technique and a Master Class in breaking down copy and understanding the Commercial. She also produces VO demo CDs. Barbara believes that the voice as well as the eyes are equally the gateway to the soul .”One’s voice, how you speak and how you communicate says a great deal about who you are.”
ANGELA WILLAMS has gathered a vast amount of knowledge and experience that spans over 30 years in the entertainment industry as a professional singer, songwriter, literary author, producer, performer, as well as CEO of a literary and a music publishing company. Angela eventually dissolved all of her creative duties to home school her three children. Angela emerged as overseer and COO of the businesses and successful careers of her three sons, TYLER JAMES WILLIAMS: Series regular-CHRIS- Everybody Hates Chris (CW), Let It Shine (Disney), Go On (NBC), TYREL JACKSON WILLIAMS: Series regular-LEO DOOLEY: Lab Rats (Disney XD), Backyardigans (Nickelodeon), and TYLEN JACOB WILLIAMS: Series regular-JAMES PHILLIPS-Instant Mom (Nick at Nite). In the midst of balancing all of this she returned to school earning a B.S. in Business Management and an M.S. in Psychology. She is currently writing her second book, which is a guide to navigating parents as well as newcomers through the journey of entertainment.
The panelists offered incredible insights regarding the industry.
Marc Pariser explained during the presentation,
“You have to be passionate when you pitch.”
Regarding acting, Marc expressed his opinion simply,
“You bring your personal experiences in how you approach roles.”
Barbara Niles offered her thoughts on how to build on past successes,
“You need to be an eternal student, always learning….”
Recommending that individuals not become too stilted in their pitches, Barbara added,
“Pitches should be conversational.”
Tyana Parr brought her brand of music industry knowledge to the table, discussing her opinion on overcoming ego. While working with CHER, CHER told Tyana,
“Don’t ever think of yourself as a star; aim for your craft.”
She elaborated on the importance of keeping a tight focus on goals,
“Make sure your purpose is clear right from the start.”
Angela Williams, with her years of experience at Nickelodeon, urged to Entertainment Business students how vital it is to be relatable,
“Always be your authentic self.”
Abe Bradshaw helped round out the panel of industry icons with pitching advice
“Don’t use a Powerpoint presentation as a crutch, and always make sure you know your goal in your pitch…”
We would like to thank Donna Loyd, her esteemed panel and the students for an excellent day of pitches!