Issue 68 | September 2010

* Director's Notes
* Message from Mia
* Pencil Me In:


  • Harvardwood Salon Series with Josh Newman, Director of Digital Media at Fox, Wed., Sept. 8
  • Harvardwood Helps Blood Drive, Sat., Sept. 11
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Kelley Nicole featured at The Red Light Lounge, Sun., Sept. 12
  • Harvardwood Seminar Series and Showbiz Cafe present The Stardom Strategy with Music Legend Ken Kragen, Tues., Sept. 21
  • LA Harvardwood Music Group Meeting and Jam Session, Thurs., Sept. 23
  • Harvardwood Seminar Series: Creative Integration for Writers, Wed., Sept. 29


  • 1st meeting of the Harvardwood Music Group in Boston, Sun., Sept. 19


  • Harvardwood Heads To...Invitation to join IvyLife-Harvard Morning Networking Coffees, Thurs., Sept. 23

* Moving to a new city? Update your primary Harvardwood Chapter
* Join the Harvardwood Writers' Program (HWP) for Screenwriters/Playwrights in NYC
* Join the Harvardwood Writers' Program (HWP) for Screenwriters in LA
* Join the Harvardwood Writers' Program (HWP) for Screenwriters in Boston
* Seeking actors to audition for the Harvardwood Talent Group - LA
* Coming soon...HARVARD IN HOLLYWOOD - Save the Date! - LA
* Seeking writers for the Harvardwood Highlights
* Audition for the Harvardwood Actors Program - NY & LA
* Special Announcement
* Industry Successes
* Harvardwood Artist Showcase
* Featured Member Posting: Seeking a documentarian in residence - NY
* Member Profile: Ken Kragen HBS '60

Director's Notes

It's back-to-school time and you know what that means...another great year of Harvardwood programming is just around the corner! In addition to the awesome programs you know and love continuing this month with new meetings, audition dates, and events, we've got a couple of great additions launching in September -- the Harvardwood Talent Group, the Harvardwood Mentorship Program, and Harvardwood Music in Boston! A humongous thank you to those who submitted their work for the Harvardwood Writers' Competition this summer, the winners will be announced this month so stay tuned. And after reading the amazing profile of HBS alum and music industry legend Ken Kragen, I know you will all be as excited as I am to attend THE STARDOM STRATEGY, and learn Ken's secrets to a successful career in entertainment. Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not give a shout-out to Harvardwood Writers' Program (HWP) TV and Fiction Director, Allison Kiessling for her amazing work on the Harvardwood website this summer. Check out the front page for a brand new, easy-to-use layout. Thanks Allison!

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

Thank you to everyone who participated in our inaugural Harvardwood Film Festival in Los Angeles last month! The event was enjoyed by all, and we plan to make this an annual event (with a possible New York edition as well). A special shout out to the LA Film School for providing a beautiful, state of the art screening facility to showcase our members' work on the big screen...

Read on to learn about the myriad happenings around the Harvardwood community this month, and save the date for our upcoming Harvard in Hollywood symposium on Oct. 30th in LA!

-- Mia

Pencil Me In...

LA - Harvardwood Salon Series with Josh Newman, Director of Digital Media at Fox, Wed., Sept. 8

Harvardwood is pleased to present the next installment in our popular Harvardwood Salon Series…This month, to discuss changes in film and TV distribution in the digital era, Harvardwood is pleased to welcome Josh Newman HBS '05, Yale '94, Director of Digital Media at Fox. A seasoned new media executive, Newman will lead a discussion about the changing landscape in the film and television businesses. In particular, the conversation will focus on changing business models and how they affect everything from content creation to entrepreneurship…Salons have a limited capacity and all participants must apply in advance…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Helps Blood Drive, Sat., Sept. 11

As part of the 9.11 National Day of Service, share your good health – give something priceless, donate blood and save a life! Did you know that ONLY 3% of eligible donors in Los Angeles give blood regularly, the lowest rate of any major US city? And that holidays like Labor Day weekend are a huge drain on the blood supply? And that Cedars-Sinai has the plushest donor room you've ever seen with comfy lounge chairs and flat screen TVs? Nurses will dote on you! You don't get this kind of treatment at home! Plus, you'll get a FREE MOVIE PASS and 3 FREE MONTHS OF FULL MEMBERSHIP to Harvardwood too! …To view full posting and sign-up, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...Kelley Nicole featured at The Red Light Lounge, Sun., Sept. 12

Harvardwood pals, get ready because I am BACK!! On Sept. 12th your fearless Director will take the stage at one of the hottest live R&B showcases in town -- The Red Light Lounge. And, because I would be honored for you all to come out and celebrate with me, and because I am performing at the infamous Skinny's Martini Lounge in NoHo, I'm giving away FREE MARTINIS to the first 5 people to RSVP!! If you're one of the first to RSVP and show up on the 12th before 10pm, your first martini is on me!! Can't wait to see you there! …To view full posting and sign-up, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Seminar Series and Showbiz Cafe present The Stardom Strategy with Music Legend Ken Kragen, Tues., Sept. 21

Ken Kragen HBS '60 (featured below in this month's profile) is the master career strategist behind many superstar careers including Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, Olivia Newton-John, the Bee Gees and many others. He's also the man who conceived and ran some of the greatest humanitarian projects of all time from "We Are The World" to "Hands Across America" to "NetAid" and parts of "LiveAid." The author of LIFE IS A CONTACT SPORT, Ken will share a series of simple, proven career concepts with you that you can begin applying immediately and will increase your likelihood of success in everything you do…This is a one-hour, multi-media presentation (with Q&A) that is fun, interactive and packed with ideas that can literally change you life….To view full posting, please visit:

LA - LA Harvardwood Music Group Meeting and Jam Session, Thurs., Sept. 23

Join the LA Harvardwood Music Group for our monthly meeting and jam session! We gather monthly to showcase our work, plot and plan upcoming musical events, and jam out as the spirit hits us. All musicians and those interested in the music business are welcome (agents, managers, label reps, and more). Let us know if you'd like to showcase your work in September! We will also begin planning for a larger winter showcase/concert. Those interested in working on or submitting for the winter concert should plan to attend...To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Seminar Series: Creative Integration for Writers, Wed., Sept. 29

"Many of the professional screenwriters I bring into my UCLA classes say they know people far more talented then themselves who do not have careers, and will never have careers, because of their writing process. Process is how we write, how we create our work...Successful writers are able to write both conceptually and intuitively. They get the best of both worlds." This writer's salon uses guided writing exercises to help participants strengthen and integrate these two creative approaches in order to be able to write their most compelling characters and stories. Please come prepared to write...Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant and Walt Disney Pictures. Corey teaches screenwriting at the UCLA Writer’s Program and offers private online classes using video conferencing to allow participants to see and hear each other in real time...To view full posting, please visit:

BOSTON - 1st meeting of the Harvardwood Music Group in Boston, Sun., Sept. 19

Harvardwood Music is expanding to Boston and will be holding its first meeting on Sunday, September 19th at 4pm. This is a chance to connect with fellow artists and contribute to the vision and future of the group! We are currently working on creating a year-end industry showcase/competition featuring our most promising talent, as well as compilation of demos. Bring your instruments and records along as well and show your stuff! New Yorkers are also welcome…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Heads To...Invitation to join IvyLife-Harvard Morning Networking Coffees, Thurs., Sept. 23

Join us as Harvardwood Heads To...IvyLife -- Harvard's monthly networking meetings. For those of you new to the group, the format of the meetings is simple: we fill a conference room with IvyLife members and do quick introductions around the table, after which everyone is free to mingle. There is no charge to attend, but attendance is limited so please contact [email protected] to reserve a spot…To view full posting, please visit:

Moving to a new city? Update your primary Harvardwood Chapter.

Moving from your current state or city? You can change your primary Harvardwood chapter affiliation at any time from your account. First go to "Community" in the main menu at the left between "Art & Video” and "Store,” and then go to the "Groups” tab. Click "Chapters” which will bring you to the list of current Chapters. Make sure to join whichever Chapter(s) you want (you can join many) by clicking the Chapter and pressing "Join Group.” Then go to "Groups" under the "My Profile” menu on the right and change your Chapter affiliation where it says "Primary Group Management" (scroll down to see this). Find out more about how to make changes to your account at our FAQ page:

Join the Harvardwood Writers' Program (HWP) for Screenwriters/Playwrights in NYC

Led by Michael Robin and Yannis Kyriazis, the Screenwriting/Playwriting group has been a great success. The group will re-launch this fall and currently welcomes new members. The group meets approximately twice a month (sometimes Saturday afternoons, sometimes weekday evenings). If you're already a member of this group, there's no need to re-register (but do make sure your Harvardwood membership is up to date). If you'd like to join, e-mail [email protected]

Join the Harvardwood Writers' Program (HWP) for Screenwriters in LA

We are happy to announce that a new module for the HARVARDWOOD WRITERS’ PROGRAM will begin in September, focused on feature screenwriting. The group will meet on alternate Tuesday evenings in Los Angeles, and the idea will be for each member to set their own goals – turning a treatment into a draft, turning a draft into a polished script, etc. Writers who meet all program requirements will be eligible to post their work to the Harvardwood script menu and to submit their work for inclusion in our second annual FEATURE SCREENWRITING SHOWCASE, in cooperation with the Harvard Actors’ Program…To view full posting, please visit:

Join the Harvardwood Writers' Program (HWP) for Screenwriters in Boston

Writing a new screenplay? Want to workshop an existing screenplay? Sign up to join the 2010-11 Boston feature screenwriting workshop. We will meet near Harvard Square every other Thursday evening from 7-9pm, Sept. 23 - Feb. 17 (holidays excluded). Full participants will be able to meet with producers, agents, and professional writers, as well as submit a complete work to the 2011 Harvardwood Features Showcase and Script Menu next spring. Contact Matt Weinberg for more info or to join the workshop: [email protected] Requirements: You must be a dues-current Full Member of Harvardwood. Full Members will be charged a nominal fee for the workshop, mainly as a budget for refreshments, etc…To view full posting, please visit:

Seeking actors to audition for the Harvardwood Talent Group - LA

Harvardwood Talent Group (HTG) is a professional management company for unrepresented Harvardwood actors. HTG submits Harvard actors daily for feature film and TV projects via Breakdown Express. The goal is to help Harvard actors establish a strong work history and eventually secure talent agency representation…Actors must audition to join HTG (the next round of auditions will be announced soon)… To view full posting, please visit:

Coming soon...HARVARD IN HOLLYWOOD - Save the Date! - LA

SAVE THE DATE! Harvardwood is pleased to present the 5th annual "Harvard in Hollywood" symposium on Saturday, Oct. 30th in Los Angeles. This half-day event brings together several panels of distinguished alumni speakers to address topics relevant to the arts, media and entertainment industry. The 2010 symposium will address the theme of "The NEW New Media.” Confirmed speakers to date include: Stephen Chao, Founder & CEO of, former President of Fox TV, Fox News, USA Network and the SciFi Channel; Albert Cheng, EVP Digital Media, Disney ABC Television Group; Jon Goldman, CEO of Qlipso, former CEO of Foundation 9; Marty Kaplan, Norman Lear Professor of Entertainment, Media and Society at USC and Huffington Post blogger; and Larry Tanz, CEO of Vuguru, former CEO of LivePlanet. "Harvard in Hollywood" is a collaboration among Harvardwood, the Harvard Club of SoCal and the Harvard Business School Association of SoCal. To learn more about this event, please visit:

Seeking writers for the Harvardwood Highlights

Harvardwood seeks writers to handle monthly profile pieces on alumni in the entertainment industry. Responsibilities include researching, interviewing the subject(s) via telephone or in person, and writing a 600-800 word profile piece. Writers should be familiar with both the Harvard community and the entertainment industry, and may suggest profile subjects of interest. Some reporting and/or interview skills are required, as well as poise and a discreet manner. This is a great opportunity for someone trying to build their portfolio of clips and/or are interested in the entertainment industry. Profile writers receive 3 FREE MONTHS of Full Membership to Harvardwood…Writers can work from any city, and both current students as well as alumni are welcome…To view full posting, please visit:

Audition for the Harvardwood Actors Program - NY & LA

We are pleased to announce the Harvardwood Actors Program (HAP) is expanding to New York City and will be holding auditions for new members on Saturday, September 18th from 10am-3pm. Auditions for the LA Program will be on Sunday, September 26. Auditions are held twice a year and membership in the group is only gained through audition. For an audition time please email Angela Wiggins, [email protected] Please note: you must be a Full Member of Harvardwood to participate in HAP.

Special Announcement

Harvardwood founder Mia Riverton Alpert and husband David Alpert joyfully announce the birth of their daughter, Hollyn Meiwen Alpert, on Thurs. August 26 in Los Angeles.

Industry Successes...

Ed Park '89 has released iPad versions of his Sci-Fi graphic novel, MAXIMUM LIFESPAN, in 10 languages, on the Apple iTunes store. It is the story of a scientist who escapes death by downloading into a computer and then his genetically-engineered son. In several weeks, over 1000 copies have been downloaded worldwide. Other graphic novels can also be released for the iPad using this proprietary graphic novel app by Pileus Productions.

Allen Barton '90 was made a Steinway Artist in recognition of his achievements as a classical pianist - his CDs can be found at iTunes. In addition, ENGAGEMENT, the full-length play written and directed by Barton, continues its successful run at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, where he is also Executive Director and one of the principal teachers.,

Lauri Donahue is pleased to announce that her script WHIPLASH reached the semi-finals (top 114 out of 6000+ scripts) in the Nicholl Fellowhip competition. For more info, contact [email protected]

Rebecca Lawrence co-stars with Anna Paquin, Katie Holmes, Josh Duhamel, Adam Brody, and Malin Ackerman in THE ROMANTICS, directed by fellow alum, Galt Niederhoffer. The film comes to theaters September 10th in New York and Los Angeles. For the trailer, tickets and other information, go to:

Harvardwood Talent Group (HTG) member Steven Michael Harper has booked a co-starring role on the CW TV show 90210! Congratulations to Steven and the entire HTG team!

Harvardwood Artist Showcase

The Highlights is proud to introduce the Harvardwood Artist Showcase. Each month the Highlights will feature one or two artists from some of our various programs. This month we are excited to feature two authors from the Harvardwood Publishing program. Through its partnership with Unlimited Publishing, Harvardwood Publishing offers Harvardwood members the opportunity to not only publish regular book-length material, but also publish work that might not otherwise appear in print (such as short stories, poetry, photography, recipes, graphic art, and other material that is not suitable in book-length form). Harvardwood members and authors, Steve Bachmann and G. Wayne Miller, are featured below.

Steve Bachmann, AB (Harvard), MFA (UNO), JD (Harvard), has represented many organizations working for social change as an attorney. He is also co-founder of The New Orleans Art Review. Bachmann has written scores of law review articles and several books over the years, including THE U.S. CONSTITUTION FOR BEGINNERS (Writers and Readers Press, 1987), illustrated by Pulitzer prize winner Joel Pett; PREACH LIBERTY (Four Walls Eight Windows, 1990); NONPROFIT LITIGATION (John Wiley and Sons, 1992); LAWYERS, LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE, (2001) published in conjunction with the ACORN Cultural Trust and Unlimited Publishing LLC; and two books of art criticism, titled SIMULATING SEX: AESTHETIC REPRESENTATIONS OF EROTIC ACTIVITY (2002) and BEYOND NOLA: NEW ORLEANS REVIEWS OF ART (with Terrington Calas, 2002), both published in conjunction with The New Orleans Art Review, and Unlimited Publishing LLC. He has also published a book of literary criticism, EXTREME PROUST (2008), followed by UNBECOMING JANE, co-published by Unlimited Publishing LLC and Harvardwood Publishing, early in 2009. Click here to download LAWYERS, LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE on iTunes.

G. Wayne Miller is an author, journalist and filmmaker. His seven books include TOY WARS: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies that Make Them and KING OF HEARTS, which is in Hollywood development. His eighth book, A VERY DIFFERENT SENATOR: The Life and Times of Claiborne Pell, will be published in 2011. Miller is the producer and screenwriter of ON THE LAKE: Life and Love in a Distant Place, a documentary about the tuberculosis epidemic that was broadcast on PBS in 2009, and BEHIND THE HEDGEROW: Eileen Slocum and the Meaning of Newport Society, which premiered at the Rhode Island International Film Festival in August 2010 and will be broadcast on PBS in the fall of 2010. Click here to download SUMMER LOVE on iTunes.

Featured Member Posting - Seeking a documentarian in residence - NY is seeking a Documentarian in Residence for Fall 2010 to storyboard, shoot, and edit a series of online videos documenting our work building technologically-mediated social movements for progressive change. This temporary position is part time with flexible hours. We are open to the idea of a full-time temporary position. The ideal candidate is a current student or recent graduate of a degree program in documentary film/video, journalism, or digital/interactive media or has equivalent experience in storyboarding, shooting, and editing digital video. You are proficient in Final Cut and AfterEffects and an adept narrative/documentary storyteller with superior oral and written communication skills. Interest in technology and social justice are a definite plus…To view full posting, please visit:

Member Profile: Ken Kragen HBS '60Kragan.jpg

by Dayna Wilkinson

Question: What do Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Burt Reynolds, the Smothers Brothers, Olivia Newton-John and the BeeGees have in common?

Answer: Ken Kragen MBA '60 was their manager.

The winner of multiple "Manager of the Year" awards, Ken has been the president of the Country Music Association and received two MTV Awards, an American Music Award, an NAACP Image Award and a United Nations Peace Medal, among other accolades. He’s probably best known as principal organizer of the original "We Are The World” and Hands Across America, the landmark charitable events.

Ken promoted concerts as a hobby when he was a college student. "Right after I got the letter saying I’d gotten into Harvard Business School, the Kingston Trio asked if I would become their full-time concert promoter because I had promoted their early shows. I wanted to go to work for them, but my dad [a distinguished UC-Berkeley law professor] said to me ‘Look, you’ve been accepted by the Harvard Business School and if you don’t go now you’ll never go.’”

Ken went directly from a post-college summer in Europe to the HBS campus. "I’d been in the dorm in Boston less than a day when a fellow came into my room and said ‘have you heard this song by the Kingston Trio? It’s the number one song in the country.’ I’d been totally out of touch and felt at that moment that my entire career had passed me by.”

While he was still at HBS, a little known pop group called the Limeliters asked Ken to be their executive secretary. "I told them ‘I didn’t go to Harvard Business School to be an executive secretary. If you decide you want a manager, call me.’ By the way, I didn’t have the slightest idea what management was or how to do it.”

The Limeliters did call. Enticed both by show business and the chance to work for himself, Ken turned down offers from companies like Time Inc. and Procter & Gamble to become their manager. During spring break he flew out to Chicago to spend time with them.

"As I walked into their hotel room I heard one of the members of the group say ‘OK, that’s it. We’re breaking up.’ Once again I thought I’d made a terrible career mistake. Fortunately I learned that they were always fighting. They broke up every day of the three years I managed them. They could never agree so they threw it to inexperienced me and I ended up making all the decisions after hearing each person’s position. It was a great learning experience."

The day after the Limeliters broke up for good, Ken signed the Smothers Brothers.

The Smothers Brothers Show on CBS (which Ken co-produced) led to more clients, including the rock group The First Edition, whose bass player was Kenny Rogers. Under Ken’s guidance, Kenny Rogers became a country music superstar and was a client for more than three decades.

"Tommy Smothers taught me that controlling the talent is the most important thing. Almost everything I’ve accomplished has come as a direct or indirect result of my work as a personal manager. In addition to talent management, which I love, I’ve produced, directed and done other challenging and exciting things in the entertainment business.”

What role does Harvard Business School play in Ken’s story?

"The first time I really buckled down and applied myself was at Harvard Business School,” Ken says, "and I came away fascinated by all different kinds of business, and by the techniques of business.”

His HBS training was reflected in the systematic and marketing-savvy way he represented clients, but he never talked about his degree. A Masters Degree just wasn’t cool when dealing with musicians, many of whom hadn’t even been to college. That changed twenty years after he graduated.

"Kenny Rogers and I were in a meeting with Lee Iacocca. For the first half of the meeting, Iacocca ignored me, then something came up that no one could answer. Iacocca’s number two guy said "Ken might know, he went to Harvard Business School.” All of a sudden Iacocca started addressing his comments to me. He and I went on to become friends, by the way. That experience taught me not to hide my credentials--finally it was okay to be a Harvard Business School graduate in the music industry.”

The Power of Giving

In 1985, Harry Belafonte called Ken with an idea for a concert to raise money for African famine relief. Looking at the success of Bob Geldof’s "Band-Aid” record, Ken instead suggested a recording session with American music stars. Within 36 hours, Ken secured Quincy Jones as producer, Lionel Ritchie and Michael Jackson agreed to write the song, and Stevie Wonder, Kenny Rogers and others signed up for the project. Then Bruce Springsteen came on board, attracting many others.

"We had singers who were at the top of the charts at the time,” Ken says. "Quincy Jones hung a sign on the door of the recording studio that said CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR.” In the end, forty-five soul, pop, rock and country artists participated. "We Are the World” was assembled and recorded in just twenty-eight days.

In the same period, Ken organized Hands Across America. On Memorial Day, 1986, five and a half million people held hands in a 4,152 mile coast-to-coast line singing "We Are the World," "America the Beautiful," and the Hands Across America theme.

Between them, "We Are The World” and Hands Across America raised over $100 million dollars to fight hunger and poverty in Africa and the United States.

"It was the most amazing year and a half of my life,” Ken says. "It cost me clients, money and physical effort, but nothing I’ve ever done gained me more respect in the industry. It clearly demonstrates that you can enhance lives and careers--including your own--by giving to others.”

Ken was often asked for advice on how to be successful in the music and entertainment businesses. He finally sat down and wrote LIFE IS A CONTACT SPORT: TEN GREAT CAREER STRATEGIES THAT WORK, a book whose principles have been taught to thousands of students at UCLA’s Extension Program and elsewhere. He’s even lectured at Harvard Business School.

This month (Tuesday evening, September 21st) in Los Angeles, the Harvardwood community can experience Ken’s enthusiasm and hear some of his time-tested wisdom at a program entitled THE STARDOM STRATEGY. Ken says "Everything in life is an opportunity.” This is one opportunity you won’t want to miss.

Dayna Wilkinson is a proud New Yorker currently living, working and writing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Find out more about how to become a writer for the Harvardwood Highlights here.


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