Issue 82 | November 2011

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


  • Harvardwood Presents: "Tour the Beautiful Getty Villa," Sun., Nov 6 (MUST REGISTER BY WED., NOV. 2)
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Stanford in Entertainment 2011 Film Festival, Fri., Nov. 4


  • Harvardwood Presents: JACQUES D'AMBOISE, One of the Great Dancers of the 20th Century, Thurs., Nov. 3
  • Harvardwood Heads To...NO LOOK PASS--Documentary Film Premiere, Sat., Nov. 5 and Mon., Nov. 7
  • Harvardwood Heads To...SEMINAR on Broadway w/ Alan Rickman Post-Show Reception, Wed., Nov. 9
  • Harvardwood Presents: Amanda Smith '89 on "NEWSPAPER TITAN," Fri., Nov. 18
  • Harvardwood Presents: Larissa Sokoloff '92 plays Beethoven, Chopin, & Mussorgsky, Wed., Nov. 30


  • Harvardwood Heads To...Samasource Give Work Gala - Les Nubians Headlining, Fri., Nov 4

* Seeking Band/Artist submissions for Harvard ROCKS 2012!
* Seeking Items for Holiday Silent Auction
* DEADLINE EXTENDED! Submit to the Harvardwood Resource Directory
* Seeking event and J-termship hosts for Harvardwood 101
* Don't forget - Full Members can become Harvard Club of SoCal Members at a discount
* Industry Successes
* Harvardwood Artist Showcase
* Featured Member Posting: CNBC News Internships (LA)
* Member Profile: Tom Brady '86

Director's Notes

What a beautiful and exciting fall we've experienced throughout Harvardwood-land! Thanks to everyone that participated in our annual Harvard in Hollywood symposium this past weekend, the event was quite a treat for those in attendance. Coming up, don't miss our "Tour of the Beautiful Getty Villa" this Sunday, November 6th in Los Angeles (make sure to register by Wed., Nov. 2nd) or fascinating interviews with Jacques D'Amboise, Amanda Smith, and Larissa Sokoloff in New York. And, in preparation for our annual holiday festivities, learn more about you can contribute to this year's holiday silent auction. Last but definitely not least in my book, Harvard musicians gear up -- it's Harvard ROCKS time again! Spiff up those recordings and YouTube videos and submit your work to compete in Harvard ROCKS 2012 (DEADLINE - NOV. 15th)!

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

Many thanks to our 2011 Harvard in Hollywood speakers, who entertained and educated us at last Saturday's symposium: Amy Aquino, Paris Barclay, Howard Cohen, Jeffrey Deitch, Josh Goldstine, Alfred Guzzetti, Robert Kraft, Jeff Melvoin, Diane Nabatoff, Bennett Singer, Dan Sturman, and Baratunde Thurston. Those in attendance enjoyed scintillating conversation, beautiful weather, and dining al fresco to the dulcet tones of the Harvard Yardbirds a cappella group! For those who couldn't make the event, edited video of the panels will be available to Full Members on the Harvardwood Channel later this month.

-- Mia

Pencil Me In...

LA - Harvardwood Presents: "Tour the Beautiful Getty Villa," Sun., Nov 6 (MUST REGISTER BY WED., NOV. 2ND)

Join Harvardwood art enthusiasts for a guided tour of the collections at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades. The former estate of John Paul Getty is now dedicated to galleries of art and relics of ancient civilizations. Our group will meet the first week of the much anticipated new exhibition, "Modern Antiquity.” This will display paintings by modernist masters close to historic art which influenced the creative process of modern artists. Garden and architecture tours of the seaside villa will be available later in the afternoon. The Getty has scheduled our group to arrive between 11 and 11:30 a.m. Only guests over 16 years of age can accompany this tour…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...Stanford in Entertainment 2011 Film Festival, Fri., Nov. 4

Stanford in Entertainment cordially invites Harvardwood to join us for our 2011 Film Festival. It's a two night affair with a documentary/shorts program on Wed, Oct 26th and a feature program on Fri, Nov 4th. Both programs will take place at the Historic Mansion Building at Culver Studios and will be followed by Q&As and a wine & cheese reception...To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents: JACQUES D'AMBOISE, One of the Great Dancers of the 20th Century, Thurs., Nov. 3

In 1949, at the age of just 15, Jacques d'Amboise became a dancer with the newly founded New York City Ballet, and by age 17 he had been promoted by the great choreographer George Balanchine to Principal Dancer. Balanchine went on to choreograph more ballets specifically for d'Amboise than for any other of his legendary dancers, including Jewels, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Stars and Stripes, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In his dancing career of more than three decades, d'Amboise was one of the greatest and most loved dancers of the 20th century. D'Amboise retired as a dancer in 1980, but even before then, in 1976, he founded the National Dance Institute where he created a model program that brings thousands of school children each year to the magic and discipline of dance. His work has been recognized by, among many others, a 1990 MacArthur Fellowship (the "genius award"), the 1995 Kennedy Center Honors, the 1998 National Medal of the Arts, and, in 2007, The American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin', a 1984 documentary film about d'Amboise and the National Dance Institute, won an Academy Award, six Emmy awards, and a Peabody…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Heads To...NO LOOK PASS--Documentary Film Premiere, Sat., Nov. 5 and Mon., Nov. 7

NO LOOK PASS is the coming-of-age American Dream story of a Burmese immigrant who breaks all the rules of tradition by playing professional basketball and coming out as a lesbian. This documentary recently won The Special Programming Award for Freedom at Outfest in Los Angeles. "A masterful piece of documentary filmmaking...the most honest show of a lifetime." "If you're looking for a feminist Hoosiers, this is as close as it gets..." To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Heads To...SEMINAR on Broadway w/ Alan Rickman Post-Show Reception, Wed., Nov. 9

Join us as Harvardwood Heads To...SEMINAR on Broadway w/ Alan Rickman Post-Show Reception. This fundraising theater trip is a collaboration with ASRADA (American Supporters of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)…SEMINAR, a dark comedy, casts Alan Rickman as Leonard, a legendary author who provides private instruction to four promising young writers (Jerry O'Connell, Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater, Hettienne Park). As Leonard deems some students more promising than others, tensions arise. Sex is used as a weapon, alliances are made and broken and things turn vicious…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents: Amanda Smith '89 on "NEWSPAPER TITAN," Fri., Nov. 18

"Filled with more backstabbing, social climbing, and decadence than a season of Dynasty, Amanda Smith’s NEWSPAPER TITAN: The Infamous Life and Monumental Times of Cissy Patterson (Knopf) is the story of canny Medill heiress Eleanor "Cissy” Patterson, the 20th century’s first major female editor in chief (of the Washington Herald), whose personal life was a Whartonian saga of American entitlement colliding with dubious European aristocracy."—Vogue. Cissy Patterson took over as editor in chief of the Washington Herald in 1930 and soon afterward merged it with the Washington Times to create the Washington Times-Herald, a paper which was DC's dominant tabloid for the rest of Patterson's life. Amanda Smith '92 has written the "absorbing biography . . . a spell-binding tale" (Publisher's Weekly) of this remarkable woman. Smith will be interviewed by Brooklyn College Professor of Film Foster Hirsch. Hirsch is the author the classic study of film noir THE DARK SIDE OF THE SCREEN and 15 other books, including his recent biography of Otto Preminger. To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents: Larissa Sokoloff '92 plays Beethoven, Chopin, & Mussorgsky, Wed., Nov. 30

Hailed by the Washington Post as "A superb pianist and an even better musician,” Larissa Sokoloff '92 combines profound musical insight with a virtuoso technique. The Cincinnati Enquirer saluted her "Grandeur, sweep, and passion!" She is the winner of numerous awards, notably the Special Jury Prize for "Pianist Possessing the Most Remarkable Expressive Skills" at the Ettore Pozzole Competition, and has performed at the Ravinia Festival, the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, and the Sarasota Opera House. Sokoloff will be performing three of the greatest, most dramatic, and best-loved works in the entire piano repertory: Beethoven's sweeping Appassionata Sonata, Chopin's deeply romantic Ballade No. 1, and Mussorgsky's intense and colorful Pictures at an Exhibition…To view full posting, please visit:

SF - Harvardwood Heads To...Samasource Give Work Gala - Les Nubians Headlining," Fri., Nov 4

Join us for a curated tour of our favorite places around the world…From Paris: A performance from Grammy-nominated Afropean sister duo Les Nubians; From Bollywood: Underground melodies from DJ Atish; From our own backyard: Open-Bar and Hors D'oeuvres by Bay Area green caterer Global Gourmet. Live Charity Auction with items including: a Cartier Classics package, Tesla Tour, exotic Maui getaway, and a Paris Fashion Show experience. Harvardwood member and Harvard in Hollywood speaker, Baratunde Thurston '99, Director of Digital at The Onion, serves as Master of Ceremonies…To view full posting, please visit:

Seeking Band/Artist Submissions for Harvard ROCKS 2012!

Ready once again to show the world how we ROCK. The musical showcase with both brains and brawn -- Harvard ROCKS -- is BACK! Started in New York in 2009, Harvard ROCKS brings out the best of the best in Harvard’s undiscovered musical talent. The performing acts will be chosen by a group of top tier industry judges including Robert Kraft (President of Fox Music), Anne Preven (academy-award winning songwriter), Ben Weeden (COO of North American Music for Live Nation), DA Wallach of CHESTER FRENCH, and more! The performing acts will then compete for the ultimate music industry prize package...(DEADLINE - NOV. 15th)...To view full posting, please visit:

Seeking Items for Holiday Silent Auction

This year, in conjunction with our annual holiday party, Harvardwood will host a silent auction in support of the Harvardwood Fund! We invite all Harvardwood members and their contacts to participate. Donate an item from your business or service in support of Harvardwood's educational events and programs. We are currently seeking tax-deductible items to be donated for the auction. Items may include things like: gift certificates (spas, yoga, stores, restaurants, etc.), recording or editing time in a professional studio (audio or video), gift baskets, a walk-on role on a film or TV show, lessons in your area of expertise (golf, tennis, yoga, voice, acting, etc.), a visit to a set or studio, and more…To view full posting, please visit:

DEADLINE EXTENDED! Submit to the Harvardwood Resource Directory

The Harvardwood Resource Directory will be a listing of relevant businesses and services associated with our community, giving our members and visitors a quick and easy reference guide for their upcoming projects and industry needs. The deadline for free submission has been extended. All Harvardwood members and their contacts may list in the Resource Directory for free for a limited time…To view more information and to sign up, please visit:

Seeking event and J-termship hosts for Harvardwood 101

Harvardwood invites all Harvard alums and friends to get involved in the 10th annual Harvardwood 101 career exploration program, co-sponsored by Harvard’s Office of Career Services and Office for the Arts. Harvardwood 101 brings a group of Harvard undergraduates to Los Angeles during the January term (or "J-term”) and provides various career-related activities in an attempt to demystify "the biz" and educate current students about opportunities in the arts/media/entertainment industries.

There are two segments of the Harvardwood 101 program:

  1. The Harvardwood 101 "Boot Camp" program takes place during the first week of J-term, JAN. 2 - 8, 2012. The entire group of about two-dozen students participates in office visits, panels, tours, and other activities sponsored by alums and friends working in the arts/media/entertainment industries.
  2. The Harvardwood 101 "J-Term-Ship" program provides opportunities for the duration of the J-term JAN. 9 - 22 (or a portion thereof) for individual students to further explore their area(s) of professional interest. J-term-ship opportunities might include such experiences as shadowing an alum, doing an intensive 2-week "internship” at one or more companies, observing on a film or TV set, assisting with project research, etc. PLEASE NOTE: "J-term-ship" opportunities do not have to be LA-based.

Please contact us at [email protected] if you have questions or are interested in any/all of the following:

  • Hosting all of the students for an office/set visit and/or participating in a panel discussion
  • Providing a "J-term-ship” opportunity for an individual student (or students)


For more information on Harvardwood 101, please visit:

Thanks for your support!

Don't forget - Full Members can become Harvard Club of SoCal members at a discount

Attention all Affiliates and Full Members of Harvardwood - for an additional, discounted price of $20/year you can become a member of the Harvard Club of Southern California! In addition to sponsoring more social, entertainment, and educational programs for its members throughout Southern California, the Club also works to raise scholarship funds for Harvard College, interviews Southern California applicants to Harvard College, awards summer fellowships to deserving Harvard students, and more…To view full posting, please visit:

Industry Successes...

James Connolly '88 is proud to present a VETERANS DAY WEEKEND BENEFIT COMEDY SHOW Sunday NOVEMBER 13 2011 at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, CA, featuring some of the funniest comedians in Southern California. The event will raise funds for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. The MCSF provides scholarships for post-high school education to deserving sons and daughters of Marines with particular attention given to children whose parent has been killed or wounded in action. To purchase tickets - Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: James P. Connolly Presents.

Timothy Curley's HLS '02 debut feature, THE MUDMAN, has been selected to screen at the Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood where it will be honored with 6 awards: Best Narrative Feature, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Production Design, and Best Cinematography (Denis Maloney, ASC). Tim is currently in development on a horror film and looking for representation.

I. Janai-Ami '81 print of painting "ONCE UPON A TIME" will be featured at the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in New York City (Chelsea) from October 28th through November 29, 2011. If you are in New York, stop by the gallery Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 AM until 5 PM. All Harvardwood members in New York City are also invited to attend the Opening on November 3, 2011 from 6-8 PM. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery is located at # 511 West 25th Street (near 9th Avenue). "Once Upon A Time" initially sold in November 2004. This Limited First Edition is available through the Gallery only. The California Art Club called "ONCE UPON A TIME" a contemporary masterpiece. The first half of the Edition (#250) sold out within the first week of its release. Her oil on canvas "WATER FLOWERS FOR NEIL," one of the 9/11 series of florals, recently sold in New York City. The painting was completed during "Operation Anaconda" and the name was selected as a tribute to the Navy Seal from Woodland Hills, California, who died on the day it was painted.

Jerome Harris '73 will be on bass with klezmer/funk/hip hop juggernaut *ABRAHAM INC.* in November! collaboration with Mizel Arts Culture Center, Center for Judaic Studies (University of Denver) The Spirituals Project... Saturday, November 12, 7:30 PM; $49, $45, $39, $33 June Swaner Gates Concert Hall, Newman Center for the Performing Arts University Of Denver 2344 E. Iliff Ave. Denver CO 80208 Info: (303) 871-7720; Sunday, November 13, 7:00 PM; $50-20 Zellerbach Hall, University of California Berkeley 2430 Bancroft Avenue Berkeley CA 94720-4800 Info: (510) 642-9988;

Adam Perlman '04 and Graham Sack '03 won the 2011 Final Draft Big Break Screenplay Competition for their script, THE MORGAN PRINCIPLE. A panel of industry judges selected the screenplay first overall out of the four thousand that were submitted. THE MORGAN PRINCIPLE was also a semifinalist for the 2011 Nicholl Fellowship. The logline: When 16-year-old Morgan Finch creates a Wall Street style "grades market" in his 1980s school, disaster seems to be around the corner -- or is that just the American dream coming true?

Harvardwood Artist Showcase

Each month the Highlights is proud to feature one or two artists from some of our various programs. Click each person's name to learn more about what they do.

elizabethjazz_andrewtfosterp.jpgMusician Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen '00 has a new record of original jazz and pop music out on Canopy Jazz this month. Entitled "Brainchildren," it is the culmination of a great NYC career as a vocalist, trombonist, and songwriter. Now based in LA, Elizabeth continues to tour, record, write and arrange music, and perform locally with her band and as a freelance musician. She also teaches interactive workshops on jazz to school audiences, ranging in size from 20 to 800 students! Learn more, and hear the record, here:

Featured Member Posting: CNBC News Internships - LA

CNBC, the world's leading business news channel, is offering internships to students at its Los Angeles Bureau in Universal City. The program allows students to gain practical, hands-on experience in a busy newsroom. Interns learn about broadcast journalism, production, technology, editing, script writing, research, news gathering, business, and much more. Students are encouraged to apply early for the spring term, which runs from January to May. These are unpaid internship positions, and students must receive academic credit from their college or university for the experience. Interns are required to work a minimum of two days a week. Interns should have excellent interpersonal skills, an ability to work as part of a team, and a demonstrated interest in broadcast journalism and business. They should be motivated self-starters with basic computer knowledge. There are a limited number of positions, and they are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis and are subject to availability….To view full posting, please visit:

Member Profile: Tom Brady '86Brady.jpg

by Dayna Wilkinson

Tom Brady: When Adam Sandler called and said "I just wrote a new script, do you want to direct it, my instinctive answer was ‘hell yes!’”

It’s been quite a journey for Harvard’s Tom Brady ("Just don’t confuse me with the quarterback – I’m clearly the more handsome and athletic one”), a kid from the backstreets of Bayonne, New Jersey.

"I had a snarky sense of humor, which helped me survive elementary and high school,” Tom says. He realized early that he wanted to be a writer.

"I wrote as a way to escape, and found that I was naturally drawn to comedic material like Monty Python, Woody Allen and Steve Martin. As the high school paper’s sports editor, I once wrote a vicious, satirical piece about the football team with no thought to the fact that they were all going to read it and want to kill me. I was barely able to talk my way out of that one. I learned some early lessons about being too sarcastic and knowing my audience.”

Bayonne High School didn’t incubate many Ivy Leaguers. "I had one of those great, Welcome Back Kotter / Dead Poets’ Society teachers, Mr. Linn, a Harvard grad who made it his life’s mission to find diamonds-in-the-rough in my crazy public high school,” Tom says. "He grabbed hold of me around sophomore year and said he’d seen some of my writing. He said ‘Hey, if you straighten out and do what you’re supposed to do, maybe you can get into a decent school.’ He gave me a kick in the ass just when I needed it.”

Tom blossomed at Harvard. "I was determined to be the great American novelist and immersed myself in all kinds of literature. As a joke I went to an audition for a play with my roommate. To my surprise, I got the lead opposite Amy Brenneman ‘86. The play was developed from a Kurt Vonnegut novel and there was a lot of improv--and nudity. It was a life-changing experience. After that, everything for me was about writing, producing, directing and acting in plays.”

After graduation, Tom was waitlisted at Yale for the directing program, and wasn’t ready to commit to a film program. "As a lark, I applied to the University of Hawaii theatre program,” Tom says. "To my surprise, a former Yale theater professor was chairing that department, and he said ‘Aloha. Come on out here. We’ll get you a job and a place to live, and you can produce anything you want to.’ It was too tempting to turn down.

"In Hawaii, I played the lead in all the Shakespeare plays, continued writing and directing, and did a few professional shows that toured the islands. Meanwhile, friends of mine had moved to L.A. and were becoming junior agents or landing development jobs. They said ‘you’re doing great work, but we can’t come out there and see it and nobody else will either.’

"That’s when I got a small acting role on the CBS Vietnam show TOUR OF DUTY, which was filming in Hawaii. I was also doing A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at the University, and had the time of my life, filming all day in the mud in the jungle with machine guns then racing across the island to do Shakespeare at night. I had never been more creatively engaged, and that was when I realized I needed to move to L.A.

"I had a lot of different jobs, including working as assistant director at The Mark Taper Forum,” Tom recalls, "and the whole time I was writing on the side. When I turned my attention to spec tv scripts, that’s when I started getting incredible feedback.

"My big break came when Al Jean ‘81 and Mike Reiss ’81 called from THE SIMPSONS. They were some of the last show runners in town who read unsolicited submissions. They called me out of the blue one day and said ‘hey, this is really funny stuff, we want to meet you.’

"I started writing on THE CRITIC. It was the grunge era and I had long hair down the middle of my back--they thought I was sort of a guy off the street. One time they were telling a Harvard Yard story and when I chimed in, they looked at me like I was crazy. They had hired me based on my work, and had no idea I had also gone to Harvard.”

In addition to those shows, Tom wrote for several other TV shows, including SPORTS NIGHT, and MEN BEHAVING BADLY, starring Rob Schneider. "That show lasted two seasons, and when it was done, I told Rob, ‘I’ve got movie ideas you,’” Tom says. One had Schneider playing an unlikely male gigolo (DEUCE BIGELOW), and another was based on Tom’s Harvard honors thesis ("The Human Animal”) and an article his wife found about heart transplants from pigs--it became the comedy THE ANIMAL, which Tom wrote and co-produced. Next, Tom wrote and directed THE HOT CHICK, also starring Rob Schneider.

Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions was behind all of those films. "Happy Madison is kind of like a big family,” Tom says. "You live outside the rules of mainstream critics and try to do something that makes you laugh.” Which brings us to the script Adam Sandler had called Tom about -- BUCKY LARSON: BORN TO BE A STAR.

"It was written by Adam and Nick Swardson as a starring vehicle for Nick,” Tom says. "It was edgy and silly and bold, but sometimes those things break through and are big hits.

"We all knew we were taking a risk with the subject matter and kept the budget tiny by studio standards ($9M). The experience of making the movie was fantastic, but as sometimes happens, there were marketing and scheduling challenges that were beyond my control as a filmmaker, and the movie underperformed. But working with Nick, Christina Ricci, Don Johnson, Stephen Dorf, and Kevin Nealon was a dream. Despite the goofy premise, the acting is truthful and the cinematography is inspired. I’m confident people will ultimately discover that BUCKY is a much better film than they thought, and like other low budget Happy Madison comedies, it will go on to become a college cult film with huge DVD sales.”

For the last year and a half, all of Tom's energy has gone into MTV’s GOOD VIBES, the new animated series for which he’s the head writer. It’s about two Superbad-type buddies trying to find their way in a California beach town.

"It’s a return to my first love—prime-time animation. I’ve never worked on anything that I’ve been more invested in or proud of,” Tom says. "The central character is from Bayonne, my home town, and has a young, single mom like mine. This show captures so much of what I’m about, and I’m able to draw on all my experiences from the Jersey shore to the beaches of Hawaii, Venice and Malibu. Sensibility-wise, it’s a chance to build on the kind of work I did on animated shows like THIS SIMPSONS and THE CRITIC--sharp jokes, social and political commentary, and sneaky heart--and then to make it something new, visually arresting and cinematic. Every once in million the right combination of talent, material and timing just line up. GOOD VIBES is one of those special projects.”

Remembering how he got his first break, Tom tries to read all the material he receives--and the current writing staff for VIBES is made up of talented first-timers. When asked how he would advise aspiring writers and directors, Tom says, "At least when you’re getting started, you need to be specific about your interests and preferred genres. I also think you need to live in L.A., which involves a lot of pain and adjusting not only to survive here but to be happy enough that you can write from a secure place. And never give up. Keep working toward your vision – and when that fails, adjust your vision and start all over again.”

GOOD VIBES airs on Thursdays at 10:30 pm ET/PT on MTV after the new BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD.

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



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