Issue 83 | December 2011

* Director's Notes
* Message from Mia
* Announcing the 2011 Harvardwood Volunteer of the Year (HARVY) Award Winners!
* Pencil Me In:


  • ***Harvardwood/Stanford 2011 Holiday Party and Toy Drive! Tues., Dec. 13
  • CLA invites Harvardwood to: Women in Entertainment Symposium 2011 (feat. Harvardwood speaker and member, Nell Scovell!), Sat., Dec. 3
  • Harvardwood invited to the Ivy Entertainment Holiday Party, Tues., Dec. 6


  • Harvardwood Heads To...Annual Holiday Reunion Party at the SF Conservatory of Music, Mon., Dec. 19


  • ***Our Happy Harvardwood HOLIDAY PARTY -- with LIVE JAZZ from KAVITA SHAH!! Fri., Dec. 9
    Stanford invites Harvardwood to Holiday Happy Hour, Mon., Dec. 5

* Start your bidding! View items from the Harvardwood Holiday Silent Auction!
* Join the Harvardwood Board of Directors
* Harvardwood Holiday Appeal
* DEADLINE EXTENDED! - There's still time to submit to the Harvardwood Resource Directory for FREE
* Q&A with legendary writer, Edward Albee, now available on the Harvardwood Channel!
* Looking for volunteers for the Harvardwood/Stanford Holiday Party
* Seeking event and J-termship hosts for Harvardwood 101
* A special THANK YOU to Canter's Deli!
* Industry Successes
* Featured Member Posting: Director of Communications, Oxygen (LA)
* Member Profile: Sean O'Rourke MAT '68

Director's Notes

Happy Holidays indeed! Harvardwood is bursting with holiday cheer this month and I personally wouldn't have it any other way. As you contemplate that very special gift this season, take a gander at the myriad of items we have up for grabs in our first-ever Holiday Silent Auction! Where else can you find a sushi-making kit, a visit to a scoring stage, a trombone lesson, Emmy Awards tickets, and a "Fighter Pilot for a Day" experience all in one place!? There are those items and more. Bidding is open and available to anyone anywhere (feel free to spread the word to family, friends, and others in your network) so submit today! And of course the holidays wouldn't be complete without our fabulous parties from coast to coast! Join us in LA, San Francisco, and New York for great fun, music, and all kinds of ivy hoopla as we close out 2011. Lastly, I'm super excited to unveil our 2011 HARVY on for more information about these extraordinary gentlemen.

-- Kelley

Message from Mia

2011 is quickly drawing to a close, but there are still many opportunities to show your Harvardwood holiday spirit! Please consider supporting our Holiday Appeal, running for the Board of Directors, and/or hosting our visiting Harvardwood 101 students for a company visit or "J-termship" this January. Be sure to read on for all this, plus D. Dona Le's entertaining profile of author Sean O'Rourke, and get your own copy of his A BRIEF HISTORY OF HARVARD EATERIES AND WATERING HOLES -- the perfect stocking stuffer for those Harvardians on your shopping list!

-- Mia

Announcing the 2011 Harvardwood Volunteer of the Year (HARVY) Award Winners!

We are thrilled to announce this year's HARVY Award winners! The HARVYs (clever, eh?) are awarded annually to one or more volunteers that have demonstrated exceptional leadership in the Harvardwood community over their past year of service. Each HARVY winner will receive a $250 cash prize. Harvardwood thrives on the volunteer energy of its membership, and we are excited to highlight these ongoing efforts! Without further ado, the 2011 HARVY awards go to...

amit_--_headshot.jpegAmit Samuel '05 (Director for Harvardwood 101, Harvardwood Summer Internship Program, and the Harvarwood Talent Group) was born in India and grew up in Los Angeles. Like all good Indian children, he initially went to college to study medicine. Like all bad Indian children, he discovered free will. He transferred to Harvard as a nontraditional student to pursue a more rigorous education in the liberal arts.

After graduation, Amit worked at Discovery Communications where he felt he would have an opportunity to mix his creative and business interests. After a while he realized the only opportunity for vibrant, creative expression on the business side of entertainment is the choice of screensaver. He left to work for a talent management company. As an MP Lit & MP Talent assistant, he was finally working in a creativity-adjacent job.

Since 2008 Amit has been developing and producing feature film and TV projects. He works closely, not only with writers, directors and actors, but also with studios and network executives. (He is also sorry about the earlier screensaver crack.)

Amit has assumed several responsibilities over the course of the years he has worked with Harvardwood. His commitment began in membership and communications, where he took on editing of the HARVARDWOOD HIGHLIGHTS as well as writing profiles. He then moved on to plan Seminars and create the Harvardwood Salon Series.

Amit now manages the Harvardwood 101 and Harvard Summer Internship programs. He co-directs Harvardwood 101, which introduces undergrads to all aspects of the entertainment industry. He also represents Harvard actors as the talent manager for Harvardwood Talent Group (HTG). HTG actors have booked roles on shows like WEEDS, 90210 and MODERN FAMILY and movies like THE CONSULTANT (a Marvel short) and J. EDGAR.

gerry_bryant_new_062010.jpgGrowing up in Cleveland, Ohio, Gerry Bryant (Director, Harvardwood Publishing) was the only kid in his neighborhood studying classical music. At Phillips Andover he studied under Albion Metcalf and planned a career as a concert pianist. At Harvard his musical interests broadened to Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington.

At UCLA Gerry earned a JD and an MBA so as to be able to represent himself in the business of music and the arts. Since then many other creative individuals and organizations have benefited from his legal talents. In addition he has continued his career as a musician, arranger and composer with a group he founded, PocketWatch.

Gerry has also volunteered in a number of capacities. He has served as board member and board co-president of California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA), and for many years he played the piano a couple of times a week for patients, staff and visitors at the UCLA Medical Center.

Gerry’s efforts have aided Harvardwood in many ways. He has served on the Board for the past two years and has been editor of the HARVARDWOOD HIGHLIGHTS. He can now add to his list of accomplishments the successful launch and management of the Harvardwood Publishing imprint which releases books by Harvardwood members in hard cover and paperback.

HARVY profiles written by Sean O'Rourke MAT '68.

Pencil Me In...

LA - Harvardwood/Stanford 2011 Holiday Party and Toy Drive! Tues., Dec. 13

Our annual holiday party is back! Come enjoy holiday revelry, good cheer, tasty appetizers, and gorgeous views overlooking Los Angeles with our friends from Stanford in Entertainment in the beautiful Foundation Room at the House of Blues! And this year, continue your holiday shopping while celebrating because we will be adding a silent auction in support of the Harvardwood Fund. In addition to the festivities, give back by joining Harvardwood Helps in a toy drive for the holidays…Lots to celebrate, don’t miss it!…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - CLA invites Harvardwood to: Women in Entertainment Symposium 2011 (feat. Harvardwood speaker and member, Nell Scovell!), Sat., Dec. 3

California Lawyers for the Arts, in collaboration with West Los Angeles College, is pleased to present..."Women in Entertainment Symposium 2011" …Featuring past Harvardwood speaker and Harvardwood member, Nell Scovell! …Join us for an innovative, informative, and inspiring gathering of women who will discuss the roles, voices, (mis)perceptions, and triumphs of women in the creative, legal, and business realms of film and television today. This symposium will integrate current research and anecdotal perspectives so that women's individual stories may find their places in a larger framework. In weaving together data and narratives, we aim to create a rich, coherent, and solid foundation for future discussion and progress on issues relating to women in entertainment…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood invited to the Ivy Entertainment Holiday Party, Tues., Dec. 6

You are invited to ring in the holidays with our sixth annual IVY Entertainment Holiday Party at Station located at W Hollywood. This year we will be celebrating holiday cheer with alums and friends in entertainment from Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, U. Penn, and Dartmouth. Station will be offering exclusive IVY Holiday drink specials. Our guest list includes industry professionals from CAA, Sony Pictures, Paramount, ICM, WME, WB, ABC, and CBS…Drop your business card off for our FREE card drawings for gifts. Wear your holiday gear. Sweets and goodies at the door. Located just outside of the Living Room and adjacent to Hollywood Boulevard. Station Hollywood, the outdoor lounge at W Hollywood features intimate lounge seating, fire pits and an outdoor bar to cater to your every desire. Last year was at capacity with over 400 attendees, so secure your spot now at this exclusive event and don't miss out on THE holiday party of the season…To view full posting, please visit:

SF - Harvardwood Heads To...Annual Holiday Reunion Party at the SF Conservatory of Music, Mon., Dec. 19

Join us as Harvardwood Heads To....Annual Holiday Reunion Party at the SF Conservatory of Music. Join hundreds of your fellow alums at the largest HCSF event of the year! In celebration of our newly formed partnership with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, this year's party will be held at their recently designed building in the Civic Center, just a few blocks from Symphony Hall and the Opera House. Chamber music performances featuring some of the best students from the Conservatory as well as by San Francisco's own BELLA Trio ( will take place in the Recital Hall throughout the evening. The recitals, sumptuous heavy hors d'oeuvres, wine tastings from boutique wineries, class- and school- reunions are all included in the price of admission…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Our Happy Harvardwood HOLIDAY PARTY -- with LIVE JAZZ from KAVITA SHAH!! Fri., Dec. 9

It's the Holiday Season, and we know what that means--time for the Happy Harvardwood HOLIDAY PARTY!! And this will be a great one, and a wonderful opportunity for you to meet more of our incredibly smart, sexy, and scintillating Harvardwood members! Major fun and jubilation alert!!! …Breaking news--the party will include LIVE JAZZ from the fabulous Kavita Shah! Looking forward to seeing you there! …To view full posting and register, please visit:

NY - Stanford invites Harvardwood to Holiday Happy Hour, Mon., Dec. 5

For those who can't wait to celebrate the holidays until our big party on Friday the 9th, or for whom just one celebration isn't enough (and it isn't!) -- Our friends at Stanford in Entertainment have invited Harvardwood members to join them at their informal Holiday Happy Hour on Monday, December 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 at Sweet and Vicious…To view full posting, please visit:

Start your bidding! View items from the Harvardwood Holiday Silent Auction!

We are excited to announce the first Harvardwood Holiday Silent Auction in support of the Harvardwood Fund! All of the auction festivities have begun online, so click below to view the items up for grabs and start bidding! We have quite a selection of items from books to DVDs, sports paraphernalia, exotic trips, and more! This auction is open to the public, so feel free to share widely with your family, friends, and associates. Click here to view and bid on all items:

Join the Harvardwood Board of Directors

The Harvardwood Board of Directors (BOD) is coming up on elections for its next term and we are looking for some energetic individuals to fill a few great positions! The Harvardwood BOD is the managing body that oversees the volunteer efforts of Harvardwood members worldwide and has worked to create an impressive array of events, programs, and online resources over the past decade. As a member of this dynamic team you will play a large role in determining the priorities and setting the course for the entire organization…To find out more about the available positions, please visit:

Harvardwood Holiday Appeal

As we enter the holiday season, we are honored to reflect on the ways in which you all have contributed to the success of Harvardwood over the past year -- we continue to experience overwhelming growth and are optimistic about the future of our organization. To get a sense of just how far we’ve come you can review a list of our 2011 accomplishments by clicking here!

In spite of this success, however, the ongoing global economic crisis has taken its toll -- perhaps most devastating is the loss of Harvard University funding for our student programs, including the life-changing Harvardwood 101 career exploration program for undergraduates. We are committed to maintaining all of our existing programs, and it is therefore imperative that we now expand our fundraising and sponsorship initiatives to support and sustain Harvardwood's growth and well-being. To assist in this effort we ask that you would consider supporting Harvardwood in some way this holiday season - either by making a tax-deductible donation, making an in-kind contribution, or by bringing in a sponsor. We will be grateful for gifts of any amount -- thank you in advance for your consideration! To find out more about how you can support Harvardwood, click here:

DEADLINE EXTENDED! There's still time to submit to the Harvardwood Resource Directory for FREE

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…***PLEASE NOTE: This directory is being offered as a service from our website provider. If we do not reach a certain number of submissions we will not be able to offer this resource.***…To view more information and to sign up, please visit:

Q&A with legendary writer, Edward Albee, now available on the Harvardwood Channel!

Dues-current Full Members and Friends of Harvardwood can now enjoy the Q&A with legendary writer Edward Albee (WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF) from our event at the Down Town Association on November 4, 2010! Dues-current Full Members and Friends of Harvardwood may view clips from this event and more, here:

Looking for volunteers for the Harvardwood/Stanford Holiday Party

We are currently seeking volunteers to help run the festivities at our Harvardwood/Stanford Holiday Party! The event will take place on Tuesday, December 13th from 8-11pm (volunteers should plan to arrive by 7pm). Please email [email protected] interested.

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!

A special THANK YOU to Canter's Deli!canters_sign_night2.jpeg

Many thanks to the legendary CANTER'S DELI for donating the delicious nosh for our Harvard in Hollywood "Evening Before" event, in celebration of this year's symposium speakers and honored guests! In addition to Canter's historic restaurant location on Fairfax Avenue (between Melrose and Beverly), Canter's also provides catering for events and productions of all sizes. They recently launched the Canter's Truck, which can be found in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles feeding customers curbside:

Special thanks to Dena and Adam Stein '99!

Industry Successes...

Harvard ROCKS 2011 winner, Rachel Brown ‘10, won the Perez Hilton "Can You Sing" contest, with much praise from Perez himself! View more information on her website,

On September 3, Andrew Sachs ‘97 married Hagar Harpak, who teaches Anusara Yoga internationally. The wedding bliss was immediately followed by another milestone: after a 22 hour honeymoon and a few days of pre-production, Andrew began shooting (as Director of Photography) an independent feature film titled "Sunken City," which is a noir-inspired tale of a detective investigating a murder on the shores of San Pedro, California. Andrew and Hagar plan to spend more R&R time together after another wedding reception this winter in the bride's native Israel.

Submitted by James Connolly ’88 - The Brown University Entertainment Group presents a (Mostly) Ivy Comedy Night! Our hilarious lineup mingled with the best and the brightest before throwing it all away to come to Hollywood. With a few special guests sprinkled into the mix they serve as a constant reminder that making people laugh is the only pedigree that counts. December 18 @ The Hollywood Improv (Main Room) @ 7pm. Show info: Tickets: Discount Ivy Alum Code: IVY1764


Just in time for the holidays, Harvardwood has co-published a delightful history of Harvard restaurants and bars, the ideal gift for people with a Harvard connection.

Anyone who has spent time at Harvard or in Cambridge will instantly recognize many names of eating and drinking establishments in A BRIEF HISTORY OF HARVARD EATERIES AND WATERING HOLES. But few know the myriad of fascinating stories behind them. For example, Emile Durzi, who owns Algiers, has lived in a number of exotic places — but has never visited Algiers. The owners of Grendel’s Den went (with Laurence Tribe) all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to obtain a liquor license. That iconic German restaurant, The Wursthaus, was owned by an Italian immigrant. This light-hearted book not only rekindles warm memories, but is also full of delicious historical tidbits about Harvard’s favorite hangouts.

Paperback and premium hardback gift editions are available at:

And a full-color e-Book is now available for downloading to the Kindle, Kindle-for-iPad/iPhone and other devices.

This item is also featured in the Harvardwood Holiday Silent Auction!

Featured Member Posting: Director of Communications, Oxygen - LA

The Director of Communications will be responsible for generating maximum, positive press for Oxygen programming. This position based in Burbank, CA will report to the VP of Communications based in New York, NY. Essential Responsibilities include: Report directly to VP of communications on developing network PR campaigns and programming strategies; Generate publicity for Oxygen programming and channel branding in consumer, business and trade press via strategically pitched trend stories, executive/talent interviews and creatively written press releases; Active outreach to trade press to service the network’s daily and weekly ratings news and programming announcements…To view full posting, please visit:

Member Profile: Sean O' Rourke MAT '68

by D. Dona Le

ORourke.jpgSean O’Rourke is quite the character. Perhaps even more of a character than the colorful lives featured in his latest work, A BRIEF HISTORY OF HARVARD EATERIES AND WATERING HOLES.

A delightful phone conversation with O’Rourke the day before Thanksgiving reveals that he is warm, witty, and full of literary anecdotes and uncommon bits of knowledge and history. From his home in Cambridge, O’Rourke can look out the window at Annenberg and the Fogg Art Museum; the Yard is shielded from his view, but its treetops are visible. O’Rourke has remained close to his graduate alma mater.

A Connecticut native, O’Rourke majored in economics in college, before receiving his Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Harvard in 1968. In between, he joined the army and was stationed in France and Germany as a radio technician and controller.

Why the army? "When I graduated from college, I didn’t know what the heck I wanted to do,” confesses O’Rourke. "I did not want to have anything to do with school ever again. I was so disgusted with the whole thing, I joined the army!”

Ironically, O’Rourke went on to become a Latin, French, and English teacher at high schools and local colleges in the New England area. He applied to Harvard’s MAT program at his mother’s suggestion; she had sent him a newspaper clipping about the program.

"Like a good little boy, I sent my application off. There was also a financial aid application, but I didn’t even bother to fill it out because I knew I’d never get in,” O’Rourke confides. "And what happened was—I got in!”

Throughout his teaching career, O’Rourke wrote articles that appeared in such publications as the Journal of Modern Literature and The Hemingway Review. During his spare time, he devoted himself to his first book, GRACE UNDER PRESSURE: THE LIFE OF EVAN SHIPMAN.

O’Rourke completed the research for the Shipman book over a 19-year period. The idea was originally born out of O’Rourke’s stint in the army when he was stationed in Fontainebleau.

"I spent a lot of time in Paris, and since I didn’t have much money, my principal amusement was walking around. And when I came back, I read Hemingway’s Paris memoir, A MOVABLE FEAST, and of course, I could see it because I had been in these places,” he explains. "In A MOVABLE FEAST, he is extremely unkind to just about everyone—Gertrude Stein, Scott F. Fitzgerald—but he is so nice to Evan Shipman. So I thought, ‘Who the dickens is Evan Shipman, and what the heck happened to him?’”

That project took O’Rourke to libraries around the country—including Kentucky, Illinois, and New Jersey—and even across the Atlantic, to the Sorbonne. His more recent work, however, about food and drink establishments in Harvard Square was much closer to home.

In fact, O’Rourke himself took the photographs that are featured in A BRIEF HISTORY OF HARVARD EATERIES AND WATERING HOLES. He completed the book in an astonishing three months over the summer of 2011. To gather information about such places as Elsie’s Sandwich Shop and the Tasty—a favorite of Matt Damon and many others—O’Rourke found The Crimson to be one valuable resource.

"I also interviewed a few people, and I found that takes a lot of time. And I used Yelp, and many of the restaurants have informative Web sites,” he reveals.

Despite the high-tech nature of his research, O’Rourke’s writing habits have remained the same for the past 40+ years.

"When I want to write something halfway interesting, I have to do it in longhand on pen and pad. I’ve been using the same pads and pens since I was a grad student,” he laughs.

O’Rourke purchases his writing supplies exclusively from Bob Slate, which he informs me has recently closed in the Square.

"But before they closed, I stocked up. I use 8.5 x 11, quarter-inch ruled yellow pads, fifty pages to a pad, and Paper Mate Flair pens. The pads are lined in blue across, no margin lines; I put the margin lines in pencil myself,” O’Rourke says. "Then I put a date in the left-hand margin, and I just go at it.”

O’Rourke isn’t the only writer to have very particular writing habits. He somehow knows that Hemingway could only write in pencil standing up, a habit he picked up from his editor, Max Perkins. As for Max Perkins?

"In the process of researching Shipman, I also researched Perkins. He always went to afternoon tea at the Ritz at 4pm—that was a euphemism for getting smashed on martinis!”

O’Rourke’s ability to showcase these minute details and personal quirks enlivens his real-life figures and makes his historical accounts unique.

"I don’t invent anything, but what I really try to do is recreate the scene and put the reader in the situation.”

Those who are familiar with Harvard Square will have no problem transplanting themselves to the restaurants and bars that O’Rourke describes in his book. Some places he describes remain in business, such as Grendel’s Den and Algiers, while others are long gone.

"I don’t think there’s a single place in Harvard Square you wouldn’t take your mother today, but at one point, it was full of dives. One of the worst was the Old Spaghetti Factory—I couldn’t find anybody who was willing to admit they’d seen the inside of the place!”

To those who are wondering, as I did, Mr. Bartley (of his namesake burger joint) still takes orders on the sidewalk where people stand in line waiting to enter the restaurant.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF HARVARD EATERIES AND WATERING HOLES is full of fascinating tidbits that will interest anyone who ever stepped off campus to take a break from dining hall fare. Readers will no doubt reminisce about their own awkward first dates, blurry bar crawls, and formal graduation dinners at Harvard Square fixtures, past and present.

Now, O’Rourke is collaborating with a filmmaker to write the script for a documentary about Shipman. He is also compiling the research for an upcoming book about George Rublee, a lawyer and diplomat, and Rublee’s close-knit circle of friends and colleagues.

"Writing is hard enough,” says O’Rourke, "but getting a publisher is harder.”

Thanks to Harvardwood and Unlimited Publishing LLC, and to the delight of readers, that’s no longer a problem. O’Rourke’s A BRIEF HISTORY OF HARVARD EATERIES AND WATERING HOLES will be released this month, an excellent holiday gift option for nostalgic foodies and alumni craving Elsie’s roast beef special.

Obtain a copy of A BRIEF HISTORY OF HARVARD EATERIES AND WATERING HOLES as well as Sean's other work, here.

ddonale_page.jpgD. Dona Le is a freelance editor and writer currently residing in Chicago, IL.



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