Issue 98 | March 2013

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


  • Harvardwood Special Offer: FREE tix to World Premiere of ADMISSION w/ Tina Fey & Paul Rudd, Tues., Mar. 5
  • Harvardwood Presents: Developing Film & TV Scripts from Non-Fiction Experiences & Sources, Thurs., Mar. 7
  • Harvardwood Jazz Series: The LEW SOLOFF SEXTET, Wed., Mar. 13
  • Our Sexy Spring Spectacular Harvardwood Equinox PARTY!! Fri., Mar. 22


  • SF Chapter invites Harvardwood To...Steve Seabrook: Better Than You, Fri., Mar. 1st
  • HAA invites Harvardwood to: Harvard College ReConnect, Sat., Mar. 16th


  • HCSC invites Harvardwood to: Lunar New Year Banquet, Sat., Mar. 2nd
  • Harvardwood Presents: Behind the Scenes at PaleyFest & THE MINDY PROJECT, Fri., Mar. 8th
  • Harvardwood Seminar Series & CreatorUp present: The Digital Artist Lab - Building Your Career Online, sponsored by Ameriprise, Sat., Mar. 16th
  • HCSC invites Harvardwood to: Kick-Off "Harvard Serves" Los Angeles! Tues., Mar. 19
  • Harvardwood Presents: TV Taping & On-Set Visit of HOT IN CLEVELAND, Fri., Mar. 22


  • W.E.B. DuBois Institute invites Harvardwood to Andrew Young & the "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Thurs., Mar. 7

Sheffield.jpg* Join the Comedy Writing module of the NYC Harvardwood Writers' Program!
* Announcing the 2013 Harvard ROCKS winner!
* Seeking comics for THE LEAGUE show
* Get involved with Harvard Serves this April!
* Check out a review of Harvardwood Presents: Marge Champion
* Seeking opportunities for the 2013 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP)!
* Industry Successes
* Featured Member Posting: Administrative Assistant - Corporate Finance (CAA) - LA
* Member Profile: Dick Sheffield MPA '81

Director's Notes

Harvardwood just keeps churning ‘em out! From last month’s great comedy and music events, to this month’s roster of must-dos, keeping up with the Harvardwood calendar is a job in and of itself! First, major shout-outs are due to the winners of Harvard ROCKS 2013, hip-hop group The Trees! Thank you to all of our online judges and prize providers, including Harvard alums Robert Kraft, Anne Preven, Tom Morello, Ben Weeden, Eddie Dalva, DA Wallach, Jim Latham, Britt Morgan-Saks, Rachel Brown, Madison Greer, Russell Graham, & Brenda Walker, for making the event a tremendous success!

And we keep marching forward (seriously, no pun intended, it’s late y’all!). Start the month off on a great foot in New York with our special offer for FREE tickets to the world premiere of ADMISSION with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, courtesy of Harvardwood member Kamala Salmon '03! And in LA we’re bringing groups to PaleyFest AND an exclusive, on-set visit of HOT IN CLEVELAND feat. Q&A with director Andy Cadiff ’77! I’m also very excited for our first-ever Digital Artist Lab where teachers from CreatorUp (co-founded by alum Mike Tringe ’03) will help participants learn how to build their careers online through a series of interactive workshops.
Let March Madness begin!

-- Kelley

Message from Allison

Happy Almost Spring! And here in Los Angeles, March 5th is election day. LA members, please vote! It's essential for the members of our own Harvardwood community to engage with the broader community that surrounds us. As we saw from this year's award season, politics is often an important part of the world we live in and the stories we tell. So get informed and vote!

It only takes 2 minutes: If you don't know the candidates or the issues, search the phrase, "March 5, LA endorsements," you'll find opinions from: parties, newspapers, advocacy groups, etc.

And to all members everywhere: Have a happy and safe St. Patrick's Day and don't forget to change your clocks on March 10.

- Allison

Pencil Me In...

NY - Harvardwood Special Offer: FREE tix to World Premiere of ADMISSION w/ Tina Fey & Paul Rudd, Tues., Mar. 5

Harvardwood member Kamala Salmon ’03 and Focus Features has just generously offered us FREE tickets, for the first 10 dues-paying Harvardwood members to respond (you can bring just ONE guest with you), to the Official World Premiere Screening of ADMISSION, starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd (we are told Tina, Paul, and other members of the cast will be there!)…BUT--you must be a dues-paying member (Full Member or Friend of Harvardwood)! So if you're an Affiliate (free) member, this could be a great time to upgrade to Full Membership ($45 per year)! And if your membership needs renewing, this is a great time to do it! To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents: Developing Film & TV Scripts from Non-Fiction Experiences & Sources, Thurs., Mar. 7

Writer and Producer Joe Seldner will discuss developing movie and TV stories and scripts from non-fiction sources - your own life, friends, things you've come across in the news media, an old book or article, something you've heard about and wondered how you could develop it. Topics covered will include: Evaluating your ideas - Are they right for movies, TV, some other format? Reality Check: Differentiating a good idea from a weak one - how strong is my story? Does someone other than my spouse or best friend like this? Am I the right person to do this? Can I realistically get it done? What outside help do I need? Acquiring and securing rights…Joe Seldner has produced or is producing movies for HBO, Paramount Pictures, and independently. He was Creative Executive to actor Tom Hanks at Disney Studios, was Assistant to the President of Columbia Pictures, started a new News Division at TCI cable when it was the largest cable television company in the nation, and has worked with such people as Hanks, Billy Crystal, and Brian Dennehy…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Jazz Series: The LEW SOLOFF SEXTET, Wed., Mar. 13

Lew Soloff is one of the great trumpet players in jazz. He rocketed to fame in the late 1960s as the solo trumpet in BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS, with 9 Gold Records from 1968 to 1973 and a "Record of the Year" Grammy in 1969. Since then he's played and recorded with Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, and more…. Lew Soloff has assembled an extraordinary sextet for this performance: Anne Drummond on flute; Bob Mann on guitar; Giulia Carmassi on keyboards; Mark Egan on bass; and Ross Pederson on drums. It's going to be incredible….To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Our Sexy Spring Spectacular Harvardwood Equinox PARTY!! Fri., Mar. 22

The Vernal Equinox is here, and when those noxes get equi in the vern, that means--it's time for a PARTY!! And this will be a great one, and a wonderful opportunity for you to meet more of our incredibly smart, sexy, scintillating, and vernal Harvardwood members! Major fun alert!!! …To view full posting, please visit:

SF - SF Chapter invites Harvardwood To...Steve Seabrook: Better Than You, Fri., Mar. 1st

Comedian Kurt Bodden '85 assumes the role of master motivator Steve Seabrook, who takes the audience to a safe, nurturing place where they can examine why they're vaguely disappointing. As "Steve" says, "I don't want to change you. I want to allow you ... to blossom into a "you" ... that's Better Than You." raves, "a sharp and delightfully bizarre satire ... a fortune of comedic gold ... Bodden is terrific!" Kurt trained in sketch comedy at The Groundlings, warmed up audiences for "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" and "America's Funniest Home Videos," and performed improv at BATS and the Edinburgh Fringe. "Steve Seabrook" was inspired by Kurt's own tenure leading corporate workshops, as well as his time spent (for better and for worse) as an erstwhile consumer of personal coaching and self-help. His previous solo show was "Class Notes: True Tales from Harvard's Alumni Magazine." Join Harvardwood, HCSF, and HBSA/NC for the March 1st performance, where Kurt will field a Q&A after the show for members and their guests…To view full posting, please visit:

SF - HAA invites Harvardwood to: Harvard College ReConnect, Sat., Mar. 16th

Harvard College ReConnect is presented by the Harvard Alumni Association and the Harvard College Fund and gathers together in the West alumni, faculty, parents, and friends of the College, Graduate School, and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Our third annual ReConnect will feature thought-provoking presentations on how we learn and live in the digital age, a Harvard Campaign preview from Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Dean Michael D. Smith, and a chance to connect with classmates and friends…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - HCSC invites Harvardwood to: Lunar New Year Banquet, Sat., Mar. 2nd

Please join the Harvard Club of Southern California and the Wellesley Club in celebrating the Lunar New Year. Learn more about the Lunar New Year, customs, and traditions. In addition, special guests actors James and April Hong will be joining us at this celebration. (Note that guest appearance is subject to last minute schedule changes.) …To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Presents: Behind the Scenes at PaleyFest & THE MINDY PROJECT, Fri., Mar. 8th

Please join Harvardwood to tour the Paley Center and hear about work on the set of the television show, THE MINDY PROJECT. Harvardwood Talent Group (HTG) success story Ryan Shrime appeared on the show February 12 and will join us for Q+A about the show and landing a part with HTG representation. A screening of THE MINDY PROJECT with more cast and crew guest appearances will follow…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Seminar Series & CreatorUp present: The Digital Artist Lab - Building Your Career Online, sponsored by Ameriprise, Sat., Mar. 16th

Whether you're an actor, musician, filmmaker, or writer -- the digital world is an exciting new space to expose your projects and retain ownership of them. CreatorUp focuses on helping new creators learn how to break into digital. Our workshop will highlight successful strategies of digital content creators who have gained grassroots exposure to build their personal brands online. We'll cover branding, production, marketing, and the business of digital. Join CreatorUp teachers in a collaborative workshop to learn about effective ways to use the web to help you reach your audience directly to build a sustainable career online...Price of admission includes Artist Lab, lunch, and beverages…. SPECIAL DEAL: The first 10 people to email Mike Tringe ‘03 ([email protected]) with the subject line "FREE ADMISSION” will receive free entry to this event! …To view full posting, please visit:

LA - HCSC invites Harvardwood to: Kick-Off "Harvard Serves" Los Angeles! Tues., Mar. 19

This April, Harvard’s Global Month of Service will celebrate its fifth anniversary! Last year, 230 Southern California alumni shared their time, energy and skills to volunteer with 27 local organizations, topping all other cities’ participation! Fifty-three cities in all participated, offering 131 opportunities and garnering over 1000 volunteers worldwide. This year we hope to double our participation. On March 19, come shop for the volunteer opportunity that’s right for you. Meet fellow alumni and find long-lost classmates. Last year’s Kick-Off sold out. If you missed this exciting event last spring, it’s not too late to join this year’s party at fellow alum Michael Lehrer’s stunning architectural office…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Presents: TV Taping & On-Set Visit of HOT IN CLEVELAND, Fri., Mar. 22

Join fellow Harvardwood members for a live studio taping of HOT IN CLEVELAND, a TV Land comedy series that follows three friends from L.A. (Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, & Wendy Malick) who end up in Cleveland and decide to stay once they realize that the locals think they are glamorous. Also starring Betty White. After the show, Harvardwood members have been cordially invited to tour the set and have a Q&A with one of the show's directors, Harvard alum Andy Cadiff '77! Please note we have a very limited number of spots available for this event and preference will be given to dues-current Full Members…To view full posting, please visit:

BOSTON - W.E.B. DuBois Institute invites Harvardwood to Andrew Young & the "Letter from Birmingham Jail," Thurs., Mar. 7

On the fiftieth anniversary of the "Letter from Birmingham Jail,” the Du Bois Center presents: A Freedom Fighter Looks Back -- A conversation with Ambassador Andrew Young. Plus Jonathan Rieder reads from his new book, "Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle that Changed a Nation." Rare Tapes of Dr. King in the Birmingham mass meetings. Reflections by Rev. Jonathan Walton, and Diane McWhorter. And the Kuumba Singers perform freedom songs of the Birmingham movement…To view full posting, please visit:

Join the Comedy Writing module of the NYC Harvardwood Writers' Program!

Open to writers across all forms -- fiction, memoir, short humor, sketch, plays/screenplays/TV scripts. 8 sessions, every other Wednesday, 7pm-9pm, midtown Manhattan, starting April 3rd. The group will aim to workshop ideas and material, provide feedback, and hopefully inspire new work. Led by Jeremy Blachman HLS '05, published novelist (ANONYMOUS LAWYER - a satire about corporate law, developed for TV by NBC and currently in development for film) and writer of short humor pieces for McSweeney's, Barnes & Noble, The New Republic, and elsewhere. (See for more.) The cost is $79. Email [email protected] with any questions…To view full posting, please visit:

thetreeshiphop.jpgAnnouncing the 2013 Harvard ROCKS winner!

Harvardwood is proud to announce the winner of Harvard ROCKS 2013 -- hip-hop group, THE TREES, feat. Ellen Knebel KSG '05!! After months of initial review by our panel of industry judges, performance preparation and promotion, and an awesome delivery on Feb. 20th in LA, THE TREES have certainly earned the coveted ROCKS title! Their prize package includes performance consideration at Live Nation (courtesy of judge Ben Weeden); a brand new Epiphone Les Paul electric guitar, courtesy of an anonymous Harvardwood donor; a listening session with hit songwriter Anne Preven ("Listen" from DREAMGIRLS) and acclaimed vocal producer David "DQ" Quiones of the Writing Camp (Beyonce, Pussycat Dolls); a brand new track from producers C-Aye Purcell of PrazimProductions (Jodeci, Nate Dogg) and Skye Lewin (CSI: MIAMI. THE KARATE KID); free Spotify accounts, courtesy of judge Britt Morgan-Saks; and a performance slot at one of LA's premiere artist showcases, The Red Light Lounge, courtesy of judge James "Cashmere" Robinson…Click here to view full posting and read a quote from the winners:

Seeking comics for THE LEAGUE show

Harvardwood & the Brown University Entertainment Group are proud to present The League Show, a new monthly comedy show featuring an all-Ivy lineup! The League Show debuts on Thursday, March 7 at 9:00pm at Room 5 in Hollywood. This ongoing program will showcase and promote our fellow Ivy comics. If you are an Ivy League stand-up comic, please send a web link to a clip of your set to [email protected] to be considered for the lineup. If you know an Ivy comic, please refer them to us! Spots are limited for each performance, so if we are not able to put you in the lineup this time, please don't hesitate to submit for the next one. Thank you! We look forward to seeing your work…To view full posting, please visit:

Get involved with Harvard Serves this April!

Join HCSC and the HAA for Harvard Serves! Please review this message from the Harvard Serves committee about how to get involved...Last year, 53 cities and over 1000 alumni worldwide participated in Harvard’s Global Month of Service in April. In LA, we again topped all cities' participation, with over 230 alumni volunteering with 27 organizations. We couldn't have done it without you - helping set the bar. This year, we invite you to participate again. As this is the 5th anniversary for "Harvard Serves,” we hope to double our participation this April. We are currently planning a kick-off event for the evening of Tues., March 19, 6 - 9 PM, and invite you to join us. Harvard Graduate School of Design alumnus Michael Lehrer has graciously reprised his hospitality of last year and again invited us to hold our Kick-Off at his stunning architectural office in Silverlake! Come meet classmates and fellow alumni, pick a volunteer activity and have fun…To view full posting, please visit:

Check out a review of Harvardwood Presents: Marge Champion

For those that missed Harvardwood Presents Film & TV Legend MARGE CHAMPION on Feb. 6, 2013, check out this wonderful review of the program by Harvardwood member Martha Steketee: …And check out reviews of other Harvardwood events here:

Seeking opportunities for the 2013 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP)!

Harvardwood is pleased to announce the 2013 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP), and is now seeking internship opportunities worldwide! HSIP provides a list of internship opportunities in the arts, media and entertainment to Harvard undergraduates and also coordinates career-related events over the summer for program participants in LA, NYC and other cities. If your company is interested in listing an internship via HSIP, please fill out our brief participant form. While your company can list your internship at any time, we recommend submitting by March 7th in order to be included in the first round of HSIP offerings and reach the largest number of potential candidates…To view full posting, please visit:

Industry Successes...

Ben Morss's band, ONWARD CHARIOTS, released their first full-length album to international online acclaim. Its 16 songs traverse styles from indie pop to garage rock and crystallize moments in a lifelong search for love. And Ben's musical based on the Angelina Ballerina TV and book series is currently out on tour.

Featured Member Posting: Administrative Assistant - Corporate Finance (CAA) - LA

The world’s leading full service entertainment, media, and sports agency is seeking an assistant for the Corporate Finance division. This assistant would work in a small group dedicated to helping the agency and its clients execute investment and strategic partnership opportunities across the media, entertainment, and sports sectors. The group has completed several significant transactions and is currently working on a wide variety of initiatives across the agency’s core focus areas. Apart from normal assistant duties (rolling calls, scheduling, etc.), qualified assistants will take an active role in the business by creating meeting materials, participating in internal brainstorms and occasionally attending external meetings…To view full posting, please visit:

Member Profile: Dick Sheffield MPA '81

by D. Dona Le

Sheffield.jpg"If you’re a glutton for punishment, take up writing,” says Dick Sheffield MPA ‘81.

Sheffield has done just that. Despite working as a full-time journalist covering politics for ABC News (since 1983), he has also nurtured a writing career, dividing his time between New York and his home state of Texas.

Born to two public school teachers in Fort Worth, Sheffield attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied Finance and got his first taste of politics during the time of the Vietnam War. Following graduation and living in Dallas, Sheffield frequented a neighborhood bar named the Stoneleigh P, where he regularly read the Sunday editions of the New York Times and Washington Post that arrived every Wednesday.

However, reading about the news was not quite enough and in 1975, Sheffield packed his car and drove to Washington, D.C. Armed with a handful of letters of recommendation, he rented a small apartment behind the Supreme Court and gave himself a thirty-day deadline to find a job.

Congressman Charlie Wilson (D-TX) hired him and during the next five years, Sheffield also worked on the staffs of Senator Edward Kennedy and Ambassador Allard K. Lowenstein. In 1979, he joined Kennedy’s national presidential campaign, where he worked as an Advanceman and began keeping a journal of those days.

"I eventually used parts of that journal in a short story,” he said. "Someone had given me a blank book during the campaign and then I stumbled upon this interesting book written in 1932, BECOMING A WRITER, by Dorothea Brande. That book as much as anything helped to train me about the habit of writing and I started writing in a journal every day.”

After Reagan’s victory in 1980, however, the Republicans took the Senate, and job opportunities for Sheffield in DC dwindled. Sheffield spoke to a friend, a Yale graduate, who mentioned that he would be attending Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in the fall. Sheffield promptly called the Admissions Office and learned that three spots in the incoming class were still available.

Sheffield completed the application, wrote his admissions essays and, three days later, found himself on a train to Boston.

After graduating from the Kennedy School of Government, Sheffield "wandered into ABC News” for an interview and joined its Political Unit the next day. Thirty years later, Sheffield is still at the same company. His team provides political analysis and editorial support for ABC News' election coverage, which includes network election broadcasts, all television and radio platforms, as well as Internet and digital productions.

"I’ve always been interested in politics, and as a journalist, you have a great vantage point of the world. It’s totally absorbing work, and ABC has been a tremendous organization to work for; they’re very loyal and so am I.”

Sheffield has witnessed firsthand how technology and the manner in which people consume the news have impacted journalism during the last couple of decades. However, some aspects of journalism never change.

"You must present the story as best you can, all of the facts, and you must source it well, and then you let the reader, the viewer, or whomever decide what they think.”

Sheffield credits his journalism experience with enhancing his daily writing practices. "Journalism and politics taught me about attention to detail and meeting a deadline,” he said. "They really complement one another. Journalism or writing is not glamorous – ultimately you have to dig it out."

In the early 1980s, Sheffield began writing short stories, one of which is "Maere Tungol,” a third-prize winner of the 2010 Hackney Literary Awards. He describes following an "eclectic approach” to publication, tirelessly sending his works to writing contests, fellowships, and grants, while also searching for an agent.

What distinguishes Sheffield, however, is that he proactively sought advice from such well-established authors as Robert Penn Warren (ALL THE KING'S MEN) and John Irving. He wrote letters to both asking what they thought of maintaining a journal-writing habit and whether he should apply to MFA programs.

"Warren said, ‘You never know where you can make a living writing, so for god’s sake, keep your job because it’s a good one.’”

Irving recommended that he apply to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference; Sheffield did so and was admitted in the summer of 1985. Being in the company of like-minded writers encouraged Sheffield. He continued writing and began working more independently, particularly in the late 1990s, when he remained with ABC News but left New York to return to Texas and "take a little chance.”

Settling in Marfa, Texas, Sheffield served as writer, reporter and managing editor of the Big Bend Sentinel and Presidio International, two weekly newspapers. He also met his wife, Anita, and joined her in running a bed and breakfast that she began in 1994. He and his wife now live in San Angelo, Texas and New York City, so that he can balance writing with his responsibilities at ABC News. He is fortunate to be able to work remotely from his NYC office at certain times and these days Sheffield adheres to a regular writing schedule while preparing for the network’s 2014 election coverage.

"The journals I keep help create a habit of writing. I still write about 300 to 400 words in my journal every day; I never miss that. It’s a debt, and it’s got to be paid, like Hemingway said.”

Sheffield also spends parts of his day keeping fit, learning Spanish, and—most importantly to him—reading as much as possible.

lasso.jpgLast year, Sheffield’s first novel, LASSO THE MOON, was published and is now available via Amazon in Paperback and Kindle editions. The book made the 2013 Harper’s Bazaar winter reading list.

LASSO THE MOON describes the journey of a San Francisco attorney who returns to his hometown in Texas and connects with two important women who radically change and renew his perspective of life. One of the women is a professional golfer and instructor, and in his initial research, Sheffield reached out to golfers of both genders with his questions—much as he did Warren and Irving for his writing-related questions.

"Originally the master teacher in LASSO THE MOON was going to be a man, but the letters I received back from the women were much more soulful. So that is when I decided two of the three main characters in the story should be women.”

Correspondence and journal-keeping figure prominently in Sheffield’s works. In fact, his next novel—to be published this year—is called CABLES FROM A RESTLESS HEART, and the current draft opens with the main character’s journal entries.

"[CABLES] is about our public versus our private lives and often the gulf between what we say we want and what we want; between what we officially admire and secretly desire, and in the greatest sense, the people we marry and the people we love.”

In addition to completing and publishing LASSO THE MOON and CABLES FROM A RESTLESS HEART in such quick succession, Sheffield also has a collection of short stories, "White Butterfly and Other Stories." And yet, he is reticent to call himself a writer and considers himself first and foremost a journalist.

Sheffield explains, "I just want to make sure I’m honest with myself each day, grateful for having the chance and the time to write, and I don’t want to take that for granted. I don’t hang out with a lot of literary people or anything like that; I just want to do the work.

"It’s like somebody says, ‘If you’re focusing on what you did yesterday, you’re not doing too much today. So you’ve got to get on with it.’”

Learn more about LASSO THE MOON and other writings from Dick Sheffield at

ddonale_page.jpgD. Dona Le is a freelance editor and writer currently residing in Chicago, IL. She currently serves as the Co-Chapter Head of Harvardwood's Chicago Chapter.



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