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UB Students Head to Hollywood to Learn "Tricks of the Trade" from Industry Insiders

Special mentoring session with Hollywood entertainment VIPS provides advice on getting ahead in a tough job market

Release Date: June 19, 2009

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Forty-two University at Buffalo students and recent graduates with dreams of making it in the entertainment industry will be in Los Angeles June 27-28 to attend the University at Buffalo's first "Coast to Coast Entertainment and Media Symposium" (UBC2C Hollywood) in the hopes of getting a foot in the door.

The students will attend workshops in acting, writing, directing, vocal performance, stand-up comedy, magazine journalism, independent film production and marketing, as well as on new trends in media coverage of the entertainment industry. A special Sunday mentoring session will give the students one-on-one access to industry veterans and Hollywood VIPs.

A generous donation by an anonymous UB alumnus is funding travel and attendance at the workshops for many of the UB students.

The workshops will be taught by nine prominent UB alumni: Bobby Collins, winner of the American Comedy Award for Best Male Stand Up; Rosalind Jarrett, executive in charge of publicity for the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; Ted Kryczko, vice president of A&R Catalog at Walt Disney Records; Christine La Monte, film and television producer and former marketing executive at Disney, Universal and Orion Pictures; Robert Lamoreaux, animation writer for Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network; Rob Lieberman, award-winning director/producer; Linda Phillips-Palo, award-winning casting director; Oscar® and Emmy®-nominated actor/diretor Peter Riegert, Alan Steinberg, renowned author and journalist; and Alan Zweibel, multiple Emmy Award-winning writer/producer/director.

For complete list of speakers and workshops, go to http://www.ubc2c.buffalo.edu.

"The conference will help our students get an edge in a very competitive industry, in a job market made even tougher by the current economic downturn," says Bruce McCombe, dean of the UB College of Arts and Sciences. "The advice and instruction provided to our students by these entertainment industry veterans will be invaluable as they launch their careers."

One attendee, Richard Carl of Williamsville, just graduated from UB with a bachelor's degree in communication and media study. His experience includes internships with UB's TV station SATV and the Buffalo Sabres. He is signed up for the Comedy Writing Workshop at UBC2C Hollywood.

"I'm looking for work, maybe in the field of entertainment media. I was ready to take on the world when boom! An economic recession -- just my luck," says Carl. "New grads are already at the bottom of the totem pole so any help we can get is greatly appreciated. These workshops offer a great opportunity to learn about the industry, network, find out how to get a foothold and figure out what to do next."

Keeley Sheehan of Lockport is a senior double major in anthropology and English who writes for the UB student newspaper, The Spectrum. She is considering a career in entertainment journalism and signed up for the Entertainment News Media Workshop at UBC2C Hollywood. "I'm looking forward to getting exposure to a side of journalism beyond straight news," Sheehan says.

Dan Sheynin is a new UB graduate with a double major in communication and psychology and an impressive New York City acting resume, including a featured role in the award-winning HBO independent film, "Collision." He will participate in the Acting Workshop at UBC2C. "My entire life, acting has been my passion," he says. "The Coast to Coast workshop is calling my name. I'll be networking and meeting as many important people as I can to help me get ahead. It's all in who you know."

In addition to those UB alumni who will lead conference workshops, UB boasts many high-profile alumni in the entertainment and media industries, including film producer and studio chair Harvey Weinstein, Paramount CEO Brad Grey; A&E Television CEO Abbe Raven; NPR's Ira Flatow, Terry Gross and Michael Silverblatt; CNN's Wolf Blitzer; producers Shep Gordon, Mitch Ackerman and Steve Sunshine; award-winning television writer Alfonse Ruggerio; media writer Howard Kurtz; directors Bob Yannetti and James Foley; entertainment attorney Lee Sacks; media executive Jesse Levine; photojournalist Francis Specker, and many others.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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