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Hollywood careers start now, say entertainment vets

May 01, 2017 12:30 PM
Jamie Logan

A group of entertainment executives including, from left, Julie Yorn, Rick Roskin, Doug Ellin, Jack Sussman and Nina Rosenstein, offers an insider's perspective on making it in the entertainment industry during the Tulane to Hollywood panel on the uptown campus. (Photo by Ryan Rivet)


Breaking into Hollywood is no easy task, but Tulane University students received career tips Friday from alumni and parents who are in the entertainment industry as part of the “Tulane to Hollywood” panel presented by Career Wave programming. The event was designed to give students an opportunity to speak directly with individuals who have successfully navigated the world of television, film and music.

Participating panelists collectively contributed to shows like “Entourage” and “Late Night With John Oliver” and films like Bride Wars and Hell or High Water. They have won and produced major award shows, and their client lists include The Rolling Stones, Leon Bridges, Dr. Dre and Lady Gaga.

While many of the panelists got their start in New York, they praised New Orleans as the place they were introduced to the entertainment industry.

“Just find what you’re passionate about and start doing it.”

Nina Rosenstein, executive vice president of HBO Programming

“Music was always my passion,” said Rick Roskin, 1987 alumnus and co-head of Contemporary Music at Creative Artists Agency. As Tulane students, he and his friends attended live concerts and hosted radio shows. “Internships are fantastic, but they can’t replace what you learn by getting your hands dirty.”

After the panelists shared how they got their start in entertainment, they all offered a common piece of advice: Start working toward your goal now. They recommended students explore script writing or booking their bands for local shows.

“You can make things now,” said Doug Ellin, 1990 alumnus and executive producer and creator of the hit show “Entourage.” “It’s something that you can do very cheaply and very easily.”

Other advice included staying abreast of trends in the industry and demonstrating responsibility.

“There is no direct route,” said Nina Rosenstein, executive vice president of HBO Programming, who explained that she worked in cancer research before becoming an HBO executive. “Just find what you’re passionate about and start doing it.”

In addition to Roskin, Ellin and Rosenstein, panelists were Julie Yorn, 1987 alumna and head of film and television production at LBI Entertainment; and Jack Sussman, executive vice president of specials, music and live events at CBS. The panel was moderated by Mathew Rosengart, 1984 graduate and partner and shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP.