One of the things I enjoy most is interviewing people, as I
do during spring and fall semesters at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Rarely
does anyone turn the table on me, but when Cheri Steinkellner invited me to be a
guest in her class, at the University of California Santa Barbara, I couldn’t
say no. I’ve known Cheri and her husband Bill since I moved to Los Angeles,
when I first saw them do Instaplay with their improv comedy troupe. They went
on to become successful comedy writers and producers on television and Broadway,
with Emmy awards to their credit for their work on Cheers.
Cheri’s weekly class at UCSB introduces a large
group of students to creative people from all aspects of show business and the
world of communications, and as I learned, Cheri is a skillful interviewer. Her
recent guests have included Disney studio chief Alan Horn, Fox executive
Elizabeth Gabler, former studio head and independent producer Roger Birnbaum, Modern Family producer Dan O’Shannon, casting
director Marci Liroff, writer-producer-blogger-bon vivant Mark Evanier, actress
Laraine Newman and screenwriter Ed Solomon, to name a few.
The school has posted a video link of our entire two-hour
conversation. If you have any interest in my background and experiences, we
covered a lot of ground. Simply click HERE.
If you have no such interest, let me recommend another, much
shorter, piece: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has begun
producing a series of videos, and this is my favorite so far. Comedian/actor
Patton Oswalt is given the chance to choose any film from the vast Academy
archive and screen a 35mm print for himself and a friend. If you’re curious
about his choice, and want to vicariously experience a private screening at the
New Beverly Theatre in Los Angeles, click HERE.