43 episodes

What do you look for in a Mentor? Every Monday, NYC Native actress Michelle Miller talks to some of the most interesting Mentors in Entertainment, including Directors, Producers, Network executives, Actors, and more. Her guests share how they started, how they moved up and any advice they have for us today. Every path is different. A career in Entertainment is anything but linear. Let’s learn and be inspired together listening to Mentors on the Mic.

Mentors on the Mic Michelle Miller

    • TV & Film
    • 4.9 • 135 Ratings

What do you look for in a Mentor? Every Monday, NYC Native actress Michelle Miller talks to some of the most interesting Mentors in Entertainment, including Directors, Producers, Network executives, Actors, and more. Her guests share how they started, how they moved up and any advice they have for us today. Every path is different. A career in Entertainment is anything but linear. Let’s learn and be inspired together listening to Mentors on the Mic.

    Becoming... President of Production and Development Andrew Calof

    Becoming... President of Production and Development Andrew Calof

    Andrew Calof is the President of Production and Development of Wayfarer Studios, most recently responsible for CLOUDS on Disney+ and led by JANE THE VIRGIN's Justin Baldoni. Prior to joining Wayfarer Studios, Calof served as Vice President of Creative Affairs at Amblin Partners. In his five years with the company he oversaw development and production of tentpole films such as OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY—directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck—starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Kate McKinnon, TJ Miller, and Olivia Munn, as well as GHOST IN THE SHELL, directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Scarlett Johansson.

    Prior to Amblin, Calof held the position of Vice President of Production at New Regency, where he oversaw the production of Academy Award-winning Best Pictures BIRDMAN, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, THE REVENANT.

    At Paramount, he worked on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, World War Z, GI Joe: Retaliation, and RANGO. As well as, NOT FADE AWAY and HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS.

    In this episode, we talk about:

    • Working at Paramount on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, World War Z, GI Joe: Retaliation, and RANGO

    • Discussing the particular brand and perspective of different production companies, comparing a New Regency film to a Paramount film to a Disney film to a Netflix film

    • How taking bold, calculated risks was integral in producing Oscar winning films at Regency such as BIRDMAN, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, and THE REVENANT specialty movie that’s very commercial

    • Best part about working with Amblin for one of his hero and Mentor, Steven Spielberg making films such as OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, GHOST IN THE SHELL, and an upcoming Tom Hanks film

    • His role at Wayfarer, working with Justin Baldoni (Jane the Virgin), and having 30 projects on the slate Ethos of Wayfarer how can they make an impact on the world in a positive way, diverse and disruptive

    • How he works at maintaining the balance between the creative team and the executives on set

    • Being great at dailies and how he was able to get creative in presenting them

    • His favorite part about working in development and what that entails

    • Starting off as a PA on an Indie film and how he got his next role

    • His definition of success

    About the Guest:

    Linkedin

    Wayfarer Studios Website

    Host:

    Instagram: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneMiller

    Twitter: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneM

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mentorsonthemic

    Website: www.michellesimonemiller.com

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/24mmichelle

    • 49 min
    Becoming... 5x Emmy Winning Producer and Director Rob Burnett

    Becoming... 5x Emmy Winning Producer and Director Rob Burnett

    ROB BURNETT is the writer/director of the feature film The Fundamentals of Caring, which was the closing night film at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. He is as a five-time Emmy Award-winning executive producer and head writer of The Late Show with David Letterman. In the course of his career he has received 34 Emmy nominations. Burnett began his career with David Letterman in 1985 as a 22-year-old intern.  In 1988 he joined the show’s writing staff, and at 29 became its head writer.  In 1996 he became the show’s executive producer.

    Joining forces with former Late Show head writer Jon Beckerman, Burnett created two critically acclaimed series for network television.  Ed aired on NBC from 2000-2004 and won Burnett and Beckerman a People’s Choice award and earned them Emmy and WGA nominations for excellence in writing. The two teamed up again in 2006 to create the ABC half-hour, single-camera comedy, The Knights of Prosperity, which garnered glowing reviews, including Entertainment Weekly calling it "TV's best new show of the season."

    In this episode, we talk about:

    • How a writing submission to the David Letterman show led to an Internship at 22 years old

    • Being hired by Steven Spielberg to write a movie in his 20s

    • His routine in his 20s - waking up at 5am, take the train to his friend to write for 2-3 hours, go to Letterman at 10am, be the last person to leave

    • Becoming Head Writer at 29 years old and what principle helped him in that tentative transition

    • What he thinks of Late Night shows right now in comparison to Late Night with David Letterman

    • 4 main pillars of Directing to keep in mind

    • Why he decided to pass over Timothee Chalamet for Craig Roberts in The Fundamentals of Caring

    • The incredible Paul Rudd and in what ways he added to the movie

    • How incredible it was to be a Writer/Director at Sundance

    Wikipedia IMDB Twitter

    Host:

    Instagram: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneMiller

    Twitter: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneM

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mentorsonthemic

    Website: www.michellesimonemiller.com

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/24mmichelle

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Becoming... Showrunner of Friends and Grace & Frankie Marta Kauffman

    Becoming... Showrunner of Friends and Grace & Frankie Marta Kauffman

    Marta Kauffman is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning television writer, producer, and showrunner behind the hit series Friends and Grace & Frankie. After graduating from Brandeis University, Kauffman got her big break alongside David Crane when their pilots Dream On (1990) and The Powers That Be (1992) were green-lit. The pair then launched Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions with Kevin Bright and became the trio that created the iconic sitcom Friends. In 2015, Kauffman started her production company, Okay Goodnight, with industry veterans Robbie Tollin and Hannah KS Canter. Their first series, Grace & Frankie, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston premiered on Netflix in 2015 and is Netflix’s longest-running original ever. The series has received multiple Emmy and SAG nominations and is beginning production on the seventh and final season. In 2018, the company produced the documentary Seeing Allred, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and is currently available on Netflix. Kauffman has received a number of honors and awards including the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for lifetime achievement in television writing from the Writers Guild of America, the 2016 Outstanding Television Writer award at the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival & Screenwriters Conference, The Kieser Award at the 44th Annual Humanitas Awards, and Variety’s TV Producers Impact Report for consecutive years in 2019 and 2020.

    In this episode, we talk about:

    • Writing Musical Theater in NY with her writing partner and friend David Crane and making $18,000 a year, before moving to LA and working with Norman Lear

    • Behind the Scenes on the beginnings of Friends including why it was important for it to be an ensemble show and fighting for Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston

    • The number 1 thing she wants actors to know when they walk in for an audition

    • Why the time after Friends was a really hard period and how she pushed out of it

    • Her thoughts on the Reunion and why she could never do a reboot

    • The incredible story she hasn't able to sell (yet!)

    • The misunderstanding that led to the terrific pairing of Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda on Grace & Frankie

    • Was there Improv on Friends or is there improv on Grace & Frankie

    • Why she gets credited for every the theme song of Friends is played

    • Working with Netflix as opposed to a Network

    Host:

    Instagram: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneMiller

    Twitter: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneM

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mentorsonthemic

    Website: www.michellesimonemiller.com

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/24mmichelle

    • 53 min
    Tips and Tricks from Entertainment Career Coach Carole Kirschner

    Tips and Tricks from Entertainment Career Coach Carole Kirschner

    Carole Kirschner is a sought after Entertainment Career Coach, mentoring Showrunners, TV Producers, Writers, Executives, and more. Carole was a senior level creative Television Executive, before becoming the Vice President of Steven Spielberg’s first Amblin Television. She also created the CBS Diversity Institute Writers Mentoring program and helped develop the curriculum for WGA Showrunner Training program.

    “Kirschner is one of the best at preparing people for success in the entertainment business.” — Barry Kotler, Agent, Creative Artists Agency

    In this episode, we talk about:

    • A breakdown of Carole’s Four Pillars of Success including how to answer “Tell Me About Yourself” (5:25)

    • How to give information to your Agent that allows them to sell you in only 4 sentences

    • Where to get a FREE 31 page ebook on how to develop your longline

    • The phrase that Carole suggests using to get a recommendation from someone in the industry

    • Tips to best pitch or sell original content for television

    • Tips for what to expect when you’re in the room with someone who can buy your work or represent you

    • What she thinks of TV Fellowships, which one she recommends, and how to set yourself apart

    • Tips for navigating the TV Writer’s room hierarchy

    • Why she believes spec scripts are still necessary

    • Why creative people need to learn how to promote themselves

    Carole Kirschner:

    Twitter Website

    Get Carole's book: The Hollywood Game Plan

    More info on Carole's Bootcamp

    This episode is courtesy of Imagine This Productions, which is dedicated to providing womxn storytellers and filmmakers a platform to encourage and develop creative projects by womxn. With Imagine This Women's International Film Festival and Girl Power Film + Media Summit, Imagine This aims to amplify and empower independent and aspiring womxn filmmakers from around the world. This goal is to support womxn by sharing their work with the public, promoting equal opportunities for BIPOC womxn and the LGBTQIA+ community while providing educational support and professional development, and serving as a resource information network.

    Instagram for Imagine This Productions

    More information for Imagine This Productions

    Host:

    Instagram: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneMiller

    Twitter: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneM

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mentorsonthemic

    Website: www.michellesimonemiller.com

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/24mmichelle

    • 42 min
    Becoming... Creative Director at Netflix's Strong Black Lead Kara Barnett

    Becoming... Creative Director at Netflix's Strong Black Lead Kara Barnett

    Kara Barnett is currently the Creative Director of Strong Black Lead at Netflix (Editorial & Publishing). She is a TEDx Talk speaker, a former Senior Producer and Writer of Branded Content at BET, and has over 10+ years in unscripted casting, development, brand/product integration, editing and more. She had her start as a Casting Associate Producer on America’s Next Top Model, before working different reality shows on Discovery, ITV, CBS, Viacom, OWN, A&E, and BET.

    In this episode, we talk about:

    • How she got her first job working for ANTM and why she calls the show "LA High School"

    • Her TEDx Talk on Imposter Syndrome including tips on how to combat it

    • Best tips and trick in navigating life of a freelance producer, working at Networks like BET, AMC, Discovery, ITV, CBS, Viacom, OWN, A&E

    • Tips for navigating promotions and salary negotiations

    • The hierarchy of unscripted production, specifically the difference between Story Producer, Field Producer and Senior Story Producer

    • The stability of her job at BET Digital as a Lead Editorial Producer and moving up to Senior Producer after only a few months, complete with backstage access, creating original content, and BET ON BLACK initiative

    • How she had to say no to multiple jobs before getting the right one at BET and who took a chance on her

    • Working on I’ll apologize Later weekly visual podcast with Mouse Jones at BET

    • How it is to be a Creative Manager at Netflix and the purpose of the Strong Black Lead sub brand

    • Working on independent projects such as Exposed: Vashtie Kola, and most recently, a documentary called High Risk, which explores the physical and emotional challenges that Black people face in the United States related to childbirth and racial bias

    LinkedIn Instagram IMDB

    High Risk Instagram

    Trailer for EXPOSED: Vashtie Kola

    Host:

    Instagram: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneMiller

    Twitter: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneM

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mentorsonthemic

    Website: www.michellesimonemiller.com

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/24mmichelle

    • 50 min
    Becoming... Showrunner of the CW series Pandora Mark A. Altman

    Becoming... Showrunner of the CW series Pandora Mark A. Altman

    Mark A. Altman is a television and motion picture writer/producer/director who is currently the Showrunner/Executive Producer of the CW series, Pandora which is distributed by Sony Pictures Television worldwide and streams exclusively on Amazon Prime in the United States. Previously he served as Co-Executive Producer of The Librarians (TNT), Agent X (TNT), Castle (ABC), Necessary Roughness (USA) among others. In addition, Altman has sold numerous pilots and produced the $30 million film adaptation of the bestselling video game, DOA: Dead Or Alive, which was released by Dimension Films. His first motion picture was the award winning, Free Enterprise, starring William Shatner and Eric McCormack, which he wrote and produced and for which he won the WGA Award for Best New Writer at the AFI Los Angeles Film Festival prior to its theatrical release.

    In this episode, we talk about:

    •  The terrific story about convincing William Shatner to be in his film and why he never recommends writing a film for an actor

    •  How he got Eric McCormick to do his film just after he shot the Will & Grace pilot which hadn’t been picked up yet

    •  Transitioning to the writers room of the TV show Castle and overlapping a year with our other Mentor, David Grae

    •  What does it mean to write for a budget and why that’s every line producer’s dream

    •  Having to choose between the final season of The Librarians and holding off on the possibility of doing his own show

    •  The conception of his show Pandora on CW and creating an incredible sizzle reel and bible to pitch it

    •  Making the choice to stop filming due to COVID

    •  Advice to actors from a Showrunner

    Book Recommendations for Actors: Mike Nichols: A Life by Mark Harris

    2 Books he Wrote: 

    The 50 Year Mission: The Complete Uncensored History of Star Trek 

    Secrets of the Force: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Wars

    IMDB Wikipedia Linkedin Twitter Instagram

    Host:

    Instagram: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneMiller

    Twitter: @MentorsontheMic @MichelleSimoneM

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mentorsonthemic

    Website: www.michellesimonemiller.com

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/24mmichelle

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
135 Ratings

135 Ratings

Shondie001 ,

Amazing guests

I learn so much about about the entertainment industry from the awesome interviews and information. The host Michelle is very knowledgeable.

jiyunnis ,

Fantastic and informative podcast!

Michelle is a wonderful host and you can tell that she takes the time to thoroughly research the guest’s background and asks thoughtful and engaging questions. The series provides an insider view into the entertainment and creative industry in an approachable way. I have thoroughly enjoyed the series and look forward to future mentors on the mic episodes!

coffeenowplease ,

IF I COULD GIVE THIS MORE THAN FIVE STARS I WOULD

As someone who is studying acting on the side and readily pressing it, this podcast is THE BOMB! On top of how helpful this is for creatives, you just gave me another reason to love the stunning Jenny Ravitz. That episode changed my way of thinking and is something I will keep going back to so that if I ever am asked, I can cast someone the right way. She is incredibly helpful and talented and I love the way she placed casting in perspective, what she said about people seeing casting directors as gatekeepers and how they want to see you get cast and succeed; that stuck a chord with me. Anytime I have an audition now, I will try and keep those kind words in my mind.

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