SU women in entertainment discuss careers
February 20, 2015
Women in Entertainment panelists from L-R: Marty Muller '80, Lynne Spillman '90, Meredith Roberts '88, Angela Bundrant-Turner '89, Maureen Crowe '79, Erin Westerman '04, and moderator Robin Howard G'76.
Generation Orange, which includes current Syracuse University students and alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years, attended a discussion with an all-female panel of SU alumni at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills on Feb. 18.
The panel consisted of Erin Westerman '04, VP of Production at Good Universe/Point Grey Productions, Angela Bundrant-Turner '89, VP of Affiliate Marketing at REVOLT MEDIA & TV, Lynne Spillman '90, Casting Director for “Survivor “and “The Amazing Race,” Marty Muller '80, Senior VP of Global Creative for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide, Maureen Crowe '79, Founding President of the Guild of Music Supervisors, and Meredith Roberts '88, Senior Vice President/General Manager for DisneyToon Studios.
SULA Semester program director Robin Howard moderated the panel, which gave the students and young alums a new a perspective on “how to make it” in the industry and provided helpful insights on how to impress superiors and co-workers.
“We have a philosophy that a good idea can come from anyone…I think the trick for you starting out is learning how to read the room…do your homework,” said Roberts.
“Make it so that the people [you work for/with] can’t live without you,” said Spillman.
“Do the job you have and the job you want” Westerman added. “Be gracious. I never want to be the smartest person in the room,” noting that she “always wants to learn from someone else.”
The presence of Generation Orange spurred a lot of talk about technological advancements. There was some discussion on how the industry is evolving. Bundrant-Turner called the new generation “cord-nevers,” referring to the move to digital technology and the diminishing use of cords in the wireless era.
The panelists also touched on the perks of their jobs.
“There’s very little drama…I’m in the joy business…We bring families together,” said Muller, who had plenty of great things to say about The Walt Disney Company.
“We want to keep the talent at our studio,” Roberts said.
“Before the panel, I only defined success as black and white, but seeing all the different kinds of achievements and people doing what they want, I realized that there’s more to success than just a yes or no answer,” said Dan Fabi, junior television-radio-film major currently participating in the SULA Semester program.
Written by Daniel Bayliss, a junior television, radio, and film major currently participating in the SULA Semester program.