Creative Community

I have 30 years of experience working in the entertainment industry from feature films to Emmy Award-winning television.

Iwas born and grew up in New York, where I started working in the film industry in 1985. I graduated from Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts in 1989, then worked on uncounted productions of all kinds. Then I became stage manager at the famous Mothers Sound Stages, home to the classic television series The Honeymooners. It was there that I learned how to handle the heavy volume and fast pace of commercial, music video, television, industrial and feature production. I  worked with directors, producers, production departments, and every other aspect of the industry. I moved to Los Angeles in 1991, where I started working in television full time on such notable shows as Northern Exposure, I’ll Fly Away, and Going to Extremes, among others. I collaborated with some of the best minds in the business, and through that experience learned how to effectively deal with high-level studio and network executives.

 

Next I joined John Wells Productions and for many years helped produce such high-profile television series as The West Wing, ER and Third Watch. Along the way, I was part of the team that earned four consecutive Emmys for Best Dramatic Series for The West Wing. I had the opportunity to work with incredible talent in all departments and worked on a team that earned the highest achievements. I had the pleasure of working closely with notable writers, producers and directors. I also had the opportunity to work with gifted actors and it was a joy and a pleasure to watch them move along in their careers and reach incredible heights. This was television at its highest level.

 

After I left the television production executive world to do what many people said I would be good at: talent management. My colleagues saw in me that I loved working with talent, whether they be writers, directors, actors, producers, editors, etc. I took their advice to heart and sought guidance from the late, great Bernie Brillstein, who is “the” legend in talent management and with whom I had worked with on The West Wing. I had an hour-long meeting with Bernie, which sparked me to establish R-Train Management on the same principles for which my mentor was famous: loyalty, decency, generosity of spirit, and the proper use of power.

 

Nowadays I work with the creative community who are experiencing difficult times in a challenging and changing industry. Some current concerns are: Downsizing, Mass lay-offs, Runaway productions, Smaller budgets, Digital vs. film, Short turn-around times, Power players and intimidation, Production politics, Substance abuse, Nepotism, ageism and “who you know” bias. Many members of the community have decided that the risk and sacrifices are no longer worth the reward. It is important to learn about the industry’s underlying architecture, how it affects the people who work in it, and obtain critical coping skills to survive in an industry which sometimes thrives on negative impulses. I understand the stresses and strains of the entertainment industry even during its good times and those stresses are even more pronounced now.

During my three decade career in entertainment, I had the opportunity to work with talented and deeply committed people in other fast-paced, high-stress industries, including: Sports. I worked with notable professional athletes and executives in major and minor sports, aided by my childhood and young adult sports experience. Music. I worked with artists, music producers, engineers, from “startup” artists to internationally known platinum acts, from rap to rock to R&B, alternative, punk and country. Legal. I worked with a myriad of entertainment, criminal, labor, corporate and personal attorneys, on a wide variety of projects from small to ginormous. News and Politics. I worked with White House press secretaries and presidential speech writers, political consultants, political analysts, and high-ranking government officials, network and cable television show hosts, national and local reporters, both general and entertainment-focused. Publishing. I was head of the production team for The West Wing Companion book and worked with Simon & Schuster and their publishers. I worked closely with Aaron Sorkin and oversaw production of two The West Wing script books for Newmarket Press. We took all three books from concept to the bookstore shelf. During this process, I experienced, like television production, how difficult and tough the publishing business is and how much pressure there is to produce and meet deadlines.

These are some of the companies and productions I have worked with...
  • The West Wing
  • ER
  • NBC
  • I’ll Fly Away
  • Warner Bros.
  • John Wells Productions
  • FX
  • ShowTime
  • HBO
  • Fox Television
  • Paramount Pictures
  • MTV
  • MGM Television
  • Sony Pictures
  • ABC
  • CBS
  • Universal Pictures
  • Northern Exposure
  • Third Watch
  • TNT

Everyone deserves a chance to feel better…