Season 4

Episode 1: May Calamawy ‘08 on Making it as an Actress

May Calamawy was bound and determined to become an actress. She teased the idea of studying industrial design to appease her family, but when she got accepted at Emerson, she chased her dream all the way from Bahrain to Boston. From a role on Golden Globe-winning Ramy to an upcoming part on Disney+ and Marvel’s Moon Knight (out March 30, 2022), May is one to watch, but the path to those projects wasn’t exactly a straight shot. She talks with Georgette about that path and an actor’s journey to authenticity - from the roles you attract, the people you work with, and the importance of trusting your gut.

Episode 2: Howard “D” Simpson ‘94 on Making It in Radio

D Simpson’s relationship with 88.9FM WERS started off the way anyone’s might: by listening. From a teenage fan tuning in from Mattapan to becoming on-air talent while a student, D’s relationship with Boston’s beloved station has grown and transformed over the years. He later stepped on as the Operations Manager and now serves as its General Manager. Georgette knows better than anyone how special D is, having been mentored by him while at Emerson herself. The pair reunite to talk about the importance of mentorship, creating your voice, speaking your truth, and letting “it’s funny how things turn out” become your motto.

Episode 3: Jill Bream ‘03 on Making It as a Costume Designer

Jill Bream is known for dressing funny people - whether it be the many stars who cycle through SNL or the hilarious cast of The Other Two, it’s Jill’s costuming that brings the characters to life and enhances the hilarity that ensues. She and Georgette chat about her clothing-filled journey from Gabriel Brother’s (now Gabe’s) in Ohio to Boylston Street to the bright lights of 30 Rock - as well as her alum husband, their proposal story, the importance of keeping track of your receipts, and the very interesting jobs she’d choose if she were ever to switch careers.

Episode 4: Traci Blackwell, MA ‘14 on Making it as a Scripted Television Executive

Trustee Traci Blackwell has spent years nurturing the television shows you love - from Girlfriends to Supernatural to Jane the Virgin, Traci was there every day, season to season, shepherding production. After 14 years at the CW, she leveled up in her career again - this time as an EVP of Scripted Programming for the BET network. Her secret? It’s a climb. Georgette talks with her all about the rung-to-rung journey up that ladder, advice to pay more attention to your personal life, and how she wouldn’t be where she is today without Emerson’s LA program.

Episode 5: Andrew Siañez-De La O ‘17 on Making it as an Audio Drama Writer and Playwright

Being at Emerson gave Andrew Siañez-De La O tons of hands-on experience in all areas of theater, but penning the stories you see on stage is what captured his heart and talents. Having since expanded their horizons to include audio drama, Andrew’s magic power is simple: telling good stories. Andrew and Georgette deep dive into what makes characters authentic, Andrew’s playwriting fellowship at The Huntington, and a forthcoming audio adaptation of his play, The Ortiz Twins Are Coming Home, which he fondly describes as, “James and the Giant Peach, except everyone is Mexican.”

Episode 6: Deborah Feingold ‘73 on Making It as a Photographer to the Stars

Deborah Feingold’s 40-year career as a photographer started during her days at Emerson College. It was a perfect recipe: the dashed dream of becoming an actor, a job in a camera shop on Boylston Street, and Stephen Shipps, the professor who changed her life forever. Since then, she has taken so many iconic shots of major figures from Madonna to President Obama. Deborah and Georgette chat about building up your confidence, wishing she wasn’t so angry in her young adulthood, and the importance of making a life that matters to you.

Episode 7: Matt Labov ‘90 on Making It in Publicity

Matt Labov may have wanted to become a sportscaster while at Emerson, but he’s made quite the career for himself representing all sorts of people and projects as one of Hollywood’s veteran publicists. He’s worked with clients ranging from video games to country music but carved out a unique space for himself working with A-list comedians. Georgette and Matt talk about finding your niche, rejection building character, avoiding the shoulda-coulda-woulda by taking risks, and above all else, the advice to not take things personally.

Episode 8: Hunter Harris ‘16 on Making It as a Writer, Reporter, and Voice in Pop Culture

Hunter Harris always knew her future would involve writing, but came to Emerson thinking she would become a “serious Watergate reporter.” What she ended up discovering was that both what she liked AND did best had everything to do with pop culture and entertainment. In our season finale episode, Hunter gets meta with Georgette about the challenges and joys of interviewing others while being interviewed herself. The two talk about her Substack newsletter, the decision to go freelance, and how the practice of writing is much more about exercising a muscle than cultivating a talent.

Season 3

Episode 1: Sara Morgan ‘05, MA ‘10 on Making It as a Woman in Tech

Not only is Sara a “Double Lion,” but she also serves as a member of Emerson's Board of Advisors. She and Terri chat about her seemingly winding but very intentional career path from radio to PR to Tech and how being a mentor for and volunteering with young Women of Color who are following in her footsteps has connected her back to Emerson in a profoundly meaningful way. Recorded on August 3, 2021

Episode 2: Brent Baughman ‘10 on Making It as a Radio and Podcast Producer

Brent is usually on the “other side of the glass” working as a podcast producer for NPR, but he was kind enough to sit in the guest chair for this conversation with Terri. Find out why he was determined to not go into radio when he entered Emerson, how he ended up at NPR 12 years ago, and how he’s managed to create new opportunities for himself during his decade plus long career there. Recorded on August 2, 2021

Episode 3: Carolyn Snell ‘97 on Making it in the Music Industry

Carolyn and Terri have a blast throwing it back to the 90’s as she shares her journey from Biore Pore Strip girl at Lilith Fair to tour manager for Brandi Carlile, Janet Jackson, Reba McEntire and the Indigo Girls - just to name a few! Carolyn is working with some of the biggest names in the music industry but still finds time to give back to a very special place to her, Thistle Farms, and explains how it made a much bigger impact on her than she expected. Recorded on August 2, 2021

Episode 4: John Grisby, MA ‘94 on Making it as a Leadership Consultant

John is a unique alum in that he never set foot in Boston while earning his Masters in Global Marketing, Communication & Advertising. John and Terri discuss how he’s made a career overseas teaching leaders how to lead, whether they be in the energy industry or sports, and why he thinks Emerson has always been on the cutting edge of innovation and played a critical role in his life. Recorded on August 4, 2021

Episode 5: Edwin Hill, MFA ‘03 on Making It as a Crime Novelist

Emersonians may know Edwin as one of their professors, but the outside world knows him as the critically-acclaimed writer of mystery and crime fiction who penned the popular Hester Thursby series. But Edwin wasn’t an overnight sensation. He and Terri chat about what finally inspired him to be a full time writer after a long career in the publishing industry and why he encourages his students to break the rules of writing. Recorded on August 5, 2021

Episode 6: Mal Meyer ‘15 on Making It as a Reporter

Mal knew he wanted to be a reporter, but didn’t realize he wanted to be an investigative reporter until he went to a conference that a fellow Emersonian posted about it. Mal shares his journey from San Francisco, CA to Bemidji, MN (yes, it’s a real place) to Portland, ME with Terri as they discuss the best way to get the scoop, why he’s really good at keeping secrets, and how he found himself at Emerson on a bit of a whim and it ended up being exactly the right place. Recorded on August 6, 2021

Episode 7: Alexis Clements ‘01 on Making It as a Writer and Filmmaker

Alexis started out thinking that a career in acting would be a good backup for a career in writing but as it turns out, she’s had a pretty impressive career as a writer, filmmaker and recently, podcast host. Terri and Alex chat about working in the arts (for better or worse), how she found herself at Emerson after a Science & Technology High School and the importance of building a community. Recorded on September 3, 2021

Season 2

Episode 1: Chelsey Cartwright ‘13 on Making It in Politics

Little did Terri know that days after speaking with Chelsey about her whirlwind career on the Biden Harris campaign, Chelsey would be named the new Deputy Liaison to the White House for the US Dept. of the Interior. Hear just how Chelsey got there while also remaining true to the storyteller that she’s always been. Recorded on January 13, 2021.

Episode 2: Jill Gearin ‘18 on Making It in Sports

Jill and Terri discuss what it means to be a “woman in sports” after Jill landed a job as the voice of the Visalia Rawhide right after graduating from Emerson. Jill has a unique perspective on the game of baseball as not only a woman, but as an athlete as well. Recorded on February 10, 2021.

Episode 3: Marc Douthit ‘86 on Making It as a Lawyer

You may think “lawyer” and know exactly what this episode will be about. Marc Douthit is, indeed, a lawyer, but he’s also a person in a world that tends to overthink itself and underestimate everyone else. You’ll be surprised to hear how Marc ended up at Emerson, into Law and even into the role of Dad in a very unexpected way. Recorded on February 10, 2021.

Episode 4: Felicia Pride MA ‘05 on Making It as a Writer

Felicia Pride may consider herself to be a “late bloomer” but she’s certainly hit her stride now as a writer on “Grey’s Anatomy” and the founder of “The Create Daily”, just to name a few of her accomplishments. Felicia shares her perspective on not just being a writer, but the great importance of finding her form. Recorded on January 27, 2021.

Episode 5: Dr. Rik Lemoncello, MS ‘99 on Making It as a Speech Language Pathologist

Dr. Rik Lemoncello knew he wanted to be a speech pathologist but never expected his love of baking to also play a huge role in his future career. Dr. Rik shares how he came to be the founder of Sarah Bellum's Bakery and Workshop, a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing return to work opportunities for adults with brain injuries, and of course, delicious treats. Recorded on January 18, 2021.

Episode 6: Laura Zurowski ‘90 on Making it as a Full-time Artist with a Full-time Job

Laura Zurowski has had some pretty interesting jobs throughout her career but now she’s found herself with a hobby, built on her desire to get to know the city of Pittsburgh that, much to her surprise, she gets paid for. Terri and Laura chat about how her Emerson experience led her from the WERS studio to Mis.Steps and everything in between. Recorded on January 11, 2021.

Episode 7: Jae Williams ‘08, MA ‘16

Not only is Jae Williams a “double Lion,” but he can also add “staff” and “faculty” to the lens with which he looks at Emerson through. Jae does just that in his current role in the Social Justice Center. Jae and Terri have a refreshingly honest conversation about diversity, inclusion and why Jae knows that he was meant to be at Emerson. Recorded on February 8, 2021.

Episode 8: Chen Tang ‘10 on Making It as an Actor

Chen Tang is an actor, an Asian American actor, and he shares with Terri not only what representation means to him, but how he aspires to see our world move past it. Not to mention the talent for layering he acquired during the Boston winters! Recorded on January 22, 2021.

Season 1

Episode 2: Eitan Chitayat, MA ’99 on Making It Big as a Brand Creative Director

Eitan Chitayat discusses changing his career path one semester away from graduation, how he ended up working on an iconic Volkswagen ad campaign and what it felt like having his “I’m that Jew” video go viral. Recorded on March 5, 2020.

Episode 3: Maurene Goo, MA ’07 on Making It Big as an Author

Maurene shares her journey from journalism student to acclaimed YA novelist as she and Terri discuss her need for a deadline, writing for comic book heroes and how she never dreamed of becoming an author...or did she? Recorded on March 6, 2020.

Episode 4: Jaimee Hall ‘03 on Making It Big as an Entrepreneur

You’ll love Jaimee Hall’s take on the legal world as she explains how she ended up there after starting out as a theater student, what brought her to LA, and then back again, and why she decided to start an Alumni Chapter in St. Louis. Recorded on April 13, 2020.

Episode 5: Manny Jaquez ‘13 on Making It Big in the TV Industry

Manny and Terri chat about how the pandemic has affected the world of comedy, why he cared way more about his fellow Emersonians’ spec scripts than his own and their mutual love of Six Feet Under. Recorded on May 13, 2020.

Episode 6: Janice O'Leary, MFA ‘96 on Making it Big in Publishing

Hear how Janice O’Leary went from designing pens to writing about private jets and the best whiskeys out there, how she learned how to edit in her workshops in Emerson’s MFA program, and why she hated having to get dressed up for Boston Magazine parties, but still loved her job there. Recorded on April 30, 2020.

Episode 7: Bunny Kinney ’07 on Making it Big as a Filmmaker

Bunny chats with Terri from his home in London and shares his unique perspective on film making, how creating digital content shaped his career and why he hopes Emerson is still full of weirdos. Recorded on April 6, 2020.

Episode 8: Paloma Valenzuela ’09 on Making it Big as an Artist

Paloma shares her insights on being a Boston based artist, the importance of cultural representation across all media and why it’s actually totally ok with her to not have Cardi B status. Recorded on May 28, 2020.

Bonus Episode: Making it Big with Kevin Bright and Norman Lear

Join Kevin Bright '76 as he sits down, virtually of course, with Emerson alumnus and Hollywood legend, Norman Lear '42 for this special bonus episode of Making It Big in 30 Minutes. The episode was recorded on October 15, 2020, in multiple locations, resulting, at times, in uneven audio levels.

Be sure to join the 1,500+ alumni over Emerge to connect, network, and let us know why you should be a guest on the next season of Making it Big! Head over to emerge.emerson.edu.