Expanding Your Reach: A Networking Event

Expanding Your Reach: A Networking Event

April 27, 2024 An Eastern AD/SM/PA Council Event

Every job has a starting point. For most, that journey begins by making a connection. On April 27, Stage Managers and Associate Director members gathered online and in the Guild's New York offices for the Eastern AD/SM/PA Council’s networking event, Expanding Your Reach.

Following a welcome from Education and Events Commitee Chair Tony DeSanti, the event featured a panel discussion on finding new opportunities and evolving throughout a career as an AD/SM/PA with Director Brett Holey (NBC News), Stage Manager/Eastern AD/SM/PA Council Chair Garry W. Hood (The 76th Annual Tony Awards), Associate Directors Alanna Campbell (CBS Sports) and Dawn DiCicco (NBC Nightly News) and LinkedIn Head of Customer Insights for North America Nicole Moreo, moderated by Committee member/Stage Manager April Smith (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver).

During the discussion, Holey spoke about how working hard even on smaller jobs could lead to more opportunities in the future and shared an example from his past when he was on a job for ABC Sports. “I happened to be walking down the hall and saw a producer I had worked for two years earlier when I worked at ABC News. I thought he wouldn’t remember me, but he stopped me, and remembered I had worked hard for him. He said, ‘I need someone like you. We’re doing the elections. Are you available to work for me?’ That’s why I’m in news today.”

Hood shared what he looks for in a Stage Manager. “Word of mouth and connections are important. Part of my job is to find new talent and train people. I’m always looking for new faces, new thoughts, and new abilities. Our business has changed so much over the years. I have a core group I work with in each city, but you always need to complement the team, so I’d ask people, ‘I need somebody specifically for this kind of job.’ When I have someone new working with us on the show, I tell them, ‘Come ask questions. Walk around. Learn what each position does. There are multiple positions on a variety show.”

Campbell revealed that sports television is a bootcamp for working in television. “Fortunately, I landed in a corner of the industry that allows you to get experience in different spaces. There’s remote production, there’s studio productions. Sports is sort of on its own island, but I think at times it gets overlooked because the skillsets that you need: the turnaround times — the deadlines because you’re in the middle of playoffs and you only have four days to go out and shoot a piece. If they win, that has to be on the air in 24 hours or less.”

DiCicco spoke about how she handles misconceptions about the industry. “I think there’s plenty of opportunities for training or growth, and they might be different than they were 20 or 30 years ago. We just have to be able to grow with the technology and with how the industry is changing.”

Moreo shared her expertise on utilizing online platforms and suggested improving your personal brand. “If you think about it, what’s the first thing you do when you want to learn about someone? You search for them. Make sure you own the hell out of your social platforms because when you search for them, that’s what shows up first. You can start controlling your personal brand early on if you have a strong presence.”

The discussion was followed by a reception where the attending members were encouraged to network with their peers.

Members can see full video from this event in the gallery below.

Alanna CampbellAssociate Director Alanna Campbell
Campbell is a feature producer and Associate Director for CBS Sports. A five-time Emmy Award-winner, she primarily works on the NFL and college basketball and has covered 20 Final Fours, eight Super Bowls, five US Open Tennis Championships, and three Olympic Games in her 23-year career. Campbell produced One Shining Moment at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship in 2019 and 2021, and started directing live games, including college football, college basketball and the Big3, in 2022. A proud second-generation member since 2008, Campbell serves as an Alternate to the DGA National Board, as Second Vice Chair of the Eastern AD/SM/PA Council and is a member of the Eastern Region Special Projects Committee. 
Dawn DiCiccoAssociate Director Dawn DiCicco
DiCicco’s Associate Director and Production Associate credits include episodes of The View, The View Live Election Special, NBC Nightly News, The Jerry O Show, Countdown to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She has been a DGA member since 2016 and has served as an alternate on the Eastern AD/SM/PA Council and on the 2023 DGA Negotiations Committee. 
Garry W. HoodStage Manager Garry W. Hood
Hood has 40 years in the business as a Stage Manager, with credits on award shows such as the Academy Awards, the Grammys, Emmys and Tony’s; live specials like the DGA Award-nominated productions of Grease Live! and Hairspray Live!; variety programs ranging from the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics to Presidential Inaugurals; and series work including Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. He has worked on eleven DGA Award-winning productions including The 1997 Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts and The 60th Annual Grammy AwardsThe 61st, 64th, 66th, 67th, 68th and 70th Annual Tony AwardsThe 52nd Annual Tony AwardsGreat Performances “Centennial Olympic Games: Opening Ceremonies” and Barbra: The Concert. A DGA member since 1978, Hood currently serves as the Chair of the Eastern AD/SM/PA Council, has served on five DGA Negotiations Committees and more recently as a member of the DGA’s COVID-19 Return to Work Committee. In 2022, Hood became the 31st recipient of the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, which is given to an Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of their service to the industry and the Guild. 
Brett HoleyDirector Brett Holey
Holey is the Senior Director for NBC News and NBC NewsNow. He leads the directing team as well as overseeing production and aesthetics for the national broadcast news organization. He frequently directs election coverage, breaking news and primetime programming. Previously, Holey served as Director and Senior Broadcast Producer of the NBC Nightly News and Director of Special Projects for NBC News where he helped drive the network’s digital initiatives including NBC Mobile and NBC2Go. Holey’s work has earned him 14 Emmys, a number of Edward R. Murrow Awards and a National Headliner Award. He has been DGA member since 1984 and has served on the Eastern Directors Council and as a Co-Chair of the Guild's Network Negotiating Committee. 
Nicole MoreoExecutive Nicole Moreo
Currently the North America Director of Customer Insights at LinkedIn, Moreo was previously the EVP, Head of U.S. Analytics for Ketchum and the Director, Research and Insights for Peppercomm. She currently also serves as the North American Chapter Chair of AMEC| the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications and is a member of Chief, a private network built to drive more women into positions of power and keep them there. 

April SmithStage Manager April Smith (moderator)
Smith’s Stage Manager credits include episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Tamron Hall, The Amber Ruffin Show, Legendary, Teen Mom, Desus and Mero, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Showtime at the Apollo, Back on the Record With Bob Costas, 2 Dope Queens, $100,000 Pyramid and The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore; and specials such as the MTV Video Music Awards, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, Unplugged: Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner. A DGA member since 2015, Smith has served as 1st Vice Chair of the Eastern AD/SM/PA Council, as a co-chair of the Eastern Diversity Steering Committee and is currently the AD/SM/PA Category Representative for the Focus on Women Committee and is a member of the Eastern AD/SM/PA Council’s Education & Events Committee. 

About the Council:

The Eastern AD/SM/PA Council is the elected body that represents the Guild members who reside in the Eastern region and work in television as Associate Directors, Stage Managers or Production Associates.

Pictures & Video

photos by Ryan Jensen

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