2 Degrees of Alie is a podcast about peoples' stories of breaking into Hollywood.


TV & Film





May 2018
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Assistant Director Scottie Gissel Shares Stories of Breaking Into Hollywood

You can find my podcast with assistant director Scottie Gissel here.

In this episode, I am lucky enough to sit down with assistant director Scottie Gissel.  Scottie started off in the DGA Assistant Director Training Program and from there moved through the ranks to become a 1st AD. She has worked in both television and film and her credits include such productions as "Glee," "Six Feet Under," "Get Shorty," "True Blood," "Jericho," "The Practice" and "Undead Or Alive," just to name a few. Scottie's impressive credits only show what an impressive force she is to have on set. She's the kind of AD you want behind the scenes, and she shares with us what it's like to do the work she does. We talk about everything from the DGA trainee program to working with Bette Midler to the audition process to play a corpse on "Six Feet Under."  

For anyone who isn't sure what an assistant director is, here's a quote from Scottie that was first posted in her "Message From The Chair" on TrainingPlan.org.

"Assistant Directors work the line where business meets art in the collaborative, yet hierarchal, sphere of motion picture and television production. In teamwork with the Director and Producer, the Assistant Director must facilitate production with all departments and prioritize with the ultimate result in mind: to finish the job – having done the work in the time allotted - without incident - beautifully! Not for the faint of heart, but every AD has tales of adventure born of those they have worked on."


I'm a 1st Assistant Director and have worked on such shows as "Glee," "True Blood," "Jericho," "Six Feet Under" and "The Practice."
I studied film at the University of Texas at Austin and worked as a Production Assistant in Texas until I moved to Los Angeles and began work as an Assistant Director Trainee. 
I joined the DGA after training for 400 days on such productions as "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Get Shorty."
In 2003 I was appointed by Martha Coolidge, then President of the DGA, to Trustee of this same training program that gave me my start and continue to serve in that position.
For anyone interested in the Assistant Director Trainee Program, the deadline to apply is November 5 and the website is trainingplan.org.
Direct download: 2_Degrees_ep_12_Scottie.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 10:36pm PDT

Comedian Adam Yenser Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with comedian and Emmy Winning writer Adam Yenser. Adam is a writer on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" and you can also see him performing standup all over the country. You may have seen him on TV either on "Last Comic Standing" or in sketches on "Conan" or on "Ellen." Adam shares his stories of starting out in standup and talks about everything from the audition process for "Last Comic Standing" to appearing on TV as Anthony Weiner's bulge to writing for Ellen Degeneres. 


Adam Yenser began performing stand-up comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City where he also studied sketch writing. He has performed at numerous venues around the country including Gotham Comedy Club, The Hollywood Improv, and The Laugh Factory. He has worked for "Late Night with Conan O’Brien," "The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien," and "Conan." He has also been a freelance contributor to Weekend Update and currently writes for "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." 

Direct download: 2_Degrees_ep_10_Yenser.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 12:30am PDT

"Modern Family" Editor Ryan Case Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I talk to one of my favorite ladies, Ryan Case. Ryan is an incredibly talented and funny editor (and an Emmy winner) who helps shape one of the most successful shows on television, "Modern Family," every week. Some of her other editing credits include "The B--- In Apartment 23," "1600 Penn," "Kath and Kim," "Acting With James Franco" and my short film "My Mom's Just Not That Into Me." We talk about everything from being an extra on "Dawson's Creek" to what happens behind the scenes on "Real World" to where she was when she first read the script for "Modern Family."


RYAN CASE is a television editor who is currently on her 4th season of
the hit ABC comedy MODERN FAMILY. Ryan earned an Emmy for her work
cutting the pilot of that series, as well as 2 other nominations.
Ryan's other editing credits include the pilots of ABC comedy DON'T
TRUST THE B---- IN APARTMENT 23 and upcoming NBC White House comedy
1600 PENN. She also cut shorts for KIDS IN THE HALL on their last tour and worked on the Judd Apatow produced ACTING WITH JAMES FRANCO. Also, you may have her work during the 2012 Emmys telecast (Lily is a monster). You can find Ryan on Twitter at @film114

Direct download: TWO_DEGREES_OF_ALIE_Ep_2.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:30am PDT

Writer/Producer Michael Jamin Shares Stories Of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I chat with TV writer/producer Michael Jamin, a very funny man whose credits include: "Just Shoot Me," "King Of The Hill," "Brickleberry," "Wilfred," and "Maron." Michael shares a lot of great stories from "the trenches" of some of TV's best writers' rooms. We also talk about everything from how King Lear relates to "Just Shoot Me" to working for the Dionne Warwick Psychic Friends Network to how cats make terrible co-stars to directing Mel Brooks. 


Michael Jamin's first writing assignment was a freelance episode of "Lois & Clark:  The New Adventures of Superman."   The series was responsible for launching the career of Teri Hatcher, as well as ending the career of Dean Cain.  After stints on "Just Shoot Me" and "King of the Hill," he and his partner, Sivert Glarum, sold two sold numerous pilots to HBO and CBS, as well as a pair of movies to 20th Century Fox.  Recently, they served as showrunners on  "Glenn Martin, DDS," a stop-motion animation series starring Kevin Nealon, Catherine O'Hara and Judy Greer.  For two seasons, they resisted the studio's wishes to make the family dog talk, citing artistic integrity.  After the show's cancellation, they quickly sought work on a show about a talking dog:  "Wilfred" on FX. They then returned to their animated roots, writing the series "Brickleberry" for Comedy Central.  They are currently Executive Producing "Maron" a single-camera comedy coming soon to IFC.    

Direct download: 2_Degrees_ep_7_Jamin.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:30am PDT

Writer/Producer/Performer/Comedian Jessie Gaskell Shares Stories of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I have the immense pleasure of chatting with writer/producer/performer/comedian Jessie Gaskell. Some of you may recognize her as Steph Schwartzman from the hit Hulu web series "Dorm Life." Jessie is a super talented, funny lady with many awesome credits to her name ("Dorm Life," "The Soup," "The Dish," "Pop Up Video"). She's also one of the few people working in comedy who has also worked at a ThinkTank in DC. We talk about many topics from working at "E! True Hollywood Story" to finding a strong zebra for a sketch to creating a hit web series. 


Jessie is a comedy writer and performer living in L.A. She's written for E!'s "THE SOUP," Style's "THE DISH," and various shows for VH1 and Disney. She also worked as a joke writer for RuPaul. Jessie created and wrote "DORM LIFE," the most-watched original web series on Hulu.com. You can hear her weekly on the the "What's Goin' On" podcast. She loves puppies of all kinds, because she's not a f-ing racist.

You can find more info on Jessie on her website and you can find her hilarious tweets on Twitter.


DORM LIFE on Hulu:


THE DISH "I'm on a zebra"

Direct download: 2_Degrees_ep_8_Jessie_Gaskell_revis.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

Writer/Actors Brian McCann and Brian Stack Share Stories of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I have the immense pleasure and honor of talking about comedy with "Conan" writer/actors Brian McCann and Brian Stack. Both guys are two of the most hilarious men you will ever meet. Stack and McCann both started in the improv world in Chicago and from there got hired to write on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." They've created and portrayed some of the most memorable characters on late night TV. We cover many topics from performing at Improv Olympic in Chicago to talking to Walter Cronkite while dressed as Frankenstein to having one's bare ass on national television. 



Brian McCann is a brilliant writer/performer who has had an extremely successful career in television and film. Brian Stack is jealous of this.



Brian Stack has been with Conan since ’97, and has played such characters as The Interrupter, The Ghost Crooner, and Frankenstein.  He performed at Chicago’s Second City for 4 years, and still performs regularly at UCB and IO-West.  He has also appeared on “30 Rock,” “The Office,” and “Eagleheart.”

Direct download: Two_Degrees_ep_6.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

"Breaking Bad" Composer Dave Porter Shares Stories of Breaking Into Hollywood

In this episode, I have the immense honor of interviewing Dave Porter, the composer for the best show on television, Breaking Bad.  We talk about everything from his musical influences as a kid (Miami Vice) to couch surfing in New York and working for Phillip Glass.  Dave’s an amazingly talented guy and I hope you enjoy this podcast!



Dave Porter began his musical training at the piano at age five, and began composing as a teen. He studied classical and electronic music composition at Sarah Lawrence College, and started his professional career at Philip Glass’ studio in New York City. Dave is the series composer for the Emmy-acclaimed drama “Breaking Bad” on AMC, and was awarded an ASCAP Film and TV award for “Breaking Bad” and the FOX Studios paramedic drama “Saved” which aired on TNT. He also served as music editor on the final season of the HBO drama “Six Feet Under.” He was the composer for the documentary “Bigger, Stronger, Faster”, which premiered at Sundance and is currently airing on Showtime.  He is currently at work on “Smiley”, a feature horror film from director Michael Gallagher of YouTube’s “Totally Sketch.”  His scores also appear in the dramatic films “The Oh in Ohio” (Parker Posey, Danny DeVito), “Ultraviolet” (Milla Jovovich), and “Vacancy” (Kate Beckinsale).  Dave is currently working on the 5th season of “Breaking Bad,” further expanding the unique blend of ethnic and electronic instruments that have become a signature of the show.

Direct download: 2_Degrees_of_Alie_-_Dave_Porter_Ep._101.mp3
Category:TV & Film -- posted at: 9:00am PDT