Tova Laiter: Hi and welcome to The Backlot. I’m Tova Laiter moderator and director of the New York Film Academy Guest Lecture Series. In this episode, we will take an in-depth look at one of my great guests and hear about her experience in the entertainment industry. And now Eric Conner will take you through the highlights of this Q&A. 

Eric Conner: Hi, I’m Eric Conner senior instructor at New York Film Academy. And in this episode, we bring you the woman behind such legendary songs as West Covina and Don’t Be a Lawyer. It’s the co-creator, writer, producer and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Rachel Bloom. 

[Crazy Ex-Girlfriend theme song]

Eric Conner: For a performer with so many talents singing, acting, writing, dancing, etc, etc., one of the toughest things she had to figure out was what to focus on first. \

Rachel Bloom: I was a musical theater major and I realized shortly; I was like, I don’t like being a musical theater major. I felt outcast from the people. I mean, the NYU musical theater program at the time was very big. There were 80 people just in my freshman class. So there there wasn’t a lot of personalization. The kids who knew each other had done the NYU summer program the year before, which I hadn’t done. And so there was already this kind of like what felt like a popular clique. That’s also my own s**t. And also, you know, 18 year old musical theater kids, myself included, aren’t the easiest people to be around. So it’s like you get in and everyone’s just like, how high can you sing? And it’s like, oh, no. I’ve made a grave error. And you’re busting your balls to, like, audition theoretically for these shows and you’re in New York and you’re seeing what musicals are actually getting put up and a lot of musical theater is s**t. So I started to get very just disillusioned with musical theater. And I think also part of it was a fear thing because I came from being the s**t in my high school and I went into NYU and suddenly I wasn’t the s**t anymore. And that was very threatening to me. So I think there were a bunch of factors. And then I got on this sketch comedy group and for the first time I had no, I’d been on an improv group in high school, but I’d never said I want to be a comedian. So I didn’t. My whole life, I’d said I wanted to be on Broadway. I want to be a big musical theater star. So I had all of these like loaded aspirations. With comedy, I didn’t care if my sketches sucked. So it was the first time in my life that I truly worked my hardest at something and didn’t care if I failed because I had no emotional stake in it. And I just fell in love with writing sketch comedy. And it was a sketch comedy group where we did a new sketch show every month. And so that’s what I did for four years. I was simultaneously a theater major while doing sketch, and I remember sketch people at a certain point saying, when are you gonna stop doing this stupid musical theater thing and just come into comedy and start doing UCB classes. And same thing with with musical theater teachers being like, well you can’t do comedy and theater, you really have to decide. And and at a certain point you do because if you want to do standup. At a certain, you just where do you want to spend your time. Do you want to be rehearsing at night or do you want to be in clubs at night? But I started to think maybe there was a way I could combine them. And I remember my friends showed me there is this singer, Julie Brown, who made comedic music videos in the 80s. One of them is called Because I’m a Blonde. 

[Because I’m a Blonde]

Rachel Bloom: The other one is The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun, which is super dated if you watch it now. And it was the first time I’d seen a woman doing comedy songs because I’d seen Mel Brooks. Like I had the template of Mel Brooks, I had the template of Weird Al, I had the template of the Lonely Island and the digital shorts that they were doing, but they were all men and the South Park guys. But it was the first time I saw a woman and I thought, oh, I could be doing like comedic pop videos. Like pop videos but funny because like, I just had, it hadn’t occurred to me until then. 

Eric Conner: Once Miss Bloom saw the possibilities of making her own comedic music videos, she went all in, even financing the videos herself and figured out how to make a few bucks go a long way. 

[F**k me Ray Bradbury] 

Eric Conner: The Ray Bradbury one. 

Rachel Bloom: Yeah that was the first one. 

Eric Conner: It doesn’t look like a flimsy little put together video. It looks very professional. Who financed it? 

Rachel Bloom: I self-financed it and it was cheaper than you’d think. So the location, I mean, this was just like luck. The location was an old Catholic school that had since been repurposed into an artistic space in New York. And I rented the whole school out for one day for two hundred dollars, which was a donation. I don’t know how this happened. And the school stopped letting shoots in shortly after the video filmed. At the time Internet, so so the trend of Internet sketch comedy had been kind of like gritty and grainy looking. And that was really started by the landlord, which was the first Funny or Die sketch with Will Ferrell and the little girl. 

[The Landlord] 

Rachel Bloom: And so everything looked kind of grainy. And then people were just starting to make Internet sketch that looked good. And my friends were involved with this production company called Landline TV in New York, which did a lot of pop culture parodies. So sometimes it was music videos, sometimes it was just sketches. But for the first time, I was seeing really good professional looking films come out of them. So when I wanted to make this music video, I thought I could maybe make it with Landline. Landline didn’t finance it, but I ended up getting a lot of the crew. And Paul Briganti, who directed the video and he edited. He did the first edit too. I paid him $400 for the whole thing. I don’t understand why it was so cheap. The DP was this guy, Paul Rondeau, who’s still a DP. He’s he’s an amazing DP and I’d be working with him more if he didn’t live in New York. I paid him $250-300. He came with his own camera and his own lights. I mean, he was a one stop shop and that’s just shot on a, F**k me Ray Bradbury was shot on a Canon 5D. It’s a great camera. And you’ll see at one point I’m walking down a hallway and there are these flashing lights. That’s just two unpaid PA’s doing with this with lights on a, lights on a wheel. When you have a good looking camera and you have a cinematographer who knows what he’s doing, you really can do anything. But also people who are willing to be paid in pennies, which I never had those prices again. It was stunning. And I think people were doing me a solid because it was my first thing and I was self-financing it. Yeah. I mean, it was just working with a lot of talented people. And it was the first thing I produced because for a while I saved money by self-producing and I really learned how to produce on the go. And I’m still not an amazing producer. I get it done, but I’m still not great at it. I mean, that first shoot day was a night. It was a nightmare. I got to the shoot late. I’d been personally picking up the donuts like I f**ked up. I f**ked up a bunch of things. 

Eric Conner: Whatever f**k ups she might have made didn’t get in the way of the videos themselves, which all these years later still feel fresh, funny and, you know, a bit dirty. And at the time these videos got her noticed. Though some of that attention was more of a curse than a blessing. 

Rachel Bloom: So my first manager discovered me in a friend’s internet sketch and I was twenty one, twenty two and she was just like, you’re gonna get me my beach house, which is a crazy thing to say. No, don’t sign with someone who’s saying that s**t because that’s a hyperbolic insane thing to say. And then she set me up with an agency meeting of an agent who was on the phone the whole time. And so between her and the agent, I thought, well, this is how the industry works. If people talk like they’re in Hollywood and he doesn’t give a s**t. No, if people are actually good at their jobs, they they want to take a meeting with you and they listen to you and they don’t say you’re gonna give me my beach house. And this particular manager had me fly out to L.A. for two months to audition for pilot season. And I was like, this is my big break, even though I’d never auditioned for film or TV. I was coming off of being a theater major and I really didn’t feel ready, but I was like, you know what? This is what I said I wanted. I’m going to be famous. She wanted to make me like a child star, because I was twenty one, twenty two at the time. So she was sending me in for like teen heartthrob auditions and I went in for this one. I probably was on the CW like Sci-Fi audition called Betwixt and I had terrible auditions, because I hadn’t taken a class. And so the second the feedback from the auditions was terrible. She dropped me like a hot rock. She was just like, never mind you don’t have it, kid. But just all that to say, like I, you know, there are, there are a lot of weird potholes and there are a lot of, you’re gonna meet a lot of weird people and you’re gonna have a lot of false beginnings and a lot of false starts. And that’s part of it. I mean, I. When I was in New York, I had an interview. God damn it. I had an interview for a movie. Just remembering this now about like a journalist who was discovering the S&M scene and my interview with the director was in a sex dungeon and I went because I needed, I wanted work. And it was fine. Nothing like Me Too-y happened. We just sat next to some harnesses. But I guess I just want to say, like, it can be a bumpy, unpredictable road. 

Eric Conner: Thankfully, she had something that helped her get over those bumps in the road. And that was writing. 

Rachel Bloom: Like every story, there’s no one story that’s similar. For me, I had released this comedic music video online that was getting me some notice from agents and managers and then in my back pocket I had a spec. Not even an original spec. I had a spec of 30 Rock that I had written to try out for the Nickelodeon Writer’s Fellowship, which I didn’t even come close to getting it, but I had had the spec in my back pocket. So between the video and that spec, when I got representation from the video, my managers, my new manager sent that spec to Fox Animation and I had a general with Fox Animation. And at the time they were hiring for two animated shows and I went and interviewed for both of them. And I and I got one. So that’s kind of how it happened. I mean, I think that the biggest advice I have for writers is try to find ways to meet other writers and for other people to see your writing, one, so that your work can literally get out there, like I’m a performer, too, so it’s it’s easier for me to get my work out there, be it live performance or on videos, but also that’s how you’ll get good at writing is just. And you’re a student here, I assume, so that’s you’re already doing it, but just get good at it and then just try out for everything. Like I found that trying to make deadlines for those fellowships and those writing programs, even if I didn’t get them, they gave me hard goals and hard deadlines. I think most writers only work well with deadlines where you’re accountable to something. I mean, I just started writing a book today and like the only thing motivating me is, like, the guilt over the fact that I procrastinated on it for like a year and a half. But like, I said to the publisher, like, I need you to be angry at me if I don’t make my deadlines. Like I need people beating down my door. So just find a way to make yourself accountable. I also give the advice of, if you have a script, set a date for you to sit with friends and read it as a roundtable. That way you have to have it finished by then. 

Eric Conner: Rachel Bloom eventually was hired on the staff of Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken, though it was her YouTube videos that led to the creation of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. 

Rachel Bloom: I had been doing comedic music videos on my YouTube channel for quite some time and I’d been otherwise kind of a working television writer and I’d been doing live shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. But it came from those music videos that had been based on some of my live work, and one of them was featured on the website Jezebel. And Aline Brosh McKenna, who is a screenwriter, my co-creator of this, spoiler alert, was procrastinating and she was on Jezebel and she saw one of my music videos and she realized that the same person who was in them and singing them was the same person who wrote them. And so I got an email saying, Aline Brosh Mackenna wants to meet with you to discuss a potential musical television show with CBS. Well, we got together and we said, what show do we want to create? In this blind date she busted out a premise called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which was a movie she’d been wanting to write, which was kind of flipping the crazy ex trope on its head. And I said, that’s amazing, because all of the stuff that I’ve been pitching was like show business related. And she was like, no one cares. No one, no one cares about showbusiness. No one wants. No one wants to watch that. What people care about is like emotion, what lends itself to a musical. And she was so right. I mean, that’s the thing is the reason my shows had failed is because they weren’t an eighth as good of an idea as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was. So Aline and I got together and we started writing and we developed a pitch. Lets see, we we started developing the show in June. We went out in September after going to West Covina together and spending a lot of time together. And I think that she really taught me, I kind of had been coming from a world of sketch comedy where I came at things very premise-y. And she really wanted to dig into Rebecca’s character and talk about the character at first. And I learned a lot from her about, it has to start from the character. Even if you have a great premise, you have to have a well-rounded character and know that character inside and out. 

Eric Conner: A musical about the archetype of the crazed ex was pretty specific and yet so universal and it got immediate attention. Even if there were some concerns about Miss Bloom playing the lead. 

Rachel Bloom: When we pitched it, everyone’s been a crazy ex or had one, which is very true. So we pitched to eight places and CBS was our studio for only the big places because originally it was going to be a CBS network show. Or it was gonna be a network show that CBS would be the studio. And then CBS said, well if it’s a network show, rachel’s an unknown. She might not get the lead that you’re writing for her. She might have to audition for the show. And I was like, I don’t want to do that. And Aline goes, Well if it’s a network show, you’ll make more money. And I was like, I have very little money. Any amount of money is a lot of money to me. And Aline was like, well, I’m not doing this for the money. And so then we decided to pitch it to cable, which is weird that we ended up being a network show. So we pitched it to eight cable places. And the places that were interested were Showtime, MTV and FX. And Showtime offered a put pilot agreement, which is that if they didn’t turn it into a pilot, they would pay us money. So we went with Showtime because it was very promising. Let’s see, so so we turned the pilot in. And then they spent three months trying to then attach a director. And it was only when they attached an impressive director, they decided to make it a pilot. And so then when Mark Webb signed on and said he wanted to do it, instantly we were greenlit. Because we’d been talking about other directors, but when Mark said yes like, Showtime immediately greenlit it. 

Eric Conner: You would think that would be the happily ever after. Showtime’s onboard. The director of 500 Days of Summer is at the helm. But things in the entertainment industry are seldom a straight line. 

Rachel Bloom: So we made it for Showtime. We felt very sure it was going to series. Until it wasn’t. And so then we had a rejected pilot on our hands. I’m just telling you the whole. We had a rejected pilot on our hands. We had a half hour and we re-sent it to all of the places, including the places that had wanted it before. No one wanted it. And Aline had been watching Jane the Virgin. And Aline said, you know, the CW is doing some really interesting stuff that doesn’t feel network-y. And CBS co-owns the CW. Do you want to just send it to them? And we’d have to make it an hour. I was like, who cares? Whatever. That’s fine. So we had a great meeting with the CW. They said, we’re considering it for mid-season. We didn’t hold our breaths. Then we heard that the pilot pickups were happening. Upfronts were starting to happen, and that CW didn’t like any of their pilots and that we were being strongly considered for the fall. But they had some notes which were these tiny tweaks. So we did the tiny tweaks. And the next day we got picked up to series. So it was crazy because we went from thinking we had, I mean, I remember the day we got a bunch of rejections in one day for the filmed pilot and I had just gotten married. I paid for my own wedding dress. We’d had a beautiful wedding. We wanted to buy a house. And I just remember being at home like saying to my husband, I I thought I was gonna be a Showtime star and that we were gonna be able to buy a house. And oh my God, I spent so much money on our wedding because I thought I was gonna be a Showtime star. Oh my God like, I’m so sorry. I’m so broke. And so I went back to working at Robot Chicken and I was at Robot Chicken when I found out we got picked up to series. And I had just had a sketch rejected that day in the room, because you get like sketches approved or rejected. And we got ordered to series. And I was like, I quit. Bye. And those guys, I’m still really good friends with those guys and they were just like, yep, goodbye. You go. Go, go, go. 

Eric Conner: Robot Chicken’s loss was the rest of the world’s gain as we got to witness Rebecca Bunch’s journey from powerful NYC attorney to lovelorn L.A. lawyer. And along the way, the show took an honest look at everything from mental illness to the real world pains of having a large chest. 

[Heavy Boobs] 

Eric Conner: Rachel Bloom and her team also found a way to parody a number of musical genres while still giving us some of the catchiest tunes of the past decade. 

Rachel Bloom: It’s a very inexact science and a lot of it was like gut and emotion. I mean, a lot of it came from my own unironic love of musical theater and then learning comedy and realizing that a lot of musical theater is like goofy or embarrassing, but still loving it. And so. It’s just more instinctive, I have to say. Like, because sometimes on the show we were straight up taking the piss out of things and other times we were writing that line of an homage and a serious song. I mean, the song that we have right now that’s Emmy nominated, which is the antidepressant song.

[Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal] 

Rachel Bloom: That was probably the most sincere song we’ve ever done because we take the piss out of the genre a little bit, but it’s mostly just sending it up. There’s a joke about opening a pill bottle and there are tap shoes inside. And so I think it was like, it was just a gut thing. And I think that’s like a lot of this stuff you’ll find like, sometimes it’s just an inexact science and that’s OK. And that’s why you just got to write a lot and feel it out. And art is subjective, you know. Not everyone is going to like what you do. I’ve heard of some people who watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend who only watch the music videos online. And then I heard of some people who fast-forward through the songs because they just want like the plot. Arts f**kin’ subjective. There are people in the world who don’t like pizza. 

Eric Conner: Well rest assured, I like pizza and musicals and I find myself humming a lot of these songs days after I watch an episode. But the Ex-Girlfriend team had more on their mind than just making a bunch of snappy musical numbers. They also wanted to tell a complete, four-season story about Rebecca’s journey of self-discovery. Warning, slight spoilers ahead, but I think you’ll be OK. 

Rachel Bloom: So when we pitched the show, Aline was always, because she was a screenwriter, she was always interested in doing a 50-60 hour movie. And so we pitched basically a four season show from the get go, because that’s how you’d structure a movie. You have Act 1, you have Act 2 split into two parts, then you have Act 3, which is the fourth season. And the last line of the show, which is this is a song I wrote, that was in the pitch from the very beginning because the whole point of the show was always about someone finding out what actually makes them happy, not what they think should make them happy and telling their own story. And I actually, I, it’s the first tattoo I got was of the, was of the line. Right there. 

Eric Conner: As well-planned as their story arc was, the Ex-Girlfriend team still had to deal with a few unexpected curveballs along the way.

Tova Laiter: You said you had a four act structure, you had it all planned out. So I was wondering, not to spoil anything, how you handled unexpected changes such as what happened with Greg? 

Rachel Bloom: Yeah, that was a real curveball. So we had the structure planned out. It was very much the first person structure. Like there was a lot that we didn’t have planned out. What we knew was it would be a story of, the first season was denial. The second season was OK, we’re in love now. Obsession. The third season was spiraling and the fourth season was redemption. So that was very first person. Yeah. I mean, so the actor who played Greg asked for a one year contract. We did it in good faith. Don’t do that. Don’t expect that an actor with a contract is gonna then like understand how the writing process works. That actor decided to leave because I think he wanted to be back in New York, which is his right. And we were only given on his end about two and a half weeks to write him off the show. So when you watch that plot, that’s little writing pat on the back that we really earned it. You know, we, because it was any character other than Rebecca we managed to work it in thematically. So that second season was about obsession over Josh Chan. So having that other character leave, it f**ked with our how we wanted to do the series end, but it didn’t necessarily f**k with like the arc of the season. And then Aline, who was the showrunner and very smartly said, we need another love interest to come in and fight Josh and that’s how he got the character of Nathaniel. And I, I mean, God the show without Nathaniel. Like, what would that. I mean, he’s such an important part of the show. And then, of course, then when we realized, OK, we’re in the fourth season, we’re now coming back around to what we’d originally plotted, which is all these love interests coming back, because you wouldn’t have the character Greg be as big as he was in the first season if he was just going to like go away. Hence the recasting, and the recasting it from that meta level. And I actually love the way that it ended up working out because we got to really explore what happens when someone earnestly changes and earnestly wants to change their life. And before Greg, original Greg had left like, he was a very flawed character. And so the idea of now having him come back as a viable love interest. It was an unexpected gift. So I think like viewing anything that happens, even if it’s a pothole, as like an unexpected gift and you’re like, OK. Let’s pretend this is the choice we were always going to make. How do we do this? It’s like an improv scene. There are no mistakes. They’re always just choices that you have to roll with. 

Eric Conner: In other words, it’s not a problem. It’s a choice. And here’s the good news. The audience is none the wiser. As long as the choice services the show and the character. To really capture Rebecca Bunch, both Rachel Bloom and co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna needed to put a lot of themselves into the role while still giving Rebecca room to be her own woman. 

Rachel Bloom: I’m emotionally similar to Rebecca. I think autobiographically it got less and less and less so as as the series went on. But a lot of those emotional reactions, especially in the pilot are like, come from me. But really, Aline and I wrote the pilot together in a room, kind of improvising aloud to each other. So it’s very much a mix of us. And then the character kind of became her own thing. Coming at it from a first person perspective and coming at it with empathy. We always came at the character from I’ve had issues with anxiety and depression and elements of OCD, and so it was always coming at it from a very, very personal place. So we were never coming at it from a labeling, which is why the show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend because that is inherently an inflammatory label and the show is all about going beneath that. And some people didn’t get the subtlety, which the whole other thing. And then even when, when it was something that I hadn’t experenced, just coming at it with empathy and understanding why a character is doing what they’re doing, where a character’s coming from. And and if you can do that and you can still do a joke, as long as you understand where the joke is is coming from. I think just, I don’t know, empathy and understanding. 

Eric Conner: It’s a rare show that can make a catchy song about antidepressants equal parts hysterical and still painfully honest. 

 [Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal]

Eric Conner: So where does one go after a success like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? Well, you go back to writing. Just as long as it’s not in the house. 

Rachel Bloom: You just got start. For me, staying in the house is death. I have to get out. I have to write in a coffee shop. I have to get somewhere. I go on walks to get inspired because, you know, when writing feels really fun, it’s when it feels effortless. When you have like an idea and you’re just like, but that’s not always the way it is. And then often you’ll come back to those ideas that felt effortless and you’re like, this is a pile of garbage. And so you just gotta do it. But I find getting out of your house, getting out of your normal. Like if you’re in a place that has a rut, just getting out of that space and going somewhere else really helps me. Getting your brain into a relaxed place. It’s why sometimes I like to write in the bath, which I have a little bath caddy and I’ll put my laptop on it. If it falls it’s not enough electricity to electrocute me. That’s what I’ve been told. And like in the bath, it will just like free me up or I’ll be taking a shower and I’ll want to write something down. So I think that just, and I should do this more, you know, walking around and carrying around a notebook and just talking to yourself and jotting down ideas and watching a lot of things too. Watching movies and TV shows and music videos and live theater too like, just being in a place of generally wanting to be inspired. I think being alone in your house is the opposite way to do that, and I’m saying this as much for myself right now because I’m in my house alone so much right now. And it’s, it’s not good for me as a writer. So that’s it. But it’s hard. 

Eric Conner: Miss Bloom also encouraged our students to not let other people determine how many creative hats they can wear. 

Student: I’m an actress and I am also very much into directing and producing and into writing and I’m having this issue where I keep being told that I need to do one thing. And I’m trying to figure out how to prove myself in terms of showing that I’m more than that. And I just want to know if you had any advice on that. 

Rachel Bloom: That’s stupid. That’s bulls**t. You don’t have to do one thing. It’s possible to get good at all those things. You just gotta work your ass off, which a lot of people do. First of all, you go where the gigs are. So if you get a gig directing something, that’s what you’re focusing on for the next bit. If you get a gig acting, that’s what you’re focusing on. If you just leave yourself open to all those opportunities. I find the opportunity or the job will kind of dictate you. I was an auditioning actor, but I was way more, I think, partially because I was kind of a s**t auditioner. I was way more successful as a, as a writer in the start of my career. And so I was like, OK, I’m more of a writer right now and you kind of feel it out. And then the second thing is so many people now are directing shorts that they also write and star in. And so that’s what you do. And you write your own short and you get a really good AD to help you plan those shots. I mean, this is you know, I’m sure there are many people in this room who can help you. You get an AD. You watch a bit of playback. You make sure the frame is good. People do it all the time. 

Eric Conner: It takes a lot of dedication, talent, effort, and yes, some luck to pull it off. And it’s going to take some time. So enjoy the process and enjoy the journey. 

Rachel Bloom: Just before Crazy Ex, just before Aline e-mailed me, I had pitched to musical television shows that no one gave a f**k about. Like no, people could not have cared less. So. So, yes, I have to believe that hard work and honing your craft work out and pan out. But you can’t necessarily do it for that end goal because that’s just luck. And that’s a lot of factors. You have to love the craft and you have to love the work. And I remember reading an interview with Tina Fey where she talked about how the happiest time of her life was when she was just performing in Second City in Chicago and she would swim in the river every morning and she would go perform. And she was like, yeah, if I did that for the rest of my life, I would have been fine. And so I think that that’s really important. I think in L.A. you meet some people who are so product, like they just want the end game. And it’s like, just hone the process first and make connections in organic ways, but get good at your work first and then see what happens. So I think that that’s really important to emphasize because I’m not the first person who thought of doing comedy music. I’m not the first person who decided to write and perform my own work. I’m not the first person who did a solo show. I was around a lot of people doing this and they inspired me. And then I took it and ran with it in some unique ways. And I and I do credit myself with that. But I guess it’s just important just to emphasize, like especially to students that like, focus on getting good first and worry about the getting discovered and all of that, that that will come. And when you’re ready, you’ll start researching how that happens. And it’s a process. 

Eric Conner: Well we’re all looking forward to seeing what Rachel Bloom will do next. We want to thank Miss Bloom for speaking with our students. And of course, thanks to all of you for listening. This episode was based on the Q&A moderated by Tova Laiter. To watch the full interview or to see our other Q&A’s, check out our YouTube channel at This episode was written by Eric Conner. That’s me. Edited and mixed by Kristian Heydon. Our creative director is David Andrew Nelson, who also produced this episode with Kristian Heydon and myself. Executive produced by Tova Laiter, Jean Sherlock and Dan Mackler. Special thanks to our Events Department, Melissa Enright, Sajja Johnson, and the staff and crew who made this possible. To learn more about our programs. Check us out at Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. See you next time.