Mercy Students Perform Before Famed Hollywood/Broadway Producer and Renowned Writer/Former Magazine CEO
When Assistant Professor Marc Palmieri’s “Intro to Acting Class” students did their final class performance – “Spoon River Anthology” by Edgar Lee Masters– not only did they receive feedback from their professor, but they had the privilege of being evaluated by esteemed motion picture, theater and television producer Julian Schlossberg and champion of literacy Walter Anderson ’72, H.D. ’89, former chairman, chief executive officer of PARADE magazine and Mercy College Trustee Emeritus.
“The students were already thrilled to have some parents and friends in the audience, and to know that Mr. Anderson and Mr. Schlossberg would be watching made it even more special,” said Palmieri, assistant professor of communications studies. “They were very eager to ask them both questions about their life and work in entertainment, journalism and broadcasting among other things, and the performance was a great way to start our time together.”
Schlossberg, whose career as a producer has played out over five decades behind the scenes of Broadway stages and Hollywood screens, was impressed by the students’ performance and their discipline. When the students asked what it takes to succeed in show business, he recounted his own experiences starting out as a producer, some of which are included in his memoir, “Try Not to Hold It Against Me: A Producer's Life,” now out in its second edition. He recalled an attempt to get a meeting with renowned film and theater director Elia Kazan by following him around NYC. Ultimately, he spoke with Kazan, who got him a job.
“If you want to be in show business, start learning about it. Get all the knowledge possible. Learn how it all works. The more knowledge you have, the more chances you’ll have of moving up,” Schlossberg added.
Anderson, who had an illustrious publishing career and is the author of five books, agreed with his long-time friend Schlossberg. He said, “You’ll always find people that say you can’t do something, but if you have the drive and are willing to work hard, you’ll persevere.”
Mercy College student Eli Hunter ’23 found the experience of hearing from Schlossberg and Anderson enlightening. “It was amazing to hear their journeys and points of view. It lets you know that you are not alone, that there is a way, and anything is possible. Makes the dream of becoming a producer real.”
Alyssa Politi ’25, a Mercy College journalism major, was inspired by their words as well. “I feel motivated to prove what they were saying [about knowledge and working hard],” she said.