LINCOLN — Long before Facebook, Nebraskans seeking to make a mark in Hollywood had their own social network.
Nebraska Coast Connection serves as a “home sweet home” for those following their dreams from the Midwest to become an actor, writer or director in Hollywood, according to Roslin Real, an actor who moved from Glenwood, Iowa, three years ago. The salons organized by Coast Connection are like “a master class” in survival in the business, she said.
“It’s just like drinking from a firehose of wisdom,” said Real, who now also works for the Coast Connection. “Even if a salon is not directly about acting, it’s about someone who’s been able to stay in Hollywood. If I’m open, I learn so much at every single one.”
The connection with others from Nebraska can help in other ways, too. Screenwriter Marion Dayre of Superior, Nebraska, was in danger of losing a place to live in Los Angeles before finding a new roommate via the Coast Connection. Now Dayre, one of the main writers on “Better Call Saul,” is one of the most sought-after writers in town, Real said.
The organization’s next salon, scheduled Monday at 9 p.m. (CDT), will focus on the “art houses” of Nebraska, featuring Deirdre Haj of Film Streams in Omaha and Danny Lee Ladely of the Ross Theater in Lincoln. Laurie Richards, Nebraska’s state film officer, will moderate. Information on accessing the salon online is available at nebraskacoast.com.
The Nebraska Coast Connection was founded by University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate Todd Nelson, formerly of Holdrege and Kearney and now a producer with CBS Television & Viacom/Paramount. More than 1,000 people have participated in salons or take the organization’s newsletter, Real said.
"Even if a salon is not directly about acting, it's about someone who's been able to stay in Hollywood."