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So you want to be in show business? NLCP's Phoenix Soar Mentors know the right people to help you get started.

On February 28 students in the Phoenix Soar mentor program attended a panel discussion about careers in entertainment. The panel was moderated by Marissa Bailey of CBS Chicago News and included actors, casting agents, lighting designers and even NLCP alumnus Joe Berry, who is a Director at Cinespace Studio. The panel shared interesting stories about their educational backgrounds and careers.

One consistent theme throughout the morning was the importance of college for future career opportunities. Panelists discussed how unique opportunities provided in college have helped to shape their career paths and continue to open doors even years later. In college the speakers all met new people with similar interests, and developed networks of peers and professors who have been resources to help obtain professional opportunities throughout life and when least expected. So remember—be nice to your teachers!

The students loved hearing about the panelists’ experiences working on commercials, TV programs, and theatre sets. Joe Berry of Cinespace talked about Chicago’s growing film scene and opportunities to get into film that are close to home. Hit TV shows like Chicago Fire, Boss and CPD have all been filmed right here in Chicago. Joe told the students “believe in yourself and work hard.” Careers in entertainment are super fun, but also challenging. Panelists encouraged students to pursue their interests and to continue refining their crafts. It is hard work, but if you truly love being an entertainer it will all pay off.

This panel discussion is part of a larger speaker series organized by the Associate Board’s mentoring committee, and there are similar events planned for careers in business and science. A special thank you to the panelists and moderator for sharing your exciting experiences and lessons learned with our students.  NLCP students are eager to learn about other careers. If you are interested in hosting a panel discussion, contact Abbie Castiglione at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it