We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Zeitlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’ve been told that I “rock resilience” and that’s a true statement. The life of someone in the arts and entertainment is uneven, up and down and can feel like a roller coaster. Since the Covid-19 Pandemic, everyone has had to take stock. In redirecting my efforts, I have opened doors to new ways to work. Along with now taking multiple meetings on ZOOM daily, I host a podcast called PASSION TO POWER with HOLLYWOOD iNSIDER MICHELLE ZEITLIN. This has become a great way to engage with people in the arts and media, and I always go to the “top” of the company roster. I want to hear from the experts in their respective lanes, the “big shots” who can offer their POV’s for all those aspiring to be in their shoes. These podcasts have offered me a way to offer students in the UK, Australia, Asia and all over the US, advice and guidance with straight talk. Having been a young ballet dancer, a triple threat on Broadway, a choreographer/director and talent manager, I see the road to success in non-traditional ways. Risk is always a factor…it’s how you approach that risk that makes life exciting, inviting and an adventure.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am the CEO of More Zap Productions & Management, which I founded in my twenties as an event company to create spectacular live shows for corporate and special events. Over the years this company has morphed and changed. Now we represent actors, authors, artists and activists in all media with the Talent & Literary Management division, and as. CREATIVE, I am also developing projects in the performing arts, film and TV, the digital space and book publishing markets. I love the collaborative work for being with people who are innovative and motivated to succeed. I’m a passionate story teller, and I love to support the vision of other creatives. I’ve worked all over the world, and I miss traveling since Covid-19. My heart aches for live theatre and bands and live music and dancing in a crowd. Ah! Looking forward to working on outdoor arena stages and production stages again….2020 gave us all pause, and time to reflect. It also gave me a reason to pirouette and pivot into new directions and avenues. I’ve become an avid podcaster, I’ve gone back to school online, and I’ve been certified to offer group training in any location for dance and fitness. Currently I’m also offering online coaching for clients who are making their own shifts in career and mindset. I love offering ideas, tools for success and helping my clients to brainstorm about new ways to work effectively, efficiently and creatively.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have friends all over the world, so it’s good to know that when they come to Los Angeles, and the surrounding areas, I can be an effective and entertaining host. It’s a good way to see wonderful cities, sites and meet new people. Here are some of my fave places to go and bring friends: 1. Malibu’s Broadbeach. I love to take my dog and we run through the waves in low tide. The sea shells and tiny tide pools smell so fresh and we run from the end of the caves for about half a mile. 2. After a beach run, it’s lovely to sit at an out door cafe or have a little picnic- especially during the lock downs- a little dried fruit, some Pinot Grigio, crackers and cheese, and humus with veggies. Healthy and delicious. 3. When the museums open up again, I love visiting LACMA and I support their online programs now, during Covid-19 quarantines. The art is lovely and the grounds make you feel like a little kid exploring. I especially love the huge red elevator. 3. The Griffith Observatory on the big lawn is fun around sun down- people bring their telescopes and look at the stars. There are also good trails for hiking near by… The views of downtown LA are stunning at sunset. 4. I am a big Margarita lover so any place that has good chips, pico de gallo and guacamole is a great place to be. A good bartender is worth gold. I especially love roof top hangs, and before Covid, that was a highlight. 5. Walking with my doggy is a treat and I hike Fryman Canyon in Studio City often. I also love walking near my home in Thousand Oaks, and let my mind wander.
Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc. that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
I am very lucky to be developing and representing outstanding talent and literary “people and projects” while also coaching and offering speaking engagements internationally. Being a mentor and manager allows me to offer my “passion” and my “power” to connect people, help artists and entertainment clients to realize their dreams and to create their own Yellow Brick Roads to Success! It’s important to have mentors who know you, remind you of your strengths and are there to empower and guide even when you feel like you’re back stroking in the thick of it.
So while I am thrilled to roadmap and create opportunities for my clients, I am also incredibly grateful to those very clients who remind me I have the goods to do the job. My clients are exceptionally smart, motivated and focused. They are also appreciative of the dedication that I offer them…so I’m thanking my clients, and especially Dr. Scott Musgrove, who has always been a friend in the truest sense of the word, Together we have worked in film and TV, a podcast and traveled to far off lands to create live shows. At one point he got me signed at a major agency, and in the last few years, I’ve been able to guide him for negotiations at a major network.
When I was interviewing for a position in scripted television development, Scott was an advocate and bonafide reference. He has always had my back, and he is one of the most authentic people in my circle.
Other: I host and produce a podcast for those aspiring to careers in the arts, entertainment and digital technology. I present conversations and we dive in deep to hear stories and gather advice from experts who are actors, authors, artists and activists! My podcast is free, and growing in popularity. I would love people to listen and share the episodes and post on Apple Podcasts and social media with the hashtag #passiontopower and #morezap. Comments and suggestions welcome. I’m honored to have interviewed Kevin Beggs, Chairman of Lionsgate TV, Andy Bateman, CEO of Sid Lee USA, Krishan Trotman, Hachette Publishing, Kendra Levin, Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, Mike Young, CEO of the animation company, Splash Entertainment and many more!