Using real-life, behind-the-scenes stories from major pop culture successes, I speak to business people looking for ways to stand out in an infinite marketplace. Along the way, audiences don’t just learn lessons they can apply to their own businesses—they also have fun, watching clips from great comedies and learning their trade secrets.
“Jennifer gave a fantastic talk about writing, pop culture, and the role of women in the entertainment industry to our audience. She drew a crowd and connected with everyone. We’re looking forward to booking her again!” — Allison Sansone, Program Director, The American Writers Museum
Talk topics include:
What Seinfeld Teaches Us About Succeeding in Business
Seinfeld pulled off an unusual combination of feats during its dominant 1990s run on NBC: It was regarded as unassailably cool, but it was also a massive hit with tens of millions of viewers. It was risky, but mainstream. It was almost canceled at least twice, but it went on to run for nine years and change television comedy forever, a story I tell in my bestselling book Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything. That’s why it has a lot to teach us about innovation—lessons that can be adapted from their ’90s origins to today’s crowded marketplace. I walk through five major ways Seinfeld creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld made the most of the opportunities they were given to create one of the most enduring sitcoms in TV history—lessons anyone can apply to stand out today.
What Sex and the City Teaches Us About Listening to Women in Business
You don’t become the show that helped build HBO by being ordinary. Back in 1998, Sex and the City—along with its soon-to-be network sibling The Sopranos—made original premium cable programming not just a thing, but a prestige thing, a story I tell in my book Sex and the City and Us: How Four Single Women Changed the Way We Think, Live, and Love. And the show did all of this by allowing women—a 100-percent female writing staff—tell their own stories. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha became a worldwide sensation by talking dirty, dressing spectacularly, and giving us major friendship envy—and by telling authentic women’s stories onscreen, unleashing a pent-up international demand for vibrators, cupcakes, Cosmopolitans, and Manolo Blahniks. I walk through four ways Sex and the City created worldwide, multi-million-dollar frenzies by simply allowing women to tell women’s stories.
— Michele D’Aulerio (@DAulerioMichele) October 30, 2019
What The Mary Tyler Moore Show Teaches Us About Representation and Mentoring
How do you build a feminist icon? By hiring, mentoring, and listening to women. The Mary Tyler Moore Show became a sensation in the 1970s, a time when few women had been allowed into the boys’ club of comedy writing, by having more women writing its scripts than any show before it, or any of its contemporaries. Though it was created by two men, James L. Brooks an Allan Burns, these men had the insight to find and hire as many promising female writers as possible, to mentor them in comedy writing, and to actually listen to their feedback on the female characters they were creating. I walk through five lessons, which I learned while writing my book Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic, from the series that taught us we really were going to make it after all.
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Past bookings include: 92nd Street Y, American Writers Museum, Book Culture (New York City), Book Soup (Los Angeles), Boswell Books (Milwaukee), Gaithersburg Book Festival, Hevreh Festival of Jewish Books and Authors (Berkshires, New York), The J Jewish Community of Louisville, Hemingway Foundation, Nitehawk Cinema, Politics and Prose Bookstore (Washington, DC), Printers’ Row Book Festival, The Shop at NBC Studios, The Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, Triad Theatre (New York City), Westchester Jewish Center, Wheaton College, WORD Bookstore (Brooklyn), U.S. National Archives