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WHat the roundtables are

Michael Paul Ziegfeld was youngest intern hired at NBC after sneaking into the building. He then landed the job at CBS Radio because he was the only person to trudge through the biggest blizzard of the decade for the interview. Years went by with day jobs as a stage tech, to night jobs headlining comedy clubs. He was puppeteering for Jim Henson on a Tuesday and writing jokes for the Letterman show on a Wednesday.

This past year, Post Hill Publishing released, “BREAKING OUT OF SHOW BUSINESS: What I Discovered by Not Being Discovered”, navigating Michael's 25-year career, as a multi-hyphenate, internationally credited entertainer on the verge of packing it in. This critically acclaimed book covers the precariousness of working alongside fame, sustaining a vibrate career and of course, dish on over 30 celebrities.

Assembling a unique round-table discussion hosted by numerous universities, our panel consists of credited, industry professionals in performance, production, literary, marketing and/or finance of all genres.

 

OUR ROUND TABLE PANELISTS DISCUSS AND TAKE QUESTIONS REGARDING THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS,  WHILE OUR MODERATOR LEADS DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM THE BOOK AROUND:

  • "THE ART OF THE TALK" - How to get people to take your calls, look at materials, respond, commit, speaking with equality and respect without submissive vocabulary.
  • CREATING YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES & WHEN AND HOW TO TAKE THEM.
  • NOT RUSHING THE PROCESS WITHOUT BECOMING STAGNANT.
  • MENTAL HEALTH OF THE INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL - A beginner's missteps… the mid-career pressure … the depression … the “time to quit” talk.
 
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WHo we are

MICHAEL PAUL ZIEGFELD

Author of "BREAKING OUT OF SHOW BUSINESS"

Philly native, Michael Paul began his career in local television at age 16. Sustaining a 25 year comedy career, he honed his craft touring with such names as James Brown, Lisa Lampanelli, Wynonna, Joan Rivers and Don Rickles to become a headliner in over 40 countries along with television credits on The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live.

Michael's film career includes motion pictures such as "27 Dresses" opposite Katherine Heigl, and "The Ten" co-starring with Winona Ryder, Paul Rudd, Liev Schrieber and Jessica Alba. He has lent his voice to Pixar, Jim Henson Productions,  Disney and the People's Choice Awards.

He is well known for creating branded puppet characters including, “Nadia Coma: The World’s Oldest Gymnast”, MTV’s “CJ and Peanut" as well as training puppet casts of "Avenue Q" and "The Lion King".

Michael has directed stage and television shows including “Parks & Rec”, Billy Porter, Siegfried & Roy, "Live from the Apollo", America’s Got Talent concert tours and over 40 theatrical events.

In the literary world, Michael has script doctored for The Disney Channel, CBS, Kevin Spacey and punched up jokes for David Letterman and Bill Maher. His published works include comedic editorials for USA Today, Huffington Post and LaughSpin. The new book "Breaking Out of Show Business: What I Discovered by Not Being Discovered" (by Post Hill Publishing) can be found at numerous book outlets including Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.

Michael resides in Los Angeles and continues to work in movies, television and as a comedy writer & script and show consultant.

 

BILLY MITCHELL

Moderator

Originally from Maine, Billy is an award-winning director and playwright whose fill-in-the-blanks comedy Villain: DeBlanks has been seen in New York City (Joe's Pub, Feinstein's/54 Below, The Laurie Beechman Theatre); regionally at Bucks County Playhouse and Saco River Theatre; and at Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Angeles. DeBlanks has featured Tony-, Emmy- and Olivier-winning performers such Bruce Vilanch, Annaleigh Ashford, Barrett Foa, LaChanze, Beth Leavel, Lesli Margherita, The Skivvies (Lauren Molina & Nick Cearley), Justin Guarini, Lena Hall, Nancy Opel and many others.

As a director, Billy has worked throughout the metro NYC area, staging several world premieres for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, as well as small venues around the city & New Jersey including Theatre Row, The Attic Ensemble, and NYC Fringe. 

A member of the Dramatists Guild, Billy is the author of several plays (his script Blood & Oil is currently represented by the Freedman Agency), and a series of original TYA pieces. His first commissioned work, Bartholomew Fair, New Jersey - a comedy-in-verse - enjoyed runs in NJ and NYC. He has theatre degrees from UMaine and NYU, and is frequently the host at events where the first choice was unavailable.

 


CRITIC'S REVIEWS

 

"His name might not conjure up a familiar face, but he is present nonetheless, and present everywhere. What Ziegfeld's book does best is showcase how success is a relative term ...  But if success, to you, looks like a challenging - even adventurous - life full of rich detail, laughter, and just enough adversity to keep things interesting, then Ziegfeld has earned himself the highest honors. And so has his story."

- WENDI NUNNERY, HuffPost Columnist & Author

 

"The stories of inside show business are fascinating and entertaining.

The new book is a gem in storytelling that will finally win him that fame — as an author."  

- ROBIN LEACH, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous

 

"Required reading by would-be stand-up comedians and performers alike."

- KRISTEN HANSEN BRAKEMAN, New York Journal

 

"Whether you like a humorous behind-the-scenes glimpse of Hollywood, or a candid "

you can't make this stuff up" account of the entertainment industry, this book has IT ALL!

The quickest, funniest, non-fiction must read in a very long time."

RYAN JAY, US Weekly / Fox Morning Blend

 


“He writes about being unsuccessful but I've never heard of anyone more successful!"
SETH RUDETSKY, Seth Speaks - Sirius XM

 

"Many thanks for the memories. Read the book! "

- GEORGE SCHLATTER, Creator/director of Laugh In, The American Comedy Awards & Motown 25

 

 

"Ziggy’s true stories perfectly depict the wacky ups and downs of being an ‘almost famous’ performer! Some parts are so funny it’ll make you cry and other parts may just make you want to cry. I’ve never read such an honest representation of the roller-coaster that is show business. If you want to know the truth about what it takes to build and create a career for yourself - and how to make the most of it, then this is the book for you.”

- CHRISTINA BIANCO, Drama Desk Nominee & YouTube Sensation

 

“I am reading the book with a cheap bottle of wine and a box of tissues … for the laughter of course."
- MISTINGUETT, Choreographer & Costume Designer, American Theatre Musical Roundtable Hall of Fame

 

"An intriguing inside-out view of 'TheBiz 'and the journey of a talent.”

- BILL BOGGS, Emmy Winning TV Host & Executive Producer
Comedy Tonight, WNBC, TruTV, Morton Downey Jr Show

 

 

"Devoured the whole thing... laughed so many times!!  Very envious, you're a MUCH better writer than I."

- REX HAVENS, Comedian/Author of "Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned From My Wife"

 

 

“I bought the e-book and just howled. I couldn’t put the book down. Well, turn it off."  

JAMES COWLING, BBC World

 

“Funny and authentic."
DAVID CAMPBELL , TalkZone

 

“I actually knew who he was! Great book. Great interview. He rocked."
MIKE MANKO, IHEART Radio

 

“I laughed out loud at each story. I'd buy this book. OK, so that's ONE sold."
JEFF HOBSON, The Illusionists & Magician of the Year

 

 

“He should be a psychologist. Zingers, bravery & loving insight and perspective on 'the human condition'."
MARY BOYER, Director/Actress - Orange is the New Black

 

 

“He's a great puppeteer with huge stonking talent and very funny. This book is an awesome read.”

MIKE QUINN, The Muppets / Star Wars