Dawn Steinberg, '83
Executive Vice President, Talent and Casting, Sony Pictures Television
Q. What are you currently working on?
I supervise all Sony Pictures Television shows, including pilots and what’s on the air. They include Damages on DIRECTV, Justified and Rescue Me on FX, Rules of Engagement on CBS, and Breaking Bad on AMC. New shows about to premiere include Mr. Sunshine with Matthew Perry and Happy Endings, both on ABC, and Mad Love on CBS.
Q. Could you describe one person, experience, or series of events at Emerson that shifted the course of your career and that illustrates one of Emerson’s core attributes of creativity, collaboration, risk taking, and excellence?
I was the first Mass Communications major to produce the spring drama festival. It normally came from the Performing Arts Department, but I went to (Professor Emeritus) Leo Nickole and he helped me. It was a big turning point for me, to take that mass communications knowledge and use it to produce the drama festival.
Q. Is there an example of how a classmate aided you with your career?
I remain so close to so many people that there’s not one person in particular. I think it’s just the collaborative nature of people at Emerson.
Q. Are you professionally connected to other Emersonians?
I work in casting, so I work with writers, producers, agents, and actors all the time who are Emerson graduates. Both indirectly and directly, I’m always coming across someone from Emerson. And my interns are always from Emerson. My current intern, Lauren Shaw, is a senior.
Q. What’s the single most important piece of advice you’d like to give to Emerson students?
I would say dabble in everything. Find out what you’re really passionate about and just go for it. Use all of that dabbling knowledge in what you ultimately decide to do.
I suggest that everyone take an introduction to psychology course if you’re going into performing arts, because in show business you can always use that knowledge. When someone throws a fit, you’ll say, “I know where that’s coming from.”