March 25th, 2021 was a fun-filled night to remember. The ViacomCBS Veterans Network and other media veteran organizations held its 3rd virtual Vetworking & Trivia event with Claudia Lyon, Executive Vice President, Talent & Casting, CBS Entertainment who shared insights about "Inside the World of Casting".
This month’s event sponsors and partners included ViacomCBS Veterans Network, NBCUniversal Veterans Network, FOX VETS, Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME), LIONSGATE VETS, VETS at SONY Pictures, WarnerMedia, BFAM Cooking, and Vets2Set.
The event kicked-off with a warm moderated Q & A discussion between special guest Claudia Lyons, CBS Entertainment; and Jacob Revord, SONY. Claudia shared insights on how the veteran and military community can break into the Hollywood industry, including how to own their professional titles with confidence when networking. One tip that Claudia shared, when networking with confidence, is “You are not trying to be an actor, you are an actor”. Participants learned that this shift in perspective ultimately positions them to pitch their expertise with more confidence when in the room with top industry players. Decision-makers want to know if a person is already working on industry projects. Those in attendance learned that taking initiative is the key to success in the entertainment industry, as that is how most creatives got started.
Following the Q&A, participants were put into Zoom breakout rooms, each with an assigned moderator. There was discussion about the key takeaways received from special guest Claudia Lyon’s earlier Q & A discussion.
Moments after, participants left the Zoom breakout rooms, then trivia commenced. The Trivia host was Jerome Amos from BFAM Cooking, who brought an engaging energy to the game. Participants were delighted to play trivia with other veteran and military families and friends, which brought back nostalgia of camaraderie from their service
Closing remarks were made by Rebecca Murga, Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME) who thanked sponsors, partners and special guest Claudia Lyon, including participants for supporting the virtual Vetworking & Trivia event.
Some of the ViacomCBS Veterans Network team who organized the Vetworking & Trivia event included: Betty Diaz, Director of Programs & Operations; Tiffany Pilgrim, Veteran and Military Relations Coordinator; and Melanie Corinne, Social Media Strategist.
“We had 300 RSVPs for this Vetworking & Trivia event. Interest from our veteran and military families’ community are growing. We look forward to reaching more veterans during these uncertain times, to build their career skills, and having a fun night playing trivia in the process with our brothers and sisters”, says Tiffany Pilgrim, Veteran and Military Relations Coordinator, ViacomCBS Veterans Network
“Thank you to the ViacomCBS Veterans Network for inviting me to participate in the Vetworking & Trivia event. I really enjoyed being a part of this series of events which are informative, entertaining and a great opportunity for Veterans to gain more knowledge for their future aspirations while networking with and enjoying time with their peers”, says Claudia Lyon, Executive Vice President, Talent & Casting, CBS Entertainment
One attendee said of the event "[It was] Informative and entertaining. I was surprised at the sheer size of the veteran community in media and how ready everyone is to help and include." -Trevor Phillips, Multimedia Producer
“What an informative and inspiring event featuring Claudia Lyons, EVP of Talent & Casting at CBS Entertainment. Our members of Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME) appreciate these events with such high profile and engaged leadership from CBS. We can't wait for the next one! Special thanks to Betty Diaz (ViacomCBS), Jerome Amos (BFAM Cooking) for their leadership, and to the leaders of other media veteran groups. A big shout out to Jacob Revord (Vets at SONY) for his moderation and to Rebecca Murga (VME) for wrapping up the event with high energy! When is the next one?!”, says Karen Kraft, Chair, Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME)
“I had the absolute pleasure of participating at the Vetworking & Trivia event. All of the veterans & participants instantly clicked & started telling funny sea stories & jokes. The Trivia event was so much fun & also brain stimulating. I could tell that it really loosened up a lot of us, including myself, from the stresses & bothers we might have been dealing with that day. When we broke off into small groups to mingle, our group leader Betty [ViacomCBS Veterans Network] brought such a great energy & I was so happy with the connections I made. I left the event with a huge smile on my face! Thank you so much to the amazing staff & thank you to all my brothers & sisters for your service.” --Ricky Ryba, Actor, Producer & Navy Veteran.