What are Hollywood Hawks?

We are professionals in the entertainment industry. We are directors, actors, writers, cinematographers, editors, make-up artists, public relations professionals, producers, stage managers, casting directors, entertainment lawyers, talent agents and so much more. We work in pre-production, production and post-production. We work at studios, networks and management companies. We are freelancers and staff. We work in television, music, theater, film, radio and new media realms. And last, but not least, we are Jayhawks who probably grew up in families where getting a nice, stable job after college was the expectation, but one many of us have happily and completely ignored. :)

Why should I join?

If you know anything about the entertainment industry, you know there is a lot of truth to the old adage: it’s not what you know, but who you know. The more people you know and who know your work, the better. Furthermore, this is a group of the best people around – Jayhawks! So, even if you feel pretty set and like you don’t need to network, we’d love to welcome you into our supportive family, know who you are and embrace every opportunity to cheer you on!

Is this group only for Jayhawks living in Los Angeles?

While it’s true that this group branched off the LA Jayhawks alumni group, and most of our members live in Los Angeles, the “Hollywood” in our name is more in reference to the entertainment industry than a geographic location. We are actively searching for leaders to head up chapters in other cities, so if you are interested, please e-mail Maria Skeels at thehollywoodhawks@gmail.com.

I’m still a student at the University of Kansas, am I allowed to join?

If you are a junior or senior at KU, you are considered a “Future Hollywood Hawk” and we encourage you to join. You should also check out the public information under the “for current students” heading to learn more about our student programming.

I’m not a current student of film, music, theatre or journalism. Am I allowed to be a Future Hollywood Hawk?

Yes! In addition to those fields of study, some of our entertainment professionals majored in subjects like economics, Spanish, art history, anthropology, history, math, philosophy, human biology, industrial design, education and engineering, but then decided to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. We also know that people may start out doing one thing in media or entertainment, but decide to go in another direction. For example, I know of a magazine journalist who is now an actress, a theater major who is now a reality television producer and film graduates who now work on the more corporate side of the business.

Is the Hollywood Hawks group directly linked to the University of Kansas?

The answer is yes and no. Some of our members are active on advisory boards at KU, working with faculty and staff to find ways to improve the educational experience for students. And, within the Hollywood Hawks leadership structure, we have appointed liaisons whose primary role is to communicate with the faculty and staff of the Film & Media Studies Department, Theatre Department and School of Journalism about mutual goals and programming partnerships. We are thrilled and honored to have such enthusiastic support from KU faculty and staff.

That said, non-student programming and events are decided and planned by Hollywood Hawks, independent of our partners at the university.

I didn’t attend KU, but my boyfriend did. Can I sign up for the website?

Not yet. In the future we hope to have a “Friends of Hollywood Hawks” section on our website for members who have a special connection to the University of Kansas (their parent was a professor there, their spouse is an alum, etc.), but who didn’t actually attend the university themselves. In the meantime, such Jayhawks-by-proxy are absolutely invited to attend Hollywood Hawks events. Such friends and family have been incredibly positive additions to our group.

I’m an established professional, what is the best way to help to current students and recent alumni?

First of all, thank you. Our group is comprised of professionals, recent graduates and current students, but it’s the experience, expertise, and knowledge of our professionals coupled with their willingness to help that sets the tone for our group.

Second, there are several ways to help. You could sign up to help advise and guide current students in our “Under Our Wing” Mentorship Program, or schedule a trip back to KU to conduct a Q & A session or an in-studio demonstration. You could also contribute to our flagship student program, the Hollywood Hawks’ Career Orientation Week, by either doing a lunch-n-learn at your workplace, contributing financially or getting involved in another way.