Next Gen 2012: Publicity
Bright young things? Bring 'em on, as The Hollywood Reporter recognizes the 35 superstars 35 and under who are moving up fast (and having fun) in film, TV, digital, law and news.
BRYNA RIFKIN, 32
ID-PR, Director, Media Strategist
Searching for an Academy Award-winning starlet? Or an Emmy Icon? Look no further. This New York-born publicist maintains an impressive portfolio of some of Hollywood's hottest talent -- from Marion Cotillard, Natalie Portman and Jennifer Lawrence to Emily Mortimer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mira Sorvino. The George Washington University grad, who now oversees ID's London office, also counts Boardwalk Empire's Michael Shannon and The Perks of Being a Wallflower's Logan Lerman as clients.
Big Break: An elementary school class appearance on Sesame Street. Snuffleupagus told me I was destined for great things.
Industry Mentor: Whether she intended to or not, I was fortunate to have the mentorship of Mara Buxbaum. She taught me an approach to publicity that maintains a sense of mystery but stems from passion and artistry.
Best Advice: Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten pretty much encapsulates the fundamentals.
10 Years Ago: I was an executive assistant at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills with lots of friends who wanted to exploit my discount. [Her first entertainment job was a brief stint at CAA.]
Can't-Miss TV: It's a multiway tie! Veep, The Newsroom, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and any other series that features a client of mine.
When I'm Not Working I'm: Commuting -- on a plane or in a car traveling to and from work.
CHRIS DiIORIO, 30
PMK*BNC, VP Television
In addition to mega-clients the Television Academy and The X Factor, the Colorado-born DiIorio represents a laundry list of television's top showrunners including Shonda Rhimes, Bill Lawrence, Bryan Fuller and How I Met Your Mother duo Carter Bays and Craig Thomas.
Industry Mentor: PMK*BNC COO/executive vp entertainment Lewis Kay. He was the person that brought me over to then-BNC and has been an incredible mentor and friend.
Best Advice: A college professor told me, "Never spend too much time celebrating your successes or wallowing over your failures."
10 Years Ago: I was a student at Loyola Marymount University while interning in MTV's PR department [his first entertainment job].
Biggest 2012 Accomplishment: I am not singling out one client and getting in trouble!
Can't-Miss TV: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. I like to fancy myself as somewhat of a foodie who loves to travel, so there really is no better show.
Movie Fix: The Godfather. Might be cliche, but any time it is on TV, I watch it to the end.
Lunch Spot: Toast. Their Smoke Stack sandwich is amazing.
When I'm Not Working I'm: On the Westside spending time with my wife, Giovanna, and friends.
SUSAN KESSER, 32
Warner Bros. Television, Executive Director of Publicity
A 2011 recipient of the Publicist Showmanship Award for Television at the ICG Publicists Awards, the USC grad is among the WBTV team members who handle all things Chuck Lorre. These days, the newly married Kesser (originally from Virginia Beach, Va.) and her colleagues have good news to promote, including the showrunner's recent hardcover book, his overall deal to expand into cable and film and the ratings dominance of The Big Bang Theory.
Industry Mentor: Tammy Golihew [senior vp publicity at Warner Bros. TV]. She inspires our entire team to dig deeper, think bigger and be better. She also happens to be my shoe mentor.
Big Break: My big break was actually small, as in Smallville.
10 Years Ago: I'd just started at Warner Bros. Every evening, I'd go nine rounds with the copy machine: changing toner, handling electrical malfunctions and rescuing eaten paper. That job made me a Canon copier savant.
Can't-Miss TV: Game of Thrones and 60 Minutes.
Movie Fix: Coming to America. Any time it's on TV, I have to stop and watch it. It was the first R-rated movie I was ever allowed to see. Prince Akeem, King Jaffe Joffer, Cleo McDowell and Soul Glo. I think I have every line memorized.
Lunch Spot: The Sprinkles ATM.
I Wake Up At: 5:50 a.m.
The First Thing I Do Is: Justify skipping Barry's Bootcamp.