UCLA Extension

Instructor Interview – Marc Aden Gray

Meet Entertainment Studies instructor Marc Aden Gray! Marc will be teaching a new class, Pitching for Impact: Coming Alive With Your Story of Who You Are & What You Do, this fall. He is an actor, corporate story consultant, and artistic career guide who has appeared in multiple movies and television shows, including The MatrixNCIS, Law and Order: LA, 24, Medium, and Damages. Marc has also appeared in video games, including Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Crackdown 2, and Lost: Via Domus. As an international story consultant, he has helped to shape marketing stories for a myriad of companies, including UBS, Henkel, Beiersdorf, ING Bank, Autobahn, Zify, Cellepathy, and Nivea.

In the digital age, pitching is no longer solely the province of startup founders and entrepreneurs on Shark Tank. Artists also need to be able to powerfully communicate the essence of their work, what makes them different and their vision for the creation of not just a fan base, but also a reliable flow of customers eager to purchase what the artist is making. This course will provide a tangible approach for impactful communication. It will equip the artist with skills and strategies, while also building the participant’s self-awareness and confidence to express their strongest voice in the service of their business.

We sat down with Marc and asked him 4 questions to get to know more about him and his course.

Who is this course for? Can I take it if I’m not an actor?
“Absolutely, any artist can take this course. This is for any artist who needs to communicate the essence of who they are and what they do, in a manner that’s both precise and powerful.”

What should students expect to be doing in this course?
“This course is designed to be highly active. They’re going to be digging into their creativity and their own passion for and understanding of what they do as an artist. I’ll be encouraging them to be fully engaged during our sessions: improvising, exploring, exchanging with others, writing and then stepping up and pitching live in front of the group.”

What do you hope students get out of your course?
“That they walk away with three things: 1) A set of skills and techniques that empowers them to generate powerful communication of themselves and their work; 2) Inspiration to put themselves out there and be fierce; and finally, a deeper understanding of who they are and what they offer the world.”

What are you are watching or listening to these days that is getting you through this strange time?
“Book: I’m reading an incredible work, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Sounds heavy, I know- but it’s actually profoundly uplifting. TV: I’ll admit it, I’m feasting on the fast-food that is Cobra Kai. Silly yet highly entertaining for the child in me who loved The Karate Kid. A more substantial show I like right now is Goliath, with Billy Bob Thornton. Finally, podcasts… I like the journalist Green Greenwald (the man who Edward Snowden trusted with his classified documents) and his political/sociological podcast, System Update.”