Tom Caltabiano returns to GVSU

Award-winning writer to turn lecture into performance

By Moriah Gilbert | 2/8/15 8:20pm


A multi-talented, Emmy award-winning writer will make his fifth return to Grand Valley State University. Tom Caltabiano, a stand- up comedian, lectures at many universities, but this time when he visits GVSU, he will work closely with professor Frank Boring to develop a new lecturing style.

Caltabiano, writer for "Everybody Loves Raymond" and documentary "95 Miles to Go" on HBO, is scheduled to come to GVSU Feb. 23-25.

The pair is working together to turn Caltabiano’s former lecturing style into more of a performance where students can learn more about the Hollywood writer and what it takes to make it in the industry. His new lectures will be similar to a play performance.

Boring met Caltabiano while on a tour in California for his documentary "Talking with Tigers" that aired nationally on PBS. They discovered they both have a love for aviation.

"Over the course of years we would keep in contact,” Boring said. “We got along very well -- he's not the Hollywood type.”

Although they have similarities, the two regularly work together to bring different perspectives to the projects they are working on.

"I'm not a comedian like him, but he doesn't have an ability to write a live play, where I have wrote 12 -- five of them one-man shows," Boring said. "It ties together our friendship."

Now, once again, as this duo looks to work together to create a one-man show for Caltabiano’s lectures, they are looking for the input from students as well. The show would be geared toward students looking to make it in Hollywood; therefore, Boring is hoping to collaborate with students while Caltabiano is visiting GVSU.

"He basically said he didn't want to do a stand-up routine," Boring said. "He wanted to create a show that was part entertainment and part educational where students would come to see it to find out what it's like to work in Hollywood.

"If we could create something where students learn and watch us write this show and experience writing with an Emmy award-winning writer, hopefully we can get some writers who are interested in expanding their horizons.”

Caltabiano has worked with students in the past to write a script for "Everybody Loves Raymond," and he enjoyed it. There are currently four alumni that are working for Caltabiano in Hollywood.

"He was so enamored by his experience at GV and the many times he spoke to students," Boring said.

In the end, the pair is looking to educate GVSU students on the industry and develop a one-man stand-up show that will better portray Caltabiano’s journey and experience in Hollywood.

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