Michael D. Prywes
Michael Prywes is a New York attorney who serves artists and creative entrepreneurs. Michael is also the author of the bestselling practical guide "The Gasp: How to Seize That A-Ha! Moment and Turn It into a Winning Business." His podcast "How I Broke Into" takes a deep dive into the big breaks of successful artists and businesspeople; guests have included Hal Elrod ("The Miracle Morning), Emmy-winner Reed Morano ("A Handmaid's Tale"), ballet gold medalist Brooklyn Mack (The Washington Ballet), and museum sculptor Rhoda Sherbell (MOMA, Cooperstown).
He is also a former media professional with a background in film, theatre, video, art, music, Internet, and law. A tech enthusiast since the age of 5, when he learned to program Basic on a TI-99/4A, Michael built the first globally crowdsourced audience voting entertainment site, CastOurMovie, which was featured in the Industry Standard, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and U.S. News and World Report. Michael founded the now decades-old Jewish Theatre Ensemble at Northwestern University, for which he earned the Elie Wiesel Prize for Jewish Arts and Culture.
On the legal side of the entertainment industry, Michael has served as Law Clerk for New Video Group/Docurama (now Cinedigm), distributor of the A&E/History, Scholastic, and Major League Baseball labels, and has worked for ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Performers). Michael has been involved in the drafting of agreements and negotiations with the companies guiding the future of media and technology convergence: Amazon Unbox, Apple iTunes, Netflix, etc.
Michael’s creative career began before attending Northwestern University, when he attended the Long Island High School for the Arts (then known as The Cultural Arts Center of Long Island) as a visual artist. His 4x5 acrylic on canvas “20th Century Icon” was featured in the Sabbeth Art Gallery and a juried competition before he graduated high school. Michael’s creative endeavors continued to expand while he attended Northwestern University as a Performance Studies major. Michael became a theater critic for the Daily Northwestern and Art + Performance Magazine, and later Art Editor of Northwestern’s oldest journal of the humanities, Helicon. His short story, “Teddy Bear” was published in Helicon, and his short story “Semicolon” was a finalist in the Robert Van Sant Writing Competition. As producer and writer of “7th Grade Blues,” the largest scale independent 16mm film production on campus in 1995, Michael honed his resource development, marketing, and business skills for a wider audience. In 1996, Michael earned the Elie Wiesel National Award for Jewish Arts and Culture after launching the still-thriving Jewish Theatre Ensemble, which has co-produced a project with Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theater Company, as well as Northwestern University’s legendary Dolphin Show.
Michael currently is an adjunct professor at Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus, teaching "Intellectual Property and Cutting the Deal" to MFA candidates. He has also taught screenwriting and film at St. John’s University and CUNY Queens College and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools including UCLA and NYU.
Michael was one of 12 students selected for Northwestern University's “Creative Writing for the Media Program,” the program that also included Hollywood veterans Seth Meyers (“Late Night”), Janae Bakken (“Scrubs”), and Breen Frazier (“Criminal Minds”). He also graduated from UCLA's Professional Screenwriting Program. Michael received his JD from the Hofstra University School of Law, where he attended on a Full Merit Scholarship, and was selected as a Dean’s Scholar.
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