The Supporting Cast

A production of Harvard-Westlake School. The Supporting Cast features long-form interviews with individuals sharing compelling life stories, passions, and interests, but with an acute focus on one’s teachers, coaches, and mentors—transcending simple biography to highlight one’s “supporting cast” and how their influence mattered. Hosted by Eli Goldsmith. For more information, please contact host Eli Goldsmith at egoldsmith@hw.com

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Season 5

Episode 36 : Tiffany Alexander Aldridge ’87, When Giving Comes Full Circle

Tiffany Alexander Aldridge ’87 is Director of Annual Giving at Harvard-Westlake, overseeing a program that leads all American day schools in overall dollars (raising more than $10M in 2022-2023). However, what draws Tiffany to the role is not the program’s size, but its impact—which Tiffany and her family know personally. Tiffany grew up in South LA as the only child of a single mom, gaining access to Westlake School for Girls in 10th grade due to both her exceptional talent and the availability of need-based financial aid. It was this same combination of talent and resources that enabled her son, Chase Aldridge '15, to also attend Harvard-Westlake. While Tiffany’s professional career has spanned various meaningful political and non-profit fundraising roles, in 2022 she seized the opportunity to return to HW and direct the very same program that profoundly impacted her family. It is a story that brings Tiffany quite literally to tears, imbued with gratitude for the role she plays now in creating more opportunities for students like her. Tiffany references Westlake educators Hope Boyd, Craig Deutsche, and Elizabeth Gregory as profound influences.

Episode 62 : Kara Nortman ’93 on Angel City and Investing in Women’s Sports

Kara Nortman ’93 is co-founder of Los Angeles’s professional women’s soccer team Angel City. In this episode, Kara recounts her evolution from leading LA’s largest venture capital firm, Upfront Ventures, to co-founding Angel City alongside partners Natalie Portman and Julie Uhrman in 2020. Since then, Angel City has not only garnered significant fan followings and profitability (quadrupling its revenue projections in year one), but also developed a profit model to enable community and philanthropic impact. Using Angel City as a model, Kara has since broadened her focus--leading a $150M raise to form Monarch Collective, whose mission is to invest in women’s teams, sports, and rights across the world. Finally, Kara describes her own Harvard-Westlake story and personal connections to the team—noting that three of Angel City’s stars, including team captain Ali Riley '06, Gisele Thompson '24, and Alyssa Thompson '23 are all HW alumnae. Kara references Jeanne Huybrechts and Barb Welch of Harvard-Westlake, as well as Alan Blinder and Lori Dauphiny of Princeton University, as profound educational influences.

Episode 61 : Rich Eisen on the NFL Draft and a Life in Sports Broadcasting

On April 25, the NFL Network's Rich Eisen will host his 21st NFL Draft, anchoring what will amount to a 20-hour broadcast held over multiple days—framing compelling narratives and moderating impassioned debates about the NFL’s next generation of stars. In this episode, Rich tells his story--from growing up in Staten Island as the child of two educators, to the University of Michigan and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, to being hired by ESPN in the mid-90s to host Sports Center at age 26. Rich references Lou Prato of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, the Cornell Summer College writing intensive, as well as his own parents, as profound educational influences.

Episode 60 : Elizabeth Banks on a Career in Entertainment

Actor, producer, and director Elizabeth Banks grew up in Pittsfield, MA, as the eldest of four siblings—falling into acting (quite literally) after suffering a softball injury, and then leaning into theater due to the encouragement of high school teachers. Then came the University of Pennsylvania, where she met her husband and now producing partner, followed by the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. This launched Elizabeth’s career in entertainment, acting in various memorable comedies and dramas throughout the 2000s and 2010s, before stepping behind the camera to produce and direct films ranging from the Pitch Perfect series to last year’s Cocaine Bear. Elizabeth references educators Ralph Hammond and Janet Rajotte of Pittsfield High School, actress Annette Bening, and filmmakers Judd Apatow and Steven Spielberg as profound life influences.

Episode 59 : Dr. Mark Krieger on Adolescent Mental Health

In the season 5 opener, The Supporting Cast welcomes its first return guest, Dr. Mark Krieger, Surgeon-in-Chief at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). In March 2022, Dr. Krieger joined to discuss Kids and Covid-19 (Ep. 37). Two years later, he joins to address a different kind of global health crisis relating to adolescent mental health. In this episode, Dr. Krieger discusses various factors that have impacted modern adolescence--ranging from the pandemic, social media use, neuroscientific phenomena, destigmatization around asking for help, the role of parents and parenting, as well as how schools can be part of the solution by creating communities of connectivity and belonging. While Dr. Krieger referenced various educators previously, in this episode Mark discusses the profound influence of his wife, film producer Kristie Macosko Krieger.

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