‘Simpsons’ Producer Speaks

by Toni Perrine, Professor, Film and Video Production and Acting Director of School of Communications

Bonnie Pietila speaks to students and faculty about her work on 'The Simpsons.'

Bonnie Pietila, Michigan native and long time producer and casting director for “The Simpsons,” visited GVSU campus Tuesday, October 25 and spoke to a group of over one hundred School of Communications students and faculty.

Pietila spoke about her experiences getting into and working in the entertainment industry, starting with her journey from a small town in the Upper Peninsula, to a major in zoology at MSU, work as a music promoter and finally to Los Angeles.  She has worked on “The Simpsons” since its beginnings on the Tracey Ullman Show in 1987.  Ms. Pietila is also an avid photographer, and some of her current work was entered into ArtPrize.

Ms. Pietila advised students to do well in school, to study what they love, to nurture a wide range of interests, to be resourceful andadaptable, and to be self-reflective and honest.  Pietila acknowledged the challenges of getting into the industry, but also emphasized that with perseverance and a determination to do always do their best, no matter what the job, students can succeed in ways they haven’t yet imagined.