Performing Arts

Weekly conversations and insights on the fine line between setback and success in the performing arts. Fellow creatives share their own journey as artists and the lessons learned along the way with host Patrick Oliver Jones, an actor who knows first-hand the ups and downs we all face.


Welcome back to part two of my conversation with Justin Guarini! He’s already shared pivotal moments from his childhood and given us a cautionary tale of his college experience. So we pick up with his decision to stick with American Idol instead of making his Broadway debut with The Lion King. 

If you would like to win a signed copy of Justin's book Audition Secrets (or buy it here), then all you have to do is join WINMI as either a Maker, Producer, or Artist. Sign up for one of these memberships by January 31, 2021, and one lucky winner will get Justin’s tips and secrets to auditioning. 

Topics discussed in this episode: Women on the Verge of a Nervous BreakdownJulie Andrews and her vocal surgery • Justin in Wicked 

Follow Justin: Website / Instagram / Twitter

Join WINMI: WebsiteMemberships / Instagram / Twitter 


Season 5 brings with it a new ways connect with me and the guests and new opportunities to learn and grow as an artist:

Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 20 Theater Podcast on Feedspot 

Music used in the episode by Blue Dot Sessions and Borrtex is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Happy New Year to you! And welcome to the premiere episode of Season Five.

Today’s guest is Justin Guarini, who you probably know from American Idol but has done so much more and has a lot to teach us about becoming an artist, finding our own path, and realizing that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Get Justin's book Audition Secrets or possibly win a signed copy of this book by becoming a member of WINMI as a Maker, Producer, or Artist. Sign up for one of these memberships by January 31, 2021, and one lucky winner will get Justin’s tips and secrets to auditioning. 


Follow Justin: Website / Instagram / Twitter

Join WINMI: Website / Supercast / Instagram / Twitter 

Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 20 Theater Podcast on Feedspot 


Season 5 brings with it a new ways connect with me and the guests and new opportunities to learn and grow as an artist:

All this and more can be found at the newly updated website: 

Thank you for joining me for part one of my conversation with Justin Guarini. Come back for part two in just a couple of days.

All music used in the episode by Blue Dot Sessions and Borrtex is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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January 13, 2021

Season Five Preview

Well, we somehow made it through 2020 and have arrived at Season Five of Why I’ll Never Make It. Covid may still be here and theaters are still shut down, but this podcast keeps rolling with great new guests and content coming your way.

Here on the WINMI podcast you’ll learn how artists and creatives handle the setbacks and challenges that come with a career in the performing arts. Interviews and conversation are hosted by host Patrick Oliver Jones, a professional actor and singer for almost 30 years and a Backstage Expert who knows first hand the ups and downs we all face. 

Upcoming guests include Justin Guarini from American Idol, Geoffrey Owens from the Cosby Show, Andrienne Walker from The Lion King, and Gabrielle Ruiz from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. They’ll be joined by podcasters, producers, filmmakers, composers, and even a Jeopardy champion.

One of the added perks this season is a way for you to ask these guests questions and have them included in those episodes. But the best add-on feature this season are all the members-only episodes that will be released each week in addition to the regular episodes on Wednesdays and Fridays.

There are three levels of membership: the Makers, the Producers, and the Artists. And each of them come with bonus content like the Final Five, Audition Stories, or other special episodes. But the Artist membership is unique in that it also includes one-on-one coachings and consultations with me, giving you more ways to learn and grow as an artist with special advice and insights just for you. 

For more information on the podcast itself and everything mentioned here go to There you can also sign up for the monthly newsletter which will provide ongoing information and updates throughout the season on guests and bonus content.

Season 5 has a lot in store and I can’t wait to get started!


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A look back at the year that was unlike anything we would’ve hoped for or imagined. Still, this podcast had its good moments and a plethora of fantastic guests.

  • 0:28 - Introduction
  • 1:10 - COVID update
  • 3:31 - Broadway Makers Alliance & Helium Radio Networks
  • 5:42 - Season Recap and Top 5 Guests
  • 7:55 - My two favorite episodes
  • 10:51 - Season 5 Preview with Justin Guarini
  • 12:19 - Final Five: Sammi Cannold
  • 34:44 - Members-Only episodes

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website 


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Merry Christmas! :)

In honor of the recent release of THE PROM movie on Netflix, here is a special combo episode of my conversations with star of the Broadway production, Caitlin Kinnunen (starts at 1:58), and one of the co-producers, Abigail Rose Solomon (starts at 35:18).

Also, this holiday season don't miss the 12 Days of Auditions, available at Become a WINMI Producer and listen to former guests share their most memorable audition stories.

Listen to Caitlin's full second season episode and audition story here.

And Abigail's full conversation and Final Five from season four is here.


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Today’s episode is part two of my conversation with the final guest of Season 4.

Sammi Cannold is a remarkable artist and director. She was even named to the 2019 Forbes List of 30 under 30 in entertainment for her innovative and unique approach to directing for the stage. And today’s conversation is going to be focusing on a few of those productions...

  • her remarkable staging of the musical Violet on an actual bus
  • her 2019 New York City Center Gala production of Evita

I have my own personal connection to Evita having done the national tour of the latest Broadway revival. Even our music supervisor Kristen Blodgette worked with Sammi in her production. In fact, It was that revival production that inspired Sammi to become a director in the first place.

Follow Sammi: Website / Instagram / Twitter 

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website 



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Here we are at the final guest of Season Four...

In part one of my conversation with New York director, Sammi Cannold shares the details of an article she wrote for The Stage, detailing how South Korean producers have made theater safe and possible for both creatives and audiences.

While Sammi remains more diplomatic, I am not gentle in my rebuke of the Broadway League and Actors Equity, who have either kept silent for much of this pandemic or have actually been a hindrance to getting theater up and running again. We highlight the leading efforts by Andrew Lloyd Webber and how there is no equivalent here in the US.

Part two will be a conversation more about her directorial projects in New York and regionally as well as her affinity for all things Andrew Lloyd Webber. She was also on the 2019 Forbes List 30 Under 30 in Entertainment.

Follow Sammi: Website / Instagram / Twitter 

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website 


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In part one of my conversation with Christophe Zajac-Denek, he talked about growing up with dwarfism, his love of music and drumming, and how he just kind of fell into the world of acting on camera. For part two, we continue that journey with the movie and experience that had a profound impact on his life. 

As we start this episode Christophe has moved back to Michigan to go to music school and return to his first love of drumming, but life had other ideas for what Christophe needed to be doing.

Follow Christophe: IMDB / Demo Reel / Website 

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website 


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If I’m being honest, I have never really met a little person. Maybe in passing, but never actually sat down and had a conversation with one. But once we got on Zoom, Christophe Zajac-Denek and I chatted for more than two hours and even then we still could’ve kept on talking. There were so many areas of his life and experience that were not only interesting but also inspiring. So this is actually just part one of that conversation.

His fascinating story is such a departure from most conversations I’ve had on this podcast. He answers questions about dwarfism was and the day-to-day life of someone living with this condition. Christophe also shares his love of music and how he found acting...or rather how it found him.


Follow Christophe: Website / Instagram / Podcast 

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website 


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It's been one heck of a year, yet one arts group wanted to come together and make something to celebrate this season. They asked me to be a part of the event by hosting their Virtual Red Carpet. These interviews with the actors and creative team behind BroadwayMania's Holiday Special were first shown Thanksgiving weekend and led up to the hour-long Christmas program.

  • Amanda Varelakis, singer/director (1:51)
  • Sean Milas, singer (5:15)
  • Amber Dickson, singer (9:38)
  • Toby Blackwell, singer/writer (12:43)
  • Sadie McCurry, singer (17:46)
  • Scott Polovitch Davis, singer (22:04)
  • Gray Norton, singer/technician (26:59)
  • Cecy Treviño, singer/producer (32:45)

To watch these Red Carpet interviews on YouTube as well as the Holiday Special, go to: 


The instrumental music in this episode: "Christmas" by AShamaluevMusic 

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