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.


In honor of Dysautonomia Awareness Month, Meredith Aleigha Wells joins the podcast to share her struggles and challenges onstage and in life all from the vantage point of a wheelchair. After becoming disabled at the age of 19, Meredith performed in a college workshop production of the new musical Donny Johns, making UMass Amherst history as the first actor who uses a wheelchair to perform in a Mainstage production.

Meredith graduated with a Bachelor's Degree with Individualized Concentration in Musical Theatre. Immediately after graduation, Meredith moved to Cleveland, Ohio to dance with Dancing Wheels, a physically integrated touring repertory company.

In this episode, she opens up about the hard-fought lessons she has been through and how much more there is learn, both in herself and for others.

Topics discussed in this episode:
 - Mayo Clinic Physician Philip Fischer, MD
 - 10 Facts about POTS
 - Dancing Wheels Company founder Mary Verdi-Fletcher
 - What does the 30th anniversary of the ADA mean to youth with disabilities? - Youth Today
 - Ali Stroker's Tony Award acceptance speech

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This month’s Recommendation comes from co-hosts Jill Jaracz and Allison Brown and their podcast: Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the greatest sporting event in the world.

Each week, hosts Jill Jaracz and Alison Brown explore the stories of the Olympics, which is basically the Broadway of sports. They talk to athletes and sports writers as well as coaches and organizers. They explore host cities and sporting histories, showcasing different aspects and perspectives of the Olympic Games. 

Here’s a bit of trivia, can you name some Olympians who have appeared on Broadway? 
 - One received both a Tony nomination and was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. She played the role of Peter Pan into her 60s.
 - Another Olympic gymnast is gold medalist played Patti Simcox in Grease during the late 1990s and then went back to the Olympics for a third time in 2000 and won the bronze.
 - And in 2014, a world champion figure skater and two-time silver medalist played Billy Flynn in Chicago. 

Another thing I love about Jill and Allison and Keep the Flame Alive is they cover the Paralympics as well. In a recent episode they brought on author David Davis, who wrote the book Wheels of Courage. He talked about how paralyzed veterans from World War II invented wheelchair sports and fought for disability rights.


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British historian and philosopher R.G. Collingwood said, "History is for human self knowledge, the only clue to what men can do is what man has done. So with an ongoing pandemic and theaters shut down for the foreseeable future, what can history teach us about dealing with such hardships and what to expect going forward? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this episode with Professor Charlotte Canning, Ph.D, a theatre and performance historian at the University of Texas at Austin.

Topics discussed in this epiosde:
Actor's Equity First Strike - American Theatre
Katherine Anne Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider 
Shakespeare and the Plague - The New Yorker 
"Finding Hope in Theatre That Hasn’t Happened Yet: How to Survive a Global Pandemic" - Sight Lines 
Is Merchant of Venice Anti-Semitic? - Smithsonian Magazine 
Our Students Are Depending on Us - The Atlantic 


All music underscoring and segues by Blue Dot Sessions, except for WINMI intro music by Patrick Oliver Jones and "Smooth Actor" by Podington Bear. All licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial License.

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Bienvenidos y gracias por acompañarnos en esta edición especial de Why I’ll Never Make It!

En esta segunda parte de mi serie sobre historias hispanas, escucharán a mis invitados anteriores compartir sus propias historias y experiencias en español.

Sin embargo, hay una mujer en este episodio que no ha aparecido anteriormente, Cecy Treviño. De hecho, la conocerás más adelante en esta temporada, pero quería aprovechar esta oportunidad para presentarla.

En este episodio no habrán entrevistas, sólo historias hispanas vividas y contadas por los propios protagonistas.

Sitio Web -

Apoya este podcast -


Musica: "Being Together" y "Road Trip" por el artista Borrtex. Licencia bajo Attribution-NonCommercial License.

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This is part one in a series of former Hispanic guests coming back to share their stories in their own words. The second part - la segunda parte - comes out tomorrow and will be en espanol.
My original idea was to bring back all Hispanic guests for a single Spanish episode. And I ignorantly assumed they would all want to share stories in that language. But Matt Zambrano and Dan Domingues expressed their hesitation at speaking fluently off the cuff about their experiences. While they speak the language, Spanish is not their first language.
In the past year there’s been another clear example of this from one of the Democratic Presidential candidates, Julián Castro. He's talked about his own relationship with the Spanish language. 
Matt Zambrano was the very first guest on the podcast and he and i did MAN OF LA MANCHA together in Orlando. Dan Domingues is a NY actor who took part in my Spotlight episode on Only Make Believe, a nonprofit that brings interactive theater into children’s hospitals and cafe facilities. They both share insights about the work they do as well as very personal feelings about their own ethnicity and heritage. 
In this episode as well as the Spanish one, there are no back and forth questions from me. In fact, I’ve done very little editing to these recordings, just cleaning up sound quality as much as possible and structuring these episodes together. But in general, I’m simply stepping back to let previous guests tell their own story, and say what THEY want to say. 
Your donation will go directly into the podcast, helping to grow the WINMI community and allowing me to do so with greater ease and effectiveness. I wouldn't be here without listeners like you, so your donations are greatly appreciated. All donors will be recognized in a future episode for their generosity.
Music in this episode: "In Paler Skies" and "Lost Shoe" by Blue Dot Sessions and "Smooth Actor" by Podington Bear are licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License.
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Welcome back to more conversation with Tadeo Martinez as he answers the Final Five. Tadeo shares two of his favorites pieces of advice and his dream to be on YouTube. He also talks about his award-winning performance in Noises Off in Dallas, Texas.

Would you like to be a part of creating an episode? Find out how you can and support this podcast at the same time: 


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When it comes to the guests on this podcast most of them are fairly well established. This allows me to the Google them, find pictures and stories about them, and get to know their body of work. But for Tadeo Martinez, there wasn’t much to go on. I found a couple of show reviews and his website.

Now, this is no slight on Tadeo. I didn’t have much either coming out of college. But what I did find certainly gave me enough cause to bring him on the podcast, especially when I read of his desire to bring more Latino and Hispanic representation to theater. So in today’s episode you and I are going to get to know this extraordinarily talented young man, who graduated from college just one year ago.

Just like last week's guest Bianca Marroquín, Tadeo grew up in Monterrey, Mexico learning both English and Spanish. So while he did have an smoother transition then some coming to America to go to college, that didn’t mean language and communication was easy for him. And it was once he found the secret to address this barrier that his performances and opportunities really opened up.

Follow Tadeo: Website / Instagram /

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website 



Music used in this episode by Blue Dot Sessions and Podington Bear and licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License.

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Well, I hope you listened to our previous conversation because Bianca is back to answer the Final Five questions. She shares her disappointment in not getting to play Evita but also her joy to portray Chita Rivera in the hit TV show Fosse. She also goes deeper into her love of family and being a stepmom.

Would you like to answer the Final Five questions? Let me know at


The time and expense needed to bring these guests and conversations to you each week is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode.

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In today's wide-ranging conversation with Bianca Marroquin, one of the issues she addresses is that of language and accent. Growing up near the Texas border, she had the opportunity to learn both languages. So in addition to being the first Mexican woman ever to land a leading role on Broadway, she is also the only one ever to do Chicago in two different languages.

Yet in the 18 years since the Broadway debut as Roxie Hart, she has still faced confusing and ignorant statements from casting directors and reporters, for example, regarding their expectations of what a Mexican is or should be. At the end of this episode I'll shine a spotlight on this week's Hispanic Icon, John Leguizamo, who has a few things to teach us about Latin History

But first, Bianca and I discuss an issue we are all dealing with as artists: the state of theater and the arts during this pandemic and what that might look like in COVID's aftermath.

Since childhood Bianca's life has been one filled with change. Though she was born in Monterrey, she grew up living on the Mexican side of the border in Matamoros, yet went to school on the Texas side in Brownsville. She first studied dance at the age of three but by high school was also learning flamenco, jazz, and tap. For college she wanted to study in Spain but her father insisted on a technical college in Monterrey, where she majored in Communications with the intention of becoming a reporter.

But she soon found her dancing feet again in a flamenco company as well as various festivals and concerts. She had made a name for herself, so much so that by the time she was doing Roxie Hart in the Spanish version of Chicago in Mexico City, she won best actress and caught the attention of Chicago's Broadway producers. And in 2002 she came to NYC in the show and role that has come to be the one constant in her life.


CBS News - Language Barriers Cause Problems

Patrick Swayze on working with Bianca Marroquin in LA 

Follow Bianca: IBDB / Instagram / Twitter 

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website 


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Well, it's the last Monday of the month, so that means it's time for this month's podcast recommendation: THE INDUSTRY, hosted by Dan Delgado.

Every week Why I’ll Never Make It likes to highlight and dive into the areas that hold us back as artists, the realities of this business with all of its ups and downs. Sometimes we find success and other times, like now, we face hardship and/or failure. So when I happened upon a television and movie podcast that did the same thing, focusing on lesser known stories behind the scenes, I was immediately intrigued. 

Since 2018, THE INDUSTRY has taken a closer look at actors who thought too much of themselves, producers who did not know what they were doing, and studios that would do anything for a hit show. Delgado's exposé, for example, of the rival movies Lambada and The Forbidden Dance, which both came out at the same time in 1990, revealed a lot of the behind the scenes bickering and was highly entertaining.

But it was actually a very different kind of episode that first introduced me to THE INDUSTRY. Last Christmas Dan did a bonus episode all about the first Charlie Brown Christmas Special on CBS and how it almost didn't get made. Since that episode I've been hooked.

Dan gives some backstory to his podcast, and in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, he also shares a bit of his own background as well.

So in your playlist of podcasts, I heartily recommend you add The Industry. Just put it after Why I’ll Never Make It, of course.  :)

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