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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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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When it comes to the arts, I aim to give as wide a field of experience and opinion as possible here on the podcast. Yet for the most part I steer clear of politics. This is for a few reasons, but the main two are that I don’t want to add to the already divisive nature of some political activism and I want the content of this podcast to be as relevant today as it will be a year or more from now. Causes come and go, elected officials also change regularly (as does their rhetoric and positions on key issues). 

The closest I’ve come to venturing into the political realm is when I had on two of the founders of Be An Arts Hero, highlighting their efforts to lobby Congress for more funding and attention given to the arts here in America. So there is no doubt a relationship between the arts and politics, throughout history they have been both supporters and adversaries of one another. 

And recently there was a podcast that veered from its normal format to highlight the Politics of Culture that is inherent with so many works of art. The podcast is called Left, Right, and Center. And as the name implies they bring on guests and pundits from all sides to discuss the issues of the day. However, in this recent episode their guests are a television writer, a pop music songwriter, and a stage playwright. The discussions are led by Keli Goff, who is a journalist as well as a playwright and screenwriter herself. 

Of the four guests in this episode, I was particularly struck by the conversations with Stan Zimmerman, who wrote for the classic TV show The Golden Girls, and award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, who wrote the book for the hit Broadway musical Ain't Too Proud. They both share how their own writings have contributed to social conversations and have addressed important issues.

Like with any episode of Left, Right, and Center there will opinions you agree with and those you may not, but the discussions are nonetheless thoughtful and in-depth.

Stay tuned for the next recommendation, which will be my year-end pick for the best podcast to take us into the new year. Until then take care, and subscribe to this podcast wherever you listen to audio.



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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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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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Luis Salgado was born and raised in Puerto Rico and studied theater there at the University of Puerto Rico. He moved to New York City in 2012 and it was slow going at first for him to book work. But eventually things started to click for him and his career as featured as many credits on stage as off stage, behind the scenes, in addition to film and television work.
But this year has not been kind to so many artists, and work has come to a grinding halt. And so Luis brought himself and his family back to Puerto Rico during this pandemic. And being back has give him a chance to connect with others around all Latin America.
You see, back in 2008 while he was performing his Broadway debut with in the Heights, Luis began a nonprofit organization called Revolucion Latina. Their mission is to activate individuals and promote human growth through artistic experiences they can lead to personal transformation and social change within the Latinx community. And so with his performing career on hold, Luis has been able to focus solely on his organization and reaching out to others.

Follow Luis: Website / Facebook / Twitter 

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website 



Music and Sound Bites used in this episode:

"Bom Jardim" by Lobo Loco
"Latin Rhythm" by Sunsearcher
"Hot Salsa Trip" by Arsonist
"Escape" (Karaoke Track) by Rupert Holmes
"True Blue Sky" and "Copley Beat" by Blue Dot Sessions
"Smooth Actor" by Podington Bear
"Ayer" (Karaoke Track) - Gloria and Emilio Estefán
"Somewhere Nice" by John Bartman
"Meekness" by Kai Engel

Lin Manuel Miranda on CBS Good Morning 
VOX - Why Puerto Rico Is Not a US State 
Oscar Hijuelos on New Mexico PBS 
Keez in the Pen with DC-7 

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Broadway is no cure against challenges or setbacks. Bart Shatto has experienced the joys and the hardships of a life in theater, both personally and professionally. He gives an open and vulnerable look at how this business can create wonderful moments and powerful lessons.

Bart particularly shares his time with WAR PAINT, playing opposite Patti LuPone, as well as being in the cast of Tom Kitt's SUPERHERO and dealing with the negative reviews. Even I, the host, open up about the lowest point in my acting career, one that Brat shared in.


The WINMI Podcast Survey:
Singers & Songwriters Playlist:


Follow Bart: Instagram / Twitter / Website

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Blog 

Donate to the podcast: 

WINMI is a Top 20 Theater Podcast thanks to you! 

Music used in this episode: 
"Bon Journée" by Chad Crouch is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License
"Meekness" by Kai Engel is licensed under a Attribution License
"Barbara" by U.S. Army Blues is licensed under a Public Domain Mark 1.0 License
"Driven to Success" by Scott Holmes is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License
"Old City Bar" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, sung by Bart Shatto, recorded at a live concert in Las Vegas, 2011.
"Smooth Actor" by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License. Based on a work at
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During his years in New York City, Eric Jordan Young bounced around from Broadway productions and national tours to regional shows and concerts. According to most performers, he was living the dream.

But he wanted something else, we wanted something more. So Eric branched out into his own endeavors, from a solo recording album to a one-man tribute to Sammy Davis, Jr. Along the way he met some challenges and found out he knew more about the show than he did the business.

And Vegas became the testing ground and base of operations for his own production company, and he found the stories he was truly meant to tell. 

Follow Eric: Instagram / Twitter 

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Blog 

Donate to the podcast: 


WINMI is a Top 20 Theater Podcast thanks to you! 

Music used in this episode: 
"Smooth Actor" by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License. Based on a work at
"Nocturnal" by Kai Engel is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License
"Holiday Gift" by Chad Crouch is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.
"Retreat" by Gold Coast is licensed by
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