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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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 

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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 

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This past summer, as we were in the midst of massive theater shutdowns and summer season cancellations, I found BroadwayMania on Instagram. It was mostly videos of singers belting out show tunes, well-produced performances that were earnest and passionate.

As I found out more about this organization and their mission to provide opportunities to performers around the world, I was truly captivated by their love of theater. While there are some professional artists in the group, many others come from a variety of backgrounds, from technology and teaching to advertising and the military. 

And Cecy Treviño is the force behind it all, founding the group in 2018 as a hodge podge group of people on a singing app to now a theater company that has just released a YouTube Christmas Special and Holiday album. Cecy shares this journey and the many lessons she learned to make this dream a reality.

The BroadwayMania Holiday Special: 
Their GoFundMe page: 

Follow Cecy & BroadwayMania: Website / Instagram / YouTube 

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May this podcast be a resource for you as you discover more ways to pursue a career in this industry and sustain it through the many ups and downs we all face. 

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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 /

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

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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 

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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

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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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David and I first met last year as he directed the 90-minute version of FOOTLOOSE on Norwegian Cruise Line. But In New York, he spends his time working with some of the best directors on Broadway from SCHOOL OF ROCK and BEAUTIFUL to LOMBARDI and NETWORK (starring Bryan Cranston).

As assistant director, I ask what's kept him from being In the top spot as well as what he think of cruise ship productions. But the show I really focus on is the most reviewed and vilified Broadway show so far this century -- SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK. As Resident Director, how did he manage and maintain such a constantly changing show? It's a full conversation with plenty of theater know-how and behind the scenes stories.

Podcast Survey: 

Follow David: Website / Instagram / Twitter  

Follow WINMI: Website / Instagram / Twitter / Blog

Check out all the artist resources available to you through WINMI: 


Support and donate to the podcast: 

WINMI is a Top 20 Theater Podcast thanks to you! 


Audio used in this episode:
FOOTLOOSE Promo Video and "Somebody's Eyes" (underscoring), Norwegian Cruise Lines.

"Hill And Dale" and "Dusk" by Chad Crouch is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.
"Smooth Actor" by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License. Based on a work at
"Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Musical Turns Off The Lights At Last" by Jeff Lunden on NPR, January, 3, 2014.

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