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.

Episodes

From his first intimate musical, john and jen, to his bigger productions on and off Broadway, Andrew Lippa has been a prolific and award-winning writer. He joins the podcast to talk about his growth along that sometimes bumpy path and what it means to bring a bit of himself into his compositions and lyrics.

He shares the disappoints he felt with The Wild Party and Big Fish, the lessons he learned from The Addams Family, and the personal journey he took in becoming Harvey Milk.

Learn more about Andrew...

Website: https://andrewlippa.com/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lippaofficial 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lippaandrew/ 
His recent shows: The Man in the Ceiling, I Am Harvey Milk, Unbreakable

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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 that follow. 

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After our conversation on the previous episode, Hal Luftig answers the Final Five. He shares his love of teaching and his dream to work with Audra McDonald as well as what he learned from famed Broadway producer Emanuel "Manny" Azenberg.

Do you have other ideas for Final Five questions? Let me know at contact.winmipodcast.com.

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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 that follow. 

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Welcome to a month-long look at previous Broadway seasons...the nominations, the wins, and the losses. 

With four Tony Awards to his name, including two as lead producer, and two Olivier Awards, also as lead producer, Hal Luftig knows and thing or two about theatrical success. But he also knows the pitfalls that come and how not every show finds an audience or makes a lot of money. 

Today, he shares those insights and more from the heights of success with KINKY BOOTS to his disappointment with the early closing of CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD. He opens up about the lessons he's learned and what keeps him going. 

Website: https://www.halluftig.com/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rialtoguy 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/halluftig 

Previous guests who have appeared in his productions: 

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Join the WINMI community by following on Instagram or Twitter (@winmipodcast) as well as reaching out to Patrick with any questions or comments: contact.winmipodcast.com
 
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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For the first episode of Women's History Month, I'm talking to New York-Los Angeles actress and producer Abigail Rose Solomon, who founded Rosalind Productions in 2005.

We talk about the differences between acting and producing NYC and LA as well as her process of finding shows and working on them with other producers and creatives.

Rosalind Productions' credits include THE PROM, THREE TALL WOMEN, WAR PAINT, THE LAST SEDER, PROOF, and AS YOU LIKE IT.

Also, this week's female Broadway pioneer is Cheryl Crawford, founder of Group Theater and the Actors Studio.

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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 that follow.
 
For further insights (Twitter) and unreleased audio clips of today's interview (Instagram) be a part of the WINMI community on social media @winmipodcast. And you can always reach out to me on the website: contact.winmipodcast.com 

Lastly, this podcast is supported through kind donations of listeners like you by buying me a coffee.

 

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Music: September by Kai Engel is licensed under a Attribution License.

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January 24, 2020

FINAL FIVE: Megan Carver

Welcome to the FINAL FIVE Bonus Episode with Megan Carver!

After our in-depth discussion on finding our artistic niche and creating work for ourselves, we then chatted about others job and where inspiration comes from. These final five questions are posed to each guest on topics and insights not covered in our previous conversation. The answers given are surprising and revealing, showing another side to Megan Carver...

  1. If you could have any other job outside of the arts what would it be?
  2. What is a bucket list role or show you still hope to do one day?
  3. Who do you look up to? A mentor or someone who inspires you.
  4. Name a lesson or trait that took you awhile to learn or one that you are still learning to this day?
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve received?

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Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode.
 
Do you have questions or stories of your own? Share them with me:
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January 6, 2020

Season Four Preview

Hello and welcome to Season 4 of Why I’ll Never Make It! This is now a year-round podcast...more work for me and more conversations for you. The central theme of Why I’ll Never Make It remains in tact of course: to feature meaningful conversations with actors, singers, directors, and other creatives on the setbacks and stumbles we all us face in the performing arts and how we overcome them, all while challenging the notion of what it really means to “make it” in this business.

I’m your host Patrick Oliver Jones, now entering my 3rd year as a podcaster and my 28th year as a professional actor and singer. I’ll be your guide each week, bringing you 45 to 60 minutes of interviews, insights, and interesting stories about how we balance making art with making a living.

Every now and then, you’ll also get some bonus episodes from The Spotlight Series, where I talk to non-profit organizations (like ASTEP) making a difference in the arts and beyond. Also this season, the Final Five continues where I end each conversation with the same five questions to each guest. There will also be themed months like Women’s History in March, the Tony Awards in May, and celebrating community theater in September.

Be sure to follow on Instagram, where you’ll find unreleased audio clips from my interviews and behind the scenes photos. Follow on Twitter for motivations, updates, and related articles to each week’s discussion. On the website winmipodcast.com you can connect with me as well as donate to the ongoing work and efforts of this podcast.

I can’t wait for you to join me and my guests on Why I’ll Never Make It! Please share this podcast with anyone you know who could also benefit from these conversations. Now go dive into the episodes and remember the reasons for not "making it" may be countless and arbitrary, but the reasons to keep going are even more numerous and rewarding.

Cheers,
Patrick

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December 28, 2019

A Look Back at 2019

Welcome to the 2nd Anniversary episode of the podcast! And what a year it has been!

We’ve had wonderful guests from actors and singers to stage managers and artistic directors. And this episode is a look back at some of the best moments from the past year as well as a look ahead to what’s in store for 2020.
 
There’s a mix of previous released conversations and new clips never heard before now. I share clips from the popular Audition Stories episode, and then I highlight and critique the very first episode of the year, which was not my best to say the least.
 
The guests featured during this anniversary: (click the name to go to their episode)
 
 
With a special appearance by Andre DeShields (on the Tony Awards). 
 
Check out these podcasts by… 
Maggie Bera -  ACTOR AESTHETIC
Ilana Levine - LITTLE KNOWN FACTS
 
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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.
 
Join the WINMI community by following on Instagram or Twitter as well as reaching out to Patrick with any questions or comments: contact.winmipodcast.com
 
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.
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Mike Isaacson has led the Muny for almost ten years and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In this episode he shares not only the challenges of producing 7 musicals in 10 weeks each summer, but he also opens up about his Tony Award winning Broadway ventures, Fun Home and Thoroughly Modern Millie. These shows almost didn’t happen, yet their eventual success proved that listening to your heart and to an audience are ultimately more important that listening to critics.

Follow Mike on social media as well as the Muny on Twitter and Instagram.

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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.
 
Join the WINMI community by following on Instagram or Twitter as well as reaching out to Patrick with any questions or comments: contact.winmipodcast.com

 

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A surprise bonus episode this summer...I just couldn't stay away! And also introducing the first-ever listener question.

- First and foremost, I'd love to hear from you and get your thoughts on this podcast. Share what you love and especially what bothers you about WINMI episodes or the blog or the online presence. It's all fair game in the Season Two Feedback Survey: survey.winmipodcast.com

- There's also been a slew of Broadway show closings announced recently. By summer's end 16 shows will be gone, with two more set to leave Broadway in the Fall and Winter. Is this normal? Should we be worried about the state of NY theater? As always, money plays a big part in the equation, but there's also an interesting trend or market correction at play as well. Read more from Ken Davenport as well as Forbes and TheaterMania.

- It's been awhile since I've mentioned it, but there's yet another reason why I'll never make it: my own lack of time management and keeping up with my schedule. I share a personal story of messing up big time, and it involves a former guest on the show.

- And for the first time on the podcast, I answer a listener's question about moving to NYC, auditioning, getting an agent, and when is the best time to join Actors Equity:

Hi! My name is Carley and I'm an actor that's living in Florida. I've been to NYC for "audition season" for the past 2 years to go through the motions. I haven't been too successful because I've been non-union, so I'm hoping that I'm seen more at this upcoming season in 2020. I was wondering if you had any advice for people who are living outside of NYC but still working to make it? I plan to move there soon. I'm getting married so my fiancé and I are hanging out here right now because it's easier to save but plan to move after the wedding that's in October 2020. So I guess I'm just wondering what advice you have for people outside of NYC, do any agencies take talent outside of the city, etc. I love the podcast. Thanks in advance!

(Thanks so much to Carley for reaching out and I hope more of you will do the same. If you'd like your own question or comment addressed on a future episode, send your message to whyillnevermakeit@gmail.com.)

So here are some of my thoughts on the issues raised...

- I used to live in Florida as well, in Orlando for nine years, and I was taking trips to NYC also for specific auditions. So I think it’s smart that you come up for the audition season as a whole. That way you can focus on getting seen as much as you can, which as you said is unfortunately hampered by being Non-Equity. But there’s still plenty of tour work and regional theaters that need non-Eq performers to fill out their casts.

- As you prepare for 2020, I would say find as much theater work as you can there in Florida. Don’t hesitate to drive (if you can) to Miami or Jacksonville or Tampa for specific theater season or show-specific auditions. There are plenty of Equity theaters that could possibly get you your Equity card before you get to NYC, which would of course be such a leg-up in getting in the audition room.

- You’re also smart about staying in Florida and saving. That’s what I did as well and had a nice nest-egg coming to NYC that helped tremendously. It kept me from having to find work right away so I could focus on auditions and getting theater work. I came alone, however, while you will have your fiancé. So it’ll certainly be an emotional and financial help to have both of you supporting each other.

- Some agents will take out-of-town talent, but most want you in town of course. Having credits behind you or a recommendation from a casting director or another agent would greatly help you to get an initial appointment for possible representation. Also, colleges are a big deal here. So if you went to Michigan, CCM, Boston Conservatory, UPenn, etc. - those kind of rich musical theater schools have vast networks throughout NYC. I had no such degree, so I came here without any college cred or network behind me. It was a little more uphill because of it, but I was still able to make some headway.

- If you know any directors in Florida who work in NYC, whether as a director or teacher, get in front of them again, especially if they’ll be in NYC auditioning. Connections and networking are a big help in this business, like schooling I mentioned above. It’s one of the aspects of the business I’d not given as much thought or attention to as I should’ve. So even after 11 years here, I’m still not known to as many directors and producers as I'd like.

- As to the issue of when to join Equity, it’s really a different answer for each person. I would say that once your resume is diverse enough and has sufficient credits that show off the range of your talents, then you’re probably ready to make the leap. It’s all about consistency and having positive experiences in the audition room, whether you book the role or not. If you’re prepared to give that level of diligence each time, then you’ll be in a good place to handle the “clout” that comes with being in Equity. I put it in quotes because it’s more of a perception and is not a real indicator of talent or professionalism, but it still comes with some responsibility of maintaining and presenting yourself in the best light at all times.

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Two ways to show your support for WINMI:

Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode.
 
Join the WINMI community by following on Instagram or Twitter as well as reaching out to Patrick with any questions or comments: contact.winmipodcast.com
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For the final episode of Season 2, Ben Davis joins me in St. Louis to talk about the life of an actor on the road and in New York. His accomplishments on Broadway and elsewhere are many and magnificent, from his award-winning turn in La Boheme to the epic leading man in BBC's Kiss Me, Kate. His journey is both inspiring and instructive in what it means to make it. 

"Davis' seductive baritone is swoon-worthy."
-Fran Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

Follow Ben on Instagram and Twitter and see more on his website.

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Please consider buying me a coffee to support this work that goes into each episode.
 
Join the WINMI community by following on Instagram or Twitter as well as reaching out to Patrick with any questions or comments: contact.winmipodcast.com
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