Performing Arts

Weekly conversations with fellow creatives on the fine line between setback and success in the performing arts. They share their unique 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

One of the themes of this podcast is how we as actors are constantly changing, adjusting, tweaking our careers as we transition from stage or screen or commercials or voiceover. But that same kind of transition happens for those behind the table as well.

Patrick Millsaps has had a unique journey of being an attorney turned political adviser and pundit to then becoming a talent manager and ultimately movie producer and studio head, taking the skills from one job to the next. Patrick’s story is not only one of diverse experiences and opportunities but also one of persistence and a constant drive to learn and improve. He was often a fish out of water, but that didn’t stop him from constantly diving into the deep end…headfirst.

Watch this full episode or Final Five on YouTube

Podcast hosted by Patrick Oliver Jones - https://www.pojones.com
Support WINMI and get access to Members-Only Episodes like the Final Five on Supercast.

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I'll See You in My Dreams (2015) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1VbBOTXzfI
Finding Noah (2017) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvLe1q3Wkdk 
Kane Studios - https://kanestudio.com/production 
There Are Better Ways to Protest Georgia’s Abortion Law Than a Boycott (2019) - https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/georgia-s-abortion-law-are-better-ways-protest-a-boycott-guest-column-1210096 

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As an actor, one of the more difficult attitudes for me to manage is that of jealousy, and an elevated sense of competition for roles and even status in this industry. I’ve particularly noticed this as theater is opening up again after the long pandemic shutdown and other actors, not me, are back onstage again. My guest today, Peter Allen Vogt, is a talented actor in his own right but has struggled with this as well from time to time, especially considering he has a well-known identical twin who is also an actor and comedian. 

Sign up for the monthly WINMI Newsletter on the WINMI website - http://whyillnevermakeit.com 

I first got to know Peter Allen Vogt working for Disney. Both he and I worked at Tokyo Disney as well as the theme park in Orlando. He has since moved on to Universal out in Los Angeles, and he is also appeared in such TV shows as Hannah Montana, Parks and Recreation, and American Horror Story. But our first love is still theater. Whether it’s classic shows or new musicals, Peter brings a larger than life quality to all of his roles. In fact, his size has been one of Peter‘s notable characteristics for many years. In our conversation today he shares his weight loss journey and what that has meant for his career. But first we talk about what keeps Peter going and the longevity of his career as well as the importance of surrounding yourself with those who support and nurture you as an artist.

Final Five episode - https://youtu.be/HwiOlNZQVC0

Topics and people covered in this episode:

  • Streetmosphere - street performers in the various Disney theme parks who don’t have a theater or a home, but rather perform in the street for guests as they pass by.
  • 1776 - a Broadway musical from 1969 with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and a book by Peter Stone, based on the events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Grumpy Old Men - a new musical with book by Dan Remmes, music by Neil Berg, and lyrics by Nick Meglin (adapted from the Warner Bros. motion picture written by Mark Steven Johnson).
  • Cathy Rigby - Olympic gymnast, theater actress and producer
  • Glenn Casale - director, actor, and writer; former Artistic Director of Sacramento Music Circus
  • Mark Jacoby - Broadway and TV/film actor
  • Blake Hammond - stage and screen actor
  • Ken Page - longtime musical theater performer on stage and screen
  • Michael Kostroff - stage and screen actor who was a WINMI podcast guest back in Season One
  • Actors' Co-Op Theater - began in 1987 with a dozen actors and operates two 99-seat Equity-approved theatres on the campus of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.
  • Chicago City Limits - New York's long running award-winning and critically-acclaimed comedy revue that started in 1977 and relocated from Chicago to New York in 1979. 
  • Fellowship! - a musical parody stage play based on The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien's, with book by Kelly Holden-Bashar & Joel McCrary and music by Allen Simpson

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

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

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Every year more and more artists come to this country and face the challenges of the language and the culture as well as the nuances of auditioning and performing in America. 

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Born in Italy with a Vietnamese background, Alessandra Mai Vinh began dancing at the age of 13. In Italy, she became known for working on national TV shows, commercials, and tours, as well as choreographing and dancing for several popular artists. In 2012, on a mission to pursue her dreams, she decided to move to New York City, where she attended Broadway Dance Center. Years later she moved to her current home in Los Angeles.

In this episode, she talks about the unique obstacles of immigrating to the US as a performer, and she shares her thoughts on greater representation for Asians on stage and on screen. But we also get into the challenges common among all performers -- the self-doubts and judgments that can come from comparing our accomplishments to others.

Watch Alessandra answer the Final Five questions - https://youtu.be/G0Vc1xw5IkE

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Music in the episode by Kai Engel is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Balancing work and life is a tough juggling act for most any actor or artist. But adding another person, a relationship, to the equation can be even more difficult to maintain. And actors as a whole aren’t known for the longevity of their relationships. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Brad Oscar and Diego Prieto are actors and husbands who have learned their own lessons in both working and living as a couple. Brad has appeared in nine Broadway shows and is a Tony-nominee for his performances in The Producers and Something Rotten. Diego has performed at some of the biggest regional theaters and is also an actor with one of my favorite organizations, Only Make Believe, bringing interactive theater into children’s hospitals and care facilities.

These two talented gentlemen remind us that just like our acting careers, being in a relationship isn’t about perfection. It’s about persistence through the ups and downs. We talk about how they met, what they've learned living and working together, and how they support each other emotionally and creatively. 

Topics covered and mentioned:

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Music in the episode by Chad Crouch (Podington Bear) is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 

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In part one of our conversation Misty Rosas talked about an opportunity to finally pursue one of her first passions as an artist -- singing -- and the thrill of opening for her favorite band Air Supply.

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In the second half of our conversation we’ll talk a bit more about that journey to becoming a singer again. We also get into how to handle our own inner critic, and I’ve even included the final five questions in this episode, where we do an even deeper dive into her work in the Mandalorian. But first Misty shares the joy and fulfillment that can come from finally saying yes to yourself.

Watch the full interview with Misty on YouTube - https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTYRUFqmHBCZjAZ999bHTbha-2CR3yVGu

See Misty dancing - https://www.imdb.com/video/vi556710937

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

For more of Misty's music go to http://www.mistyrosas.com/music.html 

Other music in the episode by Borrtex is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 

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I’ve been a fan of The Mandalorian since it debuted in 2019, and when I found out that one actor had played two wonderful characters on the show (Kuiil and Frog Lady) I was really impressed with her work. That’s when I looked up Misty Rosas and discovered her long résumé of other character work besides the Disney+ Star Wars series. She is also a dancer, singer, gymnast, stunt woman, and voiceover artist.

And while her résumé is impressive, it was when I read her personal story that I truly became a fan of Misty. So we will certainly be talking about the Mandalorian and other movies and shows that she’s been a part of, but it is her personal and medical challenges with hearing loss that really forged her character and made her not only the actor but also the person that she is today.

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I have to admit that there have only been a handful of interviews in the five seasons of this podcast where I was a mixture of nervous and excited to talk to a guest, my time with Misty was certainly one of those time. But as you’ll hear in part one of our conversation, she has a warm and open heart with so much wisdom to share from the lessons she’s learned in her life and career. And I am so grateful she came and this podcast to share it with you and me.

Henson Digital Puppetry Systems - https://youtu.be/m6Qdvvb1UTs

Watch the full interview with Misty on YouTube - https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTYRUFqmHBCZjAZ999bHTbha-2CR3yVGu

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

"All Out of Love" performed by Air Supply, written by Graham Russell and Clive Davis for Arista Records.

Other music in the episode by Borrtex is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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We're less than a week away from the 2020 Tony Awards ceremony (finally!) so I wanted to bring back this special episode all about those surprising Tony Award Nominations (announced 11 months ago) and the fallout from them. My conversation is with music director, conductor, and fellow podcaster Nate Patton. Nate and I first met when he was associate conducting Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway. And his podcast called Booked It.

The title to one of his episodes was “Broadway is broken and I alone can fix it.” And it's this kind of witty, tongue-in-cheek, knowledgeable opinion that I wanted to bring on the show as we talk about things like:

  • The lone best actor nomination of Aaron Tveit
  • The complete snubbing of the lightning thief
  • Only plays being nominated for best original score

Nate and I will also get into these topics and more, including what these nominations in general say about the state of theater, and we even make a few Tony predictions.

You can also watch this full conversation (with 7 extra minutes) on YouTube - 

Here are links to the people and topics discussed in this episode:

Support WINMI and get access to a members-only private podcast feed.

Join the monthly WINMI Newsletter by going to whyillnevermakeit.com 

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Incidental music in this episode by Chad Crouch and Admiral Bob and used under a Creative Commons License.

 

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When it comes to work as an actor, there’s that old adage of "feast or famine" or "when it rains it pours." For myself that has meant going 11 months without any work…all while still auditioning of course.  While there have been other times when three shows come up at once, and I had to decide which ONE of them I’m going to do.

In Part Two of my conversation with Rodney Hicks, we’re going to be talking about the feasts and famines of his career -- various shows and original casts he’s been a part of as well as the shows he didn’t get and the lessons he’s learned from both experiences. As he shared in Part One, Come From Away marked a time in Rodney’s life that was certainly a feast. Not only was the show a wonderful chance for him to create and perform a rich character, but the show itself was getting a lot of buzz and it opened on Broadway with a lot of fanfare and high expectations. At the same time other aspects of his performing and coaching career were also taking off.

But his diagnosis of spasmodic dysphonia and it’s unfortunate progression took him in a very unexpected direction. And that’s where we pick up our conversation today: a look at everything that was going right in his life and how quickly it all changed. 

We also discuss the upcoming Tony Awards and his bookend contracts in the original Broadway run of RENT.

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Incidental music in this episode is by Hyson is used under Creative Commons License.

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Here in America, we just marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11. And on the eve of that anniversary a live recording of the Broadway production of Come From Away was released. It featured many past and present members of the cast. But one of the original cast members, Rodney Hicks, was absent from the filming. And in part one of our conversation, Rodney takes us through his long journey with the show and how it came to a sudden end. But he reminds us that even in the darkest of times, there is still some light to be found.

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Music in the episode that comes from Soundstripe ("Retreat" by Gold Coast) is used under a Promo Enterprise Agreement.

Other music in the episode provided by Karaoke Queen Brasil is used under Creative Commons.

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As we came to the end of part one of our conversation Will Swenson and I were talking about the deeper questions of who we are as artists and as individuals in the absolute importance of bringing ourselves, our full selves to the stage. This is certainly one of the biggest lessons that we have to learn as actors and performers, and I throw in a couple of questions about lessons he and his wife Audra McDonald have learned from each other.

Also in this episode, the Final Five has been included. Though these five final questions are normally a bonus members-only episode, it's been added here as I try out a slightly different format for the show. What do you think?

But we start off talking about Will’s performance in the Broadway revival of HAIR back in 2009. It was certainly a vast departure from the Will I had known both on stage and off, and it seemed as though that show and the character of Berger in particular allowed him a freedom and an energy that he had never gotten to express on stage before.

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If you'd like to watch Part Two of our conversation on YouTube, then become a WINMI supporter. Click the link below to get access to other special episodes and bonus content as well.

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Music in the episode by Borrtex is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 

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