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Performing Arts

Most creatives do their work out of the limelight, grinding it out and hoping to make a living from what they love most. Whatever applause may come, though, pales in comparison to the weeks and months of rejection and persistence that precede any such recognition. This is the central message that is shared and celebrated on this podcast, hosted by Patrick Oliver Jones, an actor who knows first-hand the ups and downs we all face.

Episodes

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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ASTEP was conceived by Broadway Musical Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Juilliard students. It’s goal was to transform the lives of youth using the most powerful tool they had: their art. Today, ASTEP connects performing and visual artists with youth from underserved communities in the U.S. and around the world to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty.
 
ASTEP is deeply committed to empowering individuals who suffer from an absence of choice, especially children. The right to choose is a fundamental human right, and we strive to end the poverty that robs us of that humanity. The performing and visual arts create a unique safe space to rediscover choice.
 
To talk about that mission as well as the recruiting and training of volunteer teaching artists is ASTEP’s Manager of Programs, Samantha Manfredi. She shares how these programs currently serve youth affected by immigration status, homelessness, gun-violence, incarceration, the justice system, HIV/AIDS, systemic poverty, and the caste system. Yet despite all these challenges ASTEP finds a way to reach these young people and change their lives. 
 
The Teaching Artists are highly successful Broadway performers, professional artists, or students and faculty from schools such as Juilliard, offering a variety of disciplines such as dance, visual art, music, and drama. They become transformative role models by combining their passion for the arts and their ability to use artistic tools to teach important life skills to young people around the world.
 
Learn how you can support ASTEP through a DONATION or as a TEACHING ARTIST.
 
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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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In the entertainment industry, we are all essentially storytellers. But there is one among us who is the spark and drive of those stories...the writer. Jenny Stafford is a prolific lyricist and book writer with her work featured on and off Broadway as well as regional and children's theaters across the country.

She has a lot to share about her own journey and what led her back home to Denver, Colorado where she found herself at a crossroads, not only in her career but in her life as well. We talk about fate, being our true selves, relationships, and of course writing.

Go to Jenny's website and follow her on Twitter and YouTube.

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The time and expense needed to bring these guests and conversations to you each week is both 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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November 15, 2019

FINAL FIVE: Janine DiVita

Welcome to another FINAL FIVE Bonus Episode! These are the five questions I'll be asking each guest all season long, as they give concise and and focused insights not covered in our main conversation. The answers given are surprising and revealing, showing another side to Janine DiVita...

  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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The time and expense needed to bring these guests and conversations to you each week is both sometimes challenging but always rewarding. 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 the WINMI Community: contact.winmipodcast.com
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This is part two of my conversation with Janine DiVita. Last time was a Spotlight episode on her work with the USO Show Troupe. In this episode she and I dig into what drives her as an actor and singer, the choices she’s made in her career, and how she maintains a work/life balance since getting married.

Janine opens up about going to therapy and how it’s helped her focus on what truly matters, especially in auditions. She also shares what is was like filling in for Idena Menzel in the Broadway musical IF/THEN. Janine is a poised and consummate professional, whose singing voice is as angelic as it is powerful. She co-founded Empowered Voices, a company that combines dynamic theatrical techniques with traditional prevention education tactics to combat and prevent Sexual Assault within the U.S. Military and beyond.

Follow Janine on Twitter and Instagram as well as her website.
You can also find out more about the USO Show Troupe.

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Reach out with your own questions or comments about the podcast at contact.winmipodcast.com.

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

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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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The Tonys have all been handed out and another Broadway Season comes to a close. While the trophies themselves are the main attraction, it was really the speeches and heart of the awards ceremony this year that captivated my attention and truly moved me.

I talk about some inspiring acceptance speeches from winners like Andre DeShields, Rachel Chavkin, and Ali Stroker as well as the acceptance speech Sam Mendes never gave. Then, I give some background to one of the names In Memoriam that was a first for the Tonys.

Read all the speeches here and the full list of winners here.

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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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The third and final Awards Season Bonus Episode features Kelvin Moon Loh of BEETLEJUICE, nominated for eight Tony Awards.

We discuss his audition for the role of Otho...or rather lack of an audition. Then there's the other fellow performers who Kelvin simply gushes about, sharing his love and gratitude for such a wonderful group to perform with. But we also delve into the business itself and what keeps us going and how to treasure the moments along the way.

It's wonderful and far-reaching chat about this fun show about death as well as the Great White Way that keeps us all striving and hoping for our chance to one day be under the big lights.

Follow Kelvin on Twitter and Instagram as well as BEETLEJUICE.

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As you enjoy these guests and conversations each week, 
please consider buying me a coffee to support this podcast. 
I wouldn't be here without listeners like you, 
so your donations are greatly appreciated.
(support.winmipodcast.com)

Find out more about the WINMI blog and other episodes,
go to winmipodcast.com.

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