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

Samantha Figgins is currently in her sixth season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. But what many people don't know is that this gorgeous dancer suffers from single-sided deafness. As a baby, Figgins contracted spinal meningitis, which caused her to lose all hearing in her right ear. She never gave up on her dance dreams, though, and fought her way through uncomfortable situations, never missing an opportunity to learn and grow. In this episode, she shares her love of dance, her passion in telling stories, and the discipline that makes it all possible.

Listen to the previous episode all about Alvin Ailey.

Dance Spirit cover in 2013 

Watch Samantha dance in Revelations on TED: https://youtu.be/0f4wtD8eXNk 

Follow her: Instagram / Twitter 

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WINMI is a Top 20 Podcast thanks to you! 
https://blog.feedspot.com/theatre_podcasts/ 

Join the WINMI community: Instagram or Twitter (@winmipodcast) 
Reach out 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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"I Been 'Buked" and "Fix Me, Jesus" arranged by Hall Johnson. G. Schirmer, Inc., publisher and copyright owner.

"Kitty In The Window" by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License. Based on a work at http://soundofpicture.com

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Welcome back to my talk with Andrew Lippa as he answers the Final Five questions. This is a bonus episode to the conversation we had previously, covering topics we didn't get to last time. From political aspirations to advice he gives to aspiring artists, this is a deeper dive into a talented composer and performer.

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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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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Seán Cullen is a Canadian actor, voice artist and stand-up comedian, known for combining improvisation with mimicry and music. He joins me today to share his love of comedy and writing books for his children. But we also dive into the worries and frustrations that come from almost making it and how to bounce back from a canceled show or that inner voice saying we aren't good enough.

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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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Music in this episode:
"Whispers" by Hyson is licensed under a Attribution License.
"Mr. Sunny Face" by Wayne Jones.
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Charlotte Cohn was born in Denmark and raised in Israel where she served in the Israeli Army as a commanding officer. She was a founding producer of the New York Music Theatre Festival (NYMF) and MainStreet Musicals. Other producing credits include Rated P For Parenthood, The New York Times critics’ pick Handle With Care and Church & State.

In this episode she chronicles her journey from commander to singer, from Broadway actress to Off-Broadway producer and director. Despite the setbacks faced as she progressed from one to the other, her passion and persistence kept her going...along with a good sense of humor.

Follow her on Twitter (@charlottecohn) as well as her website: https://charlottecohn.wixsite.com/charlotte

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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.

 

  • "Traces" by Hyson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.
  • "Here" by Hyson is licensed under a Attribution License.
  • "September" by Kai Engel is licensed under a Attribution License.
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MAESTRA MUSIC was founded by composer/lyricist and music director Georgia Stitt to give support, visibility, and community to the women who make the music in the musical theater industry. Their membership is made up of female-identifying, non-binary, and gender non-conforming composers, music directors, orchestrators, arrangers, copyists, rehearsal pianists and other musicians who are an underrepresented minority in musical theater.

For Women's History Month, Georgia continues our conversation from the previous episode, talking about her efforts to foster and celebrate more women in musical theater.

Also, in this episode is a feature on Mary Rodgers, daughter of famed composer Richard Rodgers and a composer in her own right of the rollicking musical comedy Once Upon A Mattress.

The episode ends with the Final Five questions posed to Georgia...all about bucket lists and the best advice she's 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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GEORGIA STITT (georgiastitt.com) is a composer and lyricist whose original musicals include Snow Bird, Big Red Sun, The Water, and Samantha Spade, Ace Detective, which was the National Youth Theatre “Outstanding New Musical” in 2014. She is currently working on the The Big Boom with Hunter Foster and is also preparing to release her third album later this year. 
 
Now I haven’t even gotten to her work as producer, music supervisor, pianist, orchestrator, vocal coach, music director, and conductor. Needless to say she lives and breathes music. Not to mention her role as mother and wife and founding director of Maestra (maestramusic.org), an activist organization for women musicians in theater, which we will talk about more in the next episode.
 
For more information on the articles and quotes used in this episode follow on Twitter (@winmipodcast).

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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. You can always reach out to me on the website: contact.winmipodcast.com 

Each week there’s audio that doesn't make it into the episode. You'll get these extra nuggets only on Instagram (@winmipodcast) as well as other insights and motivations. 

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

 

Music:

"Oldie Song" by David Szesztay is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.

"All Will See" by Hyson is licensed under a Attribution License.

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Throughout history artists have known that music provides benefits for both the creator and the listener. It can affect individuals in positive ways by inducing both psychological and physiological healing. This is especially true in the senior community. 
 
Sing For Your Seniors is a nonprofit built around the mission of enriching lives through the universal language of music. They bring professional artists to the communities of seniors in need...to entertain them, to foster inter-generational connection, and most especially to create shared joy.
 
Jackie Vanderbeck is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of SFYS. From her great grandmother, whom she lovingly called grandma Dee Dee, she realized the enormous therapeutic value of music for seniors, especially those who are showing signs of withdrawal. And so in Grandma Dee Dee’s honor and memory she started SFYS in 2005 as a one-person a cappella hour at the Village Adult Day Center in New York’s West Village. But it has now grown into a much bigger organization, and today Jackie joins me in this Spotlight episode to talk about that journey. 
 
Last summer, she invited me to participate in one of their sessions at the Actors Fund Home in New Jersey. So we also talk about that experience and how SFYS brings hope and joy to a very vulnerable group that is often forgotten by our society.
 
Discussed in today's episode:

Follow Sing For Your Seniors: Website | Instagram | Twitter

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Contribute your own Audition Story: contact.winmipodcast.com
 
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For insights and unreleased audio clips of today's interview, you can be a part of the WINMI community on Twitter and Instagram and you can always reach out to me directly: whyillnevermakeit@gmail.com
 
Lastly, this podcast is supported through kind donations of listeners like you: buy me a coffee.
 
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Music used in this episode:
 
"Reverie (small theme)" (ft. Pitx), 2010 by _ghost.
 
"Stardust" by U.S. Army Blues is licensed under a Public Domain Mark 1.0 License.
 
 
"In Your Arms" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).
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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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November is National Military Families Month, and in honor of that I have Janine DiVita joining me today to talk about her work with the USO Show Troupe in New York City.

Now when most people think of the USO, the first thing that comes to mind, understandably, is the legendary entertainer Bob Hope, who first performed for U.S. troops in California in May 1941, just a few months before the Pearl Harbor. But the USO is certainly much more then any one celebrity. It’s mission is to strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation.

For over 77 years, the USO has done just that. And the show troops play a vital role in that mission by entertaining service members and conveying the support of the nation through their uplifting shows. 

As an actor herself Janine knows firsthand what it takes to reach an audience, and she’ll be joining me next week to talk about work-life balance and how is she maintains her voice and acting chops. In fact, she and I did Bridges of Madison County together this past summer, but during that run she continued to do work for the USO both as an administrator and as a producer. She said down with me recently in the USO offices in New York City to discuss the importance of this organization and what it means to her as well as military service members and their families. 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, which was an important step in her becoming director of the USO Show Troupe.

See how you can support the efforts of the USO. And if you would like to be a part of the show troupe, click here.

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At the end of this month I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving with your stories of gratitude and appreciation. Go to contact.winmipodcast.com and send me a text or voice message. I’d love to share your stories of thankfulness with all of us in the WINMI community.

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