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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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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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As I’ve mentioned since the beginning of the season, I’m currently in a production of FOOTLOOSE on Norwegian Cruise lines. And so on today’s episode I’m talk about the show and the process of putting it together now that we’ve opened here on the ship, Also, joining me is fellow actor Megan Hoxie who plays the role of Ariel in the show. After that conversation I answer a listener question about cruise ships and resumes.
 
Reach out with your own questions or comments at contact.winmipodcast.com
 
You can find Megan on Instagram: @foxieehoxiee
 
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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.
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October 18, 2019

FINAL FIVE: Lauren Kennedy

Welcome to another FINAL FIVE Bonus Episode! These are the five questions each guest will be asked all season long, giving concise and and focused insights not covered in our main conversation. The answers given are surprising and revealing, showing another side to Lauren Kennedy...

  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.
 
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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Having worked with Lauren at Theatre Raleigh on BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, she joins the podcast today to talk about her transition from Broadway back to doing theater in her hometown of Raleigh. From her time growing up and studying theater in college to landing her first Broadway show and ultimately deciding to direct, she shares her own experiences in auditions and what she now looks for on the other side of the table. It's a great conversation about the business and how she found fulfillment in what can often be a trying and frustrating profession.

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Contact me with your own thoughts on this episode or ask me a question you'd like answered at the end of this month. Email me at whyillnevermakeit@gmail.com or leave a voicemail message at contact.winmipodcast.com.
 
As the WINMI community continues to grow there are two ways you can help:
1) Please consider buying me a coffee to support the work that goes into each episode.
2) Share this podcast with those who you think would benefit from the stories and conversations featured on each episode.

 

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September 22, 2019

Season Three Preview

Welcome to Season 3 of Why I’ll Never Make It, a weekly show, featuring insightful conversations with actors and fellow creatives on the realities of a career in the arts. In each episode we explore the setbacks and stumbles each of us face and how we overcome them, sometimes...all while challenging the notion of what it really means to “make it” in the entertainment industry.

I’m your host Patrick Oliver Jones, a professional actor and singer for than 25 years. From national tours and pre-Broadway productions, to developmental workshops and regional theaters across the US. I’m also a director, producer, and coach who knows first-hand how hard this industry is and the passion and dedication it takes to keep going.

This podcast typically runs between 45 to 60 minutes and releases every Wednesday. Every now and then, you’ll also get some bonus episodes from The Spotlight Series, where I talk to non-profit organizations making a difference in the arts and beyond. Also this season, Why I’ll Never Make It is going on the road...or rather out to sea. I’ve taken a contract on Norwegian Cruise Lines doing the musical FOOTLOOSE. So you’ll be getting some bite-size episodes at the end of each month about performing life, discussions on issues we artists face as well as taking your questions and comments.

It’s going to be a great season and I can’t wait for you to join me and my guests on Why I’ll Never Make It! Think of anyone you know who could also benefit from this podcast and tell them it’s available for free on any app that supports podcasts as well as the website, winmipodcast.com. 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.

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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.
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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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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