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82Episodes
Performing Arts

Insightful conversations with fellow creatives about the realities of a career in theater and the performing arts.

Episodes

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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If you ever feel like you can’t do something or or get down about hard this business is, then this episode it for you (and me). Terri Dollar shares her own story of working with special needs actors in Raleigh, NC. She talks about the commitment and dedication they put into each class and performance and how hard she pushes them to do their very best at all times. You’re bound to walk away from this episode with a greater appreciation of the work we do as artists and how it can truly change lives.
 
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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.
 
Also, reach out to me via email with your questions and comments about this episode or any other topic you want to discuss. I love getting your feedback and will answer your questions at the end of each month: contact.winmipodcast.com
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Welcome to WINMI's first international episode!

Joining me on the show today is Sherryl-Lee Secomb from Australia. With over thirty-five years on stage, creating roles in musical theatre, farce and dramatic works, she began working as a freelance theatre director, creating large scale musical theatre productions in her home town of Brisbane, Australia.

​In 2011, she was appointed as Communications & Online Marketing Manager to Savoyards Musical Comedy Society, a large community-based theatre company, and began the process of creating their online presence.

In 2014, an experience with a another passionate but under-resourced regional theatre company, inspired her to begin a blog, An Idiot On Stage, highlighting ways community theatre organizations can improve and grow.

But Sher's work not only focuses on the theater companies themselves but the artists and actors and technicians that make up the whole creative team producing and making art on stage. She gives plenty of insight into how to approach art as a business while still maintaining the creative vision and passion.

Follow her on Instagram and read her blog.

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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.

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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Broadway is all abuzz with the latest shows and performances making all the headlines. But theater in New York is so much more than what happens on the great white way. There's important and significant work being done off-Broadway and by theater companies around the city. 

One such company is Leviathan Lab, and today I'm talking to Ariel Estrada . . . an actor, singer, arts advocate, producer, and Founder of Leviathan Lab. They are an award-winning not-for-profit creative studio whose mission is the advancement of Asian and Asian American performing artists and their work. With Leviathan Lab (now celebrating its 10th year), Ariel has produced acting and writing salons, cabarets, fundraising events, staged readings, showcase productions, and short films, including the award-winning film Two Weeks. 

But today's conversation is so much more than just shop talk about auditioning and producing and running a non-profit. Our conversation really digs into some weighty topics of race and opportunity for people of color and the struggles that go with that. Ariel is quite candid and open about his experiences and how they've shaped his career.

This is an episode you don't wanna miss!

Follow Ariel and Leviathan Lab on Twitter.

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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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Welcome to your favorite holiday: Tax Day! One of the most difficult but important issues we face in the arts is our finances. How to make more of it and how to spend (and save) it in the best way possible.

Rebecca Selkowe, head of the Financial Wellness Program at The Actors Fund, covers some of the challenges people working in performing arts and entertainment face when trying to balance variable income and expenses, and also touches briefly on important tax issues. A performing artist’s financial life is complex, so it’s easy to get confused when trying to organize your money. This episode will help you distinguish between regular and irregular income, and determine what this means for building yourself a financial cushion, saving for periodic expenses and investing for your future.

The overall goal of the Financial Wellness program? Establishing a stable method of managing your finances. So check out their free classes and seminars today!

Learn more about Rebecca Eve Selkowe and her book Dominate Your Debt.

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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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For the first Spotlight Series of 2019 I’m joined by Josie Whittlesey, the founder and Executive Director of Drama Club. The organization started in 2013, providing theatre programming to incarcerated and court-involved young people. They bring classes into juvenile detention centers, jails and community centers throughout New York City. 

Currently, Drama Club works with about 500 individual students between the ages of 10-21, using improv as their core curriculum, empowering young people to tell the stories they want to tell, in the ways in which they want to tell them. 

Josie Whittlesey, DRAMA CLUB

From her previous work with Rehabilitation Through the Arts and Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, Josie has proven to be staunch advocate for those who are underserved and in need of the outlet and experience that theater provide. I caught up with her at the Drama Club office in Long Island City, where she shares how this important organization began and talks about the lives they impact in such positive ways.

Find out more about Drama Club and Josie.

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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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It's been a wonderful ride despite some growing pains and losses along the way. My first year of podcasting has nonetheless taught me a great deal, and I hope you've learned a thing or two as well.

I honestly do this for you and try my best to give you interviews and insights as well as some fun along the way. A lot of effort goes into these episodes and sometimes they hit the mark and other times fall short (mostly technical hitches and glitches and my own verbal fumbles).

So I may not have made it on anyone else's Top Podcast Lists, but here's my own best-of retrospective on the highs and lows of 2018!

The guests and sounds clips featured on this episode:

Marella Martin Koch • Erin Cronican • Joey Fatone • Jeff Thomson • Scott Wojcik • Mike Wartella • Stephen Wallem • Casey Erin Clark • Jessica Holt • Matt Zambrano • Grace McLean • Jelani Alladin • Glasgow Lyman • Alvin Hough, Jr. • Jeff Theiss • Dena Hammerstein • Michael Repper • Sydney Altbacker • Tate Robinson • John McGinty • Chris Coyne

Though there was no way to include every episode on this best-of-2018 edition, I am immensely grateful for ALL the guests that have come on the podcast. It most certainly would not be the same or nearly as good without their contributions.

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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
 
 

Tony Award Bonus Episodes theme music - 
"Hot Swing" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

The Spotlight Series theme music - 
"Reverie (small theme)" by _ghost
2010 - Licensed under Creative Commons
Attribution (3.0)

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For the next couple of weeks will be talking to directors of the New York Youth Symphony. Founded in 1963 as an orchestra to showcase the metropolitan area’s most gifted musicians ages 12-22, its activities have since grown to encompass programs in chamber music, conducting, composition, and jazz, with performances at world class venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Today’s guest is Michael Repper who is in his second year as Music Director of the NYYS Orchestra. He is an emerging conductor of classical music, jazz, pops, and musical theater.  A graduate of Stanford University, he recently completed his doctoral residency at the Peabody Conservatory of Music as a student of Gustav Meier and his longtime mentor, Marin Alsop, a world-famous conductor and violinist who is also an alumna of the NY Youth Symphony.

Michael Repper conducting NYYS orchestra

Michael talks about his own path to conducting and the importance of music education and his passion for helping foster the next generation of artists. These kids truly sound amazing!

Help spread the word about New York Youth Symphony and Michael Repper.

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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

 

Intro music and interludes:
"Reverie (small theme)" by _ghost
2010 - Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0)

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In Part Two of our look at Only Make Believe, Patrick talks to Jackie Miller, Artistic Director of the acting company, and two of the actors, Dan Domingues and Jeanette Bonner. 

They share the process of bringing interactive theater to children in hospitals and care facilities. From choosing the right type of shows that best fits the kids and their medical conditions to rehearsing scripts and coordinating actor schedules, a lot of time and effort goes into these productions...and all at no cost to the hospitals or children.

Each of them also discuss their lives before OMB and what they currently do in addition to their work with this organization.

  • With over twelve years of experience as a director and curator of arts programming across New York City’s cultural sector, Jackie joined Only Make Believe in 2012. She holds a B.F.A. in Performance and M.A. in Arts-Politics, both from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
  • Jeanette joined OMB in 2013. She received her BA in Theater from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and has performed with Magic Futurebox Productions, Ars Nova ANT Festival, Manhattan Theatre Source, as well as her solo show, "Love. Guts. High School." at the 2012 Midtown International Theatre Festival and won nominations for Best Actress and Best Solo Show. She performs weekly with the Improv troupe National Comedy Theater and is also a licensed NYC tour guide...welcome to New York!
  • Dan has been with OMB since 2007. Off-Broadway credits include Atlantic Theater, Joe's Pub, LaMAMA, Baruch PAC, HERE and Soho Playhouse. He's worked regionally at Studio Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Long Wharf, Kansas City Rep, Florida Stage, Portland Stage, Pioneer Theatre, Rep of St. Louis, George Street Playhouse, ART. On TV his credits include Royal Pains, Law & Order, Hope and Faith, Third Watch, and As The World Turns. Dan has an MFA from ART/IATT at Harvard and is an associate artist with The Civilians.

You too can make a difference in children's lives. Go to https://www.onlymakebelieve.org and see ways you can help and contribute.

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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

 

"Reverie (small theme)" by _ghost
2010 - Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0)

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Geraldine Sherman was born in Middlesex, England and became a busy actress on BBC and in film when she met and later married James Hammerstein. She is now known as theater producer Dena Hammerstein, President/CEO of James Hammerstein Productions and Founder of the non-profit organization Only Make Believe.

OMB brings interactive theater to children in hospitals and care facilities, those with illnesses and disabilities and special needs. They entertain the kids with specially created plays designed for their needs and to encourage their participation. Starting in one hospital in 1999, OMB has now grown (thanks to private and corporate support and donations) to more than 50 hospitals in New York City and Washington D.C.

This episode is Part One of a two-part look at this wonderful organization and is also the first installment of the Spotlight Series. Dena shares part of her life story in entertainment and what/who brought her to America. We also discuss the founding of Only Make Believe and how it has shaped her work and her life ever since.

To find out more and see how you can make a difference in children's lives: https://www.onlymakebelieve.org

And to find out a bit more about Dena's early years in TV and film: IMDB

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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

 

"Reverie (small theme)" by _ghost
2010 - Licensed under Creative Commons
Attribution (3.0)

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