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.


In the last episode, Rebecca Selkowe reminded us of the groundwork needed to organize and manage our money. Today, she brings it to the present with useful tips and insights we can use during times of crisis like COVID-19.

For more on how The Actors Fund can help you (or ways you can donate to them) go to and for a mental and artistic break from the daily grind go to, hosted by Seth Rudetsky & James Wesley and benefiting The Actors Fund.


Do you have specific questions? Anything you need? Reach out to me with anyway I can be of help:

Also, join the WINMI Community on Twitter and Instagram @winmipodcast.

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Since 1955, April 15th has been Tax Day, until this year...the year of COVID-19 and economic uncertainty. With so many unemployed, especially those of us in the arts, what are we to do. How can we manage our money? What money!?

In this episode, I'm sharing my conversation a year ago with Rebecca Selkowe, author of DOMINATE YOUR DEBT and head of the Financial Wellness Program at the Actors Fund in New York City. This is part one, where she gives us the basics of how we need to approach financial matters, not just from a numbers perspective but also the mental and emotional aspects as well.

Part two comes in the next episode, where Rebecca joins me again to talk about the here and now and what we need to do today to make it through such tough economic times brought on by quarantines, self-isolations, and shutdowns.


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. 


Music used in the episode:

- Theme songs from both Why I’ll Never Make It and The Spotlight Series, created by Patrick Oliver Jones on GarageBand.
- "Miss You" by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International 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.


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:


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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 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

Contribute your own Audition Story:
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:
Lastly, this podcast is supported through kind donations of listeners like you: buy me a coffee.
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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January 6, 2020

Season Four Preview

Hello and welcome to Season 4 of Why I’ll Never Make It! This is now a year-round podcast...more work for me and more conversations for you. The central theme of Why I’ll Never Make It remains in tact of course: to feature meaningful conversations with actors, singers, directors, and other creatives on the setbacks and stumbles we all us face in the performing arts and how we overcome them, all while challenging the notion of what it really means to “make it” in this business.

I’m your host Patrick Oliver Jones, now entering my 3rd year as a podcaster and my 28th year as a professional actor and singer. I’ll be your guide each week, bringing you 45 to 60 minutes of interviews, insights, and interesting stories about how we balance making art with making a living.

Every now and then, you’ll also get some bonus episodes from The Spotlight Series, where I talk to non-profit organizations (like ASTEP) making a difference in the arts and beyond. Also this season, the Final Five continues where I end each conversation with the same five questions to each guest. There will also be themed months like Women’s History in March, the Tony Awards in May, and celebrating community theater in September.

Be sure to follow on Instagram, where you’ll find unreleased audio clips from my interviews and behind the scenes photos. Follow on Twitter for motivations, updates, and related articles to each week’s discussion. On the website you can connect with me as well as donate to the ongoing work and efforts of this podcast.

I can’t wait for you to join me and my guests on Why I’ll Never Make It! Please share this podcast with anyone you know who could also benefit from these conversations. 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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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.
Join the WINMI community by following on Instagram or Twitter as well as reaching out to Patrick with any questions or comments:
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.


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:


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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.


At the end of this month I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving with your stories of gratitude and appreciation. Go to 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.
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:
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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.


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:
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