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

As the Olympics head into their second week, it’s been a great reminder of the lessons we as artists can learn from these Olympians.

Remember the episode with Sally Wilfert? She reminded us singers how we are small muscle athletes. And anyone who’s been through a tech rehearsal process knows what a marathon can feel like and striving to reach the finish line.

Mindset and mental health are also so important. Athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka are recent examples of how competition and especially expectation can wear down even the best performers.

In November 2020, WINMI did a five-part series called "Bettering Ourselves, Bettering Our Careers" and in the last episode of that series I spoke with Kristen Hetzel. She is a Team USA silver and bronze medalist in the duathlon (which is running and cycling) and she's also an actress, model, personal trainer, motivational speaker, and holds a doctorate in physical therapy.

Today’s episode is a rewind back to my conversation with Kristen. She shares her secret to getting it on the field and how she overcomes what stands in her way. Most importantly, Kristen gives a lot of insight into how the two worlds of sports and acting are similar and why the discipline and lessons of one can help the other.

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

 

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During this past year as Covid wrecked the theater scene, ending so many shows and seasons, Andrew Lloyd Webber was doing his best to bring musicals back to the West End. And in much the same way, although for very different reasons, it was Lloyd Webber in the 1980s who was bringing the modern musical theater to Germany and the rest of Europe with grand spectacles like Cats.

At that time Sabine Kvenberg was a stage actress at the very start of her performing career. So of course when Cats came along, she jumped at the chance to audition for it. And for most of her career, music and musical theater has been at the forefront. She's recorded original music, performed in various touring productions in Europe, and also found plenty of work on screen as well.

Since moving to America, though, she has taken an active role in coaching and mentoring current performers as they navigate their careers, both on stage and on screen. She’s also a public speaker, an author, and even has her own YouTube channel and future podcast. Which is actually how we met, through a podcasters forum led by another former WINMI guest, Dave Jackson

Secrets on How to Succeed in Showbiz - A Practical Workbook for the Future Star (by Sabine Kvenberg)
 

In our conversation today, Sabine recounts the lessons she has learned in front of audiences as well as in the audition room. She gives us a deeper understanding of the importance of mindset and preparation when it comes to our professional and personal lives. It is this wealth of creative wisdom that she imparts to her students, and thankfully will be sharing it with us as well. 

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Music in the episode by Borrtex is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Communication and interacting with each other through words is really at the heart of what it means to connect and relate to other people. This is even more clear as actors and writers in the way that we tell stories and share experiences. Clear and understandable communication is a vital part of the performing arts. We do this through dance, visual media, physical gestures, and other ways, but most importantly though language. 

For Damian Thompson, this of course has been an essential part of his career, from Shakespeare productions like MacBeth and King Lear, to contemporary plays like Angels in America and Little Rock. He even wrote and starred in his own short film called Black?

But it hasn’t always been easy for him to communicate verbally , especially in auditions and cold readings. As a young child he suffered from a speech disorder that affects approximately 3 million Americans speakers, and that is stuttering. 

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And so in today’s conversation we talk about things that Damian has had to overcome. We even get into the importance of not only diverse but accurate representation within the arts. But we start of with Damian sharing how his stuttering and Martin Luther King‘s “I Have a Dream" speech eventually led him into theater…with a little help for Dawson’s Creek. 

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Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 15 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Music in the episode by Hyson is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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This week I'm sharing a conversation I had on another podcast called Blatantly Honest. At the end of this episode I also talk about the recent survey and the need for a reassessment of WINMI Podcast.

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Makaila Nichols is the founder of the Blatantly Honest Foundation. She is also a national speaker, podcaster, and best-selling author of Blatantly Honest: Normal Teen, Abnormal Life. In her book, she shares her personal struggles with issues teens may encounter such as: bullying, body image, sexual assault, peer pressure, and more. 

To reach an even larger audience, Makaila has a podcast series that focuses on changing the stigmas behind teen social issues. She is able to accomplish this by chatting with celebrities, influencers and experts about their own struggles and triumphs.

Follow Makaila - Website / Instagram / Twitter 

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Just some of the ways to connect with WINMI as well as opportunities to grow as an artist:

Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Music in the episode by Borrtex is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Last week on the podcast I spoke with an acting teacher (Terry Knickerbocker) about techniques and the creative process for us actors. Well, this week a publicist will guide us through the business side of our profession, and how best to promote and grow our careers, not letting others and especially ourselves stand in our way. 

Join or Donate to WINMI - whyillnevermakeit.com

Back in March 2021 I appeared on a podcast called sing dance act thrive hosted by PR and marketing coach Diane Foy. Other guests of that podcast have included Akon, Bif Naked, Timbaland, and Broadway life coach and former WINMI guest Bret Shuford. And I enjoyed being on her podcast so much, I invited her to join me here and share her vast knowledge and experience in the entertainment industry.

The 6 C’s Roadmap to Book Gigs & Make Money

  1. Clarity - laying your personal vision and professional goals
  2. Confidence - finding motivation and acknowledging your skill, strengths, and weaknesses
  3. Captivate - evaluating your personally, exploring your story, and embracing your image (Big Five Personality Test, https://www.truity.com/test/big-five-personality-test)
  4. Competitive Advantage - researching those who have the career you want as well as what sets you apart, figuring out your business and artistic audiences, and what other sources of income can come your way
  5. Content Creation - sharing your personal and professional stories systematically yet authentically, making sure your brand is consistent across all platforms
  6. Communication - finding your target audience and how to engage with them, interpersonal and business/media skills

Are You A Multipotentialite? A TED Talk On Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling

Follow Diane - Website / Instagram / Podcast 

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Just some of the ways to connect with WINMI as well as opportunities to grow as an artist:

Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Music in the episode by Borrtex is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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As you and I certainly know there is so much more to Theater then just what happens on stage. There are those behind the scenes and backstage, contributing just as much to the production of any show. The next four episodes will be focusing on this important work and how we as Actors can collaborate with them. Today’s guest is not only an actress but has worked as a dresser in more than 20 Broadway shows. But for Kimberly Faye Greenberg, performing in a Broadway show is still on her bucket list.

Give your feedback in the 2021 Listener Survey.

If you’ve ever listened to the very end of one of these episodes, you’ll hear me talk about this podcast’s association with Broadway makers alliance. They are a collective of small business entrepreneurs and artists who have all found outlets for their love of theater and especially Broadway. Well, it was actually one of the leaders of Broadway makers that introduced me to today’s guest, and I am so grateful to have met and spoken with Kimberly. And after this episode, you will be too.

Follow Kimberly - Website / Instagram / Twitter 

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Season 5 offers ways to connect with me and the guests as well as other opportunities to grow as an artist:

Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Music in the episode by Borrtex is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 

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It’s really no big secret that having children involved in the performing arts can have a major impact on them in school and out of school. Well, today’s guests are training some of these young artists in a fine arts conservatory down in Miami, Florida called MoonAmie Productions. Monica Rosell and Priscilla Blanco join me to discuss their important work and the creative home they provide their students. 

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My conversation begins with Monica, Owner and Artistic Director, who holds both a master of fine arts and a bachelor of arts. She’s taught script analysis and theater history it has been both a private acting coach as well as director of many musicals and plays in South Florida. While MoonAmie productions focuses on stage work and musicals, they also produce short films with their students Who are receiving highly structured and individualized instruction, and this really sets moonamie apart from most other theater schools for young artists.

"How the Performing Arts Benefits Kids" - Scholastic

I then bring on Music Director Priscilla, who has a Bachelor's and Master's in music education, and she works as a vocal coach and accompanist throughout South Florida. She was also in the public school system there and was the president of the Dade County music educators Association. But her work has gone beyond just Florida —she is also the cofounder of Spark music initiative, a nonprofit based in Grand Cayman, which focuses on introducing and igniting students’ interest in music through free workshops and camps that focus on world music, technology, improvisation, and songwriting. And the work she does with the students at MoonAmie is very similar.

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Follow MoonAmie - Website / Instagram / Twitter 

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Season 5 offers ways to connect with me and the guests as well as other opportunities to grow as an artist:

Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot, and is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance

Music in the episode by Borrtex is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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For almost a year now Actors have had very little in the way of exercising and using our creative muscles, so in this episode I wanted to remind us of the craft and joy of acting. As Black History Month continues here on the podcast, who better to discuss the ins and outs of acting with than Emmy-winning actress Erin Cherry.

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Cherry, as she prefers to be called, coaches and teaches actors at Maggie Flanagan Studio in New York City. It’s a Meisner based acting program, which basically aims to help actors get out of their head and behave instinctively to the surrounding environment. Well, Cherry put her training and coaching to good use in the Amazon Prime show After Forever. In 2019 she received her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Digital Daytime Drama Series. 

In part one of our conversation, Cherry talks about her first love, theater, and the amazing experience she had sharing the stage with Andre DeShields. She talks about making that transition from the stage to the screen and how us actors can handle the consistent self doubt and rejection we face. 

Follow Cherry: Website / Instagram / Twitter 

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Season 5 brings with it a new ways connect with me and the guests and new opportunities to learn and grow as an artist:

Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 20 Theater Podcast on Feedspot 

Music used in the episode by Blue Dot Sessions and Borrtex is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. And John Bartman's music is Public Domain.

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When it comes to the arts, I aim to give as wide a field of experience and opinion as possible here on the podcast. Yet for the most part I steer clear of politics. This is for a few reasons, but the main two are that I don’t want to add to the already divisive nature of some political activism and I want the content of this podcast to be as relevant today as it will be a year or more from now. Causes come and go, elected officials also change regularly (as does their rhetoric and positions on key issues). 

The closest I’ve come to venturing into the political realm is when I had on two of the founders of Be An Arts Hero, highlighting their efforts to lobby Congress for more funding and attention given to the arts here in America. So there is no doubt a relationship between the arts and politics, throughout history they have been both supporters and adversaries of one another. 

And recently there was a podcast that veered from its normal format to highlight the Politics of Culture that is inherent with so many works of art. The podcast is called Left, Right, and Center. And as the name implies they bring on guests and pundits from all sides to discuss the issues of the day. However, in this recent episode their guests are a television writer, a pop music songwriter, and a stage playwright. The discussions are led by Keli Goff, who is a journalist as well as a playwright and screenwriter herself. 

Of the four guests in this episode, I was particularly struck by the conversations with Stan Zimmerman, who wrote for the classic TV show The Golden Girls, and award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, who wrote the book for the hit Broadway musical Ain't Too Proud. They both share how their own writings have contributed to social conversations and have addressed important issues.

Like with any episode of Left, Right, and Center there will opinions you agree with and those you may not, but the discussions are nonetheless thoughtful and in-depth.

Stay tuned for the next recommendation, which will be my year-end pick for the best podcast to take us into the new year. Until then take care, and subscribe to this podcast wherever you listen to audio.

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In part three of the month-long series bettering ourselves bettering our careers, this episode is a continuation from the previous conversation about deliberate practice and the 10,000 hours rule. Another psychologist, Alisa Hurwitz, PsyD, joins me today to dive into mindset and how we actors can deal with rejection and the challenges we face in this business.

Her moniker Dr. Drama comes from her many analytical interviews, discussions, and articles on theater, specifically her lifelong passion for musical theater. She’s even consulted on regional and off Broadway productions on elements related to psychological concepts and mental health issues. So she is the perfect person to help us face some of the realities of this make-believe world of theater, a profession that can bring us tremendous joy but also sorrow and frustration.

Follow Alisa: WebsiteInstagram / Twitter 

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