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

When it comes to theater we all know Broadway and the big lights of New York City. There’s also organizations like the public or playwrights horizons that present notable off Broadway productions as well. But for the most part stage work is done by small to midsize theaters across the country some bring in equity Actors but a lot of them don’t. They are simply gathering together actors, directors, and designers to put on a show to entertain and engage local audiences. 

Well, the music industry is much the same way. There are the A-list stars that go on the Tonight Show and sign record deals with Sony or Motown records. But most of the music being produced in America is done by smaller independent artists who simply love the joy of performing and songwriting. Sydney Irving is someone who was born to sing and perform, you can hear it from the moment you press play on any one of her five albums. As a native of Syracuse New York, Sydney’s first album was released when she was only 14 and her latest is an EP that just came out in May. And last year she was twice named artist of the year by two different organizations.

Being a teenage female singer songwriter, it’s probably no surprise that she looks up to Taylor Swift and was inspired by her to pick up the guitar and start writing music. But Sydney‘s influences don’t stop there. She’s into Barnes Courtney, post Malone, and Ryan Adams. But also surprisingly she pulls a lot of influence from older artists Like AC/DC, the doors, and her current favorite Tom Petty. 

We will certainly be talking about those influences and how they’ve impacted her own singing and songwriting. And you’ll even get to hear a song off of her latest EP all I need is you at the end of this episode. But first we talk about the early success that she’s had in her career and the hard work it took to get her there as well as her disregard for social media and why she prefers other ways to connect with friends, family, and her fans. 

After getting a chance to meet and talk with her I certainly count myself among one of her fans, and I’m sure by the end of this conversation you’ll be one too.

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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 this episode by Blue Dot Sessions is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

"All I Need Is You" by Sydney Irving is also used with permission.

 

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In this past year, as most actors and artists were forced to stay at home, we found new ways to keep creating. The most obvious is the explosion of zoom readings and productions of both new and existing works. Others discovered this medium of podcasting, and in just one year the number of podcasts doubled.

But in today’s episode, in honor of Pride Month, I’m talking with two women who set out to explore a relatively new art form, the podcast musical. Ellie Brigida and Leigh Holmes Foster are the creative force behind The Flame musical. It's the story of two women -- Jamie, a queer bar owner, and Sam, the woman selling the building that the bar inhabits -- and the inevitable sparks that end up flying between them

Follow Ellie | Leigh | The Flame

And at the end of this episode I play one of the songs from the first episode of The Flame: "Keep It Lit"

Lead vocals: Jenn Colella as Jo, Ellie Brigida as Jamie, and Leigh Holmes Foster as Heather

Ensemble vocals: Dayna Arnett, Briana Bonilla, Leesa Charlotte, Benjamin Doncom, Ashton Grooms, E. Maloney, Quince Mobley, Liz Mongrello, Sydney Nicholson, Vico Ortiz, Dana Piccoli, Saria Schuyler, Mickie Rose Wadsworth

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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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Ever since I became WINMI's sole host and producer, I have wanted to have an acting teacher on this podcast. Well, it certainly took long enough, but that time has finally come. Terry Knickerbocker has been guiding students for almost 30 years, having trained and taught with William Esper, one of the most respected protégés of Sanford Meisner. And The Terry Knickerbocker Studio is this month's featured Artist Resource. 

You can find a full list of artist resources at resources.whyillnevermakeit.com

The studio has four primary objectives when it comes to their actor training, and Terry and I will be touching on these topics throughout today’s episode:

  1. To provide students with tools and a process for creating authentic imaginative acting.
  2. To cultivate uncompromising Standards of craftsmanship and artistry.
  3. To empower students to embrace the full range of their unique humanity.
  4. To support students with the entrepreneurial skills needed to be a successful working actor.

Sign up for the WINMI Newsletter

Follow Terry - Website / Instagram / YouTube 

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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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In the last episode we learned the importance of producing our own work as actors. Well today's guest, Joel B. New, will show us that just because you build it doesn't mean people will come. After the hard work of creating, then comes the daunting task of producing and promoting it, getting others to take notice and support that work. Learn how Joel found unique ways to get the word out on one of his own musicals.

"Strong Hands" - performed by Ernie Pruneda
"The Fort" - performed by Marita Stryker

Sign up for the WINMI Newsletter

Follow Joel - Website / Instagram / YouTube 

Joel's Birthday Concert - https://joelbnew.com/birthday

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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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When it comes to being an artist, Brie Eley is the very definition of a multi-hyphenate. She is a classically trained actress and improviser, spent more than 10 years in marketing and small business development, and she creates, produces, and directs independent productions.

As Black History Month comes to a close, Brie joins me to talk about the wide variety of projects in her career, the daily grind of being an actor, and the persistence that we all need to keep going. Because no matter how busy we get or how many projects we may take on, finding real success can still be tough and elusive.

Rules for Using Social Media - Jeremy Gordon, casting director

Get the WINMI Newsletter - join.whyillnevermakeit.com

Follow Brie - Website / Instagram / Twitter / IMDB / Here & Ready

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

Why I’ll Never Make It is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot 

Music used in the episode by Blue Dot Sessions, and Chad Crouch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 

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Throughout his career Geoffrey Owens has been an actor, director, and teacher. But for more than 35 years he has been known as Elvin from The Cosby Show. As we kick off Black History Month here on the podcast I sat down with Geoffrey to talk about his own history as an actor, the lucky breaks that have come his way as well as the hardships he’s faced, the photo that surfaced in 2018 of him working at Trader Joe’s, and what it means to be so singularly identified with one show.

join.whyillnevermakeit.com

Links and References: Huxtable family watches "I Have a Dream"Carsey/Werner ProductionAlvin Poussaint InterviewClaire sets Elvin straight 

Follow Geoffrey: 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, Kevin MacLeod, and Chad Crouch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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In theater or really in any performing art, we have certain genres or types of characters and stories that fit us better than others. And today’s guest Ashley Monique Menard found her niche in comedy. But often, even what we’re good at doesn’t really begin to blossom and grow until we really hone that craft and work on it.

So in part one of our conversation we’ll talk a lot about that comedy, how it’s helped her find and strengthen her voice, but also how an honest assessment of her talents and limitations was key in finding the best ways for her to shine. One of those ways was going back to school to learn more about business and writing and marketing, and she’s doing it all for free. And she’ll share how you can do it for free as well: EGCC.edu

Thank you for joining me for part one of my conversation with __________. Come back for part two in just a couple of days.

Follow Ashley: Website / Instagram / Twitter 

Join WINMI: Website / Memberships / Instagram / Twitter 

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

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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:

All this and more can be found at the website: whyillnevermakeit.com 

Music used in the episode by Blue Dot Sessions and Borrtex is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Here on Why I’ll Never Make It, we focus on the challenges and setbacks that artists face, but there is one podcast out there focusing on the Spectacular Failures of companies and organizations. Lauren Ober is the host and producer of that podcast and is also a journalist, a noted speaker, and voice coach. In part one of our conversation She and I discuss some of the parallels between being onstage and behind a mic, but we focus mainly on the rise and fall the big Broadway production company Livent.

Listen to "The Curtain Falls on a Big Broadway Company" on Spectacular Failures.

Thank you for joining me for part one of my conversation with Lauren Ober. Come back for part two in just a couple of days.

Follow Lauren: Website / Instagram / Twitter 

Join WINMI: Website / Memberships / Instagram / Twitter 

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

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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:

All this and more can be found at the newly updated website: whyillnevermakeit.com 

Music used in the episode by Blue Dot Sessions and Borrtex is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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A look back at the year that was unlike anything we would’ve hoped for or imagined. Still, this podcast had its good moments and a plethora of fantastic guests.

  • 0:28 - Introduction
  • 1:10 - COVID update
  • 3:31 - Broadway Makers Alliance & Helium Radio Networks
  • 5:42 - Season Recap and Top 5 Guests
  • 7:55 - My two favorite episodes
  • 10:51 - Season 5 Preview with Justin Guarini
  • 12:19 - Final Five: Sammi Cannold
  • 34:44 - Members-Only episodes

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website 

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Here we are at the final guest of Season Four...

In part one of my conversation with New York director, Sammi Cannold shares the details of an article she wrote for The Stage, detailing how South Korean producers have made theater safe and possible for both creatives and audiences.

While Sammi remains more diplomatic, I am not gentle in my rebuke of the Broadway League and Actors Equity, who have either kept silent for much of this pandemic or have actually been a hindrance to getting theater up and running again. We highlight the leading efforts by Andrew Lloyd Webber and how there is no equivalent here in the US.

Part two will be a conversation more about her directorial projects in New York and regionally as well as her affinity for all things Andrew Lloyd Webber. She was also on the 2019 Forbes List 30 Under 30 in Entertainment.

Follow Sammi: Website / Instagram / Twitter 

Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website 

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