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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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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When it comes to actors, we really are part of a family and community with one another, and no matter how long or how short a time we’ve been in this business, there’s always something we can learn from each other. I mean that's really the basis of this podcast, and today’s guest is a perfect example of this.

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For the most part Chloe Noelle is just your average teenager, who loves games, movies, and time with her friends. But Chloe‘s first big acting job came on the huge hit show TRUE BLOOD. And while it was certainly a big juggernaut for her career, in today’s episode she shares how it came with expectations of what kind of actress she should be.

In this episode, we discuss the ups and downs of her young career and how she continues to grow with each new role and performance. In addition to TV, she’s done classic musicals, had her own segment on the morning news show, and has even performed stand-up comedy for Comedy Central. Chloe has certainly done a lot in the last 10 years and shares with us what she’s learned during that time as well as the sometimes difficult journey it’s been. 

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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 Kai Engel and Blue Dot Sessions is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 

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Being a coach and leading master classes has been something I truly enjoyed doing. Imparting my experience and insights to students and watching them have those a-ha moments and discovering something new about themselves or their own skills and talents. But sometimes it’s good to flip that around and ask those just starting out their career what THEY have learned so far and where THEY see not only themselves going in this career but where the industry is going as a whole. So for the next three episodes I’m going to be talking to young artists about what they’ve discovered along their own journeys.

And I begin today with actor, writer, director, and producer Alex J Dean, who is actually graduating from film school this month. What a time to be starting an arts career, huh? But as you listen to our conversation I think you’ll recognize that he has a pretty good head on his shoulders that will enable him to navigate these very strange and tumultuous times.

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Alex started out as an actor on stage and on screen, and was co-host of the award-winning Nerdtabulous series. Even in real life he has embraced the nerd moniker, as a fan of Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Japanese anime. So it should come as no surprise that Alex has found a real home behind the camera as a director and writer, creating worlds and stories from his own imagination. His final thesis project for college was a horror anthology film, with plans to release it later this summer or early in the fall under his own production company Penny Arcade Pictures.

So suffice it to say, Alex loves to stay busy and immerse himself and creativity and production. But as you and I know this is certainly a tough time to get started in the arts field, and that is where we begin our conversation today.

Follow Alex - IMDB / Instagram 

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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 AllianceMusic 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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At one point or another there is a lesson that all actors have to learn, and this past year has driven home that lesson even more so, and that is the need to create our own work. Today’s guest, Ashley Kate Adams, Not only added producing to her already sizable acting resume, but she put all of her thoughts and lessons learned into a new book called Be Your Own Producer. 

#BYOP - https://amzn.to/3wUPUF9 (pre-order for August publication)

Join WINMI - http://whyillnevermakeit.com

Follow Ashley - 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

Incidental music in this episode by Borrtex is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

 

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Almost every actor would seize upon the opportunity to be in a big TV show. But even with a BFA in acting and conservatory theater training, none of it had really prepared Joyce Hshieh for one of the biggest roles of her life, Becoming a three day champion on the game show jeopardy.

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In part one of my conversation with Joyce, we talk about her theater training and her struggle to find fulfillment as an actor. She shares how surprising it was to find herself on Jeopardy and how similar it is and isn’t to her work as an actor. In part two, we’ll talk about the course she created all about memorization and how Actors can better learn lines and retain scripts.

Follow Joyce - IMDB / Instagram / WeAudition / Website

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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, is a part of Helium Radio Network, and is a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance. 

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

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As we talked about in Part One, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is what put Gabrielle Ruiz on the map. However, it was her theater training and performance abilities that made it possible for her to be cast in the show. In this episode we talk more about her time on the stage and what drives her most as an artist. 

Get the WINMI Newsletter - join.whyillnevermakeit.com

Follow Gabrielle - Website / Instagram / Twitter / WAFF Podcast

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Here are ways to connect with me and the guests as well as opportunities to learn and grow as an artist:

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

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

Play Now

My good friend and amazing performer Gabrielle Ruiz joins me for Women's History Month to chat about her journey from ensemble member on Broadway to a principal role on primetime television. It's a path many of us actors wish to have, but hers has not been without personal and professional setbacks. And in part one of our conversation we touch on some of the highlights as well as how she's handled the low points.

Get the WINMI Newsletter - join.whyillnevermakeit.com

Follow Gabrielle - Website / Instagram / Twitter / WAFF Podcast

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Here are ways to connect with me and the guests as well as opportunities to learn and grow as an artist:

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

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

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