Performing Arts

Weekly conversations with fellow creatives on the fine line between setback and success in the performing arts. They share their unique 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.

The WINMI Story

February 22, 2019

How did it all get started?

Back in August 2017, Patrick approached Dewey Caddell about starting a podcast. "You and me riffing on various subjects or maybe just one topic or field. I don't know. It's just an idea and wanted to get your thoughts." Dewey was intrigued and curious of what the format would be.

A couple of months of messaging back and forth, they met up to brainstorm some ideas. And a few weeks later recorded an initial episode (originally called "Podcast & Crew") which they shared with a few friends. After their feedback the two finally landed on the main thrust of an entertainment podcast -- sharing stories of what holds us back in the performing arts but also what keeps us going. The intent was to focus on the work-a-day professionals grinding it out and making a living in theater.

On December 28Why I'll Never Make It was born, giving birth to its first season: 13 regular episodes with Patrick and Dewey co-hosting, and 5 Tony Awards bonus episodes featuring Patrick and other Broadway performers and creatives. In Season Two, Patrick became the sole host of the show and introduced The Spotlight Series, featuring those making a difference in the arts and beyond.

Why such a negative title for your podcast?

This question is asked a lot. And to be honest, it's not negative at all, but merely the reality of this business. Most plays, musicals, books, TV shows, and films never become blockbusters or household names. Most auditions never lead to being cast. Most Broadway shows never recoup their initial investment. Failure is a given and rejection is common. Making it big is simply a rarity. Most of us get by from job to job, making a living and enjoying the modicum of success that we hope will come our way.

But within this reality comes great lessons and inspirations and some funny stories along the way. On the podcast, every reason of "why I'll never make it" is followed up by "why I'm still here" and what keeps us going. As Bill Gates said...

It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.

But you talk to people that are famous and have made it.

True. People like *NSYNC's Joey Fatone and FROZEN's Jelani Alladin have been guests on the podcast. I mean, we gotta have some inspiration, right? Something to shoot for! Besides, this little podcast was greatly helped by these famous friends coming on the show.

But most guests (including the hosts) are simply creatives who get the work done, day-to-day living and doing what they love. And mostly out of the limelight. Whatever applause may come from our work pales in comparison to the days and weeks and months of rejection and persistence that proceed any such recognition. It is this central message that is talked about on our show, even with the most successful or recognizable guests.

What does The Spotlight Series have to do with making it?

The life of any non-profit is not an easy one. So while these bonus episodes are a slight departure from the format of the show, Spotlight focuses on why people and organizations do the work they do, how they handle setbacks, and the difference they are making in people's lives through the arts.

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