The Award of Distinction
Why I’ll Never Make It was recently recognized by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts in the category of Featured Episode for the Tribute to Alvin Ailey. With over 5,000 entries received from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards are the largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals.
5 days ago
5 days ago
This past week I started rehearsals up in Connecticut at the Goodspeed Opera House doing a new musical version of the beloved Anne of Green Gables. It’s a well-known story around the world but especially in its home country of Canada. So in honor of that I thought I would bring a Canadian onto the podcast. Ashley Victoria Robinson is an actress, writer, producer and podcaster, and though she and I won’t be talking about Anne of Green Gables, we do hit upon some of the themes from that story...dealing with the loss of family and how that can impact our lives, finding our place in this world and where we belong, and learning how to control our emotions and our words so that they don’t get us into trouble. Now, I hadn’t met Ashley until we sat down for this interview, But just like Anne is constantly searching for that kindred spirit, I too found a wonderful connection with Ashley throughout our conversation and thankfully a kindred spirit in this industry. Subscribe to WINMI and get bonus episodes with Ashley on Supercast Ashley answers the Final Five questions on the WINMI Blog Check out the podcast website and follow WINMI on Instagram or Twitter --------------- Why I’ll Never Make It is a top 25 theater podcast hosted by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones and is a production of WINMI Media, LLC. It is a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance. Background music in this episode is by John Bartmann (Public Domain) and Blue Dot Sessions (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License). Ashley Victoria Robinson & Unladylike Theatre present The Bearer of Bad News at the 2022 Hollywood Fringe Festival (June 9-26) Most actors are used to working in a traditional power structure where actors are subservient to directors. There’s a very clear sense of who is in charge and whose opinions matter the most. Ashley met her Unladylike co-founders (Tiana Randall-Quant and Kendell Byrd) under these very circumstances. They found collaboration as the three of them really drew on each other through the creative process.Ashley recognizes a school of thought in contemporary theatre that is Socratic in its approach, where everyone is equal is therefore more “feminine.” Unladylike Theatre was established by 3 femmes, trying to bring feminine sensibilities to every step in the creative process. And so their mission statement is: Reimagining the future through femme-forward theatre. The Bearer of Bad News is their debut production, which they worked on for about 2.5 years total. Bearer of Bad News explores the intersection of identity and purpose set against the backdrop of a world irrevocably altered by climate change. Unladylike looks forward to future projects as well, whether an update of a classic work or creating fresh new pieces of theater. Ashley Victoria Robinson: Canadian Hobbit She's been seen on stages all over the world including: The Wallis Annenberg, Theatre West, Hollywood Fringe Festival, Ottawa Fringe Festival, Youth Infringement Festival, Sock N Buskin, Cupcake Theater, and more. She's also a podcaster like me, hosting the Geek History Lesson podcast (alongside Jason Inman), was even the face of Twitter marketing for podcasters, and is the co-creator of The Red Shirt Diaries. Ashley has been featured in several international commercial campaigns including Intel alongside The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons. On TV Ashley has shown off her acting chops on shows like Good Trouble (Freeform), Snowfall (FX), Pump (Urban Flix TV), and Hotel Secrets & Legends (Discovery Channel). Her comic book writings "Science! The Elements of Dark Energy" and the "Jupiter Jet" series are both award-nominated for Best Graphic Novel.
Monday Jun 13, 2022
Monday Jun 13, 2022
The 75th Annual Tony Awards was a welcome return of Broadway and the diversity of shows and creatives represented. Check out former guests from nominated shows: Carmen Cusack - Nominated for Best Actress in Flying Over Sunset Kathryn Allison - from Company, winner of Best Revival Also, I will be returning to theater as well with new contemporary musical retelling of the classic tale Anne of Green Gables. It runs all summer long at Goodspeed Opera in Connecticut. So I can focus on the show, episodes will be coming out every other Monday, now through September. I've already recorded some great interviews that I can't wait to share with you starting June 20th!
Monday Jun 06, 2022
Monday Jun 06, 2022
June is always a busy time for New York City with two major events taking place: one is of course the month-long Gay Pride celebration and the other is the biggest day of the Broadway season -- the Tony Awards. And today’s guest ticks off both of those boxes. Jerry Mitchell is a prolific Broadway Director and choreographer as well as a gay advocate with shows like Broadway Bares and Kinky Boots, just to name a few. He is also an eight-time Tony nominee, but he is quick to point out that he’s lost out on the award six times. In our conversation, he discusses his creative career, full of fascinating anecdotes, and shares the importance of knowing our worth as artists, loving what we do on and off stage, and the value in saying "yes." Subscribe to WINMI and get bonus episodes with Jerry on Supercast Check out the podcast website and follow WINMI on Instagram or Twitter --------------- Why I’ll Never Make It is a top 25 theater podcast hosted by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones and is a production of WINMI Media, LLC. It is a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance. Background music in this episode is by John Bartmann (Public Domain) and Blue Dot Sessions (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License). Everybody Say Yeah! You've heard what Jerry has to say about Kinky Boots. Now listen as the musical force behind this Tony-winning show is interviewed by ABC News in Australia. Cyndi Lauper has been a source of celebration and inspiration for music lovers since the 1980s. Then she turned her talents to theater, writing the music for this international smash hit. This Month's Artist Spotlight: Broadway Bares Broadway Bares’ 30th anniversary celebration, originally set for June 21, 2020, was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The in-person event is set to return this month and will more bodacious dancers, fierce queens, and sexy starlets. Broadway Bares was created in 1992 by Mitchell, then a Broadway dancer, as a way to raise awareness and money for those living with HIV/AIDS. In Broadway Bares‘ first year, Mitchell and six of his friends danced on a New York City bar and raised $8,000. Since then, Broadway Bares has raised more than $21 million for Broadway Cares. “Every dollar donated during Broadway Bares helps those across the country affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses receive healthy meals, lifesaving medication and more,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said, referring to last year's online presentation. “As we look toward better and brighter days ahead for everyone, I’m so glad that everyone chose to twerk from home with us.” Final Five with Jerry Mitchell Nine years ago, Jerry Mitchell received the Abbott Award, a lifetime achievement award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. The award is named in honor of renowned director George Abbott and is presented to a director or choreographer in recognition of lifetime achievement. That same year he was also nominated for two Tony Awards for choreography and direction in Kinky Boots. Since then he has lived another lifetime of experiences and shows like On Your Feet, Becoming Nancy, Pretty Woman, and the many subsequent incarnations of Kinky Boots. Read more insights and experiences from Mitchell on the WINMI Blog. Follow Jerry - IBDB | Instagram
Monday May 30, 2022
Monday May 30, 2022
The past couple of weeks have been difficult for this country, once again grappling with gun violence caused by madmen with evil intentions. This has unfortunately become an ongoing issue with people, politicians, and pundits saying a whole lot but doing very little. Four years ago this spring, a new play opened off Broadway called Church & State. It dealt with the contentious intersection of God, guns, and politics and featured four actors on a single set. I consider myself very fortunate to have been a part of this production as the understudy for the two male actors. It was written and produced by two former guests of this podcast: Jason Odell Williams as the playwright and his wife Charlotte Cohn as lead producer. In this special episode, they share the passion and persistence that goes into creating works like Church & State that can actually make a difference in the hearts and minds of audiences, especially on such an important issue like gun violence. References in this episode: The Power of Political Theater - Brooklyn Rail The Critical Role of Humor in the Grief Process - St. Catherine University Jason Odell Williams (playwright) Charlotte Cohn (director and playwright) Sandy Hook Promise Safer Country Brady Campaign Church & State Origin Story - Jason Odell Williams The seeds for this play date back to 2007. The issue of gun violence in America first became important to me after the shooting massacre at Virginia Tech. I went to UVA (Virginia Tech's “football rival”) and the images on TV of candlelight vigils by Cavaliers for their rival Hokies touched me profoundly. And I realized then, like many Americans, that we had a problem in our country. Guns were a national crisis. Then the shooting in Tucson where Gabby Giffords was shot. And I watched the news, riveted and angry, scared and hopeless. How could this happen? To one of our own politicians? Will this force Congress to finally take action? When it didn't, I wondered, bleakly, if the response would have been different if something like this had happened to a Republican.* And I couldn't get that dark, nagging thought out of my head. Then over the summer of 2012, I was talking to a friend from Raleigh, NC about religion and politics and a new seed was planted for this vague idea I had cooking for a play, somehow combing religion, guns and politics. And then in Dec. 2012, the tragic shooting in Newtown. And I'd had enough. I had to turn my rage and fear into action. So I did what I know how to do. I wrote a play. A month later, in January 2013, I had a first draft of what would eventually become Church & State. I had three friends read the play with me in our living room. We talked about what worked what didn’t. I shared the play with a few director friends who offered some great feedback. And eventually one director, Ralph Meranto from JCC CenterStage in Rochester, read the play saw a lot of potential. He committed to producing it if we could develop it together. So for the next few months, I’d write a draft, he’d ask questions and make comments and suggestions, I’d do a rewrite and we’d repeat the process. I think it was late 2015 when we felt good about the final product. I then shared the play with two friends in DC who loved it and wanted to do a reading for their Actors Salon. And that was the first public reading, January 2016. I knew then the play was basically ready. (BroadwayBox) *Just a week after Church & State's Off-Broadway production closed, a gunman walked onto a baseball field at Eugene Simpson Park in Alexandria, Virginia, opening fire on politicians and wounding Republican U.S. Representative and House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and four others.
Monday May 23, 2022
Monday May 23, 2022
Of the many actors I’ve interviewed and talked to personally I would say that there are at least two main objectives for most of them. One falls under auditions: getting in the biggest rooms for the best roles. And the second one falls under agents: getting representation that can get you into those bigger rooms. My on-camera agent Brian Keith Graziani and I have been working together since late 2020 for a range of projects--from commercials and industrials to TV dramas and docu-series. Brian himself started out as an actor and singer, and just sort of fell into casting, which then led to talent management and representation. While he still loves performing, this new career path has allowed him to have a greater impact on the careers and livelihoods of other actors. Having had such wide-ranging experiences in theater, Brian is uniquely qualified to guide and represent actors like myself. And he certainly has a lot to say, he’s not one to hold back what he thinks at all, especially when it comes to auditioning, communication, and one of my least favorite parts of this business: self-tapes. Connect with Brian and The Hell's Kitchen Agency - Website | Instagram | Email Audition and Submissions Tips When Using an Agentby Brian Keith Graziani If you decline an audition through an online system, email your agent as well. They often do not get notifications when you decline for some reason. Unless your tape request specifies not needing one, always include a slate (stating name, height, and location). Be sure to double check casting self-tape labeling requirements (i.e. how to name the video file) and how to submit it (YouTube, DropBox, eco-cast, etc.). Each office has their own system for receiving and organizing submissions. Be sure to double check if casting specifies they want everything in one file or separate files. If casting doesn't specify, it's probably best to separate files as a safe alternative. Double check due dates! Extensions are sometimes possible, but asking for it after everything is due just makes everyone look like we dropped the ball. Be open about needing a break. The self tape fatigue struggle can be real and it's important to communicate such a feeling if you ever need a minute to recharge. A piece of advice: Say yes and get seen. Unless you feel like the quality of work you're presenting wouldn't present you in the best light, there is always merit to getting into the "room" and making sure casting knows who you are. If you have a major "why" then ask...but remember, every minute spent trying to convince you to submit for a job is a minute that could have spent submitting or pushing you, so trust the process. Are any traits that make for a successful actor? The answer is always "the actors who work the most and garner the most fruitful results from auditions are the ones who work with an agent daily to make their expectations clear". Clearly communicate what you will do, and want to do, just as much as what you won't do. Final Five Questions When it comes to theater, Brian Keith Graziani has been many things — actor, singer, casting director, talent agent. And each job has given him new perspective and understanding of what it means to succeed in this very subjective and finicky industry. After sharing his three stories from his time in the business, He also answers five final questions on the WINMI Blog.
Monday May 16, 2022
Monday May 16, 2022
“There are few things that can cause joy, shame, contentment, anxiety and stress the way that money does,” says Korrena Bailie, Consumer Finance Editor at Forbes. “If your finances cause you stress and anxiety, it’s natural to want to keep this to yourself because you might feel embarrassed or ashamed about the decisions you made.” (NY Times) Well, one artist who is trying to break down that wall of fear or shame when it comes to money is lighting designer and fellow podcaster Ethan Steimel. And in this episode we both confront the stigma around such discussions. He shares three specific stories of his own financial journey, including how he paid for college and one important money issue that’s come up between him and his wife. Subscribe to WINMI and get bonus episodes with Ethan on Supercast --------------- Why I’ll Never Make It is a top 25 theater podcast hosted by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones and is a production of WINMI Media, LLC. It is a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance. Background music in this episode is by John Bartmann (Public Domain) and Blue Dot Sessions (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License). Artist Spotlight: Abundance Bound Miata Edoga is a former guest of WINMI (Season 4) and is the CEO and Founder of Abundance Bound. For over two decades, she has been helping individuals of all backgrounds establish a healthier, more compassionate relationship with their money – whether they are just starting out, starting over, or starting to wonder how they should handle their growing wealth. Lear more about her Financial Empowerment Program. This week's BIG NEWS... Why I’ll Never Make It is now an award-winning podcast, having been recognized by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts at their 28th Annual Communicator Awards. WINMI was given the Award of Distinction in the area of Featured Episode for producing a Tribute to Alvin Ailey. He was dancer & choreographer who founded the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and spent his life preserving the African-American cultural experience through dance and music. With over 5,000 entries received from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring creative excellence for communications professionals. So it is such a thrill to be recognized for the work that went into this celebratory episode on the life and career of a luminary like Alvin Ailey. Follow Ethan - Website / Podcast / Instagram
Monday May 09, 2022
Monday May 09, 2022
There are two fundamental sides to every actor: the artistic part of us that loves rehearsing and performing, and then there’s the business aspect which handles money, contracts, and other details. Both are absolutely crucial to our success. But while we are good at taking lessons, getting coachings, or joining classes to work on that creative side, we aren’t often as diligent or even aware of our need to build up our fiscal muscles and business know-how. That’s where Ethan Steimel comes in and his podcast Artistic Finance. He crunches the numbers and breaks down the nitty gritty of various financial concepts within the arts. And in this special collaboration and presentation with Artistic Finance, Ethan talks with Jonathan Cerullo about seeing ourselves and our careers as more than an artistic craft. It is so important that our business side gets just as much attention and preparation as the creative side. Support WINMI through PayPal donations or monthly subscriptions. ---------- Why I’ll Never Make It is hosted and by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones and is a production of WINMI Media, LLC. 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 John Bartmann is Public Domain. This Month's Artist Resource: Artistic Finance Podcast Lighting Designer and podcast host Ethan Steimel has always been curious why some artists get big breaks and others never break through to financial security. Why do artists pursue careers that are guaranteed to hold financial risk? Why do some artists get paid more than others for doing the same job? These questions led to creating Artistic Finance in order to have honest conversations with artists about money. He even sat down with WINMI host Patrick Oliver Jones for an episode about his own finances. Financial Wellness at The Actors Fund The Financial Wellness program was created to help actors and other creatives identify financial goals and get clear about a particular starting point. In time you'll learn and implement specific strategies for organizing expenses and how to plan for multiple and episodic sources of income, which can often be infrequent and erratic in this business. They also guide artists in developing a savings plan, gaining clarity around debt management, and how to build and maintain healthy credit. Ultimately, you'll examine the behaviors and thinking patterns that impact your financial habits and begin to align your actions with your intentions. Listen to my conversation with Rebecca Selkowe, director of the Financial Wellness program. 5 Reasons Why Actors Need a Financial Plan Last January on Backstage, actor, writer, and financial coach Brooke Tyler Benson discussed the importance of having a financial plan, which outlines your current money situation and future goals as well as the steps it will take to get there. For too long we’ve been fed the starving artist trope, meaning we haven’t been taught the importance of creating our own financial plan. So she gives five reasons why actors should put “create a financial plan” at the top of their next to-do list. Read more on the WINMI Blog.
Monday May 02, 2022
Monday May 02, 2022
No matter how many conversations I have with artists, no matter how many episodes this podcast releases, I’m amazed at the variety of insights and lessons that each person brings to these discussions. But in this episode, I think we hit upon one of the biggest obstacles, if not THE biggest, that holds us back as actors and creatives--and that is fear. Being afraid of vulnerability or not making enough money or not being cast or simply not being good enough. This fear is the cause of our self-doubt and uncertainty and it can hold us back or even paralyze us from moving forward. Today, I’m talking with David Dean Bottrell, who knows all too well what fear can do to us. Though he's been in TV shows like Boston Legal and After Forever (created by former guest Kevin Spirtas), David has also battled fear as an artist and has even written a book to help us navigate the ins and outs of this business to become a Working Actor. David joins the podcast to talk about three specific examples of fear... His upbringing and the strange reaction his family had to success. The book he wrote and how completely inadequate he felt while writing it. His desire to imitate and be someone else, rather than understand or even accept his own unique talents. Support WINMI through donations or subscriptions - https://winmi.supercast.com Podcast hosted and produced by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones - https://www.pojones.com This week's Artist Resource - WORKING ACTOR This veteran character actor draws on his 35+ tumultuous years of work in the entertainment industry to offer a witty, informative and very honest guide to breaking in, making a living, and making a life in the fabulous trenches of show business. "Both practical and inspiring...open-eyed and unsentimental...This is no guru-like tome, but a hands-on, working manual written out of true experience and enthusiasm for what can be achieved.” --Alfred Molina "Weaves a lifetime’s worth of experience navigating the slings and arrows of the acting game into a compilation of personal stories and pragmatic lessons to enlighten, encourage and forewarn both the novice and more advanced performer." --The Los Angeles Times The Final Five Questions Learn more of David's journey from Louisa, Kentucky to Los Angeles and New York, as he chronicles various roles and milestones. It highlights his struggle and successes as well as covers topics we didn't get to in this interview. Find it on the WINMI Blog. Follow David - One-Man Show | Twitter | Instagram
Monday Apr 25, 2022
Monday Apr 25, 2022
One of the main themes and messages of this podcast has always been that success can mean different things to different people, and how someone gets there, if they get there, seems to take a different path each time. Today’s episode is with someone that I had the privilege of working with in the musical adaptation of First Wives Club back in 2015 in Chicago (with Faith Prince and Christine Sherrill). We were gearing up for a hopeful Broadway transfer that unfortunately never happened. But Carmen Cusack gave a memorable performance in that show and a few years later went on to star in her Broadway debut of Bright Star and most recently Flying Over Sunset. Her journey to Broadway has been a very unique one – from Denver and Texas to London and Shanghai. But as you’ll hear in her stories, the bumpy road to success is as much a personal journey as it is a professional one... Jazz lounges not Broadway theaters are her true musical home Her tumultuous relationship with Sunday in the Park with George James Lapine and Flying Over Sunset Through the loss of theater during Covid, she finds her musical voice Follow Carmen - Website | Twitter | Instagram Get access to bonus episodes by supporting WINMI - https://winmi.supercast.com Podcast hosted and produced by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones - https://www.pojones.com The Backstory of Carmen Cusack and the Final Five Questions Learn more of the details of her journey from Denver to Broadway, as she chronicles her various roles and milestones. It highlights both the struggle and the joy of her time onstage, and finding the freedom to explore her own voice and artistry. Find it on the WINMI Blog.
Monday Apr 18, 2022
Monday Apr 18, 2022
Years after the failed Lerner & Loewe movie musical of The Little Prince, producer Joseph Tandet tried again, but this time with composer John Barry and a full Broadway production, which brought with it a whole new set of problems. The Little Prince and the Aviator began rehearsals in late 1981 and starred TV and film actor Michael York as the pilot with a 10-year-old newcomer in the title role - Anthony Rapp. I am so thrilled to have Anthony joining me today! We talk about that troubled production, which actually never opened on Broadway, and we also discuss other shows like Rent and Star Trek Discovery. So in today’s episode you’ll be hearing four stories from his life and career: How he was cast in The Little Prince and the Aviator and why it failed Three movies where the directors wanted to cast him but producers did not How Rent changed his life and what it was like coming back to the show years later Dealing with the loss of his mother and the memoir and one-man show it inspired Find more episodes at whyillnevermakeit.com. Podcast hosted by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones - https://www.pojones.com Bonus Episode: Anthony Rapp Talks About You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown This week's main episode is already full of intimate stories and insights from Anthony's life and career. But there's a special segment from our interview saved just for subscribers. He goes into details of the collaborative process to create this Broadway revival production and what led to it's short-lived run. So you can give a one-time donation (via PayPal) or get access to bonus episodes like these with a monthly subscription (via Supercast). Whichever way you choose to contribute, your help and support are so very much appreciated! The Final Five Anthony Rapp has been acting and singing professionally since he was nine years old. Even with an extensive list of wonderful achievements, Rapp also knows the hardships and uncertainty of this business. And through it all he's discovered what truly matters most in his life and career. He gives further thoughts and insights in the Final Five. Follow Anthony - IBDB | Twitter | Instagram Support WINMI through donations or subscriptions - https://winmi.supercast.com
Support Why I’ll Never Make It
Your support is so important to WINMI's ongoing production and growth, because having dedicated listeners like you is why I keep doing this week after week. So there are two ways you can significantly contribute to the mission of this podcast...
Experience the full range of interviews and content that WINMI has to offer by subscribing monthly through Supercast, a membership platform for podcasters. With this subscription you'll get access to special content and bonus episodes delivered directly to your podcast app, offering deeper discussions and further insights from guests each week.
If you'd rather support WINMI through one-time donations, you can do so with PayPal and designate what area of production you'd like to support. With this donation, you will receive a free ebook collection of insights and motivations from past guests called Creative Wisdom.