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.
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
Monday Apr 11, 2022
Monday Apr 11, 2022
As an actor it is rare to have long stretches of employment, especially in theater. Television actors can certainly be a part of a successful show for years on end. Same goes for movie franchises where roles can come back film after film. But for most of us, it is simply job to job. One show ends and we work hard to book the next one. For Steven Warner, he had just done the biggest role in his life…at the age of seven. So what was next for him? In part two of our conversation we explore the years after The Little Prince and how his life and career took a dramatic turn. It’s a story of persistence and tenacity but also a recognition of the realities we face as actors and how it’s as much a personal journey as an artistic one. Why I’ll Never Make It website Follow @winmipodcast on Instagram Listen to Two Princes Part 1 and Part 2 on The Industry podcast Holiday on Ice Holiday on Ice originated in the United States in December 1942. It was the brainchild of Emery Gilbert of Toledo, Ohio, an engineer and builder who created a portable ice rink. He took his idea of a traveling show to Morris Chalfen, a Minneapolis executive, who supplied the financing, and George Tyson, who used his theatrical background to create the show. All owners except Morris Chalfen sold their shares of the North America Holiday on Ice to Madison Square Garden Corporation in 1964, while Chalfen retained ownership of the international Holiday on Ice tour and remained as executive producer of the North America company. In August 1971, General Ice Shows, Inc., parent company of Ice Follies, had purchased Holiday on Ice (North America) from Chalfen and Madison Square Garden Company. By the time Steven Warner had joined the company, Ice Follies had merged with Holiday on Ice, operating as a combined show. A traditional element in each Holiday on Ice show is the precision number with its famous spinning wheel, in which the skaters link arms with each other, one by one, lengthening the two spokes which spin around a center point. For many years, the traditional kickline, the light finale with illuminated costumes and fireworks fountains, ended shows. Since 1988, each show has been given an official name with a unique identity highlighting its main production theme and weaving the various numbers into a unitary presentation. Watch Holiday on Ice with Steven Warner from 1985, performing Disco A Movie Star at 8, but He'd Much Rather Be an Ice Skater - New York Times Final Five Questions with Steven Warner As a child actor, Steven Warner was working with some of the most talented and famous actors and directors in Hollywood. But as a teenager his path took a turn away from film and has only recently begun a slow turn back to the camera again. And in these five final questions, he addresses topics we didn't get to in this conversation and provides extra insight into the importance of determination and handling rejection. You can find his Final Five on the WINMI Blog. Follow Steven - Twitter Support WINMI - https://winmi.supercast.com
Monday Apr 04, 2022
Monday Apr 04, 2022
One of my all-time favorite movie musicals is Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe's adaptation of THE LITTLE PRINCE in 1974. It starred such legendary performers as Bob Fosse, Richard Kiley, Gene Wilder, and Donna McKechnie. It may not have done well at the box office or with many critics, but there's a lot to love about this star-studded film. So today’s episode is going to be slightly different from most episodes of Why I’ll Never Make It. That’s because it was born out of a collaboration between myself and another podcast called The Industry, hosted by Dan Delgado. In some ways it’s like the movie version of this podcast, focusing on the challenges and failures that go into film production and takes a closer look at some of the lesser known and sometimes forgotten stories of Hollywood. So I reached out to Dan with the idea for an episode about this film adaptation of LITTLE PRINCE, I am so grateful that he ran with this idea. Ultimately, it became a two-part miniseries, covering not only that Lerner and Loewe movie musical but also the recent Netflix movie adaptation and a couple of Broadway productions as well. So today you’ll get to hear our examination of The Little Prince movie musical, as I introduce you to Steven Warner and what went wrong with one of my favorite movie musicals of all time. This episode only features about 20 min of my interview with Steven about The Little Prince. Listen and watch our full interview by subscribing to Why I’ll Never Make It. Listen to "Two Princes" on The Industry (hosted by Dan Delgado), which goes on to talk about the other Little Prince film from Netflix and two Broadway productions.
Monday Mar 28, 2022
Monday Mar 28, 2022
Back in January 2022, this podcast held its first ever live event. It was a night of conversation with Emmy-winner Kevin Spirtas. He not only shared stories and struggles from his time on Broadway and television, but he also sang five songs that evening highlighting the work he has done and moments that have meant the most to him throughout his career. And so on today’s episode you’re going to hear a portion of this cabaret performance and discussion that was presented here in New York City at the Green Room 42. In fact, BroadwayWorld was there that night and called the evening “entertaining and informative.” They were extremely complementary of Kevin and his performance and even had a few nice things to say about me (as well as some well-deserved critiques). It was a rare chance to see Kevin Spirtas in a candid interview, opening up about personal and professional experiences that he doesn’t often talk about in public. I am immensely grateful to have shared the stage with Kevin and happy to showcase a portion of our honest and frank conversation with you today. Accompaniment provided by Eugene GwozdzHosted by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones Anyone who supports or donates to this podcast will get access to the full audio and video of this performance. https://whyillnevermakeit.com/ Follow Kevin - Website / Instagram / Twitter Support WINMI and get access to Members-Only Episodes on Supercast. Check out Artist Resources and follow WINMI on Instagram or Twitter. ---------- 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.
Monday Mar 21, 2022
Monday Mar 21, 2022
In 1987, HBO had a comedy special called Women of the Night. It featured four women who were known regionally and at certain comedy clubs, but had yet to really reach a national audience. They were Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, Rita Rudner, and today’s guest Judy Tenuta. In fact, for the next four years each one of these women would be named Best Female Stand-up Comic at the American Comedy Awards (with Tenuta being the first in 1988). So throughout the 1980s and 90s Judy was a part of a big boom for women in comedy. She branded herself as The Love Goddess and starred in national commercials, published her first book, and received Grammy nominations for her comedy albums. And if you’ve seen the movie Waiting for Guffman, one of my all-time favorite films, you’ll notice a certain Judy Tenuta T-shirt worn by Corky St. Clair. However, her introduction to the stage was actually as an actress, and in college she majored in theater. In this interview we’ll talk about her transition from plays and musicals to stand-up comedy as well as her long-standing connection with the LGBTQ community. But first she shares with us the cancer diagnosis she received during the height of the Covid pandemic. As the Aphrodite of the Accordion, though, she hasn’t let that stop her, and this past New Year’s Eve she released a music video called “Kicking Cancer’s Ass.” It’s in perfect keeping with her campy and offbeat persona that has made Judy Tenuta one of the most unique comedians and performers of her generation. Podcast hosted by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones. Find a transcription of this episode on the WINMI Blog. Follow Judy - YouTube / Instagram / Twitter Support WINMI and get access to Members-Only Episodes on Supercast. Check out Artist Resources and follow WINMI on Instagram or Twitter. ---------- 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. Background music in the episode by John Hartman and Blue Dot Sessions is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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