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 more than 5,000 entries sent in 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 Aug 29, 2022
Monday Aug 29, 2022
When it comes to “making it” as a performer onstage or on screen, it’s usually as an actor, singer, or dancer. Most people tend to gravitate toward the one(s) they’re most comfortable with and can truly express their artistry. Barton Cowperthwaite is a dancer first and foremost, with performances ranging from the opera La Traviata to Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound dance tour. The esteemed choreographer Lar Lubovitch describes Barton as a “movement poet” and credits him with having what he calls musical visualization. “Rather than hearing the music, this kind of dancer has the impression of being the music.” But Barton has also been singing the music as well in productions at City Center Encores and in the national tour of American in Paris. He’s also been exercising his acting chops in a few movies and of course in his breakout role of Oren in the Netflix series Tiny Pretty Things. Through all of it, Barton has proven he’s much more than just a good mover and a pretty face. In this conversation, he shares both the joys and disappointments of working on a hit TV show that ended up being canceled, he opens up about realizing his own weaknesses as a performer and needing to constantly work at improving his abilities, and he talks about the time he went on for the lead role in An American in Paris with just 15 minutes notice. Learn more about WINMI Podcast at whyillnevermakeit.com Subscribe to WINMI and get access to Bonus Episodes on Supercast Donate to the production efforts in making this podcast Follow Why I’ll Never Make It on Instagram or Twitter Get a free copy of WINMI’s collection of Creative Wisdom Ljósið (The Light) from Cylan Shaffer Before there was American in Paris, before Tiny Pretty Things, Barton was cast as the lead dancer in a wordless and moving piece from filmmaker Cylan Shaffer. It tells the story of a man who desires to overcome the restraint of his fears and then embarks on a journey towards discovery. Ljósið is an extraordinary performance piece of stunning emotion as two dancers (including Brandon Coleman) explore the boundaries of loss, love, denial, and acceptance. Watch it here. Tiny Pretty Things Explores Sexuality on Netflix Fans of this show were ravenous in their love and affection for these characters. One such fan created a compilation video which highlights one of Barton's more vulnerable and intimate storylines in the show -- his character's relationship with Shane (Brennan Clost). Watch it here. Final Five with Barton Cowperthwaite After our conversation on the joys of dancing and the struggles of being seen as more than just a dancer, Barton answers five final questions on the inspirations and advice he's received throughout his time onstage and onscreen. You'll find his answers and more on the WINMI Blog. Follow Barton: Website | Instagram | IMDb Follow WINMI: Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
Monday Aug 22, 2022
Monday Aug 22, 2022
Back in the summer of 2020, the lockdowns were in full swing, there was so much uncertainty around Covid and what the pandemic would mean for the arts, and there was a new Netflix docuseries everyone was talking about, a little show called Tiger King. Well, in the midst of all that I sat down with composer and lyricist Andrew Lippa. He talked about a few of his bigger profile shows like The Addams Family, Big Fish, and of course The Wild Party as well as a Tiger King parody he did with Kristin Chenoweth. We discuss the years of writing and rewriting he's put into his various shows as well as the challenges and big budgets that come with creating a Broadway musical—something that I have seen firsthand this summer with Anne of Green Gables and its continuing creative journey. So join me as I take a look back at this insightful and honest conversation with my friend and fellow artist Andrew Lippa. (Recorded April 8, 2020) Website - https://andrewlippa.com Twitter - https://twitter.com/lippaofficial Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/lippaandrew Recent shows: The Man in the Ceiling, I Am Harvey Milk, Unbreakable Join Why I’ll Never Make It as a monthly supporterto get access to Bonus Episodes and also check out WINMI's YouTube Channel. Thank you for your continued understanding through Anne of Green Gables rehearsals and performances here at Goodspeed in Connecticut. Due to limited time and resources I'm not able to to get out a new episode each week, but I hope you're enjoying the smaller bonus episodes and encore interviews like this one. Donate to increase the production efforts of this podcast Follow Why I’ll Never Make It on Instagram or Twitter Get a free copy of WINMI’s collection of Creative Wisdom from former guests
Monday Aug 15, 2022
Monday Aug 15, 2022
In the previous episode, I spoke with a musical writing team about their process of writing a full show for the stage with a cast and creative team bringing their story to life. But in today’s episode I’m speaking with a singular artist about her one-woman show and the long journey it took to go from thoughts and ideas in her head to an actual production and a dramatic podcast as well. Gina Harris has performed in theaters and jazz clubs in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. She’s a veteran of the famous improv group The Groundlings and had a leading role in the Broadway and national touring productions of Beethoven’s Tenth. A show that you’ve probably never heard of, and Gina will share with us why that is. But she also talks about dealing with the loss of her parents and mentor, what led her to write a one-woman musical called The Magic of Ordinary Things, even though she’d never written a song before in her life, and how she went through 10 different directors before finally finding the right person to guide her creative efforts. Learn more about Why I’ll Never Make It at whyillnevermakeit.com Subscribe to WINMI and get access to Bonus Episodes on Supercast Donate to the production efforts in making this podcast Follow Why I’ll Never Make It on Instagram or Twitter Get a free copy of WINMI’s collection of Creative Wisdom The Magic of Ordinary Things (stage show and podcast) How do you go on when the people you love die? If you could see them one more time, what would you say? What would you want to hear? Well, Gina Harris got the chance. The Magic of Ordinary Things is a musical memoir — a theatre piece, a dream, a Sufi Tale with original music. It tells the story of how moments missed and things once taken for granted become the stepping stones to a new life. It reminds us that it's never too late. Written and performed by Gina Harris • Directed by Michael French Final Five Questions with Gina Harris After our conversation on the inspirations and struggles of creating her one-woman show, Gina answered five final questions on the inspirations and advice he's received throughout her time in theater. You'll find her answers and more on the WINMI Blog. Follow Gina: Website | Instagram | YouTube Follow WINMI: Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
Monday Aug 08, 2022
Monday Aug 08, 2022
In the last episode, I spoke with composer Matt Vinson and writer Matte O'Brien about their new musical Anne of Green Gables. It was the first time I’ve spoken with a musical writing team here on Why I’ll Never Make It, and so for the two of them I thought I would bring back a bonus episode I haven’t done in a while: The Final Five. After that main interview they answered five final questions about what “making it” means to them, lessons they’ve learned both as individuals and as a writing team, as well as useful advice that has helped them creatively and personally. Learn more about WINMI Podcast at whyillnevermakeit.com Subscribe to WINMI and get access to Bonus Episodes on Supercast Donate to the production of making this podcast Follow Why I’ll Never Make It on Instagram or Twitter Get a free copy of WINMI’s collection of Creative Wisdom
Monday Aug 01, 2022
Monday Aug 01, 2022
Writing a musical is a long process, and once the writers are have finished that last page…that’s really only the beginning of their journey. By the time an actor comes along to audition for it, there’s usually been years of drafts, workshops, and revisions. Listeners of this podcast know that this summer has been a welcome return to the stage for me in a new theatrical adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, my first musical since the covid shutdown. And it all started with a self-tape audition back in February of this year that then culminated in several callbacks with the creative team a few weeks later. Well today, I’m joined by two of the people who were in that audition room: composer Matt Vinson and writer Matte O'Brien. A transcript of this interview can be found here. While there have been individual writers and composers on previous episodes, this is the first time welcoming a musical writing team to the show. Matt and Matte have done several musicals together, but for this conversation we focus on the many years it has taken for Anne of Green Gables to get to Goodspeed Musicals in Connecticut, and how they are preparing for its potential future. Matt and Matte share three stories of its humble beginnings, learning to take (and not take) feedback from others, and how actors influence the rewriting and editing process. Learn more about Why I’ll Never Make It at whyillnevermakeit.com Subscribe to WINMI and get access to Bonus Episodes on Supercast Donate to the production efforts in making this podcast Anne of Green Gables Concept Album As this musical has gone through various readings and workshops, there have been a number of people taking on these characters and singing these songs. And throughout this episode you’ll hear samples of music from Anne of Green Gables, taken from a Concept Album and subsequent recordings. Those featured in this episode include: Oh, My Diana - Chris McCarrell Different Kind of Girl - Michelle Veintimilla The Asylum - Jenna Rubaii I Wanna Know You - Chris McCarrell Make a Move - Aurelia Williams Different Kind of Girl (Reprise) - Juliette Redden Listen as Matt and Matte answer the Final Five questions and read their Writer's Notes on Anne of Green Gables. The Queer Life of L.M. Montgomery Her 1908 novel about a red-headed orphan girl has sold more than 50 million copies and made her known throughout the world with generations of fans. But what is really known about L.M. Montgomery, who was called ‘Maud’ by close friends and family. She started out as a single schoolteacher, but went on to marry a minister, gave birth to two sons, and wrote many more books. But in 1985, publication began of a journal Montgomery had been keeping for fifty-three years. It was quite a shocking exposé of a woman who was often depressed, dealt with a horrible marriage, yet found her greatest happiness from deep, intimate and meaningful relationships with female friends. And so for decades an undercurrent of Lesbianism has been debated not only for the central character of Anne Shirley but also the author herself. This came to a head in 2000 when professor Laura Robinson published a paper named “Bosom Friends: Lesbian Desire in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne Books,” where she argued that Anne had more passionate relationships with her female friends than her male love interest. This has not sat well with those who view Anne’s female friendships as both innocent and platonic. Read more about this ongoing debate… Bosom Friends Affair Professor suggests Anne of Green Gables was Lesbian The Gay Anne of Green Gables Scandal Netflix is at It Again…Homosexuality in Anne of Green Gables The Queer Life of L.M. Montgomery ---------- Why I’ll Never Make It is hosted and produced by Off-Broadway actor and singer Patrick Oliver Jones in association with WINMI Media, LLC. It received the Communicator Award of Distinction in 2022 and is a Top 25 Theater Podcast on Feedspot. WINMI is also a part of Helium Radio Network and a member of the Broadway Makers Alliance. The songs clips in this episode from the musical Anne of Green Gables are written by Matt Vinson and Matte O'Brien and used with their express permission. Outro Music is by Blue Dot Sessions and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Monday Jul 25, 2022
Monday Jul 25, 2022
Just like actors show off their skills in the audition room, other artists and creatives have their own ways of showcasing talents to prospective theaters, directors, or employers. And these interviews can be just as anxious and nerve-racking as what we actors face, especially if you aren’t as prepared as you could be. Adam Stocker is a Broadway costumer and returns for this bonus episode to share a story from his junior year at Western Michigan University. He recounts an interview he had for what would’ve been his first internship. However, from the moment the phone interview began, Adam was caught off-guard and just trying to keep up… Follow Adam: Website | Instagram Follow WINMI: Website | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube A transcript of this interview can be found on the WINMI Blog and is available thanks to financial supporters of this podcast. You'll also find Adam's Final Five questions on the blog as well. Welcome back to Why I’ll Never Make It and this special episode which is very different from the usual Audition Stories that are normally reserved for monthly supporters of this podcast. But I wanted to offer this conversation with Adam to all listeners like you as an invitation to subscribe to bonus content on Supercast, the Patreon alternative for podcasters. With your subscription, you’ll be helping this podcast continue to produce important and insightful interviews with a wide range of creative artists and actors. So become a supporter of WINMI today, and you’ll have my utmost appreciation and a lot of bonus episodes to listen to.
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