Why I'll Never Make It - An Actor's Journey

Why I'll Never Make It - An Actor's Journey

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

September 20, 2021 46 min

We're less than a week away from the 2020 Tony Awards ceremony (finally!) so I wanted to bring back this special episode all about those surprising Tony Award Nominations (announced 11 months ago) and the fallout from them. My conversation is with music director, conductor, and fellow podcaster Nate Patton. Nate and I first met when he was associate conducting Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway. And his podcast calle...

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When it comes to work as an actor, there’s that old adage of "feast or famine" or "when it rains it pours." For myself that has meant going 11 months without any work…all while still auditioning of course.  While there have been other times when three shows come up at once, and I had to decide which ONE of them I’m going to do.

In Part Two of my conversation with Rodney Hicks, we’re going to be talking about the fe...

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Here in America, we just marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11. And on the eve of that anniversary a live recording of the Broadway production of Come From Away was released. It featured many past and present members of the cast. But one of the original cast members, Rodney Hicks, was absent from the filming. And in part one of our conversation, Rodney takes us through his long journey with the show and how it came to a sudden end. B...

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As we came to the end of part one of our conversation Will Swenson and I were talking about the deeper questions of who we are as artists and as individuals in the absolute importance of bringing ourselves, our full selves to the stage. This is certainly one of the biggest lessons that we have to learn as actors and performers, and I throw in a couple of questions about lessons he and his wife Audra McDonald have learned from each ...

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For the next three weeks I’ll be talking with two Broadway actors and a music director about their careers in New York and their own thoughts on the Tony Awards and theater in general. I start today with actor and singer Will Swenson, a Tony nominee for his outstanding work in the revival of the musical HAIR back in 2009. He's someone I’ve known since the late 90s when we were working at Disney World in Orlando, both sharing th...

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Whether from personal experience or hearing stories from the past two episodes on this podcast, you know that almost anything can happen in an audition room. Sometimes it’s magical moments, while other times are filled with frustration. Yet even still, the most “perfect“ audition doesn’t always lead to a call back or a contract. It is this uncertainty that can bring both excitement and dismay. Not to mention the fact that auditioni...

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For most theater actors, Broadway is the ultimate status to attain in this industry. It’s the highest level any of us can reach and is the utmost definition of making it. But just because an actor has been on a Broadway stage, it doesn’t mean they don’t go through the same frustrations and doubts that we go through. And that really gets to the heart of Why I’ll Never Make It and especially today’s episode, which is brought to you b...

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This summer has seen actors returning to the stage as some regional theaters have returned to normal with a summer season and live audiences. And with that of course has seen an increase in auditions. So it is with great pleasure and excitement that I welcome you to the third annual Audition Stories here on the podcast. The last time these audition episodes were on the podcast was a month before the Covid shutdown. And there have b...

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For the past week I have been doing a deep dive into podcasting at a yearly conference called Podcast Movement. It's a place where podcasters like me can learn how to make better episodes, conduct riveting interviews, engage with listeners like you even more, and figure out ways to make my podcast both sustainable and profitable. The goal is to give you and future listeners even more reasons to come back week after week for ano...

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Last year I started releasing bonus episodes to those who supported this podcast on a monthly basis. Well, this is one of those special episodes with Kristen Hetzel. I brought along the co-hosts of Olympic podcast Keep the Flame Alive. Jill and Allison ask questions which bring a different perspective to my conversation with this silver and bronze medal duathlete. They ask about Team USA, correlations between acting training and at...

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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 B...

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When it comes to theater we all know Broadway and the big lights of New York City. There’s also organizations like the public or playwrights horizons that present notable off Broadway productions as well. But for the most part stage work is done by small to midsize theaters across the country some bring in equity Actors but a lot of them don’t. They are simply gathering together actors, directors, and designers to put on a show to ...

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During this past year as Covid wrecked the theater scene, ending so many shows and seasons, Andrew Lloyd Webber was doing his best to bring musicals back to the West End. And in much the same way, although for very different reasons, it was Lloyd Webber in the 1980s who was bringing the modern musical theater to Germany and the rest of Europe with grand spectacles like Cats.

At that time Sabine Kvenberg was a stage actress at the ...

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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. 

F...

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in many ways today’s episode is almost a masterclass from beginning to end in how to bridge the gap between being artist and an entrepreneur. Ashley Danyew is a musician and educator who shares how she has had to branch out in many different directions to build both an enjoyable and sustainable career. 

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Even before the pandemic, the life of any artist was one of constant change. Times wh...

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Well, here we are at the third and final installment of my young artist series. And it could be argued that I’ve saved the most prolific artist for last. As both a performer and writer, Joshua Turchin has crammed a lot of experience into his very young career. Whether it’s on stage at the Hollywood bowl or a national tour OR composing his own award-winning musical OR Music directing his weekly cabaret series, Joshua certainly stays...

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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 gam...

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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 bu...

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In this past year, as most actors and artists were forced to stay at home, we found new ways to keep creating. The most obvious is the explosion of zoom readings and productions of both new and existing works. Others discovered this medium of podcasting, and in just one year the number of podcasts doubled.

But in today’s episode, in honor of Pride Month, I’m talking with two women who set out to explore a relatively new art form, ...

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This week I'm sharing a conversation I had on another podcast called Blatantly Honest. At the end of this episode I also talk about the recent survey and the need for a reassessment of WINMI Podcast.

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Makaila Nichols is the founder of the Blatantly Honest Foundation. She is also a national speaker, podcaster, and best-selling author of Blatantly Honest: Normal Teen, Abnormal Life. In ...

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