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

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

Fellow creatives share stories of setback and struggle in the performing arts. They open up about their own unique journeys and lessons learned along the way.

Episodes

June 20, 2022 54 min

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 G...

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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 ...

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    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 ei...

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    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 featur...

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    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 ...

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    “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 m...

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    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 muscle...

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    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 sim...

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    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 hopefu...

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    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...

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    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 ...

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    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 W...

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    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 perfor...

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    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 ...

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    In the final episode of Season Five, I spoke with a talented and passionate actress and producer Debra Ann Byrd. In our conversation, she mentioned one of the professors that had a significant impact on her own training and understanding theater. Debra Ann spoke so highly of this mentor that I looked her up and decided to ask her to come on his podcast as well.

    But Elizabeth Swain is so much more than just a professor of theater. ...

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    The art of performing is certainly filled with joy and passion and can offer a creative fulfillment not found another professions. But as this podcast highlights with each episode, there are also underlying bouts of stress, anxiety, and frustration that come with being an artist and offering our creativity to the world. Last year I sat down with Mostafa Ashraf and his co-host Yara to talk about performance anxiety on their podcast ...

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    Back in 2014, I met today’s guest as we were both working on a workshop of a new musical based on the hit movie FIRST WIVES CLUB. We both continued on with the show as it traveled to Chicago for its out of town pre-Broadway tryout. However, the musical never made it to New York. But as you’ll hear in my conversation today with Terron Brooks, the journey of most performers is never a straight line and certainly there are many more f...

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    In honor of Black History Month, this episode is an encore presentation of two pioneering Black artists and the legacy they left in the performing arts.

     

    Vinnette Justine Carroll, PhD - Actress, Playwright, Director, Teacher

    Vinnette Justine Carroll’s professionalism in theatrical arts paved way for black professionals in the industry. She was an actress and playwright who expressed herself through gospel music. In a 1979 inte...

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    No matter what profession you’re in, setting goals is an important part of finding the best path to get you there. For actors and performers our goals can be big ones like being on Broadway or come down to specific shows or roles that we want to do. But just because you know your goals, does that mean you also have a clear picture of your mission as an artist or the purpose of your life?

    My guest today is Gina Morgano, a fellow si...

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    With live theater happening once again here in New York, one of the joys has been seeing friends back on stage, doing what they do best. And I certainly hope to be joining them soon, but in the meantime it’s wonderful to reconnect with today’s guest. Kathryn Allison is a singer and actress who I got to know at The Muny in St. Louis, just as she was really beginning her professional career. 

    But she’s gone on to perform in Wicked, ...

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