Podcast Episode 205: Our Season Finale Mashup! In case you missed . . .

And in the blink of a podcast, our fall season has vanished like the leaves on the trees.

It’s been an exciting few months of podcastin’ for us and when I thought about how best to wrap up this season, I thought . . . what would Happy Days do?

Some of my favorite episodes of my favorite childhood sitcoms like Happy Days and Different Strokes and Silver Spoons (I so wanted to be Ricky Schroeder) were the compilation episodes that tied together the best scenes from the best episodes of the series.

So that’s what we did for you!

For this season finale, we mashed-up clips from all of our guests throughout the season!  Listened to them already?  Be reminded of some of the truth bombs and greatest lessons.  Missed an episode? This is a chance for you to get the cliff notes!

You’ll get some of the top takeaways, stories, and maybe even me beatboxing.

Listen in and hear: 

  • Anthony Veneziale’s key to success when starting out 
  • Ali Stroker’s “ninja patience” and how she gets through any challenge that comes her way
  • How building a career outside of Broadway helped Mara Isaacs to see Broadway differently and why she wants to maintain her “outsider status” for as long as she can
  • Why Alan Cumming feels it’s so important to not try to pretend to be perfect all of the time
  • And much, much more!

Enjoy . . . and if you like this mashup idea, let me know and we’ll do it again!

  • Click here to listen on our site!
  • Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)
  • Download it here.

Thank you to Julie Halston, Mark Sendroff, Stephanie Lee, Susan Blackwell, Adam Gwon, Anthony Veneziale, Ali Stroker, Mara Isaacs, Charlotte Wilcox, Ken Cerniglia, Glen Kelly, and Alan Cumming for joining me on the podcast this season!  

If there’s anyone you want to hear from next season, let me know. I want to bring in who the listeners want to hear. Message me your requests on Instagram and I’ll do my best to get them on the podcast next season! And while you wait for us to come back (mark your calendars!) on February 24th, catch up on the rest of the 200+ episodes here!

Thanks, Terry Knickerbocker, for supporting this episode. Terry Knickerbocker Studio offers a two-year acting conservatory, workshops, studio rentals, one-on-one coaching, beginner acting classes, and the best actor training in New York. For more information, visit terryknickerbockerstudio.com

The final #SongWriterOfTheWeek for the 2019 season is . . . Kerrigan-Lowdermilk! And my good friend and Godspell company member, Lindsay Mendez is singing their song called Hand in Hand from their immersive house party musical THE BAD YEARS. If you like what you hear and want to learn more, check out www.kerrigan-lowdermilk.com or @kerrigan_lowdermilk on Instagram.   

Happy holidays and “see” you back on the podcast for the spring season in February!

Podcast Episode 204: Tony Award Winning Actor and Artrepreneur, Alan Cumming

Soap.

That’s how this episode kicks off . . . with a conversation about soap.

Not just any soap, mind you.  Alan Cumming’s soap.  Like not his bar of Ivory . . . like his actual branded and sold on shelves, soap.

So you see, Alan Cumming truly has done everything.

And what’s amazing is, as you’ll hear in one of my favorite podcasts of my 200+ episodes, he’s only just getting started.

I knew when I saw him in Cabaret back in 1998 that I was watching something . . . well . . . beyond.  Then I had the pleasure of producing his one-man Macbeth on Broadway and realized that Alan was not just an actor . . . he was a Super Hero of an Artist.  

We talked about Cabaret, Macbeth, and a whole host of things on this podcast about acting, art, getting recognized in public, success, failure, running nightclubs, and yes even those bars of soap (and how you can get them), as well as:

  • How he still gets nervous and how he deals with those nerves.
  • Why he is working on a solo dance piece . . . when he is NOT a trained dancer.
  • How being vulnerable is what gives him confidence.
  • The importance of actors being able to “turn it on.”
  • Why artists feel the need to leave on the edge of fear (and why he wants to do a documentary about it).

This episode is a must for all TheaterMakers out there, because Alan is one of the most successful makers of art . . . his own way . . . that is.

Here’s how to listen!

  • Click here to listen on our site!
  • Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)
  • Download it here.

This week’s #SongWriterOfTheWeek is Joey Contreras! Check out his song “Joyride” from his latest EP, “Joyride.” It’s available on iTunes/Spotify/Apple Music. If you like what you hear and want to learn more, check out www.joeycontreras.com or @joeycontreras on Instagram.

This episode is brought to you by Sunlight Studios. With 8 bright and spacious studios for rent, you can rehearse your next Broadway hit knowing you’re in good hands. To book a studio today, please visit www.sunlightstudios.com. Use Code DAVENPORT to receive a 5% discount on bookings until January 2, 2020.

And when you’re done listening to the podcast, go listen to Alan’s cabaret song and story show, Legal Immigrant on Audible!

Community.

People ask me all the time what a Producer actually does.

My new answer?  I get people in a room.

That’s it!

I get Writers in a room.  I get Directors in a room.  I get Actors in a room.  And when the right combination of people and passion mix together . . . boom . . . a magnificent thing is created.

The trick is . . . there are passionate and talented TheaterMakers all over the WORLD who want to be in a room with other folks just like them.

I know that because we’re going on 11 years with this blog and 5 with the podcast, and you wouldn’t believe where some of our e-traffic comes from (Russia, South Africa . . . Sri Lanka anyone?).

That’s why a couple of years ago I created an e-room for Writers, Producers, Investors, Actors and all kinds of Theater Makers to gather called TheProducersPerspectivePRO.

Since then, this community, just like the popularity of theater itself, has grown more than I ever could have imagined.   And when things grow, they take on a life of their own . . . and it’s important to change as the thing you’ve created changes (I’m already learning this as a new parent!).

About six months ago, we realized we weren’t TheProducersPerspectivePRO anymore.  We weren’t just an offshoot of the blog for people looking for more education.

We were a new community of theatrical artrepreneurs who were looking to learn, grow, gather and . . . make more @#$%.

That’s why we just retired PRO and launched a brand-spankin’ new community with a new look, new content, and a new mission to help all the TheaterMakers out there accomplish their theatrical goals, no matter what your discipline.

You may not be IN an actual room, but it’s the next best thing.  And we know, for a fact, that TheProducerPerspectivePRO helped launch a whole bunch of shows just by gathering passionate like-minded people together online.

And this brand new community will do the same . . . but on steroids.

So if you’re a TheaterMaker . . . or even better, want to be one . . . join us.

There’s no other place like it on the web.

And we can all help each other do what we all want to do more than anything . . . Make theater.

Check out the new TheaterMakersStudio.com here.

We’ve also added a new Production Team Database featuring Actors, Directors, Producers, Playwrights and more from across the country. To peruse the free database or submit yourself, click here.

Why 90% of Actors Are Doing it Wrong.

What has always been a surprise to me is the amount of the emails I receive from Actors around the world looking for a tip on how to break into the biz . . . and fast.

In fact, do you know what the most popular blog that I’ve ever written is?  No, it’s not the crowdfunded Godspell, or the live-streamed Daddy Long Legs.

It’s this one, which is all about Actors.

I don’t know why I’m so surprised.  While this blog may be called TheProducersPerspective, it’s for all artrepreneurs out there looking for a little insight into our biz that could give them a leg (and an arm) up.  Because they’re gonna need it!

And since the acting world is much more competitive than any other profession in our industry (thanks to the sheer volume of Actors looking to make it), it only makes sense that they’d be seeking out a way to increase their odds of success.

Which is why I’m writing this blog today . . . to tell those Actors that 90% are doing it wrong.

Now granted, I may be preaching to the converted here, because if you’re already one of my blog readers, then you’re probably in the 10%.

But if not, let me give you a tip that’ll put you on the fast track to success.

Ready?  And if you’re an Actor, and can’t stand a little tough love, STOP reading here.

Ok?  Good.

Here’s what you should do, that has worked for countless others, and WILL work for countless more . . . and hopefully you.

Create your own @#$%.

The ol’ cliche of an Actor taking a job as a “waiter” has always had a double meaning for me.  Because if you are just auditioning for OTHER people’s shows and movies and plays with OTHER people’s songs and scripts . . . then you’ll just be “waiting” until you fit someone else’s idea of who you’re right for.

And you could end up waiting forever . . . regardless of your talent.  (Painful thought, right?)

Now, you could also “get discovered” but those odds are longer than recouping a revival of Moose Murders.

So don’t chase Directors and Agents and Casting Directors and Producers.

Make them chase you.

And how you do that . . . is by creating your own @#$%.

It probably won’t be great at first.  But keep doing it. And you’ll get better.  And then people will find you.

This isn’t a new concept.  I’m not blog-preaching about this today because of the recent rise of the YouTube or Instagram celebrity (although that is one way to create your own @#$%).

Creating stuff is why so many stand-up comedians have gone on to great success.

Steve Martin, Robin Williams, and Whoopi Goldberg all started making up their own punchlines . . . which got people laughing and got people talking . . . and got them roles on stage and screen.  (And they ALL transitioned from comedy to serious work, so don’t think this is just about the funny folks.)

But it’s not just comedians.

What about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck . . . who were struggling actors until they sat down and wrote Good Will Hunting.

And don’t get me started about Sylvestor Stallone, who refused an offer to buy his original screenplay to Rocky (yep – you forgot he wrote it, didn’t you) because the studio wouldn’t let him play the lead (they came around).

Think this is a wave of the past?

What about Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her 8,000 Emmy Awards for Fleabag . . . which started as a one-woman show . . . just like Nia Vardalos’s Big Fat Greek Wedding or Chazz Palminteri’s A Bronx Tale.

Making stuff is by far the fastest way for an Actor to make it.

I’m not saying it’s easy.  But unlike the dreadful audition process, in which so many decisions are made that have nothing to do with you or your talent . . . making stuff, whether that’s a one person show or a web series or a stand up routine, is something you can control.

This is how you design a part that no one else in the world could be right for.  So you have ZERO competition.

And you know what the cool thing is?  90% of the actors out there aren’t doing this.  So immediately you’re going to stand out.

And what stands out . . . is what “sells.”

So if you’re an Actor . . . stop waiting and start making.

And actually, come to think about it . . . this concept isn’t just for Actors.  It’s for Directors, Designers or even Producers! (I got my start by creating my own shit – by producing three shows that I came up with . . . because I couldn’t get the rights to anything!)

Get creating.

– – – – –

Are you an Actor or any kind of artrepreneur that wants to learn how to create @#$%?  Click here to learn from the best.

Why you should Produce/Write/Perform what you DON’T know.

There’s an old adage that doing “what you know” is the fastest way to success.

And I believe it.

If you have knowledge of a certain area, a certain character, or even a certain culture, working within that box is where you’re the most comfortable and therefore where you’ll be the most naturally effective.

But that may not be the fastest way to grow as an artist.

That’s why I encourage myself and others to produce what they don’t know.  Write what they don’t know.  Perform what they don’t know nuthin’ about.

It’s working within new genres, with different people, and with subjects that make you uncomfortable — or that you’re just naive about — that will teach you the most, and make you a more powerful theater maker and more well-rounded human in the process.

In other words, work outside your culture zone.

That’s why Deaf West’s Spring Awakening was one of the most incredible personal and professional experiences of my career.  If I hadn’t produced that show, I would never have had a conversation with a deaf person.  And that has changed my life.  And I will treat others differently as a result.

That’s why Once on This Island with its diverse cast had such an impact on my life.

That’s why I’m producing the revival of the unfortunately-still-timely Pulitzer Prize-winning The Great White Hope (hopefully on Broadway next season – with a little help from the Theater Availability Gods).

That’s why this khaki-pants and blue-blazer wearin’ New England boy is producing a musical based on the life of Entertainer and Activist Harry Belafonte.  And why I will be announcing a new musical about the Jewish experience in the next few weeks.

Honestly, I never set out to produce this way.  I’ve just been drawn to great stories.  But as I walked by the show posters on my wall the other day, I realized that the greatest experiences I’ve had . . . and will have . . . are the ones I knew nothing about.

So it’s now become a new mission.  To do what I don’t have a clue about . . . so I can learn.

It’s scary.  It’s uncomfortable.  And it doesn’t always make money.

But it’s also the most rewarding way to work live.

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