Podcast Episode 184 – The Pitch Perfect, Tony Nominated Director, Jason Moore

Not too many Directors can work in both Hollywood and on Broadway.

And of the few that can, only a handful can do it well.

Jason Moore is one of ‘em.

And get this, that was his plan all along!

Jason helped put Avenue Q on the subway map and directed ShrekCher, and others on Broadway, as well as directed Pitch Perfect, Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and more.

On this episode, we talked about that plan and how it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, as well as . . .

  • Why assistant directing or searching for your own projects is the fastest path to success for a Director.
  • What Broadway can learn from Hollywood and vice versa (this is turning into a favorite question of mine for those with a foot on both coasts).
  • What it’s like directing a bio-musical where the songs can’t change, compared to a totally original musical like Avenue Q where everything can change.
  • Reviews and how they can help (or not).
  • How directing on Broadway has changed since he got his start.

Enjoy the podcast by clicking here! And sign up to make sure you’re the first to know when the next one will be released!

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

Download it here.

Podcast Episode 184 – 3 Time Academy Award Winner Meryl Streep!

 

 

Sometimes this biz is all about being in the right place at the right time.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I’ve been traveling a lot lately.  And, well, when you’re sitting in the Flagship Lounge at JFK, you’d be amazed at who’s hanging around, especially when high winds have delayed every flight by at least an hour.

Honestly, I didn’t even see her at first.  We were both in the buffet line for the scrambled eggs.  Then she asked me to pass the pepper.  I did.

And when I realized who it was, I almost passed out.

I told her that I produced Broadway shows.  She told me how much she missed the theater and wanted to do more of it.

I told her I’d produce her reading one phone number in the phone book. She wouldn’t even have to read the whole book!

She laughed and was as sweet and gracious as you’d imagine, and as she walked away toward the baked goods on the buffet line, I said, “Hey – looks like we’re both gonna be awhile.  Would you be interested in doing my podcast?”

Imagine my surprise when she said, “I love podcasts. Have you heard of Serial?”

We ducked into a corner of the lounge and recorded this ‘cast on my phone (apologies in advance for the less than perfect audio, but frankly get over it – you take Meryl when you can get Meryl).  Her handler grabbed her after about 10 minutes so it isn’t a long one . . . but hey, it’s Meryl Effin’ Streep!

During our 10 minutes, we talked about . . .

  • How she chooses material . . . when she can do anything she wants.
  • The craft and importance of playing a diverse set of roles.
  • How she’s still honored to be nominated for Academy Awards, even though she’s been nominated 21 times!
  • Why the theater will always be her first love.
  • And yes, why she WOULD consider starring in a revival of Mamma Mia!

Ok, that’s enough, because I’m sure you’re as excited to hear this as I was to interview her.

Ladies and gentle blog readers and podcast subscribers, please enjoy Meryl Streep!

Listen to the podcast here.

 

Podcast Episode 183 – Producer of the Phenomenon that is Be More Chill, Jen Tepper

I’ve now been in the business long enough to know that people who used to work for me are going to go on to do great things.

I met Jen Tepper back in 2008 when she was an intern for an old website of mine, before becoming my marketing director. I could have told you then that she would make her mark on Broadway history.  It was only a matter of when.

That when, is now. She is one of the key people responsible for ushering Joe Iconis’ Be More Chill to Broadway.  (Click here to listen to Joe’s podcast about the journey.)

This was one of the more exciting podcasts for me to do, as it’s the story of one of the youngest Producers on Broadway and how her dedication to an artist is making her dreams come true.

Listen in and hear her talk about:

  • How she made a decision to take the plunge and produce BMC.
  • Her gift of getting people to talk to her, how it got her career started, and how it also led to these terrific books.
  • What her dream job is . . . (I bet she’ll have it at some point!)
  • How she got started with producing and how she encourages other young Producers to get started too.
  • How it has felt not only being one of the youngest Producers on Broadway but also being one of the youngest female Producers on Broadway.

Click here for my podcast with Jennifer!

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 episode of The Producer’s Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Sunlight Studios. Right in the heart of the Theater District, it doesn’t get more convenient than this. To book a studio today, please visit sunlightstudios.com. Use code DAVENPORT to receive a 5% discount on bookings until April 11. 

Podcast Episode 182 – Tony Award Winner and Star of Seinfeld, Jason Alexander

Everybody knows Jason Alexander from Seinfeld. His “George Costanza” will go down in TV history as one of the most memorable characters ever created.

But not everyone knows that Jason had a super-successful career on Broadway before he went off to Hollywood.  He was in the original companies of Merrily We Roll AlongThe Rink, won a Tony for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway and more.

You’re going to learn a lot about working in the theater and TV when listening to this podcast, but the first thing you’ll learn is the first thing I remember when I met Jason for the first time . . . he’s nothing like George Costanza.  He’s one of the smartest entertainment minds around, as you’ll learn when you hear us chat about . . .

  • Why he started acting when he dreamed about doing something else.
  • How he got Seinfeld, and how it all traces back to his start on Broadway.
  • What Broadway can learn from film when staffing its shows (this concept blew my mind).
  • Why he loves directing theater and where (and who) he learned it from.
  • How actors play a part in the creation of a TV show, play, or musical.

Click here for my podcast with Jason!

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

Download it here.

Podcast Episode 181 — Production Manager of 100+ Productions, Hillary Blanken

Ever wonder how Spiderman landed on your seat in the balcony?  Or how the heck they got that King Kong puppet to run across the stage?  Or where we got the sand for Once On This Island?

Hillary Blanken, the founder of Juniper Street Productions, knows all of those answers and more.

Broadway is filled with spectacle, and shows are constantly pushing the envelope, trying to put things on the stage that audiences have never seen before (that’s one of my producing missions, actually).

Who do Directors and Producers turn to when they want illusions and animals and helicopters?  Production Managers.

That’s why I had Hillary on this week’s podcast, to help explain what she does and how she does it, as well as . . .

  • The secret to being a great production manager isn’t knowing how to do it all, it’s this . . .
  • Why sets are so expensive and what we can do about it?
  • How she works with designers to help realize their vision and keep the show in budget.
  • What the best directors do during the preview process to help make it go smoooooooth.
  • Being a woman, in a backstage world dominated by men . . . so much so, that when you need more labor, someone usually says, “We need another man.”

Click here for my podcast with Hillary.

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

Download it here.

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