Podcast Episode 197: No “Ordinary” Composer/Lyricist, Mr. Adam Gwon

One of the super fun parts about being in this biz for a bit is that you get to watch the careers of folks you admire go from someone that no one is talking about to someone that everyone is talking about.

And that someone is today’s guest, Mr. Adam Gwon, who broke through with his musical, Ordinary Days and is about to open Scotland, PA at the Roundabout Theater (which I’m proud to be helping along the way).

Adam is on everyone’s “watch list,” like a financial advisor might be watching a stock, just waiting for it to turn into the next Apple.

We sat down with only a microphone between us to talk about his status as a writer-to-watch, as well as . . .

  • How he transitioned from writing 3-minute songs to 3-hour musicals.

  • Choosing a collaborator:  The true story of the “3 blind dates” he went on before he made the choice to write Scotland, PA with Michael Mitnick.

  • How not having an answer to a question led him to create Ordinary Days.

  • Does Broadway mean you’re a success AKA what it’s like to still be “emerging” despite being produced all over the world?

  • What it’s like being a Tony Award Nominator

Enjoy the podcast, and then, go enjoy Scotland, PA, currently in previews NOW!

  • Click above to listen to this episode.
  • 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 Anna Jacobs and Michael R. Jackson!  Check out “I Want To Choose” from their musical TEETH at the end of this episode. If you enjoyed the outro music in this episode, go on over to www.annakjacobs.com/ www.thelivingmichaeljackson.com for more tunes.

This week’s episode is brought to you by TERRY KNICKERBOCKER STUDIO. 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, period. While the conservatory training is based on the Meisner Technique, Terry Knickerbocker Studio offers a holistic approach to actor training with a commitment to nurturing the total actor: Mind, Body, and Soul. For more information, please visit www.TerryKnickerbockerStudio.com

Podcast Episode 196: Actor, Writer, and all-around Awesome Inspiration, Susan Blackwell

 

Seeing [Title of Show] in its early days is one of the top 10 theater-going experiences of my life.  It was so obvious that those four funny folks were living their best lives on that stage, as they played themselves trying to make a musical.

I knew all of the performers . . . except one.  Susan Blackwell.  She didn’t have a ton of musical credits.  And her take on life, love and the pursuit of musical theater was a little different than the others.

But by the end of her signature number, “Die Vampire Die,” I just wanted to hang out with her . . . all the time.

Took me a little bit until our paths crossed, but cross they did . . . and with a microphone in front of us!

And lucky you, you now get to e-hang out with her by listening to this podcast, where we talk about:

  • Finding the time to pursue your dream, while working your day job . . . like literally while your boss is standing over your desk as you work on lyrics!
  • What “dollar-cost-averaging” has to do with a career in the theater.
  • Life of a freelance artist and how she structures her day for success.
  • Why being a multi-hyphenate and focusing on many things is important to her, and should be to you too.
  • How did [Title of Show] happen – and what’s it like now watching people play her!

Tune in and enjoy this inspiring artrepreneurial episode and when you’re done, turn that dial over to Susan’s new podcast (created with her wonder twin, Laura Camien), The Spark File, which is now live!

Enjoy!

  • Click above 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 Jacinth Greywoode (@j.greywoode on soundcloud)! Check out “Myrtle’s Lament” at the end of this episode (music by Jacinth and lyrics by Rebecca Hart). If you enjoyed the outro music in this episode, go on over to www.jacinthgreywoode.com/ for more tunes.

No matter where you are in life . . . whether you are just starting out and need a kick start, or you have already achieved a certain level of success and want more, or you’ve been slacking lately (we’ve all been there) and need to get back on track . . . you’ve decided to take your life, your dreams, and your destiny into your own hands . . . literally . . . with this journal. Start your 90-day journey today, visit: http://www.actionjournalforartists.com/

Podcast Episode 195 – Broadway Group Sales Agent Stephanie Lee

Don’t get me wrong, I love talking to Pulitzer Prize Winners, Tony Award Winners and all of the marquis names we’ve had on the almost 200 (!) episodes of this podcast.

But some of the most enlightening guests I’ve had over the past few years have been the folks that you may not even know exist, but are single-handedly responsible for pulling some major strings in the Broadway biz.

And of those peeps is today’s guest, Ms. Stephanie Lee.

Stephanie runs Group Sales Box Office, now a subsidiary of Broadway.com, the largest seller of Broadway tickets to groups.

Ever see all those buses lined up on the streets before the Wednesday matinees?  Yeah, the majority of those are all because of the great work Steph does.

What’s just as interesting to me as the sheer volume of dollars and bodies that Stephanie deals with daily, is the fact that she does what Producers can’t do . . . she talks directly to the ticket buyers.

So she often has more insight into what our audiences want than we do!

That’s why I wanted to talk to her, and why I wanted you to listen to her.  So we popped in front of my microphone and chatted about:

  • The most common mistake Producers make when trying to sell tickets to Groups.
  • How you can turn a show around with the right group sales strategy (and a specific example of show that did just that!)
  • How she balances her own enthusiasm for shows with what the clients want.
  • The group sales buyer versus the single ticket buyer – what’s the difference in what they are looking for
  • Where the group business is headed in the next twenty years.

We are not in the business of just making art.  We’re in the business of making and selling art.

And not many people know how to sell as well as Steph.

Enjoy!

  • Click above 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 Ryan Scott Oliver! If you enjoyed the outro music in this episode, go on over to https://ryanscottoliver.com for more tunes.

This episode is sponsored by The Producer’s Perspective PRO. For more information, visit their website.”

Podcast Episode 194 – Broadway Super Attorney to the Stars Mark Sendroff

I’ve been negotiating with Mark Sendroff for over two decades.  And I’ve always known he was a good rep for his clients.

But it wasn’t until a few years into our relationship that I realized how great a rep he was.

See, there was this artist I wanted to work with, so I asked him who his rep was.  When he answered “Sendroff,” I grimaced.  Because I knew that I was in for a ten rounder that was going to cost me everything in my budget, and maybe even a bit more.

(Tip:  You don’t actually want your agent or lawyer to be the most loved rep in town.  While I believe all representatives should be constructive rather than an obstructionist, you want your Producer or General Manager to “sigh” a bit when they hear who reps you.)

In addition to his skills as a negotiator, Mark is quite the businessman, having built one of the most successful practices in town, including creating a niche market repping Conductors, Musical Directors, Arrangers, Orchestrators, and more.

That’s why he reps some of the biggest names in town (you’ll hear just who in this podcast), and, get this, always works across the aisle, repping producers and shows as well.

It was a great treat sitting down with Mark when a contract wasn’t on the line, and we were able to discuss:

  • How he got his first job in an entertainment law firm, and how the same process could work for you today.
  • Yes, yes, it’s true . . . the day Barbra Streisand called him for some work.
  • Why he doesn’t represent everyone he could and why that was so important on his way up.
  • The difference between being an agent and an artist’s attorney . . . and why he chose the latter.
  • How he establishes new precedents in an industry that doesn’t like hates change.

Enjoy this master class in negotiating and so much more.

  • Click above 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 Or Matias! If you enjoyed the outro music in this episode, go on over to www.ormatiasmusic.com/ for more tunes.

This episode is sponsored by National Alliance Music Theatre (NAMT). For more information, go to namt.org/

Podcast Episode 193 – Broadway Funny Girl Julie Halston

And we’re baaaaaack!

Welcome to the start of the new ProducersPerspectivePodcast season, everybody!  Did you miss us?  Did you even know we were gone?

Well, even if you didn’t, we’re still back with a brand-spankin’ new season of TheProducersPerspectivePodcast!

It has been almost five years since we started getting Broadway A-listers into a room to talk about their start, their present, and where they believe Broadway is going to be in the future.  It seems like just yesterday when I asked Super-Power Press Agent Rick Miramontez to be my first guest, without any idea what I was doing (if I’m being totally honest).

But within about 15 seconds into his first answer, I knew we were on to something.  Because I was learning and laughing.  And what better combination is there!?

That’s why there have been 193 episodes since then.  And that’s why I’ve kept on harassing Broadway’s most powerful to spend 40 minutes with me so I can share their Wikipedia-like knowledge and Dali Lama-like inspiration with you.

And that’s why we’re back with a new season.  That’s why, like everything else I’ve done, I’m committed to getting even better with this new season.  So watch for tweaks to everything we’re doing, from even bigger guests to showcases on emerging writers to revealing tips to better production value too!  🙂

Because we know more about what we’re doing now, but we’re still learning.  And I honestly believe that this is YOUR podcast.  So tell us what you want, and we’ll keep shaping it as we go.

(Oh, and in the 193 interviews I’ve done, you know what the most commonly uttered phrase is from my guests as they talk about their way up in the industry?  “I didn’t know what I was doing.”  So, I realized I was in good company . . . and if you don’t know what you’re doing, but you are doing something, that’s not only OK . . . it’s a sure-fire indication that you’re on your way to something big.)

In fact, not knowing what you’re doing, but getting out there in front of people and being totally vulnerable is one of the keys to this week’s guest’s massive success.

If you don’t know Broadway Funny Girl Julie Halston, you are in for a treat.  She’s one of the fiercest comediennes we have, currently playing and flambaying a Producer (!) on Broadway in Tootsie, but has been in everything from Gypsy (where we met) to You Can’t Take It With You to Hairspray to Anything Goes and more.

But she got her start on one of the smallest stages in New York City.

And the story of her rise as a Broadway star, a writer, a producer, and more is a real inspiration and education for us all.  Listen to hear all about:

  • How Charles Busch forced her to write her first show in two weeks . . . and how she got the courage to do it.
  • Where she learned how to do dramatic readings of NY Times Wedding Announcements. (And yes, listen to her do a reading from the NY Times at the end of this podcast!)
  • Why she says “yes” to everything she can and why you should too.
  • Why, despite her big Broadway success, she still performs in her one-woman show (including a performance coming up on October 3rd at Birdland!  Go!)
  • How she creates unique characters, like the stripper in Gypsy, that are so memorable and so freakin’ funny and so beyond what’s just in the script.

If you’re an actor or a fan, then you should listen to this podcast.  If you’re a TheaterMaker of any other kind, then you MUST listen to this podcast.

And I apologize in advance for my laughter throughout the episode.  You try and hold it in when talking to Julie Halston!

Enjoy and thank you for coming back to our new season!

  • Click above 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 Zack Zadek! If you enjoyed the outro music in this episode, go on over to www.ZackZadek.com for more tunes.

This episode is sponsored by Sunlight Studios. Use the code DAVENPORT by October 10 to save on renting studio space.

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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