Episode 183 – The Lead 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 Lead 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 above 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 above 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.

Podcast Episode 180 — Two Time Tony Award Winning, Multi-Faceted Musical Guru, Stephen Oremus

 

Which ONE of these things would mean that you’ve “made it” in our biz?

  1. You’re from the theater and you’re asked to work on The Academy Awards.
  2. You win not one, but two Tonys.
  3. Lady Gaga gives you a shout out during one of her concerts.

Just one of the above would probably make you think, “Ok, I’ve arrived.  I’m good. Check please.”  Am I right?

Well, what if all THREE of those things happened to you?

Because they did for Musical Director, Supervisor, Arranger, Orchestrator, Conductor and more, Stephen Oremus (Avenue Q, Book of Mormon, Frozen, etc.).

Stephen and I chatted about these three career peaks of his, as well as:

  • The job of a Musical Director and what makes a good one.
  • How working with Lady Gaga differs from working with Stephen Schwartz.
  • What makes a “hit” song and how he knows when he’s working on one.
  • His role in the creative process.
  • The frustrating thing about long-running shows on Broadway.

Click above for my podcast with Stephen.

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 179 — A view of Broadway through the lens of Tony Winner Joan Marcus

 

Here’s the thing . . .

If you’re a photographer and you get a Tony Award for your work in the theater, then you know you’re a @#$%ing good photographer.

That photographer is none other than my guest this week, Joan Marcus.

The truth is, Joan didn’t just get her Tony for her photos of over 1,000 productions of everything from . . . well . . . just everything.   She received the highest honor that Broadway has to offer for her dedication to and passion for the theater.  See, someone with the skill of Joan Marcus could take photos for any industry . . . including those who pay a lot more than we do.

But she stuck it out here . . . with us . . . as part of the Broadway family and that shows how @#$%ing special she is.

That’s why I was glad to have her on the ‘cast discussing things like:

  • How she turned her insecurity about ever working again into a multi-entrepreneurial hustle . . . including a blue-jean design company!
  • The keys to a great theater photo and how that photo can be used in advertising and marketing.
  • Her unique perspective into what makes a show work . . . or not . . .
  • Keeping up with technology in the arts.
  • What she would change about how photos are taken and WHEN.

Enjoy this podcast as I’m sure you’ve enjoyed her work over the years . . . even if you didn’t know it was hers you were looking at!

Click above for my podcast with Joan.

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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