Podcast Episode 187 – Tony-Award Winning Director, Michael Mayer

A flood brought us together.

It was crunch time during tech at Thoroughly Modern Millie when the deluge curtain opened up and flooded the stage and the Director, Michael Mayer, had to figure out what to do.

As the Company Manager, I’ll never forget the look on everyone’s faces when they found out that costumes were ruined, the stage couldn’t be used, etc.

And under Michael’s leadership, everyone buckled down, mopped up the mess, and went on to create a Tony Award-winning musical.

Michael has put a few more Tony-Award winning shows on his resume, including Spring Awakening, and we talked about all the show(s) he has captained, as well as . . .

  • The GOOD review that made him stop reading reviews altogether.
  • Why he convinced everyone to wait for Neil Patrick Harris to be available for Hedwig and how we got that performance out of him.
  • How he can still feel like a fraud, even with a Tony Award on his shelf, and how he gets through that when he starts a new show.
  • Plays versus musicals and the skills you need for both.
  • The day he knew to hang it up as a performer because there were bigger things that he could do.
Let the flood waters part and enjoy Michael Mayer!

Click above for my podcast with Michael!

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 186 – Playwright Dominique Morisseau

Dominique Morisseau is having a moment.

You might not have heard her name before this year when she got the call to Broadway with her book for Ain’t Too Proudbut she has been sloggin’ it out in this city for twenty years and has been a writer for her entire life.

And that practice is paying off big time. It’s no wonder she has received one of the famed MacArthur Foundation Genius Grants.

Dominique and I have been trying to have this podcast convo for a while now, and boy was it worth the wait.  In a quick thirty minutes, we talked about:

  • How getting a great quantity of her work out in the world as she was coming up helped her improve her skills and get noticed.
  • Why not understanding the word “No” was an essential part of her becoming a writer in the first place.
  • Why she’s cautiously optimistic about where we are right now and where we’re headed with diversity in the arts. . . and what still makes her nervous.
  • She doesn’t read reviews.  Ever.  Listen why.
  • How long she had to be an “emerging artist” and whether or not emerging = young.  (See, I told you in last week’s blog that this was a subject people were talking a lot about lately!)
 Listen in and prepare to be educated and inspired by how she took her life and career into her own hands and is designing it to be exactly what she wants.

Click above for my podcast with Dominique!

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 Magnolia Bakery. Visit Magnolia Bakery for freshly-baked, classic American desserts, including cupcakes, banana pudding, cakes, cheesecakes, icebox bars, and cookies. For more information, visit magnoliabakery.com or follow them @magnoliabakery.

Podcast Episode 185 — Playwright and Gender Parity Advocate, Julia Jordan

I’ve been following Julia Jordan’s career since she was living on a boat.

That’s right, early on in her life in NYC, she lived on a boat . . . in Manhattan!  And why?  Well, it was cool, of course, but she did it so she could have cheap rent so she could write more.

And write more she did . . . impressing me and tons of others with her early output including The MiceSarah Plain and Tall, many others, and eventually, that cool, suspenseful, Murder Ballad.

Her writing has always gotten her a lot of attention, but over the last several years she’s held the microphone for one of the most important conversations in the theater . . . gender parity.

She founded The Lillys and has been instrumental in The Count.  Don’t know what The Count is?  Well, listen in and hear her tell you in her own words, as well as . . .

  • How the most important thing her first writing teacher did was NOT discuss the quality of her work.
  • What a Pulitzer Prize winner told her to do with her main character to get her play produced . . . and it worked . . . unfortunately (you’ll hear why).
  • Why she thinks about her audience when she writes.
  • What Broadway means to her . . . and why she doesn’t care if her work gets there. (Which will probably be why she DOES get there, btw.)
  • The shocking statistics about gender in the theater and how she is helping change that (and what you can do to help).

Click above for my podcast with Julia!

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 Daniel Rader Photo.

Daniel Rader is available for production photos, events, and headshots.” Check him out/Reach out to him – www.danielraderphoto.com / @danielraderphoto on Instagram.

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 above! 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!

Click above for the podcast!

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