Podcast Episode 172 – Broadway Star and Artrepreneur, Sierra Boggess

 

In my podcast with Broadway Star Danny Burstein, I remarked how I had been remiss in asking Actors to appear on the podcast.  Why had I overlooked these artists?

Well, in so many cases, Actors are one of the last ingredients added to the making of a play or musical (whether or not that’s a good thing will be the subject of a blog in the coming month).  So I was looking for people that were involved in earlier stages.

And that was a @#$% up.

So one of my goals in 2019 was to include more of these super-important Theater Makers on this series . . . and I’m happy to announce that we’re off to an awesome start because this week’s podcast is with none other than Broadway star, Sierra Boggess (who is also the first ActRESS we’ve had on the show).

If you haven’t seen Sierra perform, then, well, you’ve missed out on seeing someone do exactly what they are supposed to be doing with their life.  Her way with a song, a lyric, or just an introduction is as entertaining, uplifting or as heartbreaking as she wants . . . and she makes it all seem so easy.

It’s no wonder why Disney tapped her for The Little Mermaid and why she bounced back and forth between mega-musicals by Cameron Mackintosh, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more.

Hear Sierra talk about all that, as well as …

  • The big risk she took to get the role of Ariel and what put her over the edge in the room.
  • How she stays positive when the business disappoints her, through no fault of her own.
  • Her style of working with writers on new musicals and how that has changed over the years.  (And she’s currently in Atlanta on a pre-Broadway tryout of Ever After!)
  • Why she created “Light Lessons” for artists and everyone.  (Click here to check them out. I’ve got a set on my desk.)
  • Marketing for Performers:  What’s important, necessary . . . and what isn’t.

Enjoy the podcast and don’t forget to subscribe!

Click above for my podcast with Sierra!

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

Download it here.

Episode 171 – Paula Wagner

 

It’s hard enough to make it as a Producer on one coast, but both?

That kind of success is reserved for a very select group of moguls, and this week I got to sit down with one of them.

Paula Wagner has worn a lot of hats in the business on her way up the ladder, from Broadway actress to Powerhouse Agent to running a movie studio to producing movies like Mission Impossible . . . and yep, producing big Broadway shows like this season’s hit, Pretty Woman.

Could there be a better person to talk to about movies to musicals and vice-versa?

Paula and I talked about that, of course, as well as . . .

  • The skills she learned as an agent that help her be a better Producer.
  • What Hollywood does well that we could learn from and what Hollywood can learn from us!
  • Eye-poppin’ idea that could save the movie industry (and it’s so simple).
  • Why Pretty Woman was made to be a musical and why it’s doing what she thought it would (gross over $1mm a week!).
  • Coming up in the entertainment industry as a female Producer and how that has changed.  Or not.

Enjoy the Podcast and don’t forget to subscribe!

Click above for my podcast with Paula!

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 170 – Max Grossman

 

Agents get a bad rap.  They’re like lawyers and IRS agents.

But they’re nothing like those folks.

I can’t imagine that an IRS agent gets into this business because he or she loves taxes.

But agents, especially those in the theater, are all here for the same reason you and I are here . . . they love the theater.

Max Grossman, an agent for writers and designers at the powerful but still boutique Abrams Artists Agency, is a perfect example.  He grew up going to the theater, flirted with sports, and came back to the good side of the force.

We haven’t had many agents on this podcast (just this one so far – who happens to represent me!), partly because some of the agents I asked couldn’t get permission from their higher-ups (which says a lot, don’t you think?).

But when I asked Max, he was happy to sit down and talk about what an agent does as well as . . .

  • How he finds new writers.
  • That awkward but important moment when he has to tell a client he doesn’t love something the client wrote.
  • The art of negotiating as an agent.
  • Why some theater writers succeed in transitioning to film & TV and others don’t… and a tip or two for you if this is something YOU want to do.
  • What he’d tell all Broadway Producers if he had them in a room at once.

Enjoy this convo with Max and let it remind you that even when we’re on “different sides” in this business, we’re still on the same team.

Click above for my podcast with Max!

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 169 – Rachel Chavkin

“What about Rachel Chavkin?”

If you’ve asked someone for ideas on who should direct a project recently, I’d bet money that you’ve heard those four words.

Rachel is one of the hottest directors on the market today, thanks to the success of Natasha, Pierre, the upcoming Hadestown (which wasn’t even announced for Broadway when we recorded this podcast), and more.  Audiences, Critics and Producers alike all see something very special in her unique style and know good things are in store.

That’s why the other five words you hear in conversations about new projects and new directors are . . .

“Rachel Chavkin would be perfect.”

Rachel and I talked about being an in-demand director as well as . . .

  • How performing 10-minute pieces helped her find her directorial voice.
  • The difference between teching a show on Broadway and teching a show anywhere else.
  • Why she’s ok with a messy rehearsal process and how it helps.
  • Why she doesn’t like to give advice.
  • Her reaction to the immersive movement and her part in it.

After listening, I’d bet money that if someone asks you for a recommendation for a Director next week, guess what you say?

Enjoy!

Click above for my podcast with Rachel!

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

Download it here.

Episode 168 – Bobby Longbottom

 

 

You might think you know Bobby Longbottom from his Tony-nominated director of Side Show or his work as the Director and Choreographer of one of the largest shows on the planet, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular . . .  that’s how I knew him mostly.

But when you listen to this podcast, and realize how he got to where he is today, you’ll realize there’s so much more to this art-trepreneur than his resume.

Bobby went from singer to dancer to choreographer to director without literally missing a beat, because of a “I’ll figure it out” attitude, and by making his own opportunities, including the off-broadway smash Pageant, and even the aforementioned Side Show.

He didn’t wait to get hired.  He found a way to hire himself.

We talked about the importance of entrepreneurship in this business as well as . . .

  • How to make a transition from one career to another inside the Broadway biz (which isn’t always the most supportive of that kind of change).
  • The origins of Side Show.
  • How he convinced people to give him a shot . . . when they really shouldn’t have (according to him)
  • The process of choreographing a great big, fat, opening number – what do you do first?
  • Why things take so long to develop in 2018 and what we can do about it?

Enjoy the podcast, and I hope it inspires you to start something as much as it inspired me.

Click above for my podcast with Bobby!

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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