Tonight on the Livestream: 4x Tony Award Nominee Raul Esparaza

If you watched my livestream with Brian Stokes Mitchell a few weeks ago, you got to hear me tell “Stokes” how something he did during the original production of Ragtime is on my Top 10 List of Favorite Brilliant Moments in the Theater.

And tonight, I get to share with Raul Esparza how he is on that list too.

What show do you think it’s from? Rocky Horror? Leap of Faith? Speed-the-Plow (which I was lucky enough to produce, despite the theater-traitor also known as Jeremy Piven quitting on us mid run).

I’m not going to tell you here. But I will spill it all tonight on my livestream!

And we’ll also talk to Raul about his gig at Law and Order SVU and his plans to come back to the theater . . . when the theater comes back, of course.

So tune in tonight at 8 PM! Set a reminder here!

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You can catch me every TUESDAY at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT/ 6pm MDT/ 5pm PDT) on my Facebook, on my Twitter, on Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube Channel, and on Broadway on Demand.

To learn more about our guests and to support The Actors Fund, visit

You’re just ONE of these away from whatever you want in theater . . . or in anything.

There has been a lot of time for reflection during the last five and a half months. (Can it be only 5 months since Broadway shut down? Why does it feel like we’re stuck in some Back To The Future-like time-space continuum.)
One of the things I’ve realized is that there have been a handful of moments in my life when I took a hard right turn to something much better than where I was.
Like one moment I was lamenting where I was, wondering how I could get out, and the next moment I was saying, “Whoa . . . this is MUCH better!”
 “Ok, ok,” I said to myself as I wrote down some of these moments. “So what was it that got me to take that turn and . . . produce my first show, start a blog, get married (for a few examples of my personal life-changing events).”
It took me about an hour to unpack each moment to figure out what each one had in common.
And the answer was so simple it was shocking.
The first domino that got me to do all those things and a bunch more?
Someone gave me a piece of advice.
That’s right . . . it was someone else who lit the fire.
And it didn’t take much. A few words in most cases. The right question.  A quote in a book.
But for whatever reason, they resonated and bam, I took a right turn to a much better life.
Now, those few words weren’t from someone random on the street. All the people who poked me with their advice were experts. They had all been through a lot of the same @#$% before me.
But in each case they only had to say one thing . . . just ONE thing . . . that forever altered my life for the better.  Like the MUCH better.
(One of them was Hal Prince, by the way, which I talk about here at length.)
So what’s the point of me telling you this?
Well, if you’re looking for a positive change in your life in the theater or in anything, here’s an exciting and optimistic way to look at it . . 
You are just ONE piece of advice away from getting exactly where you want to go.
That’s it! A few words from the right person could forever alter your destiny.
Sounds easy, right?
It is.
Just follow this three step formula to getting to where you want to be.

1. Seek out wise words from experts. Mentors, books, whenever and wherever. Devour content from people who have been through it before you and achieved success.

2. When you find an expert who you respect, be open to advice. Or, like my 5th grade Algebra teacher would say, shut up and listen.

3. Act on the advice.
Do that and watch the eff out. The change won’t happen overnight, but one day you’ll look back and say, “Hey – my life is better – how’d that happen?”
And you’ll realize it was someone who said the right thing to you at the right time . . . and you seizing that moment.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to shut up and listen to a few more folks right now, because there is a lot of stuff I still want to do.  And I know they will help get me there.
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If you’re looking for theater folks to listen to and give you actionable advice, come to this. There is nowhere else you can hear from so many theatrical gurus in one place.  And past attendees have called it “life affirming” and an “influential experience” for all the reasons above.  See you there.

Your questions about streaming shows online . . . answered.

 Two weeks ago, I admitted that I effed up.
I’ve received so many questions about streaming shows online that I realized I haven’t given you enough answers!
Well, that was then and this, my theater-makin’ friends, is now.
And when I say NOW, I should say NOW and FOREVER, because this virtual trend ain’t a trend. It’s here. For real. And it’s staying.
So jump on this stream train or get left at the station.
In the last week alone, I’ve doubled down on taking shows virtual . . . because there’s a whole new art and a whole new business here. It’s less expensive yet can reach a wider audience. And when done right, can be ultra artistic.
And we want to help you do it too. ‘Cuz each virtual show counts for one of my #5000By2025 mission! 🙂
Like we always do when we know there’s an issue of importance that you want to know more about, we launched a survey.
And we asked you what your biggest question was about taking shows online . . .
We sorted through the hundreds of responses, picked out the Top 3 questions, and put a video series together to answer them.
So, if you want to learn more about taking shows to your computer screen then click here.
The first video in this 3 part series launches on September 1st.
IMPORTANT: We’ve changed up how we deliver this kind of educational information. We want to respect inboxes, so we will NOT be e-beating you over the head with this message. We will also NOT make this video public.
So if you want this 3 part video series on streaming, you must sign up here.
And I’ll see you on a screen.

Tonight on the Livestream: Tony Award Nominee and star of Hadestown, Patrick Page.

How many actors do you know who can go from The Lion King to Saint Joan? From Beauty and the Beast to Julius Caesar?

I know one.

And he’s on my livestream tonight!

I’ve been a fan of Patrick Page from afar for years . . . and got the incredible pleasure of working with him on my revival of Spring Awakening. And since then, he has been scaring the @#$% out of people with his performance as Hades in Hadestown. (Have you ever heard a creepier voice in a musical before?)

In addition to his 10+ Broadway shows and his, like, 147 film and TV credits, Patrick is also a celebrated acting teacher and we’re going to get into his technique and how he approaches such different roles in such different pieces. And how he makes it look so damn easy.

Oh, and I may ask him for a few gossipy stories about Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark!

And I’ll be announcing the star-powered new lineup for the month of September tonight on the livestream – be among the first to hear who’s joining us next month!

So tune in!

You can catch me every TUESDAY at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT/ 6pm MDT/ 5pm PDT) on my Facebook, on my Twitter, on Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube Channel, and on Broadway on Demand.

To learn more about our guests and the organizations for which we are raising money, visit

What I keep saying to myself to help get through this.

It’s been over 5 months now since Broadway shut down and we got locked down.
And it hasn’t been easy.
In fact, a recent CDC survey indicated 41% of us are struggling with a mental health issue as a result of the pandemic.
That’s a lot.
And I’d be lying to you if I didn’t admit that I’ve experienced more anxiety in the last 5 months than I have in my entire life.
I also know that what I’ve dealt with over the past five months ain’t nothing compared to what others faced . . . or are facing.
And we’re not through it yet.
We will be, of course. We will get through it. We will have a vaccine and Broadway and theater will be back up and running again. Audiences will return. Jobs will return. Joy will return.
But when?
That’s the tough part. Because when you are in a dark place for five plus months, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the you-know-what.
And yet, we still have to work. We still have to figure out how to stay healthy. And in some ways get healthy. We still have to figure out how to survive.
I’m not the only one who has said, “Why does it feel like I’m busier than ever before?”
You feel that too, right?
I’ve described it as feeling like you’re on a stationary bike . . . pedaling like crazy . . . and of course, going nowhere.
I’ve also described it as the feeling I had when I was 16 and swimming in the ocean. I was ten feet from shore and got caught in a rip tide. I kicked and paddled. But I went nowhere. So I kicked and paddled harder. I was still ten feet from shore. No matter how hard I swam, I stayed put.
It wasn’t until I stopped working so hard that the tide pushed me to shore.
We’re in that tide now. And if we acknowledge it, stop fighting it, and let it take us to safety, it will.
And here’s what else I keep telling myself and all my friends and family who have admitted to feeling like I have. And since you are all my friends and family as well, I thought I’d share the same thing with you . . .
But you’ll have to bear another story . . .
When my daughter was six months old, like most babies she didn’t sleep through the night. Boy oh boy did that suck.
And one night, during a 3 AM crying fit, my wife and I looked at each other with that look that only new parents can have. You know what I’m talking about, right?  That exhausted, “How are we ever gonna get through this” face.
That’s when it dawned on me . . .
First, there were other people with screaming babies who wouldn’t sleep at that very moment, all over the world. We were not alone.
Second, and this is the big one . . . I realized that this phase wouldn’t last forever.  One day it would all be over and she’d sleep like a baby, and we’d even forget this moment at 3 AM. 
But when?
Well, I looked at my beautiful wife and said, “Sweetheart, every day we are one step closer to getting through this.”
And that’s true for this challenging time in world history and our lives as well.
With every day that passes, we are one day closer to this being over.
I’ll say that again for you . . . and for me.
Every day that passes, we are one day closer to this being over.
I hope that helps. And if it doesn’t, and you’re feeling moments of anxiety or depression of any kind, remember, there are lots of other people experiencing the same thing too. So reach out to a friend, a family member, or even us. We’ll do what we can, or point you in the right direction of people who can help.
But we will get through it.
And every day that passes, we are one day closer to this being over.
Every day that passes, we are one day closer to this being over.
Every day that . . .
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The mental health issues that TheaterMakers experience during “normal” times are severe.  That’s why I put together a panel at our upcoming TheaterMakerSummit on how TheaterMakers can deal with the psychological challenges of our business . . . especially now.  Because if your mind isn’t right, even if you achieve success, it won’t feel like you’ve achieved anything.  Click here for more info on the summit. 
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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