"Top 25 Theater Podcasts You Must Follow in 2021"
The backstory and history behind Why I’ll Never Make It, and how a simple idea has created a mission to help artists navigate the ups and downs of a career in the arts.
Learn from artists and creative professionals in theater, film, television, and music as they share stories of success and setbacks in the arts, opening up about their own journey and what keeps them going.
How did it all get started?
Back in August 2017, Patrick approached fellow actor Dewey Caddell about starting a podcast. "You and me riffing on various subjects or maybe just one topic or field. I don't know. It's just an idea and wanted to get your thoughts." A couple of months later they met up and brainstormed some ideas, recorded an initial episode (originally called "PodCast & Crew"), shared it with a few friends, and finally landed on the main thrust of an entertainment podcast. Sharing stories of what hold us back in the performing arts but also what keeps us going.
On December 28, Why I'll Never Make It was born and gave birth to its first season: 13 regular episodes with Patrick and Dewey co-hosting, and 5 Tony Awards bonus episodes featuring Patrick and other Broadway performers and creatives. In Season Two, Patrick became the sole host of the show and introduced The Spotlight Series, featuring those making a difference in the arts and beyond.
Why such a negative title?
Well, to be honest, it's not negative at all but merely the reality of this business. Most plays, musicals, books, TV shows, and films never become blockbusters or household names. Most auditions never lead to being cast. Most Broadway shows never recoup their initial investment.
Failure and setbacks are a given. Rejection is common. And making it big rarely happens. Most of us get by from job to job, making a living and enjoying a modicum of success that we hope will come our way. But within this reality comes great lessons and inspirations and some funny stories along the way.
It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
- Bill Gates
But some guests have made it.
Possibly. Everyone's definition of success and "making it" is different. Most guests are creatives who do amazing work out of the limelight, grinding out a living by doing what they love most. But I've also talked to stars like *NSYNC's Joey Fatone, THE PROM's Caitlin Kinnunen, and American Idol's Justin Guarini. But no matter their level of their fame or the number of their accomplishments, each guest opens up and shares their own struggles in this business and offer us a reflection of our own challenges.
Whatever applause may come pales in comparison to the days or weeks or months of rejection and persistence that precede any such recognition. And it is this central message that is talked about on the podcast, even with the most successful or recognizable guests.
What is The Spotlight Series about?
The life of any non-profit or small business is not an easy one. So while these special episodes are a slight departure from the format of the main show, Spotlight focuses on why people and organizations do the work they do, how they handle setbacks, and what difference they are making in people's lives.
TOP 10 EPISODES...
Click on the above episodes to learn more about theses guests and hear the lessons they have to teach us.
PATRICK OLIVER JONES
Host / Writer / Producer
As an actor and singer, I have been in the performing arts both onscreen and onstage for almost 30 years. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, I brought my Southern charm and hospitality to New York City where credits include National Tours, numerous off-Broadway world premieres, staged readings, workshops of new works, in addition to regional productions of contemporary and classic musicals.
I was in the original cast of FIRST WIVES CLUB in Chicago in addition to two national tours, THE ADDAMS FAMILY and EVITA. On camera, I have appeared in several national commercials (including voiceover work for Bud Light) as well as co-starring roles on primetime television dramas like BLUE BLOODS and LAW & ORDER: CI. Besides the podcast, he's also hosted events ranging from large national conventions to intimate grand openings and conducted one-on-one, red carpet interviews.
But among all of my successes, there have been even more failures and setbacks such as show closings, being replaced, and hundreds of auditions that never went anywhere. “Why I’ll Never Make It” was created to explore the reasons actors and creative professionals don’t succeed and also challenge the notion of what it means to “make it” in the entertainment industry. Interviews range from such notables as LET'S MAKE A DEAL co-host Tiffany Coyne and actor Jelani Alladin from Broadway’s FROZEN to work-a-day actors, composers, directors, and teachers. They all share a common theme of how hard this business is, but each guest also shares their passion for the arts and what keeps them going through all the ups and downs.
As the old song goes, “There’s no people like show people, they smile when they are low.” And I hope listeners will find laughter and inspiration from the stories and experiences shared on this podcast.