Why I'll Never Make It - An Actor's Journey-logo

Why I'll Never Make It - An Actor's Journey


Weekly conversations and insights on the fine line between setback and success in the performing arts. Fellow creatives share their own journey as artists and the lessons learned along the way with host Patrick Oliver Jones, an actor who knows first-hand the ups and downs we all face.

Weekly conversations and insights on the fine line between setback and success in the performing arts. Fellow creatives share their own journey as artists and the lessons learned along the way with host Patrick Oliver Jones, an actor who knows first-hand the ups and downs we all face.


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Weekly conversations and insights on the fine line between setback and success in the performing arts. Fellow creatives share their own journey as artists and the lessons learned along the way with host Patrick Oliver Jones, an actor who knows first-hand the ups and downs we all face.




Brie Eley (Part 2) - Using Her Force for Good in Star Wars and with Fellow Black Actresses

In part two of my conversation with Brie Eley, she talked about her latest project that has been such a mountaintop experience for her and we get into her organization that promotes and supports black actresses, providing them with opportunity and community but also showcasing the vast diversity among these black actresses. Topics discussed: The High RepublicPew ResearchNielsen Company Any actresses interested in learning more about Here and Ready and how to build a profile, head to the...


Brie Eley (Part 1) - Classically Trained Theater Actress Chooses TV/Film Career

When it comes to being an artist, Brie Eley is the very definition of a multi-hyphenate. She is a classically trained actress and improviser, spent more than 10 years in marketing and small business development, and she creates, produces, and directs independent productions. As Black History Month comes to a close, Brie joins me to talk about the wide variety of projects in her career, the daily grind of being an actor, and the persistence that we all need to keep going. Because no matter...


Adrienne Walker (Part 2) - Offering Audition and Theater Advice to Fellow Actors with 32 Bar Cut

One of the hardest lessons for any actor to learn is to not take constant rejection personally. Adrienne Walker and I continue in part two of our conversation with stories from our own struggles and failures in the audition room and on stage. We also get into her YouTube Series called 32 Bar Cut as she seeks to help others navigate this tricky business. But first, I did a little deeper into something she said about bringing her blackness into the audition room and try to gain a better...


Adrienne Walker (Part 1) - Broadway Actress and Singer Found a Home in The Lion King

While the goal of every actor is to perform, our day-to-day job is actually auditioning. As we continue Black History Month here on the podcast, Adrienne Walker from The Lion King on Broadway joins me for a very open and candid conversation about being in such an iconic show. We also touch on some very important issues: auditioning as a black actress and the need for authentic black voices in theater. But we start off talking about The Lion King, when it and Broadway are coming back, the...


Erin Cherry (Part 2) - An Actress Producing and Creating Her Own Work

In the second half of our conversation, Erin Cherry focuses on her weekly show Sundays with a Cherry on Top, a health and lifestyle show that showcases Black Culture in all its forms. She also joined playwright Mfoniso Udofia, Ngozi Anyanwu, and Chinyere Anyanwu as a founder producer of NOW Africa. This playwrights festival seeks to introduce, and sometimes reintroduce, artists and academics to the masters of African Dramatic Literature, both classic and contemporary. Thank you for joining...


Erin Cherry (Part 1) - This Emmy Winning Actress Can Teach Us a Thing or Two

For almost a year now Actors have had very little in the way of exercising and using our creative muscles, so in this episode I wanted to remind us of the craft and joy of acting. As Black History Month continues here on the podcast, who better to discuss the ins and outs of acting with than Emmy-winning actress Erin Cherry. join.whyillnevermakeit.com Cherry, as she prefers to be called, coaches and teaches actors at Maggie Flanagan Studio in New York City. It’s a Meisner based acting...


Geoffrey Owens (Part 2) - The Trader Joe's Photo and Shift Happens

The life of any actor is one of going in and out of employment. But for Geoffrey Owens back in 2018, his side job was captured in a photo and spread across the Internet. In part two of our conversation for Black History Month, Geoffrey opens up about what led to his job at Trader Joe’s. We talk about the importance of work and how hard it can be for Actors to find it. join.whyillnevermakeit.com Follow Geoffrey: Website / Instagram / IMDB ————— Season 5 brings with it a new ways connect...


Geoffrey Owens (Part 1) - So Much More Than Just Elvin on The Cosby Show

Throughout his career Geoffrey Owens has been an actor, director, and teacher. But for more than 35 years he has been known as Elvin from The Cosby Show. As we kick off Black History Month here on the podcast I sat down with Geoffrey to talk about his own history as an actor, the lucky breaks that have come his way as well as the hardships he’s faced, the photo that surfaced in 2018 of him working at Trader Joe’s, and what it means to be so singularly identified with one...


Ashley Monique Menard (Part 2) - Writer and Comedian Who Knows What She's Capable Of

I think it’s fair to say that artist are an emotional bunch in general. We feel things deeply and react with conviction. And that goes for the wonderful and exciting emotions but also goes for the heavy and worrisome emotions as well. In part two of my conversation with Ashley Monique Menard, she reveals the yen and yang of her confidence and her self-doubt, she compares her dating life to Broadway, and has a few choice words for perfectionism. Join WINMI to listen to the Final Five...


Ashley Monique Menard (Part 1) - Actress and Plus Size Model Who Just Wants to Make You Laugh

In theater or really in any performing art, we have certain genres or types of characters and stories that fit us better than others. And today’s guest Ashley Monique Menard found her niche in comedy. But often, even what we’re good at doesn’t really begin to blossom and grow until we really hone that craft and work on it. So in part one of our conversation we’ll talk a lot about that comedy, how it’s helped her find and strengthen her voice, but also how an honest assessment of her talents...


Lauren Ober (Part 2) - How Podcasting Makes a Great Home for Performers

As the host of NPR‘s the big listen, Lauren Ober was basically podcasting about podcasts and through that became a bona fide podcast expert. Maybe you’ve thought of starting your own podcast. In part two of our conversation, she takes us through her production process on Spectacular Failures and what it takes to make a great podcast. Join WINMI: Website / Memberships / Newsletter Thank you for joining me for part two of my conversation with Lauren Ober. Come back next week for for my...


Lauren Ober (Part 1) - Podcaster, Journalist, and Voice Coach Shares Her Spectacular Failures

Here on Why I’ll Never Make It, we focus on the challenges and setbacks that artists face, but there is one podcast out there focusing on the Spectacular Failures of companies and organizations. Lauren Ober is the host and producer of that podcast and is also a journalist, a noted speaker, and voice coach. In part one of our conversation She and I discuss some of the parallels between being onstage and behind a mic, but we focus mainly on the rise and fall the big Broadway production company...


Justin Guarini (Part 2) - Lessons Learned from His Broadway Career after American Idol

Welcome back to part two of my conversation with Justin Guarini! He’s already shared pivotal moments from his childhood and given us a cautionary tale of his college experience. So we pick up with his decision to stick with American Idol instead of making his Broadway debut with The Lion King. Get Justin's book Audition Secrets and learn his tips and secrets to auditioning. Topics discussed in this episode: Women on the Verge of a Nervous BreakdownJulie Andrews and her vocal surgeryJustin...


Justin Guarini (Part 1) - His Bumpy Musical Journey Leading Up to American Idol

Happy New Year to you! And welcome to the premiere episode of Season Five. Today’s guest is Justin Guarini, who you probably know from American Idol but has done so much more and has a lot to teach us about becoming an artist, finding our own path, and realizing that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Get Justin's book Audition Secrets or possibly win a signed copy of this book by becoming a member of WINMI as a Maker, Producer, or Artist. Sign up for one of these memberships by January...


Season Five Preview

Well, we somehow made it through 2020 and have arrived at Season Five of Why I’ll Never Make It. Covid may still be here and theaters are still shut down, but this podcast keeps rolling with great new guests and content coming your way. Here on the WINMI podcast you’ll learn how artists and creatives handle the setbacks and challenges that come with a career in the performing arts. Interviews and conversation are hosted by host Patrick Oliver Jones, a professional actor and singer for...


Look Back at 2020 & the Last Final Five

A look back at the year that was unlike anything we would’ve hoped for or imagined. Still, this podcast had its good moments and a plethora of fantastic guests. Follow WINMI: Instagram / Twitter / Website ————— Donate to WINMIresources.winmipodcast.comblog.feedspot.com/theatre_podcasts/


THE PROM Special Rewind with Caitlin Kinnunen and Abigail Rose Solomon

Merry Christmas! :) In honor of the recent release of THE PROM movie on Netflix, here is a special combo episode of my conversations with star of the Broadway production, Caitlin Kinnunen (starts at 1:58), and one of the co-producers, Abigail Rose Solomon (starts at 35:18). Also, this holiday season don't miss the 12 Days of Auditions, available at donate.winmipodcast.com. Become a WINMI Producer and listen to former guests share their most memorable audition stories. Listen to Caitlin's...


Sammi Cannold (Part 2) - Don't Keep Your Distance from This Innovative Theater Director

Today’s episode is part two of my conversation with the final guest of Season 4. Sammi Cannold is a remarkable artist and director. She was even named to the 2019 Forbes List of 30 under 30 in entertainment for her innovative and unique approach to directing for the stage. And today’s conversation is going to be focusing on a few of those productions... I have my own personal connection to Evita having done the national tour of the latest Broadway revival. Even our music supervisor Kristen...


Sammi Cannold (Part 1) - Director Who Shows How Theater Can Be COVID-Safe

Here we are at the final guest of Season Four... In part one of my conversation with New York director, Sammi Cannold shares the details of an article she wrote for The Stage, detailing how South Korean producers have made theater safe and possible for both creatives and audiences. While Sammi remains more diplomatic, I am not gentle in my rebuke of the Broadway League and Actors Equity, who have either kept silent for much of this pandemic or have actually been a hindrance to getting...


Christophe Zajac-Denek (Part 2) - Twin Peaks Actor and Podcaster on Dwarfism

In part one of my conversation with Christophe Zajac-Denek, he talked about growing up with dwarfism, his love of music and drumming, and how he just kind of fell into the world of acting on camera. For part two, we continue that journey with the movie and experience that had a profound impact on his life. As we start this episode Christophe has moved back to Michigan to go to music school and return to his first love of drumming, but life had other ideas for what Christophe needed to be...