Podcast

Clyde Voce, Actor- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Color Purple


Clyde Voce makes history as the first black actor to play the role of Willy Wonka on the Broadway tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He describes the different duties of understudies and swings and shares his wisdom about health, wellness, and finances while maintaining a life as a working actor at the highest level.

What’s inside: 

  • 1:25 Monday lecture: AEA production contracts, pay rates, and non-union tours.
  • 5:42 What have you been up to lately? 
  • 6:06 What’s a typical day look like working in New York City?
  • 7:08 Do you have an agent or manager? 
  • 8:35 What do you mean when you say you don’t need a job right now? 
  • 10:03 What have been some of your “survival jobs?”
  • 11:44 How did you grow up? Were you surrounded by artists? 
  • 20:32 How different is your lifestyle now?
  • 22:00 What are the physical demands of the job? 
  • 24:23  Did you have a backup plan? Did your parents want one for you?
  • 27:38 Promo: Clyde performing next in Till: a New Musical and Kinky Boots 
  • 28:22 Do you have to make a career choice in college?
  • 29:10 What’s a big risk that you had to take and how did you prepare for it? 
  • 33:22 What are the biggest rewards that you gained that would be unbelievable to your younger self? 
  • 33:35 How did you make history? 
  • 35:35 How do you get a reputation for having a strong work ethic?
  • 36:17 What’s the difference between “swings” and “understudies” and how does work ethic play a role in each? 
  • 40:13 Do you think that you’ve “made it?”
  • 44:30 How does physical health and wellness fit into how you prepare?
  • 50:42 See it to be it. Who inspired you?
  • 54:18 Clyde’s recommendations.

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

 

Key Quotes:

  • “I’m doing quite well–*laughs* I’m doing quite alright. I paid off all my student loans, I’m completely done with all that stuff.”
  • “It’s so foreign to me that money now just sits in my bank account and doesn’t go anywhere–it’s so crazy…so, everybody, you can do it. It can be done.”
  • “The purpose of touring…is to save that money so you don’t have to get that survival job that you don’t want to do.”
  • “People are paying a lot of money to see these shows, who am I to give them a subpar performance?…You can’t be like you’re in high school or college anymore.”
  • “If you don’t go for it, you’re gonna always have that regret of ‘well, what if…'” 
  • “You can always go back to school. You can always find something else to do. It’s possible to do all these things.”
  • “It was either I went to NY and went for it or I stayed at home… It taught me so much about myself. It allowed me to grow in ways I didn’t think I could find at home.”
  • “I don’t know if I would have gotten that [Willy Wonka understudy]  without gaining the work ethic that I had from moving to NY and having to bust my butt all the way to this point.”
  • “I refuse to be the person that goes out on stage and has no idea what’s going on.”
  • “I never want to swing a show ever again, however I think that everybody in this industry should do it at least one time. I really do.”
  • “I’m not necessarily, like, a household name…but even in order to become that, that’s something that is out of people’s control- you don’t get to decide that.”
  • “To say that I haven’t made it yet, to me would diminish all the things I have done before that, and I don’t see it that way.”
  • “You will know when you’ve made it when money doesn’t matter.”
  • “Come in as the best version to you…when you walk into the room.”
  • “This is a really hard industry to be in, with the amount of rejection… I don’t even like to use that word ‘rejection,’ it’s just like, ‘it’s just not you today.'”
  • “I think every actor should have a therapist, I really do…it can be a very lonely industry.”
  • “It’s super important to be well-rounded, because those are the people, I’ve found, who actually do the best.”
  • “Life is not long for everyone, go do something, please.”
  • “I can still up my game.” 

Connect with Clyde! 

…on Instagram!

Support the DYBP Podcast! 

…on Instagram!

…on Facebook! 

…and Twitter! 

Let your voice be heard: 

  • Share your story on social media–use #DYBPcast !
  • Ask questions, make comments, express yourself freely.
  • Email Jen
  • 213-915-6883 text or call

DYBP graphic design  © 2020 by Laura Gernon

DYBP theme song, “Ditch” © 2020 by Dean Keith 

DYBP Website

Check out this episode!

Podcast

David Valentine, Puppet Builder at Jim Henson Co.

What’s inside: 

  • 1:55 Who is David Valentine?
  • 2:26 How did he end up in New York?
  • 3:10 How did he get into puppetry?
  • 3:45 What are the best cities for puppetry?
  • 6:20 How does the public perceive his job?
  • 7:37 What is a day-in-his-life like? 
  • 8:08 What is his role with Sesame Street puppets? 
  • 12:14 What different types of media use his puppets?
  • 13:14 How does freelancing work in puppetry?
  • 15:31 How is his job different and similar to a “regular” 9-5 office job?
  • 17:38 How does he price his work and time?
  • 22:57 What was his path?
  • 25:33 Did he always know he wanted to be a puppet builder?
  • 28:24 Is he fulfilled?
  • 29:23 Did he have to give up anything to be here?
  • 31:23 What’s the coolest thing he’s made?
  • 33:20 How did he become Daytime Emmy Award-Nominated?
  • 35:22 Do his parents understand what he does?
  • 36:06 What is it like to be involved with the Obie-award winning Company Vampire Cowboys Theatre? How did he get involved with them?
  • 44:05 What’s the story of Revenge Song at the Geffen Playhouse? 
  • 48:09 Has David made it?
  • 52:57 Who inspired him? See it to be it.
  • 55:02 What artistic endeavors does he recommend?

Mentioned in this Episode:

Key Quotes:

  • “You want to surround yourself with those kinds of lifelong professionals who share [their] knowledge.”
  • “The degree to which people can’t understand that it’s actually a job is fascinating.”
  • On ‘exposure is payment’: “the more exposure it is, the more I actually charge.” 
  • “You are more valuable than you think, and you’re more valuable than they are probably willing to pay. The second you start saying ‘yes’ to something that’s maybe not enough money, you’re going to continue to say yes.”
  • “The second you decide to charge what you actually deserve is the second that you will be paid that.” 
  • “If you had told my teenage self that I was one day going to be a Daytime Emmy Award-Nominated puppet builder, I’d say ‘excuse me? What? What does that mean?’” 
  • “It was taking what Cirque du Soleil does..and putting it in a bathroom-sized room.”
  • “The people who you meet in college–that you have such a deep connection with–can potentially be the people who you work with for the rest of your life.” 
  • “Not everyone should be shaped the way we think they should be.”
  • “We can do the things that movies do, but on stage.” 
  • “It’s good to know where to start, and it’s good to know what kind of growth potential there is in the places you are working.” 

Connect with David!

…on Instagram! 

Support the DYBP Podcast! 

…on Instagram!

…on Facebook! 

…and Twitter! 

Let your voice be heard: 

  • Share your story on social media–use #DYBPcast !
  • Ask questions, make comments, express yourself freely.
  • Email Jen
  • 213-915-6883 text or call

DYBP graphic design  © 2020 by Laura Gernon

DYBP theme song, “Ditch” © 2020 by Dean Keith 

https://ditchyourbackupplan.com/

Podcast

Becca Kötte, Broadway Actress and Recording Artist


From the Las Vegas company of Rock of Ages to touring with Rod Stewart–Becca Kötte shares her career story of taking risks, reaching out, and finding what “making it” really means.

Episode Summary: 

  • 1:07 Who is Becca Kötte
  • 2:10 How did she get to this point in her career? 
  • 6:14 What’s her typical day like touring with Rod Stewart? 
  • 15:10 Is her lifestyle what she expected? Is it fulfilling? 
  • 19:13 How does her lifestyle differ from how she grew up? 
  • 25:04 Did she have a backup plan?  A survival job?
  • 25:52 What big risks did she take?
  • 26:47 What path did she take to performing on Broadway?
  • 28:21 How does she manage getting out of a “funk” and dealing with rejection?
  • 33:40 How does she own it in the audition room after a let down?
  • 35:52 How is her career as a performing artist misunderstood?
  • 37:54 What are the biggest rewards she’s gained from her career choice?
  • 38:30 How did she first become self-sufficient? 
  • 41:53 Has she “made it?” What is “making it?”
  • 43:26 In what ways does Rod Stewart inspire her?
  • 45:24 See it to be it.
  • 49:19 What advice does she give to young artists?
  • 51:35 How did a job singing on a cruise ship lead to her being cast in Rock of Ages? 
  • 53:13 How does she help herself stand out in the crowd?
  • 57:56 Recommendations from Becca

Mentioned in this Episode: 

Key Quotes: 

  • “There was something in my gut telling me to move on”
  • “The better auditions you go in for, the harder it is” 
  • “Surround yourself with as much positivity as possible…be around people that encourage and pick you up” 
  • “Whatever I’m doing to make money–whether I’m on the road or not–I’m going to do it in a creative way” 
  • “You can be successful and not be famous” 
  • “You have highs and lows…but at the end of the day–someone is paying me to do what I’ve been doing my whole life”
  • “There’s tons of highs and lows, and I would not take any of it back” 
  • “If you’re a creative, and you have that kind of brain, we all have that craziness within us”
  • “Oh, this thing that I’m doing for fun–for free– I can do this for money?!”
  • “They’re doing it–so why not me?”
  • “Put yourself out there–in the beginning, say yes to everything”
  • “You absolutely never know who is going to be responsible for your next job”
  • “10% of it is your ability and 90% of it is how you are to work with”
  • “Impress people as much as you can and don’t be a jerk” 
  • “Nobody’s out there advocating for you more than you are for yourself”
  • “To make people feel things, telling these stories, this is what it’s all about”

Let your voice be heard: 

  • Ask questions, make comments, express yourself freely.
  • Call or text Jen at 213.915.6883
  • Email DitchYourBackupPlan@gmail.com
  • Share your story on social media–use #DYBPcast !

https://www.instagram.com/dybp_podcast/

https://www.facebook.com/dybppodcast/

https://twitter.com/dybp_podcast

DYBP graphic design  © 2020 by Laura Gernon http://www.lauragernon.com/

DYBP theme song, “Ditch” © 2020 by Dean Keith

Check out this episode!

Podcast

Lauren Hirsh, Child Guardian at Disney’s Frozen on Broadway


Broadway veteran and child guardian, Lauren Hirsh shares her experience in a career that she didn’t set out to pursue. She shares insights on little-known Broadway careers and how to break into the industry.

What’s inside: 

  • 1:01 Artists and Stage Employees Unions
  • 3:58 What is a day-in-the-life of a Child Guardian on Broadway’s Frozen like?
  • 5:03 What are her responsibilities?
  • 12:48 How did she realize that this is what she wants to do?
  • 15:30 How did her dream transform?
  • 17:55 Was it easy to change her career focus?
  • 19:06 What does one have to study to become a child guardian?
  • 20:20 What’s the biggest difference between how she grew up and her lifestyle now?
  • 21:43 Is working on Broadway worth the busy schedule? Why do it? How is it rewarding?
  • 23:13 How do the children she works with keep up with school?
  • 24:46 Did she ever have a backup plan? 
  • 25:23 Growing up, was she exposed to artists around her?
  • 26:03 PROMO for Disney’s FROZEN
  • 26:32 What’s been the biggest risk? How did she prepare for it?
  • 27:08 What’s the story behind her “bad internship?”
  • 29:25 What rewards has she gained that would blow young Lauren’s mind?
  • 30:12 Is there job security?
  • 31:08 Has she “made it”?
  • 32:40 What theatre careers would surprise the public the most? 
  • 34:02 What has she had to deal with that she never expected? 
  • 34:53 What is the most misunderstood aspect about her job? 
  • 36:21 Is there anyone who inspired her? See it to be it. 
  • 38:16 How can a newcomer break into such a small community?
  • 43:28 What role does the ‘fear of unemployment’ play? 
  • 46:27 What artistic endeavors does she recommend? 
  • 49:51 What is her advice to current students?

Mentioned in this Episode:

Key Quotes:

  • “Looking back on all the experiences I’ve had… it makes sense for me to be where I am”
  • “It’s such a phenomenal thing that I get to do every day, so in the end it’s so worth it.”
  • “I wouldn’t trade my job for anything. I love it so much.”
  • “There’s going to be people who are going to pull this ‘authority, control’ thing because they can, and that’s not something that I’m going to put up with.”
  • “There’s so many people backstage all the time… people don’t know these jobs exist.”
  • You can make a career doing projections, styling wigs and being a hair supervisor, or being a star dresser or working in the sound booth.”
  • “You have to be so aware because you never know who is going to be able to help you in your next job.” 
  • “It’s really important that you like the people you work with.”
  • “You should learn as much as you can about all of the departments in theatre–all of the jobs.”
  • “Take that class that you don’t think you’ll ever need because you might need it and you might decide you really love it.” 

Connect with Lauren! 

…on Instagram! 

Support the DYBP Podcast! 

…on Instagram!

…on Facebook! 

…and Twitter! 

Let your voice be heard: 

  • Share your story on social media–use #DYBPcast !
  • Ask questions, make comments, express yourself freely.
  • Email Jen
  • 213-915-6883 text or call

DYBP graphic design  © 2020 by Laura Gernon

DYBP theme song, “Ditch” © 2020 by Dean Keith 

DYBP Website

Check out this episode!

Podcast

Becca Kötte, Broadway Actress and Recording Artist

From the Las Vegas company of Rock of Ages to touring with Rod Stewart–Becca Kötte shares her career story of taking risks, reaching out, and finding what “making it” really means.

Episode Summary: 

  • 1:07 Who is Becca Kötte
  • 2:10 How did she get to this point in her career? 
  • 6:14 What’s her typical day like touring with Rod Stewart? 
  • 15:10 Is her lifestyle what she expected? Is it fulfilling? 
  • 19:13 How does her lifestyle differ from how she grew up? 
  • 25:04 Did she have a backup plan?  A survival job?
  • 25:52 What big risks did she take?
  • 26:47 What path did she take to performing on Broadway?
  • 28:21 How does she manage getting out of a “funk” and dealing with rejection?
  • 33:40 How does she own it in the audition room after a let down?
  • 35:52 How is her career as a performing artist misunderstood?
  • 37:54 What are the biggest rewards she’s gained from her career choice?
  • 38:30 How did she first become self-sufficient? 
  • 41:53 Has she “made it?” What is “making it?”
  • 43:26 In what ways does Rod Stewart inspire her?
  • 45:24 See it to be it.
  • 49:19 What advice does she give to young artists?
  • 51:35 How did a job singing on a cruise ship lead to her being cast in Rock of Ages? 
  • 53:13 How does she help herself stand out in the crowd?
  • 57:56 Recommendations from Becca

Mentioned in this Episode: 

Key Quotes: 

  • “There was something in my gut telling me to move on”
  • “The better auditions you go in for, the harder it is” 
  • “Surround yourself with as much positivity as possible…be around people that encourage and pick you up” 
  • “Whatever I’m doing to make money–whether I’m on the road or not–I’m going to do it in a creative way” 
  • “You can be successful and not be famous” 
  • “You have highs and lows…but at the end of the day–someone is paying me to do what I’ve been doing my whole life”
  • “There’s tons of highs and lows, and I would not take any of it back” 
  • “If you’re a creative, and you have that kind of brain, we all have that craziness within us”
  • “Oh, this thing that I’m doing for fun–for free– I can do this for money?!”
  • “They’re doing it–so why not me?”
  • “Put yourself out there–in the beginning, say yes to everything”
  • “You absolutely never know who is going to be responsible for your next job”
  • “10% of it is your ability and 90% of it is how you are to work with”
  • “Impress people as much as you can and don’t be a jerk” 
  • “Nobody’s out there advocating for you more than you are for yourself”
  • “To make people feel things, telling these stories, this is what it’s all about”

Let your voice be heard: 

  • Ask questions, make comments, express yourself freely.
  • Call or text Jen at 213.915.6883
  • Email DitchYourBackupPlan@gmail.com
  • Share your story on social media–use #DYBPcast !

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

DYBP graphic design  © 2020 by Laura Gernon

DYBP theme song, “Ditch” © 2020 by Dean Keith

 

 

 

 

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About Jen Vellenga

For two decades, I have taught actors, directors, designers, stage managers, and playwrights in the performing arts. I have witnessed the anxieties and gratification experienced by students pursuing BFA and BM degrees in a highly selective conservatory program. I have witnessed the same at my current institution, a public state university in the midwest that offers only BA and BS degrees in theatre. Countless former students from both types of university experiences have created successful careers in arts and entertainment. No two pathways have been the same.

The great “backup plan” is crafted almost as carefully as the “big dream.” Students (and their parents!) see the backup plan as a safety net, but it’s a distraction and a set up for a life filled with regret.

I encourage students to follow their true instincts. The dream may look different than it did at the start, but you’ll never know the possibilities that exist unless you take the first steps to pursue your passion. Let intuition, education, and the experience of others guide you.

  • Listen to the stories of creatives in arts and entertainment
  • Follow your instincts to pursue your passion
  • Gain the courage to ditch your backup plan