Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easy part

Re posting from Seth.  So much of this post reflects what we deal with in teaching theatre to students.   They see the sparkly lights of Broadway gleaming in their future and yet don't want to put in the work to get there. Not just students, you see it in our industry where professionals have success within their grasp and yet won't do that extra thing, go that extra mile that will ensure their success. One more audition. One more class. One more dedicated and relentless move.  One more year.

If you are only in this for the "good parts" then you should just quit now because there are more "non working" times than there are working.  The good parts do not come close, time-wise, to the hard working parts.  

Here is the key I think, as Seth states below, you have to actually embrase the hard working times.  Get in there and get your hands dirty.  Stick your neck out.  Take a chance not knowing where you will end up.  I will admit that most of the time when I do that, I end up in a much more interesting and better place.  Stop being so afraid of failing and of what your friends will think, and of what your colleagues will think, and just do it. Or chose something else to do that is safer....wimp.  

Just the good parts-Seth Godin

"I want to be an actress, but I don't want to go on auditions."
"I want to play varsity sports, but I need to be sure I'm going to make the team."
"It's important to sell this great new service, but I'm not willing to deal with rejection."
You don't get to just do the good parts. Of course. In fact, you probably wouldn't have chosen this path if it was guaranteed to work every time.
The implication of this might surprise you, though: when the tough parts come along, the rejection and the slog and the unfair bad breaks, it makes sense to welcome them. Instead of cursing or fearing the down moments, understand that they mean you've chosen reality, not some unsustainable fantasy. It means that you're doing worthwhile, difficult work, not merely amusing yourself.
The very thing you're seeking only exists because of the whole. We can't deny the difficult parts, we have no choice but to embrace them.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

RANDY GRAFF!!! featured guest for Sunday Spotlight April 7

GREAT news!  

NPT Youth Board is proud to announce that our April 7th Sunday Spotlight will feature Randy Graff as our "virtual master class guest". 
Randy (full bio below) is best known for creating the role of Fantine in the original Broadway production of LES MISERABLES as well as winning a Tony for her performance in CITY OF ANGELS.  Her many Neil Simon plays include LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR and HOTEL SUITE on Broadway.   Film and TV work include:   NOTES FORM THE UNDERBELLY, CASHMERE MAFIA, LAW AND ORDER, MAD ABOUT YOU, MOON OVER BROADWAY, KEYS TO TULSA, RENT, ED as well as many more... 

We hope you will register today as spots for this webinar "virtual master class" are limited AND FREE! 

Tune in to ask her questions and hear about how she works her career in the Entertainment industry.  


Randy Graff’s truly bi-coastal career has taken her from the Broadway stage to the Hollywood sound stage, as well as to film and television studios in New York and Los Angeles.  In the process she has garnered a Tony and Drama Desk Award for her performance in CITY OF ANGELS, as well as Outer Critic’s Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Award Nominations for her starring role in A CLASS ACT.
Ms. Graff had the distinction of creating the role of Fantine in the original Broadway production of LES MISERABLES for which she received a Helen Hayes Award nomination.  Her work for playwright Neil Simon includes LAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR opposite Nathan Lane and HOTEL SUITE  for the prestigious Roundabout Theater Company.  Other Broadway starring roles include FALSETTOS, HIGH SOCIETY, and sharing the stage with Carol Burnett in MOON OVER BUFFALO.
She co starred with Alfred Molina in the most recent Broadway revival of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and received a Best Actress Drama League Award and Outer Critic’s Circle Nomination.  Her Off Broadway work includes Paula Vogel’s THE LONG CHRISTMAS RIDE HOME at the Vineyard Theater for which she received a Drama League Award, MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD for Primary Stages, DO RE MI also starring Nathan Lane for City Center Encores!, DAMN YANKEES  with Sean Hayes for ENCORES!  SUMMER STARS and the original production of A ..MY NAME IS ALICE at the Village Gate.  

Ms. Graff has performed literally from coast to coast in regional theaters including Hartford Stage, New  Jersey’s McCarter Theater, San Diego’s Old Globe where she portrayed legendary columnist Ann Lander’s as THE LADY WITH ALL THE ANSWERS (a one woman show) and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. where she proudly portrayed the countess in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC in the world renown Sondheim festival in 2002.
Ms. Graff is on the faculty at ESPA/PRIMARY STAGES SCHOOL FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS in New York City where she teaches musical theater technique and song interpretation.  She holds an honorary doctorate in the Performing Arts from Wagner College.

New Paradigm Theatre

Monday, March 18, 2013

Leadership mentality

Our fourth Sunday Spotlight went very well with Bruce Sabath as our guest.  Broadway, TV, Film and commercial work as well as being a family man made him a great guest.   You can catch up on all you might have missed on our youtube station that the youth board set up specifically for Sunday Spotlight.  Search: NPTyouth.  

Big week ahead.  When you have a few wonderful board members who help you do the work, it's exciting indeed.

Below is another blog I subscribe to.  Tom Peters, a businessman who has really good leadership advice. What I find interesting is that we "artists" have always talked about people and products. It's easy to feel intimidated by business folks that you might meet ie donor or board possibilities, and have the throw out words like "marketshare" or "ROI" or other terms like that.  When you are a non profit, you do need to understand the money-mind mentality. But you don't have to feel that you aren't a "salesperson" or "market savvy".  We artists have been one-to-one marketing (the latest marketing trend) and "selling"ourselves for years.  We understand networking and building relationships. In fact, we are experts at it! Therefore, we should feel confident knowing that we can teach the old school business folks a thing or two.   Go in with that mentality at least and you won't feel the need to bow and scrape or apologize.

Beware "leaders" who talk about marketshare and money instead of people and products!--- Tom Peters      
Good leadership advice:      
He also had this following advice and I find that if you don't plan things like this out, you won't do them.   I will be writing mine out because if you just think about it, it's not enough. Seeing it in writing actually helps you accomplish it.  Just like your own goal statements.  
What is my personal strategy for the next 10 hours? Who can I talk with or what can I volunteer for to learn something new?--- Tom Peters 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Practice makes perfectly happy sense

There are always roadblocks, or challenges. In any business.  This was a good piece from T. Harv Eker, the author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.  Important to remember that you can "practice" being unhappy or you can "practice" being happy.  Your choice.

Practice makes perfect, right? Wrong!
First of all, nothing’s ever perfect. I’d even say you don’t really want anything to be “perfect.” Why not? Well, once you’ve reached it, where else is there to go but backwards or, even worse, nowhere?
No, the point of practice isn’t perfection. We want to strive for perfection, yes, but that’s only going to work if you understand that it’s not just about the destination but the journey as well. That’s why it helps to look at the process when it comes to those outcomes we’re reaching for.Because what would be the point of getting to where you always wanted to be if you’re beat up and worn out by the time you get there? Where’s the happiness in that?
Happiness is a process as much as an outcome. Don’t get me wrong – a hard-earned victory is awesome. But think about it; should happiness in life be restricted to success in finances, or business, or career, or the attainment of goals?
We have all been there at some point in our lives, saying something like, “If only I had [fill in the blank], I’d be so much happier.” Hey, sometimes we may even get whatever it is we think will make us happy, but what usually ends up happening? We’re psyched for a little while—if at all—and then we find out it wasn’t really enough to make us as happy as we thought it would. There’s always more.
You can work your butt off to get to where you want to be by practicing your delivery, your backhand swing, your investment strategies—you can practice anything until you get it down, but that doesn’t mean things are always going to turn out perfectly. Practice doesn’t make perfect.
Practice becomes habit, and habits become permanent unless we consciously change them. We’re practicing something all the time through our habits, even when we’re not really thinking about it. If you practice the thought that “I’ll be happy when [fill in the blank] happens,” then guess what? You’re always delaying your happiness until [fill in the bank] happens. Not because things will never be great, but because you’ve become a master at being unhappy. Unhappiness will be your habit!
You have to practice being happy no matter what is going on in life; whether you win or lose, succeed or experience temporary setbacks, whether everything is the way you have always dreamed or if you are still on the road to your next major destination.
Practice whatever you want to be in the future now. If you want to be more patient and less reactionary, then practice patience now. If you want to be a manager of your own personal wealth, start managing your finances now no matter how much money you earn. If you want to be successful, then practice being successful now. Start small. Engage in things that you’re already good at and challenge yourself to be better, even if it’s just in small increments.
The key is to enjoy the process and the journey. We can have moments of perfection, times where we wouldn’t want a single thing to change, but it’s unfair and unrealistic to ask that of life all the time. But it’s totally within our control to practice being whatever we want to be right now!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Attracting the perfect tribe

It bears repeating that this is the way to market in the modern world. THIS is what we have based the starting of our theatre upon. Don't rush to get a space and then do all you want to do as a theatre. Do it now and let your tribe gather around you, tweak, rinse, repeat and then when you open your doors, you already have an audience.

Choose your customers first- Seth Godin

It seems obvious, doesn't it? Each cohort of customers has a particular worldview, a set of problems, a small possible set of solutions available. Each cohort has a price they're willing to pay, a story they're willing to hear, a period of time they're willing to invest.
And yet...
And yet too often, we pick the product or service first, deciding that it's perfect and then rushing to market, sure that the audience will sort itself out. Too often, though, we end up with nothing.
The real estate broker ought to pick which sort of buyer before she goes out to buy business cards, rent an office or get listings. 
The bowling alley investor ought to pick whether he's hoping for serious league players or girls-night-out partiers before he buys a building or uniforms.
The yoga instructor, the corporate coach, the app developer--in every case, first figure out who you'd like to do business with, then go make something just for them. The more specific the better...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sunday Spotlight with Bruce Sabath!

Very excited that this week's Sunday Spotlight is with my former Company cast mate, Bruce Sabath!
Here is the link to register for this FREE virtual master class.
March 17th's Sunday Spotlight

(picture of Bruce with Mr. Sondheim) 

One of my college kids asked me if you need to have Skype to be able to attend so I thought I would clarify for everyone.  You just click on that link above.  Then it registers you for the online webinar.  About a day before and then again an hour before you get a reminder email with the link that lets you into the webinar.  A bit before 8pm you just click it, it opens up, and you can hear the guest, me and the two youth board teens talking.  You also see my screen which has a powerpoint on it with pix etc of the guest star.  Then if you want to ask a question, you just type it and I see it, then I unmute you and you can literally ask the question yourself of the guest.  So cool!

Bruce Sabath Press Release info

Bruce Sabath is a New York-based actor, working in theatre, film, TV and commercials. He played Larry in the 2006-07 Tony-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company. He was most recently seen in New York in Prospect Theater’s Portraits, and the workshop of the new musical Casanova, as well as the award-winning revival of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello Again and the Off-Broadway musical, The Sphinx Winx. Sabath’s regional credits include Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, directed by John Doyle at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and his acclaimed portrayal of Richard Nixon in the Southeast premier of Frost/Nixon at the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton. Sabath has also appeared closer to home at The Schoolhouse Theater in productions of The Imaginary Invalid and Lost in Yonkers.

Sabath, a former Wall Street “wiz kid” and corporate strategist, stunned his colleagues a decade-and-a-half ago when he chucked his established business career to pursue his first love, acting. He then stunned the theatre world when he debuted on Broadway, and was praised by Ben Brantley of The New York Times for his “touching and credible” performance as Larry, opposite Barbara Walsh as the acerbic Joanne. Sabath’s story has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Parade Magazine, The Sondheim Review, Backstage, Germany’s Der Spiegel, Westchester Magazine, and Psychology Today.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sunday Spotlight with Randye Kaye

Our 2nd Sunday Spotlight went even better because I figured out how to unmute the attendees and let then ask their own questions of our guest: Alan Rust- director of theatre at the Hartt School.   The recording (which I didn't catch right at the very beginning) is on our youtube page here.

The reports I get back after each call are so helpful.  We have a couple poll questions each time and the feedback is great. Part of the reason we have a facebook page now that updates people to the new guests each week is because of a suggestion.

Our next guest is Randye Kaye!   She's a very successful voice over artist, author, radio personality, teacher, actor, and mom.  Hope you will join us on Sunday, March 10th, at 8pm to learn about how she constructs her career.   She's very big into making up your own career. Just creating your own opportunities. And she has certainly been successful doing that!

Also we got a lovely donation from a minister friend of mine, Rev. Marjo Anderson, for the continuation of our Sunday Spotlight.  Thank you!  Trying to raise $2000 and we have 27 days left. If you feel this is a worthy project I hope you will visit our Rockethub page and donate any amount! LINK:

Thank you!!

Friday, March 1, 2013


It's launched!  Our very first online fundraiser, with Rockethub. We liked this service because it really lets your donors feel as if they are fueling a project.  There are rewards that you get for giving any amount, but a fun one is a  Walk On Role in one of our upcoming shows!

So our terrific Vice President of the Youth Board, Nathan Clift, really did a great job of getting this started and opening our account.   We are trying to raise $2000 for the year-long Go To Webinar package that will allow the Youth Board to continue providing the Sunday Spotlights for free to anyone who wants to listen in.

This week is Alan Rust, March 3, 8pm.  He is the dean of the theatre school at the Univ. of Hartford (hartt school) as well as Artistic director for Monomoy Theatre in Cape Cod.  Register for free with this link:

Thank you for considering any amount as your donation if you think this is a worthy venture!