44 episodes

Are you a combination of actor, director, producer, designer, or anything else? Congratulations, you're a multi-hyphenate! A multi-hyphenate is an artist who has multiple proficiencies that cross pollinate to help flourish professional capabilities. Dear Multi-hyphenate explores the full potential of artists in show business who have taken the paths less traveled. Are you unsure how to stay creative and garner income during the pandemic? Are you sitting on a project and you have no idea how to get started? What if others have cornered you into thinking that you are just an actor, or just a director, or just a producer? Let go of the rules and take agency of your full potential! Listen to me and my guests, the leaders of the multi-hyphenation station, as we dissect the mentality and possibilities about artistic agency."Michael is the glue that holds the Broadway community together." - Tony Award Winner Alice Ripley (Next to Normal)

Dear Multi-hyphenate Broadway Podcast Network

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 32 Ratings

Are you a combination of actor, director, producer, designer, or anything else? Congratulations, you're a multi-hyphenate! A multi-hyphenate is an artist who has multiple proficiencies that cross pollinate to help flourish professional capabilities. Dear Multi-hyphenate explores the full potential of artists in show business who have taken the paths less traveled. Are you unsure how to stay creative and garner income during the pandemic? Are you sitting on a project and you have no idea how to get started? What if others have cornered you into thinking that you are just an actor, or just a director, or just a producer? Let go of the rules and take agency of your full potential! Listen to me and my guests, the leaders of the multi-hyphenation station, as we dissect the mentality and possibilities about artistic agency."Michael is the glue that holds the Broadway community together." - Tony Award Winner Alice Ripley (Next to Normal)

    Vasthy Mompoint: Find Your Treehouse

    Vasthy Mompoint: Find Your Treehouse

    “I think there needs to be a new wave of producers who lead from the heart. Producing can be an artistic, beautiful process if you choose to make it that way.”
    Vasthy Mompoint has frequented Broadway in shows such as The Prom, Spongebob, Mary Poppins, and more. Most recently, Vasthy played Tameka in the Ryan Murphy Netflix film version of The Prom. She is also the creator of Vasthy’s Friends, a children’s show born out of the realization that there is a disconnect in the education system regarding racism and equality, which promotes activism in kids. 
    To Vasthy, a multi-hyphenate is using all parts of the artistic brain without the limits put on you by the industry. It’s breaking the handcuffs of all the technicalities and allowing for artistic freedom. 
    Vasthy produces, she performs, she plays the guitar, she writes… “And it’s not because I’m brilliant at them,” she says, “I just genuinely enjoy doing those.”
    A little over two years before we recorded this episode, Vasthy became very sick - and because she was sick she wasn’t able to do many of the things she loved. Instead, she started writing which came out freely. After writing and producing a show for 54 Below and then submitting her writing to CBS, Vasthy found a whole new voice as a writer and producer. Out of illness came a new identity. 
    “Producing your own show doesn’t have to be imitating something someone else did, or looking at the way it’s all been done… it’s literally bringing who you are, your authentic self, how you feel, how you want to tell your story because it’s you - you get to control everything.”
    Vasthy wants to see real people and stories on stage - so going from Spongebob to The Prom on Broadway was incredibly special as she was able to connect with audiences of a younger age who were able to see themselves on stage. Vasthy also keys us into the incredible way she fights the system, by producing Vashty’s Friends which provides young children to not only see themselves on screen, but also to learn compassion and empathy about others.
    “It’s easier to teach a kid to love, than to teach an adult how to not hate.” Vashty says. And she’s completely correct. 
    Vasthy Mompoint is an Actress, Dancer, Singer, by way of Alabama, North Carolina, and Haiti. On-screen Vasthy has appeared in Nora from Queens (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert), The Prom Movie (dir Ryan Murphy), Dick Johnson is dead (Kirsten Johnson) The Mysteries of Laura (Norman Buckley), The Detour (Jason Jones) and The Cartoon show, The Winx Club. On stage, Vasthy has appeared on numerous stages from Broadway to Egypt including Prom The Musical, Spongebob Squarepants, Mary Poppins, The Taming of the Shrew, Rocky, Ghost, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Aida, Hair, 42nd Street, and Ragtime. As a dancer, Vasthy has performed with James Corden, Yolanda Adams, Brian McKnight, Michael Jackson, Marc Anthony, Gloria Gaynor and more. And Vasthy has also created Vasthy’s Friends, a video platform for Broadway performers to write, choreograph, and and compose original kid-friendly programming.
    Connect with Michael:

    @themichaelkushner (IG and TikTok)

    @dearmultihyphenate (IG)

    www.michaelkushneronline.com

    Produced by Alan Seales and the Broadway Podcast Network.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 49 min
    Jen Waldman: The Titanic Leader

    Jen Waldman: The Titanic Leader

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on him not understanding it.” 
    If we looked at the industry like a cell, Jen Waldman would be the mitochondria, or the powerhouse. With a lustrous career on stage, Jen began to venture into other facets in the industry breaking down barrier after barrier as an acting teacher - acting coach - leadership coach - podcaster - business owner - director/choreographer.
    “When it's working at it’s best,” Waldman says of her outlook on theatre, “I think of theatre as really responsible and relevant story telling with an eye on the impact that you seek to have not only on the audience, but the audience’s audience.” Not everything needs to be loaded with emotion, pathos, or drama, but we do need to hold ourselves accountable when creating theatre. Jen continues how when she sees theatre, she tries to go on a day where there is a talkback available in hopes of continuing the circular experience of taking responsibility, unpacking the story as a community, and calling yourself in for how one sees the show. 
    In this episode we speak about theatrical environments, multi-hyphenate potential, how a Swing on Broadway is a multi-hyphenate in itself, the individual journey, and how the industry can prevent the growth and experience of the multi-hyphenate. 
    And speaking of the stunting of the multi-hyphenate experience, Waldman goes in on how the multi-hyphenate potential is there for everyone and it is infuriating the way our industry has tried to dissuade people from having multiple pursuits.
    This episode is incredibly inspiring to any artist at any level, so dive into Jen Waldman’s incredible outlook and be inspired to get to work, no matter the ways show business tries to silence your impulses. This episode also features a question from Luisa L. which touches on burnout in the segment You Got A Question.
    Jen is the founder of Jen Waldman Studio, a creative home and training studio for professional theatre Artists . On March 12, 2020, when Broadway shut down, JWS Artists were appearing in 14 Broadway shows. On April 5, 2020, JWS moved its entire operations online and is now a creative home to theatre Artists in 39 states and 13 countries.
    Jen brings her 20+ years of Broadway experience into the world of business and served as the Artistic Director of the Hangar Theatre and as the Artistic Director of Breaking Bread Theatre Company. She served a 5 year term as the Theatre Chair for the National YoungArts Foundation, and was awarded a Proclamation from the City of New York in 2009 for her work galvanizing the Broadway community in support of marriage equality. She has directed and choreographed productions at theatres across the country. Earlier in her career, Jen worked as an actor, appearing on Broadway in Titanic and Wicked, also touring the US as Nessarose, the Wicked Witch of the East.
    Jen is the co-host of the podcast The Long and the Short of It with PeterShepherd.
    Connect with Michael:

    @themichaelkushner (IG and TikTok)

    @dearmultihyphenate (IG)

    www.michaelkushneronline.com

    Produced by Alan Seales and the Broadway Podcast Network.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 56 min
    Christine Toy Johnson: Breaking the Color Barrier

    Christine Toy Johnson: Breaking the Color Barrier

    “Being open to the idea that your dreams coming true often look very different to how you first imagine them.” 
    Bringing compassion and kindness; intentional generosity into whatever space is possible. That’s what Come From Away’s Christine Toy Johnson is all about. In fact, that’s what this whole episode is about. From sharing where we were on 9/11 to global world views in casting a representation, in this episode we tackle what it means to integrate compassion, kindness, and intentional generosity into our art. 
    When did Christine start to identify as a multi-hyphenate? When Christine was four years old, she began as a child model who also put on plays for her family about the Twelve Days of Christmas. It wasn’t long after she realized she needed to do many things not just to survive, but to find happiness. 
    Christine is an actor, writer, director, and advocate for inclusion and her career truly is an extension of her soul. Right at the top of her bio, she prides herself on breaking the color barrier. What does that mean? When Christine started out in the industry, there was almost an expectation of the roles she could play. On representation, Christine says, “There is a direct line between underrepresentation and the perpetualization of harmful stereotypes all the way to the dehumanization and erasure of the three dimensional people that make up the population whose actions are they trying to reflect.” In the episode, Christine breaks this down from the perspective of an advocate for inclusion. 
    Christine is right - and she’s built a career on being right! But of course, we’re human and sometimes we get in our own way. But Christine always rises above. She says, “There’s no time to wallow in self doubt that would debilitate you and take you off course.” 
    Speaking of rising above, Christine took quarantine by the horns and focused on her writing. She finds her through line is about belonging, finding her place in the industry, and being sure that we all belong, all while finding that other people (consciously or subconsciously) disagree. 
    This episode is full of joy, inspiration, first hand experience, and lots of helpful steps for budding producers and creators - for example, what a grant is and how to apply for one. As always, please rate, review, and subscribe to Dear Multi-Hyphenate!
    Christine Toy Johnson is an award-winning writer, actor, director and advocate for inclusion. Her written works have been produced and/or developed by the Roundabout, Village Theatre, Barrow Group, Prospect Theatre, Weston Playhouse, O’Neill, Women’s Theatre Festival, CAP 21, Greater Boston Stage Company, the Abingdon Theatre Company and more and are included in the Library of Congress’s Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection (Playwrights Division). She is an alum of the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, was a 2016 fellow of The Writers Lab (supported by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Oprah Winfrey), serves on the Council of the Dramatists Guild and is host of the Guild’s podcast "Talkback" on Broadway Podcast Network. As an actor, Christine has appeared extensively on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the country and nearly 100 television and film appearances including recurring guest star roles on Marvel’s “Iron Fist”, “Bull”, “The Americans”, “You”, “Law and Order: SVU” and more and is on "extended intermission" from the North American tour of COME FROM AWAY. Rosetta LeNoire, JACL, Asian American Arts Alliance, Obie awards for advocacy in diversity and inclusion. For details, please visit www.christinetoyjohnson.com  
    In the segment You Got A Question? Michael features a question from a college student who asks "When do we know when to add a hyphen to our multi-hyphenate identity?"
    Connect with Michael:

    @themichaelkushner (IG and TikTok)

    • 1 hr 1 min
    PennyWild: An Artist's Guilt

    PennyWild: An Artist's Guilt

    “It’s not going to be perfect, but nothing is perfect. The hardest thing about making music is finishing music.”
    How does the multi-hyphenate differ from coast to coast? On this episode of Dear Multi-Hyphenate, dj-choreographer-producer-performer, wasn’t originally drawn to the word multi-hyphenate or “Renaissance Woman”. But in 2021, Penny Wildman, who also goes by PENNYWILD, resonates with the phrase as she no longer waits for permission to tackle her avenues. 
    Are we in a new era of Artist’s Guilt and has it flipped on its head? Where an Artist's Guilt is usually born out of an artist feeling they aren’t creating enough… in a response to a pandemic, is it the guilt now is a response to creating too much, especially in a world where so many people are less inspired to create. 
    PennyWild is always finding the balance in, you guessed it, social media - especially TikTok. The app can change lives, but is the Russian Roulette gamble worth it? What does growth actually look like and how can we get from point A to point B. Like PennyWild says, sometimes we are just flying by the seat of our pants. Sometimes it just takes ONE moment to hit us in the “pleasure center” to disenroll from our college courses and switch gears. People may think it’s weird, but when we find paths for artistic opportunities - it can create a beautiful orb of work. It may not make sense on paper, but it’s a beautiful thing.
    “Nothing in life is black and white. It’s all very nuanced. It’s all very complicated and that really checks out with this year.”
    Penny Wildman is a Music Producer, DJ, Director, and Choreographer living in Los Angeles by way of New York City. She has choreographed/directed for the likes of Zedd, Rich The Kid, Laidback Luke, Enrique Iglesias, Marian Hill, Weird Al, Gucci Mane, amongst others. Theatrical Choreography credits include Ryan Murphy’s FEUD: Bette & Joan (FX), ANNIE at The Hollywood Bowl (Associate), Merrily… at The Wallis Theatre (Associate), The Mystery of Edwin Drood at Boston Conservatory, Little Miss Fix-It at PACE University, etc. 
    As PENNYWILD, she has performed at globally renowned music festivals such as Coachella, SXSW, Lightning in a Bottle, BUKU Arts Festival, HARD Summer etc. She released her 1st single on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records, followed by her debut EP on Dome of Doom Records in October 2020. Her sophomore EP will be released Summer 2021. 
    Penny appeared on London’s prestigious West End in the iconic Broadway musical West Side Story and toured with the production throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. Penny is also a Dance Coach/Choreographer for MTCA (Musical Theatre College Auditions). 
    Find her @PennyWildMusic and PennyWildMusic.com. 
    Michael Kushner is NYC’s leading multi-hyphenate and the Executive Produce of the EMMY Nominated series Indoor Boys. Performance: On the Town at Barrington Stage (Pre Broadway, Directed by John Rando). Featured in The NYTimes, Vogue, The Tony Awards, Playbill, and more. Creator of The Dressing Room Project. Other Producing: XaveMePlease, starring Isaac Powell, (Frameline43 Festival in San Fran), Moments in the Woods (A Virtual Gala for the HFWAA featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, nominated for a BroadwayWorld Award), Betsy Wolfe’s A Pants Optional Holiday. Upcoming Producing: The Pink Unicorn, a film starring Alice Ripley, written by Elise Forier Edie. In 2020, Michael served as 2020 KeyNote speaker for Florida Thespians. www.michaelkushneronline.com or www.michaelkushnerphotography.com. Proud AEA Member. Ithaca College BFA Musical Theatre. @themichaelkushner on IG and TikTok.
    In the segment You Got A Question? Michael features a question from Jessica P. on (asked on TikTok) who asks why we should no longer use the word 'quirky' when describing ourselves to headshot photographers, agents, and managers.
    Connect with Michael:

    • 1 hr
    Alex Wyse: "Oh, the Humanity!"

    Alex Wyse: "Oh, the Humanity!"

    “I don’t feel good about myself in the day unless I’m making something.” This inspiring and hysterical episode is just two gay, Jewish boys kibbitzing about our trajectories in the theatre while breaking down stereotypes and expectations. If you’re a fan of the hit web series Indoor Boys, breaking heteronormitve barriers, selling projects, and… The Hindenburg… then this episode is for you. 
    Alex Wyse is an accomplished actor in tv/film and Broadway who not only performs, but his hyphens also include writer, director, and producer. From his earliest memories of being an aspiring child magician, he realized he too can also write a song, write plays, and create. After a college experience that was less than favorable, he began to write on his own work out of necessity.
    Like many multi-hyphenates, Alex also ran into the statement many people tell us - which is, “You have to pick one thing.” Together, Michael and Alex break down the idea of why picking one art form is outdated and, quite frankly, not helpful. The world today is more receptive to the multi-hyphenate than ever before, but people do still believe artists have to be stuck in the binary. How can your art defy genre and expectations? 
    Alex and writing/directing partner Wes Taylor have also struck gold. Together, they wrote an Emmy Nominated character in their webseries Indoor Boys, which Michael produced. Telling stories that influence change, no matter how big or small, is what Alex is about. Through whatever his hyphen, Alex wants to give space to people to tell the stories they are meant to tell. This episode was recorded on the day a straight actor was nominated for a Golden Globe for portraying a gay man, which infuriates Alex and goes against what Alex stands for. Alex says, “The way I can be a social advocate is through my writing.”
    Alex Wyse is an actor, writer, director, and producer. He co-created the digital series “Indoor Boys,” which was nominated for an Emmy Award, won twelve Indie Series Awards, and was acquired by Here TV. He has been seen on Broadway in Waitress, Spring Awakening, Lysistrata Jones, on Tour in Wicked, off Broadway in Ride the Cyclone, Bare, and Triassic Parq, and regionally at Hartford Stage, Deaf West, Paper Mill Playhouse, Cleveland Play House, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, and more. He’s been seen on TV in “Iron Fist,” “Masters of Sex,” “NCIS: LA,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Modern Family,” “Agent X,” “Bad Judge,” “A to Z,” “Switched at Birth,” and “Bored to Death,” and on film in X/Y and Dating My Mother. He co-produced What the Constitution Means to Me on Broadway and on Tour. BFA: Boston University.
    In the segment You Got A Question? Michael features a question from Heather A., who asks if her daughter should go to college for theatre and what is the difference between a BA and a BFA?
    Connect with Michael:

    @themichaelkushner (IG and TikTok)

    @dearmultihyphenate (IG)

    www.michaelkushneronline.com

    Produced by Alan Seales and the Broadway Podcast Network.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 53 min
    Stephanie Klapper: Multi-Hyphenates & The Casting Director

    Stephanie Klapper: Multi-Hyphenates & The Casting Director

    Casting directors are often seen as gatekeepers to opportunities in the industry - but does the multi-hyphenate approach help them? The answer is yes.

    We’ve all had audition horror stories - and whether or not it’s the casting directors fault our own, it’s never too late to live and learn. And as always, knowing yourself as a multi-hyphenate often is the answer to avoid those icky situations.

    Join one of New York’s leading casting directors Stephanie Klapper as she breaks down and opens up about the casting director process. Though casting directors seem like distant people sitting behind tables, we have to remember they are human beings in search of connection, just as the actor is.
    So - when should an artist show up for their call of duty? What type of resume should you send? Do you want to see the chemical makeup of the multi-hyphenate artist or do you want to see that I once was in the ensemble of Cabaret? How can an actor make an experience better for the casting director? What purpose does the headshot serve in 2021? All these questions, and many more, are answered in this amazing episode.

    The multi-hyphenate is extremely useful to the casting director, because as Stephanie states, “Sometimes we don’t even know what we’re looking for!” The rules of auditioning changes daily - especially after experiencing a shut down like the industry has, which obviously will affect the future audition protocol. “It’s a great time to get to know people,” Stephanie says, “in a way that when we’re all running too quickly - we don’t get to.”

    Actors aren’t the only ones pivoting in the pandemic - you guessed it, casting directors are as well. As well as getting inspiring tips on how to apply agency to your auditions, get a behind the table look as to what a casting director is experiencing during this time away from normalcy.

    This episode also features a questions from a listener in the segment YOU GOT A QUESTION? where Michael answers a question sent to him through social media. This week's question, sent in from Erika E. and focsuses on collaboration. How do we find collaborators?

    Stephanie Klapper is a New York based Casting Director who has been in the business for 25 plus years.

    Her work is frequently seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, internationally, on television, and film. Projects she has cast have won numerous awards including the Tony, OBIES, Drama Desk, Pulitzer Prize, Sundance Audience Award, Cannes Prize Du Publique, Comic Con and Artios.

    Stephanie, along with her incredible casting team, comprise Stephanie Klapper Casting, an Independent Casting Group who is known for their limitless imagination and creativity and for their work on a wide range of projects all over the country and the world. Frequent and longtime collaborators include Primary Stages, Mint Theater Company, NY Classical Theatre, american vicarious, The Peccadillo, Voyage Theatre, Masterworks, Resonance Ensemble, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Company, Capital Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Adirondack Theatre Festival, Ford’s Theatre, Kansas City Rep, The New Theatre, The Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as many more in New York, the regions, and internationally.

    Ms. Klapper is passionate about working with creative teams to develop new work and expand the scope of established work. In addition to casting and teaching, Ms. Klapper is a member of the New York Board of the Casting Society of America, Casting Society Cares, and New York Women in Film. She is passionate about continuing to expand and champion diversity, equity, equality and inclusion in the business. She loves working with emerging artists to help them develop their careers.

    Connect with Michael:

    @themichaelkushner (IG and TikTok)

    @dearmultihyphenate (IG)

    www.michaelkushneronline.com


    Produced by Alan Sea

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

theaterfan714 ,

Love this podcast!

Michael is a great host. All of these episodes are a must listen!

SamanthaUStevens ,

Why am I always late to the party?

I wish I had found this podcast sooner!!

Filled with exciting stories from masters of so many trades that leaves me excited and inspired to go about my day and journey as a fellow multi-hyphenate !!

A MUST for anyone connected/interested in the arts, but such a great insight for those outside of it too!

KS👏 ,

A Must-Listen

Full of witty, compassionate wisdom, Michael Kushner bring inspiration to those pursuing multiple creative paths. A must-listen for multhyphenate artists!

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