156 episodes

Backstage has been the #1 resource for actors and talent-seekers for 60 years. In the Envelope, Backstage’s podcast, features intimate, in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy film, television, and theater actors and creators. This is your guide to every aspect of acting, from voiceover and commercial work to casting directors, agents, and more. Full of both know-how and inspiration, In the Envelope airs weekly to cover everything from practical advice on navigating the industry, to how your favorite projects are made, to personal stories of success and failure alike. Join host Jack Smart, Awards Editor at Backstage, for this guide on how to live the creative life from those who are doing it every day.

In the Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast Backstage

    • TV & Film
    • 4.8 • 108 Ratings

Backstage has been the #1 resource for actors and talent-seekers for 60 years. In the Envelope, Backstage’s podcast, features intimate, in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy film, television, and theater actors and creators. This is your guide to every aspect of acting, from voiceover and commercial work to casting directors, agents, and more. Full of both know-how and inspiration, In the Envelope airs weekly to cover everything from practical advice on navigating the industry, to how your favorite projects are made, to personal stories of success and failure alike. Join host Jack Smart, Awards Editor at Backstage, for this guide on how to live the creative life from those who are doing it every day.

    Neil Patrick Harris

    Neil Patrick Harris

    How has Neil Patrick Harris been able to thrive in so many areas of the entertainment biz? “I don’t like resting on my laurels,” he tells Backstage, detailing the twists and turns of a career that has enabled him to consistently surprise audiences. Those hoping to avoid pigeonholing and play a variety of roles should listen closely to Neil’s advice, both practical and philosophical. “Being able to challenge myself, and keep growing in different ways.... It’s a long game.”

    Since his early breakout as a child actor in “Clara’s Heart” and leading the medical dramedy “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” Neil has become a producer, author, awards ceremony host, and activist (and magician!). The New Mexico native has nailed comedies including the “Harold & Kumar” films, “How I Met Your Mother,” and “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” musicals including “Rent,” “Company,” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” and darker fare including “Gone Girl” and Russell T. Davies’ recent Channel 4 and HBO Max limited series “It’s a Sin.” He’s earned a Tony Award for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” five Emmy Awards for “Glee” and hosting the Tonys, and much more. Neil now appears on the Channel 4 and HBO Max limited series “It’s a Sin,” and will next serve as judge on “Australia’s Got Talent: Challengers & Champions” and star in “Matrix 4.” This episode is brought to you by HBO.
    ---
    Backstage has been the #1 resource for actors and talent-seekers for 60 years. In the Envelope, Backstage’s podcast, features intimate, in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy film, television, and theater actors and creators. This is your guide to every aspect of acting, from voiceover and commercial work to casting directors, agents, and more. Full of both know-how and inspiration, In the Envelope airs weekly to cover everything from practical advice on navigating the industry, to how your favorite projects are made, to personal stories of success and failure alike. Join host Jack Smart, Awards Editor at Backstage, for this guide on how to live the creative life from those who are doing it every day: https://bit.ly/2OMryWQ

    Follow Backstage and In the Envelope on social media:
    - https://www.facebook.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/intheenvelope
    - https://www.instagram.com/backstagecast

    Looking to get cast? Subscribe here: www.backstage.com/subscribe
    Browse Backstage casting listings: https://bit.ly/3mth68e
    Check out our community-driven virtual programming, The Slate: https://bit.ly/2WDNXf0
    Backstage stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement: https://bit.ly/3cuMBt5

    Special thanks to...
    - Host: Jack Smart
    - Producer: Jamie Muffett
    - Social media: Katie Minard, Alysa Cirelli
    - Design: Mark Stinson, Caitlin Watkins
    - Additional support: Christine McKenna-Tirella, Kasey Howe, Samantha Sherlock, Benjamin Lindsay, Oriella St. Louis

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Queen Latifah

    Queen Latifah

    Someone as prolific and consistently stellar as Queen Latifah needs no introduction. At every surprising turn of her career as an actor, musician, and producer, she’s used an exacting work ethic and irrepressible enthusiasm to inspire women like her. “There were no blueprints for a lot of what I was doing,” she says of her beginnings in the music and filmmaking industries. How has she persevered for so long? “You have to fail,” she advises. “I, luckily, was thrown out there in enough things to fail and cry and get up and fail and cry.”

    After blazing trails as one of the first women in jazz-rap at age 17, Queen Latifah refused pigeonholing in the biz, getting her start onscreen in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” and Will Smith’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” She’s since starred in “Living Single,” “Set It Off,” “Bringing Down the House,” “Chicago,” “Last Holiday,” “Hairspray,” “Bessie,” “The Wiz Live,” “Girls Trip,” “Star,” “Flint,” “The Little Mermaid Live,” and “Hollywood,” earning an Emmy Award, three SAG Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, and an Academy Award nomination. She now produces CBS’ action-drama “The Equalizer,” on which she stars as Robyn McCall. This episode is brought to you by HBO.

    Stick around for Backstage casting insider Christine McKenna-Tirella’s breakdown on taking headshots: https://bit.ly/2U7V028
    ---
    Backstage has been the #1 resource for actors and talent-seekers for 60 years. In the Envelope, Backstage’s podcast, features intimate, in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy film, television, and theater actors and creators. This is your guide to every aspect of acting, from voiceover and commercial work to casting directors, agents, and more. Full of both know-how and inspiration, In the Envelope airs weekly to cover everything from practical advice on navigating the industry, to how your favorite projects are made, to personal stories of success and failure alike. Join host Jack Smart, Awards Editor at Backstage, for this guide on how to live the creative life from those who are doing it every day: https://bit.ly/2OMryWQ

    Follow Backstage and In the Envelope on social media:
    - https://www.facebook.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/intheenvelope
    - https://www.instagram.com/backstagecast

    Looking to get cast? Subscribe here: www.backstage.com/subscribe
    Browse Backstage casting listings: https://bit.ly/3mth68e
    Check out our community-driven virtual programming, The Slate: https://bit.ly/2WDNXf0
    Backstage stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement: https://bit.ly/3cuMBt5

    Special thanks to...
    - Host: Jack Smart
    - Producer: Jamie Muffett
    - Social media: Katie Minard, Alysa Cirelli
    - Design: Mark Stinson, Caitlin Watkins
    - Additional support: Christine McKenna-Tirella, Kasey Howe, Samantha Sherlock, Benjamin Lindsay, Oriella St. Louis

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Nicola Coughlan & Phoebe Dynevor

    Nicola Coughlan & Phoebe Dynevor

    Despite their distinct training backgrounds and character construction techniques, “Bridgerton” stars Nicola Coughlan and Phoebe Dynevor agree on plenty when it comes to acting. It’s a fickle business, for one, and no matter where an actor is in their career trajectory, self-doubt remains part of the journey. “You have that fear where you go, I don’t think I know how to act anymore!” says Nicola of each new job. “You’ve got to make bold, interesting choices,” advises Phoebe. “Be bold!”

    Nicola studied at drama and improv schools in England and her native Ireland before getting her big break onstage in “Jess and Joe Forever,” followed by ITV Encore and Hulu’s drama “Harlots” and the hit Channel 4 and Netflix comedy “Derry Girls.” Phoebe began as a child actor on the drama “Waterloo Road,” then starred on “Dickensian,” “Snatch,” and now TV Land and Paramount+’s “Younger.” As Penelope Featherington and Daphne Bridgerton, respectively, Nicola and Phoebe are part of the SAG Award–nominated ensemble of Netflix’s period drama “Bridgerton,” adapted from Julia Quinn’s novels by Shondaland and showrunner Chris Van Dusen, now filming its highly anticipated second season.

    Also joining this week’s episode is Backstage’s industry news contributor Diep Tran, whose feature on the creation of “Bridgerton” you can read here: https://bit.ly/3g5rYIQ
    ---
    Backstage has been the #1 resource for actors and talent-seekers for 60 years. In the Envelope, Backstage’s podcast, features intimate, in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy film, television, and theater actors and creators. This is your guide to every aspect of acting, from voiceover and commercial work to casting directors, agents, and more. Full of both know-how and inspiration, In the Envelope airs weekly to cover everything from practical advice on navigating the industry, to how your favorite projects are made, to personal stories of success and failure alike. Join host Jack Smart, Awards Editor at Backstage, for this guide on how to live the creative life from those who are doing it every day: https://bit.ly/2OMryWQ

    Follow Backstage and In the Envelope on social media:
    - https://www.facebook.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/intheenvelope
    - https://www.instagram.com/backstagecast

    Looking to get cast? Subscribe here: www.backstage.com/subscribe
    Browse Backstage casting listings: https://bit.ly/3mth68e
    Check out our community-driven virtual programming, The Slate: https://bit.ly/2WDNXf0
    Backstage stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement: https://bit.ly/3cuMBt5

    Special thanks to...
    - Host: Jack Smart
    - Producer: Jamie Muffett
    - Social media: Katie Minard, Alysa Cirelli
    - Design: Mark Stinson, Caitlin Watkins
    - Additional support: Christine McKenna-Tirella, Kasey Howe, Samantha Sherlock, Benjamin Lindsay, Oriella St. Louis

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Maya Erskine & Anna Konkle

    Maya Erskine & Anna Konkle

    Writer-actors always make for insightful interviews, but that’s particularly true for Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, who write, produce, edit, and star as middle school–aged versions of themselves on Hulu’s Emmy-nominated cringe comedy “Pen15.” Together they shed light on their “creative ESP” as collaborators, their distinct page-to-screen process alongside director Sam Zvibleman, and how to overcome the self-doubt inherent in a Hollywood career—especially for women onscreen. “I have permission to be free and wild and sort of unapologetic,” says Maya of playing a 13-year-old. Anna agrees: “I’m so grateful that we got the opportunity to just be characters with zero sex appeal. Zero!”

    After meeting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Maya and Anna set out to create their own opportunities in the biz, starting with the web series “Project Reality.” Maya also stars in ""Plus One,"" “Betas,” “Casual,” “Wine Country,” and the upcoming “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” while Anna has appeared in “Rosewood,” “Baskets,” and “Together Together.” Read more about the Gotham Award–winning “Pen15,” which will continue its second season this fall, here: https://bit.ly/3wVEqR0

    And in this week’s Backstage casting insider segment, Christine McKenna-Tirella addresses a frequently asked question: How does one pursue a career in casting?
    ---
    Backstage has been the #1 resource for actors and talent-seekers for 60 years. In the Envelope, Backstage’s podcast, features intimate, in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy film, television, and theater actors and creators. This is your guide to every aspect of acting, from voiceover and commercial work to casting directors, agents, and more. Full of both know-how and inspiration, In the Envelope airs weekly to cover everything from practical advice on navigating the industry, to how your favorite projects are made, to personal stories of success and failure alike. Join host Jack Smart, Awards Editor at Backstage, for this guide on how to live the creative life from those who are doing it every day: https://bit.ly/2OMryWQ

    Follow Backstage and In the Envelope on social media:
    - https://www.facebook.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/intheenvelope
    - https://www.instagram.com/backstagecast

    Looking to get cast? Subscribe here: www.backstage.com/subscribe
    Browse Backstage casting listings: https://bit.ly/3mth68e
    Check out our community-driven virtual programming, The Slate: https://bit.ly/2WDNXf0
    Backstage stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement: https://bit.ly/3cuMBt5

    Special thanks to...
    - Host: Jack Smart
    - Producer: Jamie Muffett
    - Social media: Katie Minard, Alysa Cirelli
    - Design: Mark Stinson, Caitlin Watkins
    - Additional support: Christine McKenna-Tirella, Kasey Howe, Samantha Sherlock, Benjamin Lindsay, Oriella St. Louis

    • 1 hr
    Misha Green & Jurnee Smollett

    Misha Green & Jurnee Smollett

    What makes for an ideal collaboration between actors and behind-the-camera talent? Misha Green and Jurnee Smollett, the respective creator-showrunner and star of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” have plenty of insights into maximizing creativity and trust on set. “You gotta have an environment in which the ‘captain’ has created a level of safety, a level for you to fail big,” says Jurnee. “We’re going towards the same goal, which is the truth of this character,” adds Misha. “And we’re both fearless in that.”

    Before “Lovecraft Country,” the supernatural horror drama adapted from novelist Matt Ruff’s riff on H. P. Lovecraft, Misha and Jurnee worked together on the hit WGN thriller “Underground.” As a writer-director-producer, Misha is also the creative force behind “Helix” and the upcoming “Cleopatra Jones” and “Tomb Raider 2.” For more insight into her craft, check out Misha’s Meet the Maker feature: https://bit.ly/3hSEXiE

    Jurnee began her career as a child actor, on “On Our Own” and “Full House,” then broke out in “Eve’s Bayou,” “The Great Debaters,” “Friday Night Lights,” and last year’s “Birds of Prey.” For her work as Leti on “Lovecraft Country,” Jurnee earned a Critics Choice Super Award and an ensemble SAG Award nomination. Read her recent Backstage cover story here: https://bit.ly/3wwPiEP
    ---
    Backstage has been the #1 resource for actors and talent-seekers for 60 years. In the Envelope, Backstage’s podcast, features intimate, in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy film, television, and theater actors and creators. This is your guide to every aspect of acting, from voiceover and commercial work to casting directors, agents, and more. Full of both know-how and inspiration, In the Envelope airs weekly to cover everything from practical advice on navigating the industry, to how your favorite projects are made, to personal stories of success and failure alike. Join host Jack Smart, Awards Editor at Backstage, for this guide on how to live the creative life from those who are doing it every day: https://bit.ly/2OMryWQ

    Follow Backstage and In the Envelope on social media:
    - https://www.facebook.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/intheenvelope
    - https://www.instagram.com/backstagecast

    Looking to get cast? Subscribe here: www.backstage.com/subscribe
    Browse Backstage casting listings: https://bit.ly/3mth68e
    Check out our community-driven virtual programming, The Slate: https://bit.ly/2WDNXf0
    Backstage stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement: https://bit.ly/3cuMBt5

    Special thanks to...
    - Host: Jack Smart
    - Producer: Jamie Muffett
    - Social media: Katie Minard, Alysa Cirelli
    - Design: Mark Stinson, Caitlin Watkins
    - Additional support: Christine McKenna-Tirella, Kasey Howe, Samantha Sherlock, Benjamin Lindsay, Oriella St. Louis

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Ryan O’Connell & Punam Patel

    Ryan O’Connell & Punam Patel

    Ryan O’Connell and Punam Patel join the podcast together this week to discuss advocating for oneself as an artist, giving voice to communities underrepresented in entertainment, and their hit Netflix comedy, “Special,” which just premiered its second season. The two Emmy-nominated actors provide relatable advice to performers and writers looking to make their mark in Hollywood—confidently. “You can trust your own instincts no matter where you are in your career,” says Punam. “Just [believe] that you deserve to be there,” adds Ryan.

    Chasing a childhood dream of becoming a TV writer, the California-born Ryan turned the blog writing of his 20s into a memoir, “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves,” which Jim Parsons optioned through That’s Wonderful Productions. “Special,” which premiered as a 15-minute Emmy-nominated sitcom inspired by Ryan’s life as a gay man with mild cerebral palsy, made its way through development as Ryan wrote for the series “Awkward,” “Daytime Divas,” and “Will & Grace.” Punam, who was the only actor auditioned for the role of Ryan’s coworker and friend Kim on “Special,” studied journalism and theater in Florida, then comedy in Chicago, before moving to Los Angeles and booking “Kevin From Work,” “Time For Bed With Punam Patel,” the upcoming “I Love This for You,” and more.

    Next week, be sure to check out BackstageFest: a virtual celebration of the year’s best and buzziest TV! Visit join.backstage.com/backstagefest to RSVP.
    ---
    Backstage has been the #1 resource for actors and talent-seekers for 60 years. In the Envelope, Backstage’s podcast, features intimate, in-depth conversations with today’s most noteworthy film, television, and theater actors and creators. This is your guide to every aspect of acting, from voiceover and commercial work to casting directors, agents, and more. Full of both know-how and inspiration, In the Envelope airs weekly to cover everything from practical advice on navigating the industry, to how your favorite projects are made, to personal stories of success and failure alike. Join host Jack Smart, Awards Editor at Backstage, for this guide on how to live the creative life from those who are doing it every day: https://bit.ly/2OMryWQ

    Follow Backstage and In the Envelope on social media:
    - https://www.facebook.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/backstage
    - https://www.twitter.com/intheenvelope
    - https://www.instagram.com/backstagecast

    Looking to get cast? Subscribe here: www.backstage.com/subscribe
    Browse Backstage casting listings: https://bit.ly/3mth68e
    Check out our community-driven virtual programming, The Slate: https://bit.ly/2WDNXf0
    Backstage stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement: https://bit.ly/3cuMBt5

    Special thanks to...
    - Host: Jack Smart
    - Producer: Jamie Muffett
    - Social media: Katie Minard, Alysa Cirelli
    - Design: Mark Stinson, Caitlin Watkins
    - Additional support: Christine McKenna-Tirella, Kasey Howe, Samantha Sherlock, Benjamin Lindsay, Oriella St. Louis

    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
108 Ratings

108 Ratings

misselizabethbennett ,

Portuguese sausage

Awesome!

emilyizkewl ,

interviewer is fantastic

loving this podcast and the smart/empathetic host

WaMmyY sAMmy ,

Awesome

Very motivating, love this podcast.
Fun to listen to.

Top Podcasts In TV & Film

Listeners Also Subscribed To