Things I learned and questions I learned to ask in 2019

January 1, 2020

53 nuggets people shared with me that I treasure and am taking into the new era. 


1. A pro doesn’t pitch. Spruik: to promote an idea.

2. The only person who can actually train your mind is you.

3. Does it always have to be a gourmet breakfast? Can’t it just be toast sometimes.

4. When you’re in the arena, don’t forget to look up to see who’s in the balcony cheering you on.

5. Our business is built on relationships. Offer human connection as part of your package.

6. We are capable and qualified as musical theatre people of multi-tasking. It’s okay to be a multi-hyphenate artist.

7. Where can I be the most useful? Know what you can contribute to the people who need it.

8. Ask for what you want.

9. It’s never too late to say thank you.

10. Get in the habit of calling out good finding. Help build Dumbledore’s Army of Excellent Contributors to our Art Form.

11. Your work is not for everyone. My work is for the willing.

12. I seek to use my voice to help others find theirs.

13. I seek to focus on the positive, not get bogged down in the negative.

14. Casting directors are apt to forget you when you’re out of town. No one will forget creating art with you. Spend more time with those people.

15. How can you connect with the people in the audition or rehearsal room before you arrive so that you feel invited?

16. Eliminate “Low Frequency Bullshit” to create space in your life for high level work.

17. Surprise and delight in reach outs: How can I surprise this person in order to delight them?

18. Give the person the space and chance to decide if what you’re offering is interesting to them.

19. Just be present rather than proving.

20. Enjoy the dip, it’s part of the trip!

21. Edison failed 3000 times. How many NOs can you collect before a YES? Chase the No.

22. Give yourself room to grow instead of shrink.

23. Urgent vs important matrix: What’s urgent for me might not be urgent for you.

24. Necessary vs. interesting matrix: What’s necessary might not always be interesting. What’s interesting may not always seem necessary at first glance, but lean in.

25. Did I leave any room for serendipity in my calendar?

26. Lean into Seth Godin’s Linchpin and turn yourself into artistic oxygen.

27. What will theatre makers say I left behind when I’m gone? What’s my legacy?

28. Be patient. Get 1% better at something every day. IN 72 days, you’ll be twice as good at something as you are today.

29. Successful people manage their time.

30. Master the art of the follow up.

31. Are you hiding behind “being busy”?

32. Asking for things is a normal business behavior. It’s not yucky if you do it right.

33. Accept that I will never know the audition packet like I would with four weeks of rehearsal, so let the need for perfection go.

34. Create a strategic audition book that eliminates emotional baggage and enhances magic making.

35. Everything you do and say tells a story. Stories are proof of what we believe and what is important to us.

36. You are responsible for planting, watering, and tending the seeds you plant.

37. Jenna P should coach Jenna P.

38. Real imposters don’t feel imposter syndrome.

39. First find out what you are capable of. Then decide who you are.

40. You get to choose how you play the game.

41. The body overworks when you lose the emotional connection in your storytelling. The hands start to move unnecessarily when your brain stops believing the story.

42. There is power in changing “I worry…” to “I wonder…”.

43. Tension is generous. Tension is necessary to create change.

44. Say no to be able to say yes. If it’s not a F*ck YES, it’s a no. Hit pause on everything else when the FUCK YES last-minute opportunities come through.

45. Given circumstances are the foundation upon which the director lays their vision.

46. Be a shark. Just keep swimming. The herd will be waiting for you when you come out of the cave.

47. What if everyone else feels as overwhelmed as you do?

48. When you feel like life is meeting your expectations, ask yourself what you’re not paying attention to (blind spots).

49. Snark is an epidemic. Cynicism is catchy. A cynic is most likely a passionate person who doesn’t want to be disappointed again.

50. When I am clear on the purpose behind an action, I will follow through.

51. Acknowledge that it’s never going to truly feel done or perfect. Are you aiming for perfect or are you aiming to do good work?

52. Hear the words people say, not the way they make you feel.

53. An art form that has been “dying” for 2,000+ years is still here, so that must count for something.


2020, let's go. 











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