Show cover of The Performers Podcast

The Performers Podcast

A theater arts and performing arts podcast featuring interviews that inspire and empower performers, while encouraging the benefits of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Interviews with acclaimed actors, writers, directors and musicians sharing the secrets behind their success.


Actor Dan Chameroy on musical theatre and keeping well
Dan Chameroy has performed across North America, including the tour of 'Matilda the Musical.' He made his Toronto stage debut in 1991 as part of the Canadian cast of 'Les Miserables' at The Royal Alexandra Theatre and performed in the legendary pre-Broadway production of 'The Drowsy Chaperone.' We discuss his work with Gary Griffin and Donna Feore at the Stratford Festival. Dan also opens up about his work's physical demands and the time he hurt his back so badly he wasn't sure he'd ever perform again. Don't miss Dan's performance on Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20 in Ross Petty's virtual production 'There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays.'
55:19 12/18/20
Kahlil Ashanti, actor and ticketing innovator
Kahlil Ashanti served in the United States Air Force and had a hit Fringe Festival show that went to the Edinburgh Fringe and Off-Broadway. As well as being a talented performer, my guest Kahlil Ashanti created an online ticketing system, unlike any other. Although it was used in theatres around the world before the pandemic, it's even more useful now, when everyone is creating content online. is an innovative, digital pay-what-you-want solution. Follow Kahlil on: Facebook - Visit
41:23 5/20/20
Rodrigo Beilfuss, actor and artistic director
Rodrigo Beilfuss is a Brazilian-born Canadian actor-director with a German last name, who trained in England and now calls Winnipeg, Manitoba his home. He is the artistic director of Shakespeare in the Ruins. Growing up in Brazil, Beilfuss envisioned a career as a diplomat. He was well on his way after being accepted to law school, but he faced a fork in the road when he was also accepted to a cultural exchange program in Winnipeg. He chose Winnipeg thinking he'd return to Brazil, and a career in the foreign service after the cultural exchange was completed. As part of his cultural exchange program, Beilfuss was introduced to the works of Shakespeare; he fell in love with the Bard's words and soon traded his pursuit of a diplomatic career for a one in theatre. Beilfuss admits that when he was first introduced to Shakespeare, he didn't understand much of the language. However, his realization that he was not alone in his struggle to comprehend Shakespeare's work ultimately gave him the confidence to work through it. "Ironically, Shakespeare gave me a sense of belonging - everyone was confused; everyone was terrified," says Beilfuss. From Winnipeg Beilfuss traveled to Stratford, Ontario and England where he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. His master's thesis research at LAMDA examined the process, and cultural impact, of performing Shakespeare in different languages - a natural topic for Beilfuss, whose first language was not English. SHOW NOTES: Website: Twitter: Instagram: Cyrus Lane podcast Lisa-Repo-Martell Podcast Joseph-Ziegler Podcast Stream Macbeth from Stratford as part of the Shakespeare Film Festival Hamlet at the Rose Theatre Brampton with Pakistani-Canadian star Ahad Raza, directed by Haysam Kadri a graduate of the Birmingham Conservatory at the Stratford Festival. Shakespeare In The Ruins website
41:32 4/30/20
Actor, columnist Tony Nappo
Tony Nappo is a Canadian actor who graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and has appeared in critically acclaimed television, film and stage productions. As well as discussing parenting and acting, Tony shares the story of how he managed to kick his drug habit after a 5-day bender that almost killed him. He also publishes the weekly column Nappoholics on
40:05 3/29/20
Actor Bruce Dow, Broadway shuts down
Bruce Dow is an award-winning performer who has played featured rolls on Broadway five times. When Broadway was shut down, Dow was in previews with the show "Diana." Dow who resides in Canada, was one of the thousands of people who work on Broadway that had to figure out their next steps. In our podcast you'll hear how the cast and crew working on "Diana" learned about the show closing down after Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, has declared that all theaters close temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
41:18 3/20/20
Escapologist, daredevil Jonathan Goodwin
Jonathan Goodwin is appearing in the show The Illusionists, which is at the Meridian Hall in Toronto from January 1st through January 5th. As well as performing in The Illusionists, Jonathan has appeared on many TV shows and has created theatrical magic for many performers, including Derrin Brown, who is currently on Broadway with his show Secret. Follow Jonathan: On Instagram  On Twitter 
42:35 12/27/19
Comedian, actor Gavin Crawford
Gavin Crawford is one of Canada's most creative and exciting comedic performers. From his days at The Comedy Network to his years as a cast member of "This Hour Has Twenty Two Minutes," to his recent work as host of CBC Radio's "Because News" Crawford's unique sense of humour always shines brightly. In January, Crawford stars in the one-person show "Fully Committed" at the Grand Theatre in London.   In the podcast, you'll learn about how he prepares for his performance in which de is 40 different characters. And you won't believe what he said to Andrew Lloyd Webber when he was hosting the Canadian version of the reality show "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?," which aired on CBC in the summer of 2008. We also discuss his path from graduating with a BFA Acting from the University of British Columbia to joining Toronto's improvisation comedy troupe The Second City.
34:45 12/20/19
Tracey Flye and AJ Bridel
Tracey is a director and choreographer whose international credits include productions in the West End, South Africa and Asia. She also directed the U.S. National Tour of Queen's "We Will Rock You." AJ Bridel is a genuine triple threat. Her performance in the Toronto production of "Kinky Boots" received rave reviews. For two years, she starred in the title role in "Anne of Green Gables" at the Charlottetown Festival. Currently, AJ's starring in the new Ross Petty's family musical "Lil Red Robin Hood" which is directed and choreograph
32:02 11/28/19
Comedian: Steve Patterson
Best known to hundreds of thousands of comedy fans as the host of CBC Radio's "The Debaters" there is no debate that Steve Patterson is North America's funniest and least moderate debate moderator.  As a solo comedian Steve spent two decades touring around the world.  Twice named Canada's Best Male Stand-Up at the Canadian Comedy Awards, Steve has also taken his award-winning humour to the literary world with "The Book of Letters I Didn't Know Where to Send."  In our interview, you'll discover how growing up in a single-parent family influenced his ability to make people laugh. Steve also shares a story about a high school music teacher in London, Ontario, that influenced his path to making a living as a performer.
40:45 11/13/19
Writer, actor: Michael Healey
Michael Healey has gone from writing a play that debuted at the Toronto Fringe Festival to having his work appear at the Stratford Festival. It's an impressive trajectory that includes writing "The Drawer Boy," one of the most-produced plays in North America. Healey discusses everything from how he writes scenes to his process in the rehearsal room. Healey, who has suffered from depression, opens up about his path from the days he could barely get out of bed to his most productive and happy days. I enjoy Healey's political comedy and his sense of humor truly shines in our chat.
53:22 10/17/19
Actor: Donny Most
Donny Most, is best known for his role as Ralph Malph on the hit TV show "Happy Days." Most explains how Henry Winkler went against his director's wishes to create a defining moment in the development of his character Fonzie. He shares stories about working with "Happy Days" creator Garry Marshall who went on to develop other popular shows such as "Mork and Mindy" and more recently "Pretty Woman" and "The Princess Diaries." Most is currently performing in "ART" at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse. The production runs until October 20. "Art," which won the Tony for Best Play, delves into male bonding in a hilarious yet touching way.   More info about "Art": Click Drayton Entertainment
35:56 10/2/19
Actor: Liisa Repo-Martell 
Liisa Repo-Martell is an intense actor. She has performed Shakespeare with Keanu Reeves, co-created innovative theatrical hybrids exploring documentary, academic and artistic work. In April 2020 you can see Liisa at the Globe Theatre in Regina, Saskatchewan in The Boy in the Moon is the true story of a family’s journey raising their son Walker, who suffers from an extremely rare genetic disorder.   Thanks to Stratford Tea Leaves for sponsoring The Performers Podcast.  
41:00 8/31/19
Actor: Keith Dinicol
Keith Dinicol is a Canadian actor currently appearing in Drayton Entertainment’s stellar production of “Twelve Angry Men.” As Keith mentions in our podcast director Marti Maraden has assembled a cast of top actors including Neil Barclay, Skye Brandon, Benedict Campbell and Cyrus Lane just to name a few. As an actor with decades as a company member with the largest repertory company in North America, The Stratford Festival, Keith has worked on everything from Shakespeare to Strindberg and Stoppard. Dinicol traces his roots back to the early days of the Stratford Festival, where other than Tyrone Guthrie he's worked with every artistic director, either as an actor or director. He also shares memories of working with his father-in-law John Neville at Edmonton's Citadel Theatre and Stratford.
50:32 7/27/19
Actor, writer, choreographer: Tracey Power
Tracey Power is the writer and choreographer behind “Glory” a play that the Globe and Mail called a “bittersweet, entertaining and uplifting sports drama.” I saw Glory and loved it. Tracey shares her process behind uncovering the true story of a group of scrappy women who defy the stereotypes of their time and become national hockey legends - in the 1930s. The play that debuted at the Western Canada Theatre Company in British Columbia is on stage now, and runs until July 20th, in Southwestern Ontario thanks to the folks at Drayton Entertainment.
47:29 5/24/19
Actor: Ma-Anne Dionisio
Ma-Anne Dionisio is best known for originating the role of Kim in the Canadian production of "Miss Saigon" and subsequently performing around the world. She currently plays Diana Goodman in the Musical Stage Company's production of "Next to Normal" in Toronto. Ma-Anne shares how she went from being a 17-year-old nerd to an international musical theatre sensation. Ma-Anne reminds us that actors who portray mental illness on stage need self-care practices off stage to help them cope with the stress. She is also very candid about her experience as a single mother working in theatre. Thanks to my sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Stratford Tea Leaves Guaranteed Extraordinary Quality Tea
38:16 5/17/19
Tony Award-winning writer and actor: Bob Martin
For over three decades, Tony Award-winner Bob Martin has worked as an actor and writer. Early in his career, Martin was directing for Second City in Toronto. He's also written for TV, with the Chicago Tribune calling Slings and Arrows "one of the most loving satires to have ever graced television." He 's best known for writing and starring in the hilarious The Drowsy Chaperone, for which Martin won the 2006 Tony Award for "Best Book of a Musical." His most recent Broadway show, The Prom, received 7 Tony Award nominations. We talk about how the revision process is crucial to a great script Martin updates us on the Broadway adaptations of The Princess Bride, NIght at the Museum and Slings and Arrows. And Martin explains why it can be emotionally challenging to watch a performance of The Drowsy Chaperone. Follow Bob Martin on Twitter. Thanks to my sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs Plate Save 50% on a week's worth of delicious food
48:39 5/8/19
Poet: David Stones
David Stones is a poet based in Stratford Ontario. His poems have been published internationally and won awards. Recently he’s been performing a stage adaptation of his book poems titled “Infinite Sequels.” On stage Stones is accompanied by a violinist which ads an imaginative aspect to his words. The London Free Press’ Joe Belanger noted that “‘Infinite Sequels’ is a brilliant, beautiful piece of theatre. Stone recites his poignant poetry with mostly subtle gesture, movement and animated face, asking us to face moments and questions about our lives we may not have even recognized.” In our conversation Stones admits his love of poetry goes back to his youth confessing that it was only later in life after his career and kids were no longer a pressing concern that he found the freedom to truly hone his work and share it publically. He talks about his creative process, his inspiration Dylan Thomas and Leonard Cohen to name a few, and the intersection of poetry and social media. PODCAST SHOW NOTES: David Stones Website David Stone on Instagram Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen – watch for free at Follow on Twitter. Follow on Instagram Thanks to my sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs Plate Save 50% on a week's worth of delicious food  
44:44 4/25/19
Comedian: Dave Merheje
Dave Merheje won the Juno award for best comedy album with his 2018 release “Good Friend Bad Grammar.” I've been hoping to interview Merheje since I first saw him perform a killer set at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. His rhythmic comedic style celebrates family and personal frustrations that truly spoke to me, not only as a fan of comedy but more significantly as a father and a son. He's on the Netflix special "Comedians of the World." Watch for his upcoming regular appearance in the Hulu show “Ramy,” with Ramy Youssef, which starts streaming April 19. Follow Dave on Twitter. Follow Dave on Facebook. Follow Dave on Instagram. Thanks to my sponsors:AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food    
45:33 3/18/19
Casting Director: Kate Lumpkin
Kate Lumpkin is the founder and lead casting director of Kate Lumpkin Casting, CSA. We discuss the importance of making a good self-tape for auditions, the growing demand for actors who can handle experiential theatre, why knowing who you are as a human is the most important thing that informs you as an artist, and lots more! Kate has collectively worked on over 40 film/TV productions, and 80 theatrical productions in New York City and across the USA including shows at The Kennedy Center and many others. She’s also the Head of Education for the Broadway Collective - a training academy for young performers looking to break into the industry. Follow on Twitter. Follow on Instagram Thanks to my sponsors:AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food
52:16 12/27/18
Actor, singer: Alexis Gordon
Alexis Gordon is one of the young stars of Canadian theatre. Her work at the Stratford Festival (Carousel, the Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, Coriolanus, The Tempest...) has been getting great reviews. In the upcoming summer theatre season she’ll be at the Shaw Festival - one of several Stratford Festival Company members making the move to Shaw in 2019. We discuss that change along with her work under the renowned directors Robert Lepage and Donna Feore. Follow Alexis Gordon on Twitter. Follow Alexis Gordon on Instagram. Thanks to my sponsors:AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food    
64:13 12/18/18
Actor: Colm Feore
Colm Feore is one of North America’s top classically trained actors who has appeared on stages around the world, on the big screen and on television. We discuss his stage work on Broadway with Denzel Washington, his film work with Judi Dench & Vin Diesel, his work at the Stratford Festival, and more. Colm is married to the very busy director / choreographer Donna Feore so I asked him how they manage to have a successful marriage and raise their children while working around the world. Thanks to my sponsors:AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food  
63:02 12/1/18
Plant Based Nutrition for Performers with Ray Cronise and Julieanna Hever
As a performer, your lifestyle is not the same as the average person's daily 9-to-5 routine. You're up late, you have busy rehearsal schedules, you eat when you can because despite whatever is happening in your life the show must go on! So when I had the chance to speak with Julieanna Hever and Ray Cronise i was thanking my lucky stars. Their approach to nutrition is saving lives - just ask Penn Jillette or Kevin Smith. Julieanna and Ray wrote "The Idiot's Guide to Plant Based Nutrition." The book goes deep into the science of nutrition but also has super-handy summaries at the end of each chapter with a list of "The Least you need to know." The book has everything from how to equip your kitchen, ( I loved the bit about handy utensils) to a chapter on the plant-based pregnancy. Julieanna Hever completed her bachelors of arts degree in Theatre from UCLA and then went on to do a masters of science degree in Nutrition from Cal State Northridge, thus bridging her three biggest passions for life food, performing, and helping people. Ray Cronise is a former NASA scientist currently focused on disrupting diet and nutrition advice. He helped Penn Jillette, and Kevin Smith recover from near-death experiences and has helped thousands of others regain the youthful vitality that comes with proper nutrition. Show Notes Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition by Julieanna Hever and Raymond J. Cronise. The Instant Pot. A a versatile multi-cooker that can do the job of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more. Every kitchen should have an
64:38 11/23/18
Actor, songwriter Barry Anderson
Barry Anderson is an actor and songwriter based in New York City. On Broadway, Barry has appeared in 'Legally Blonde The Musical' and 'Jersey Boys.' However, it’s Barry’s international performances with the touring company of 'Jersey Boys' that interested me most. He performed over 2,000 times with the tour! How do you keep healthy and happy while on the road for over six years? Barry managed that, and he shares the secrets of his success in our conversations. Barry grew up in the tiny rural town of Osseo, Wisconsin and our conversation begins with Barry sharing the story of his first visit to Manhattan. Follow Barry on Twitter. Follow Barry on Instagram Thanks to my sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food
37:00 10/31/18
Actor, playwright Phil Rickaby
Phil Rickaby is an actor, playwright and founding member of keystone Theatre. Phil is also the host of the Toronto theatre podcast “Stageworthy.” We also compare notes on religion, our theatre training and Phil’s family life, before we move into his writing process.  Thanks to my sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food
40:08 10/20/18
Actor, Director: Charlotte Gowdy
Charlotte Gowdy is a graduate of the National Theatre School in Montreal and Ecole Philipe Gaulier in Paris. As an actor, she’s played lead roles at the Shaw Festival and theatres across Canada. These days she’s making a career transition as she follows her heart’s desire to direct! As well as a career transition, Charlotte has gone through some personal transformations including quitting alcohol and becoming a vegan. This episode is packed with great tips for actors and directors. Charlotte shares what she's learned working with the critically acclaimed artistic directors Chris Abraham, Tim Carroll and Jillian Keiley. Charlotte, who is also a competitive athlete, shares some of the secrets to maintaining a healthy lifestyle while working under the precarious conditions of freelance life. She also discusses her work directing Anna Chatterton's "Within the Glass" with Troubadour Theatre Collective.   Books Mentioned: Healthier Leaner Energetic You by Leslie Beck. Smoothie Nutrition by Victoria Boutenko. Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition by Julieanna Hever and Raymond J. Cronise. Sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Stratford Tea Leaves. The world's best, freshest and most exotic loose-leaf teas. Click here.  
44:52 9/16/18
Magician: Johnny Thompson
Johnny Thompson is one of the most respected minds in magic. These days he works with Penn & Teller on both their TV show "Fool Us" and their show at the Rio in Las Vegas. His passion for show business began at a young age, and he was drawn to carny sideshow. Thompson shares the story of the evolution of his career from a pitchman to sewer worker, jazz musician, orchestrator and magician. Along the way, Thompson refined both his comedy and magical skills which led to the creation of his nightclub act The Great Tomsoni & Co. When was the last time you had the chance to spend fifty minutes with a living legend reflecting on his life? It was an honour for me, and I hope you find the time for this intimate interview. Thompson's secrets have been collected in a two-volume publication: "The Magic of Johnny Thompson." It includes contributions from Teller and Lance Burton both of whom learned significantly from Thompson and both of whom we discuss in the interview. Other magicians who come up in the interview include Piff the Magic Dragon, Marshall Brodien and the inventor of the "bra trick" Howard Brooks. Get details about the "The Magic of Johnny Thompson" and watch archival video at Magicana   Thanks to my sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food    
46:42 8/30/18
Principal at The Ticketing Institute: Andrew Thomas
The ticketing institute helps you drive more audience development and that means more new people, attending more shows, more often. Andrew is also the force behind the Ticketing Professionals Conference and a board member of the International Ticketing Association. If you produce plays or any kind of show, you'll enjoy this episode. Thanks to my sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food
48:53 8/23/18
Playwright, Actor: Mark Crawford
Mark Crawford is a playwright and actor. His play "The Birds and the Bees," which premiered in 2016 at the Blyth Festival and quickly became one of the most-produced Canadian plays of the decade, is runs at the Huron Country Playhouse II until Sept. 1. His most recent play, "The New Canadian Curling Club," premiered at the Blyth Festival in 2018. We discuss his writing process and the impact of production budgets on his artistic process. He shares one of the best ever audition stories that changed his life but not in the way you'd think. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markjdcrawford Thanks to my sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food
52:56 8/14/18
Actor: Mike Shara
Mike Shara is one of Canada’s most accomplished actors with multiple seasons at the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival. He covers a wide range of topics from his time at Theatre School to the limitations of acting in Canadian television. Mike's worst audition story is a classic and, even better, he has some great thoughts on how to avoid blowing the audition before you even open your mouth. We discuss working with director Chris Abram on The Matchmaker and Othello. Mike opens up about the struggles he faced learning Shakespeare and how participating in team sports impacts his work. Thanks to my sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food  
61:05 6/22/18
Author, comedian: Wayne Turmel
For 20 years Wayne Turmel worked as a stand-up comedian touring throughout North America, headlining clubs and concerts. He appeared on the TV show “Evening at the Improv” and opened for bands such as Chicago and Hall and Oates. In his mid-life, Wayne began a second career in business development and training. He now helps clients around the world learn to present, sell, and lead people and projects when they’re not all in the same place. Wayne has also written novels, in the podcast, we discuss his newest work of historical fiction, Acre’s Bastard, whose central character is a half Syrian, half French child caught up in the madness of a holy war. Thanks to my sponsors: AnthroDesk The best sit/stand desk. Details here. Chefs PlateSave 50% on a week's worth of delicious food    
67:30 6/12/18