Ten Perfect Podcasts For Performing Artists

actor in a tuxedo stage curtain opens

actor in a tuxedo stage curtain opens

The world of performing art, like the world of visual art, is no joke - it’s a serious amount of hard work, from training and technique to creating an act to getting booked to going on the road. Sometimes performers are sequestered away, working feverishly on a solo, a monologue, a trick, or a twirl for hours until it’s right. Other times, they’re front and center, doing incredible drops on aerial silks, bringing tears to the audience’s eyes with a heartfelt speech or a hilarious scene, or juggling increasingly dangerous objects for our delight. Sometimes they play to houses of hundreds, sometimes to just a handful, but they’re always determined to deliver a stellar performance. Let these ten podcasts, focused on these hard-working, determined, incredibly talented people, help inspire your next performance project, empower you to make your first performance project, or give you a new appreciation of the craft.   

The Artist Athlete is dedicated to circus performers of all types, including acrobats, aerial artists, jugglers and more who are bringing a lot of fresh, incredible work to the world of contemporary circus. Guests include entertainers with German, Swiss, Cambodian, Canadian, and French troupes performing all kinds of circus art, from contemplative, almost balletic performances to Cirque du Soleil shows to classic tumbling and trapeze work. A fascinating look into the circus world for performers and spectators alike.

There are hundreds of unsung heroes in entertainment who work fairs and festivals delighting the masses. The Tailgate Entertainer shines a light on these hard-working artists, interviewing magicians, jugglers, fire performers, stilt walkers, mind readers, fortune tellers, comedians, and talent buyers about how to succeed in the industry. With discussions revolving around creating unique and memorable acts, getting booked in a saturated market, overcoming shyness and stage fright, and so much more, this podcast is an intimate look into the enchanting, challenging world of traveling performers.

The Theatre Podcast is “by theatre people, for theatre people,” talking with actors, choreographers, and theatre professionals on Broadway and beyond about how the theatre world works, what makes theatre real and immediate, the staying power of the stage and more. From a five-part behind-the-scenes look at the Tony Awards to conversations with marketing agents, The Theatre Podcast covers it all with a professional eye and a theatre-loving heart.

Professional puppeteers who brought ALF, the Fraggles, Elmo, Lambchop, and more to life come out from Under the Puppet to discuss the industry. Everything from puppet creation to manipulation is covered as you hear from the people who made you fall in love with the Dinosaurs, gasp in awe at the marionettes in Being John Malkovich, and idolize the greatest Jedi Master, Yoda. Love this podcast, you will.

American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer James Whiteside dishes in his dressing room with dancers, choreographers, wardrobe artists, technicians, stage managers, and everyone who works hard to make a dance production a success. Everything from protein powder and pointe shoes, technique and training, Alvin Ailey and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the future of the American Ballet Theatre is under discussion. A compelling peek behind the curtain of the competitive world of professional dance, The Stage Rightside will twirl its way into your heart before you can say, “merde.”

The Ensemblist shines the spotlight on the people who usually don’t get one, with charming and engaging conversations with the actors, musicians, dancers, and singers who make up the ensembles for some of the biggest Broadway plays. Learn all about the ins and outs of Broadway theatre, including the audition process, playing in the orchestra, and musical direction and supervision, from the performers whose names might not be on the marquee, but who are essential to a good show.

Puppeteers not only create and operate puppets, but also build some of the wildest, most incredible costumes in theatre, from the giraffes in The Lion King to the dragon in the Shrek The Musical. Puppet Tears interviews them all, covering the Muppets, Sesame Street, and Happytime Murders, but also getting into the serious stuff, like the intricacies of writing for puppets, creating work to challenge our ideas of race, gender, and social hierarchies, and more.

Opera singers, performers, and directors talk The Art of Opera, discussing their lives on the road, preparing for roles, set and costume design, the difference between opera and musical theatre, the history of opera, and the future of it. They also get into the shows themselves, dissecting Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Wagner’s Parsifal, Bellini’s The Capulets and the Montagues, and more. This podcast is sure to make any opera lover’s heart sing.

Everyone involved in theater drops by Talking Theater - actors, playwrights, critics, stage managers, directors, designers, musicians and more, talking about their careers, their craft, their goals, and the overall theater community. And a lot of the variety within the industry is represented as well, featuring interviews about off-Broadway shows, but also repertory theatre, experimental theatre, community theatre, and solo shows. A great way to see what goes on not only behind the scenes, but before the scenes.

The variety of performances that can be found at fringe festivals around the world is second to none, as you’ll learn listening to the Fringe Buzz podcast. This one focuses specifically on the 31-day fringe in Perth, Australia, talking to jugglers, circus professionals, comedians, writers, street performers who also build robots, puppeteers, performance artists, children’s theatre makers, and everything in between. You’ll never know what you’ll learn from multi-talented, incredibly driven fringe performers and producers on this podcast.

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