success

Where the Path May Lead: A Second Season of Acclaimed Comedy Central Hit, Broad City

Where the Path May Lead: A Second Season of Acclaimed Comedy Central Hit, Broad City

In Season 1, they brought us bug bombs, adult babies, and degenerate subway behavior. Season 2 begins today, and we can’t wait to see what wonderfully weird antics writers Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have thought up this time. Following Their Path to Laudable Success

The NY Times calls Comedy Central’s “Broad City,” “an absurdist, slapstick look at two women scraping by in New York.” We’re inclined to agree with that assessment, but why are we talking about it here, on the Capes Coaching blog?

We couldn’t be more delighted to share that Ilana and Abbi, who write and star in “Broad City,” are both alumni of our flagship service: The Path Course!

Featured Artist In Action: Kat Ventura

Featured Artist In Action: Kat Ventura

Here we are, already two full months into 2013, and it's time for my favorite type of blog post — another Featured Artist In Action! This time around, we're shining the spotlight on an actress whose drive and commitment can serve as a bit of inspiration for everyone out there who feels like they're constantly making sacrifices for their goals. Kat Ventura came to my Path Class last year with a one-year goal that seemed nearly impossible due to financial and other obstacles. But, she stayed the course, dug in her heels, and did what she had to do in order to make her dreams a reality. It's the sort of story that makes me beam with pride and feel great about what I do. So, let's turn things over to Kat and hear about it in her own words.

Featured Artist In Action: Cynthia Silver

Featured Artist In Action: Cynthia Silver

It's been a little while since we've thrown the spotlight on one of our favorite artists in action, so I'm excited to kick off September by doing just that. First, a disclaimer: we at Capes Coaching absolutely love this blog post's featured artist: Cynthia Silver. Cynthia is something of a renaissance woman; she's an actress, writer, director, solo performer, a teacher at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School, and a "Mompreneur". She is proof-positive that it's possible to have a successful career in the arts while also raising a child. Cynthia is currently an ensemble member of Partial Comfort Productions, and her one woman show, Bridezilla Strikes Back!, has garnered critical and audience acclaim in New York City. Let's turn it over to her and see how she's done it all.

Artist Interview: David Lindsay-Abaire

Artist Interview: David Lindsay-Abaire

One of the biggest pleasures of my job is being able to talk to artists who have found success and who also possess the self-awareness to understand the process of how they did so. In fact, I did an entire interview series for Artists In Action with people from all corners of the creative industry, trying to get to the essence of what makes someone successful in the arts. The not-so-surprising conclusion: there's no one wayto do things. What works for one person may not work for another. But one thing that was abundantly clear from everyone I talked to was that it takes hard work, persistence, and (above all else) consistently being true to what it is that you love. That last part most certainly rings true in the career of playwright, screenwriter, and lyricist, David Lindsay-Abaire, and I am truly thrilled to present to you my interview with him.

Featured Artist In Action: Sandy Rustin

Featured Artist In Action: Sandy Rustin

Here we go again — time to shine the spotlight on one of our favorite artists. This month's Featured Artist In Action is actress, writer, artistic director, and mom(!), Sandy Rustin. I've had the pleasure of knowing Sandy for many years, and let me tell you: she is one hard-working and talented lady! Sandy is proof-positive that having a family does not mean having to sacrifice your artistic career. A look at her credits reveals stints with the Upright Citizen's Brigade, a host of stage productions and TV guest spots, and her latest endeavor as the writer of the Off Broadway production, Rated P...For Parenthood. And, quite honestly, I think it's all just the tip of the iceberg for her. So, let's do what we do and turn things over to Sandy.

Featured Artist In Action: Amir Arison

Featured Artist In Action: Amir Arison

Here we are, once again, doing something that I truly love: bragging about people we think are not only super talented, but just all-around-wonderful, as well. Today's Featured Artist In Action is someone you better keep your eye on: Amir Arison. I've known Amir for years and always felt that big things were in store for him. With recent stints on two critically-acclaimed shows — FX's American Horror Story and Showtime's Homeland — he's hitting his stride and making things happen. Let's turn it over to Amir.

Featured Artist In Action: Erin Stutland

Featured Artist In Action: Erin Stutland

Erin Stutland, our latest Featured Artist In Action, is an absolute powerhouse of energy. Seriously, the girl has an unlimited source of enthusiasm and go-get-'em spirit, which anyone who has taken one of her Shrink Session or Air In Sculpt classes can attest to. Outside of her work as a body/mind trainer in New York City, she also writes, produces, and stars in a successful series of inspirational, how-to web videos (and is an actress, on top of it all). Let's let Erin do her thing and give us the scoop on how she's making it happen.

Featured Artist In Action: Zakiya Young

Featured Artist In Action: Zakiya Young

Our latest Featured Artist In Action is actress, singer, and model, Zakiya Young, whose talents have graced the Broadway stage (Disney's The Little Mermaid), numerous Off Broadway theaters, national commercials, and, as a mezzo-soprano, the concert stage. As you'll read, Zakiya's career is taking off these days, and we couldn't be happier for her! Let's hand it over to her.

Featured Artist In Action: Dan Avidan

There are so many things that I love about my job, but the one thing that brings me the most satisfaction is, without a doubt, hearing the success stories of the artists that I've worked with. So, what better way to bring that joy to this blog than to share their stories with you? I'm excited to present our Featured Artist In Action -- a recurring Q&A series that will put the spotlight on current and former Capes Coaching clients who are making it happen out there, and who you should definitely keep on your radar. Ninja Sex Party

To kick things off, we've got Dan Avidan, a multi-talented musician, comedian, writer, you-name-it, who's enjoying some much-deserved success with Ninja Sex Party, the musical comedy duo that he created with Brian Wecht, and whose videos have turned them into an internet sensation. From the moment that everyone at Capes Coaching saw the first Ninja Sex Party video, we knew that it was only a matter of time before people would be buzzing about Dan. Even better, he's one of those people that you just want to cheer for because he's humble, has an infectious energy, and is genuine to the core. I couldn't be happier that his career is really taking off -- so let's find out how he's been doing it.

1)  When you first started working with Capes Coaching, what were your goals?

I think my original goal was just to figure out what my goal actually was. I knew I wanted to start a comedy band along the lines of Flight of the Conchords, but I didn't know what to do once the group had been created. I had just turned 30, and after spending 10 years in bands that went nowhere due to lack of planning and focus, I was determined for things to be different this time around.

2)  What have you accomplished since then?

The past two and a half years have been the most exciting of my life, career-wise. I started a comedy band called "Ninja Sex Party" which has been doing really well. We signed with a great management company, and have played sold out shows and festivals in 10 cities across the US and Canada. Our music videos have been viewed over 2 million times online, and have been showcased on the front pages of YouTube, Funny or Die, and the Huffington Post. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcmBALxDkRY]

3)  What has been your biggest career challenge and how did you overcome it?

For me the hardest thing was always looking at comedians and musicians that were already hugely successful and thinking that what they had achieved was beyond my reach. It was painful to start a new project with modest goals when I was watching people every night on TV who were so far ahead of me. I think the key to overcoming it was focusing on myself, and tuning everything else out.

It's like building a house. First you have to lay a brick on the ground...then another brick next to it...then another. Then you look over at your neighbor's yard, and he's putting the finishing touches on his mansion. How do you not look down at your three bricks and feel hopeless? You really have to remind yourself that five years ago, he started out just like you did. He succeeded because he concentrated on his goals and consistently kept his eyes on the next step. You have to do the same. Slow hard work is the only way to create something meaningful.

4)  What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting out?

That I have to work just as hard as everyone else. I spent a lot of years just sitting back, thinking that fame and fortune would come to me because I was somehow special. When I first started pursuing music after college, I swore I'd never end up one of those 30-year-old guys who sits around smoking pot and playing guitar in his parents' basement. Then 7 years passed, and I found myself perilously close to that exact scenario! It was a real wake up call, and became the catalyst for the work I've done in the past 3 years. Sometimes I wish I could have learned that lesson sooner, but the past is the past.

5)  What are you currently working on?

We are releasing our first full-length album next month, which is really exciting...but the big news is that we were recently approached by several TV producers interested in developing a Ninja Sex Party television show. Together with our management team, we have been working tirelessly on the project for the past few months and will be pitching to networks in the fall.

6)  Anything else you feel like sharing?

Just that I have a lot of respect for all you fellow artists out there. If you're reading this, chances are that you've already taken the first step toward your goal, which is awesome! The first step is the most important one. It's what separates you from the millions of people who just talk instead of act. It means you have the courage to dedicate your life to something you love.

Ups and downs...and ups

As many of you know, this is the first week that Capes Coaching is venturing over to the West Coast and planting our flag in the L.A. soil (or, sand, since we hope to get some beach time in!). I can't tell you how excited I am for this — it's been a goal of ours for many years now. Since we were already going to be in California, we thought it would be the perfect time to take a family trip to San Diego beforehand and, much to my surprise, the timing turned out to be even more perfect than I'd imagined. Natalie GoldAs it happened, one of my very first (and favorite) coaching clients, Natalie Gold, was starring in the current run of Henry Wishcamper's Engaging Shaw at the Old Globe Theatre, and I can't tell you what a complete joy it was to see her performing on one of the most acclaimed theatre stages in the country. Add this to her recent turn as Jake Gyllenhaal's sister in last year's Love and Other Drugs and a recurring role on AMC's critically acclaimed show Rubicon, and it was easy to see that Natalie had a lot to be proud of. Of course, having coached her from the beginning, I knew that it wasn't always an easy road, but she had certainly earned the success that she's currently enjoying.

I first met Natalie in 2002 when I was working in the casting office at the Public Theater for Shakespeare in the Park. We cast her as a non-equity actor (of which they only allowed 2 or 3 in each production) and I remember the excitement in her voice when I called and offered her the role -- it was a big deal. Later, when we began coaching together, I remember sitting in the coaching room with someone who understood that it was going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to get to where she ultimately wanted to go. And I can tell you from first-hand experience that Natalie did the work and stayed the course even when the course wasn't always going her way. She set clearly defined goals for herself, honestly assessed her disappointments, didn't rest on her successes, and always brought a sense of authenticity and integrity to her work.

AMC's Rubicon

Anyone who has coached with me or has done the Artists In Action program knows that I am a staunch advocate for bringing your true self to the way you run your business. Nowhere is this as crucial as it is when it comes to networking, because your relationships will rise or fall based on whether or not people perceive you as being genuine -- someone they want to build a relationship with. Let me tell you, Natalie Gold is the real deal and, believe me, she's got the fans in this industry to prove it -- casting directors, writers, agents, producers, directors -- you name it, they're fans. She's brought that authenticity since day one, and I've seen her career climb steadily over the past decade as a result. Some years haven't climbed as rapidly as she would've like, I'm sure, but she's consistently reached the goals she set for herself…and continues to do so.

After I saw her last week, she said that it's been "Up and down. Up and down," but that she recognizes her accomplishments and has moved in the direction she wants to move in. Even more heartening, she revealed the invaluable role that our coaching together has played (and continues to play) in her career. Previously, she expressed to me, "I came to Capes Coaching at the height of my frustration with my career. You allowed me to turn my angst into motivation and my fear into courage." I can't tell you how gratifying it was to hear that, because, in a way, Natalie's growth as an actress has coincided with my growth as a coach. I will never forget the time she called to tell me that she booked her first national commercial…and then her first Law & Order…and then her first Broadway play. Now, she's with one of the top agencies and transitioning from stage to screen beautifully, and along the way she's continued to challenge herself and managed to maintain balance and grace in her life. I can't wait to see what's next!