When the subway gets too crowded to read a book on the acting biz or a current play I’m researching, I often turn to acting-related podcasts. Free (although they all probably accept donations, hint hint!), quick to download, all at the ready via my iPhone or mp3 player. They all provide information, research, inspiration, and sometimes that good old mental kick in the ass when the creative energies are low.

Here is a list of my favorite acting podcasts and links to their websites or affiliated sites. Some of them are can be considered “enrichment” podcasts, meaning they will enhance my understanding of humanity, real people, or unique characters that I might steal … ahem … be inspired by! If you happen to know of another podcast or videocast that you enjoy listening to that is not listed here, please comment below and add your recommendation!

And if you’re on twitter, follow many of them via: @MusicalTheatreT @Dinnerpartydnld @HowStuffWorks @DigitalActor @rcbl @Roz2010 @broadwaybullet @cdbaby @NPRamericanlife

Here they are:

  1. Everything Acting Podcast – Actresses, producers, voice-over actors Darbi Worley and Rosalyn Coleman bring all they can about acting. From the website: “Each episode you will hear tips and information from legitimate industry insiders. Casting directors, agents, producers and directors will offer insights on pictures, resumes, auditions, reels, and what happens when you get the job. Get inspiration from real life audition stories; find out who got the part and how they got it! Join us as we inform, inspire and demystify the actor’s journey. Brought to you by Darbi Worley and Red Wall Productions.”
  2. Inside Acting Podcast – inspired by Everything Acting, this podcast is produced and co-hosted by actors Trevor Algatt and Albert Meijer, they delve into all aspects of artists, not just acting, and provide interviews with artists of many ventures. From the website: “Inside Acting is a free, weekly audio podcast for artists, by artists. Each episode of brings you tips and insights from Los Angeles-area casting directors, agents, producers, writers, actors, musicians, filmmakers, personal finance gurus, and more. Get insider information on marketing yourself, creating your own work, and booking the gig — straight from the people who’ve been there, done that, and are doing it again.”
  3. Musical Theatre Talk with Trish Causey – an online radio show/podcast of heavy-hitters of Musical Theater both on and behind the stage. Singers, coaches, vocal health experts, stars, composers, you name it! From the website: “Being active in Musical Theatre through her online radio show, trish is keeping her Broadway dreams alive as she interviews the best in the biz. The impressive guest list includes phenomenal artists on stage and backstage, the creators, the designers, the performers, and the technicians who make it happen… and make it all appear to happen magically.”
  4. Broadway Bullet – A long-running podcast and blog about Broadway, Off-Broadway, NYMF and more! From the website: “a weekly podcast with interviews, musical performances and commentary with the everyone from the brightest Broadway talent to the rising stars of the New York theatre scene and beyond!…Contributing Writers/Producers: Tyler Stein, Alison Lea Bender, Renee Michele, and Dmitri Russell.”
  5. The CD Baby DIY Musician Podcast – Members Kevin Breuner, Robert Bolton(aka Chris Bolton) and Chris Robley produces this audio interview podcast show for musicians. From their Facebook page: “We interview artists and professionals in the industry to help our fellow musicians navigate the choppy waters of the new music industry, and find success with their music.”
  6. Martini Shot with Rob Long – Mr. Long reads us funny, biting, sometimes sad essays of his experiences from the trenches of the Hollywood sitcom writer. Via KCRW.com
  7. The Moth Podcast – brought to us by writer Andy Borowitz, The Moth is a podcast of many recordings of spoken monologues by people from many cities about true events, told unscripted and without notes, by anyone who wishes to stand up on stage and tell a story. From their website: “The Moth is dedicated to promoting the art of storytelling. We celebrate the ability of stories to honor the diversity and commonality of human experience, and to satisfy a vital human need for connection. We do so by helping our storytellers to shape their stories and to share them with the community at large. One goal of The Moth is to present the finest storytellers among established and emerging writers, performers and artists; another is to encourage storytelling among populations whose stories often go unheard…Today, The Moth conducts eight ongoing programs and has brought more than 3,000 live stories to over 100,000 audience members.”
  8. The “Stuff” Podcasts – or that’s how I call them, is a series of podcasts made by the folks from How Stuff Works.com. Learn about previously unknown history, science, music, and any other topics. These podcasts enhance an understanding of humanity, and is a great source of ice-breaking topics at your next networking event. Okay, it might not, but as an actor it does us well to be well-rounded overall! My favorites are the Stuff from the B-Side (music), Stuff Mom Never Told You (women), Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know (conspiracies), Stuff You Missed in History Class (history), The Coolest Stuff on the Planet (travel, nature), and the Stuff You Should Know (general topics) podcasts. They have many others, so check out their master list and try others out as well.
  9. This American Life – by Chicago Public Radio, hosted by Ira Glass, a weekly interview-story-audio pastiche radio show based on a general theme. From the website: “There’s a theme to each episode, and a variety of stories on that theme. It’s mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. There’s lots more to the show, but, like we said, it’s sort of hard to describe.” It’s always interesting, though – these stories are always edited incredibly well and since it’s usually a story about regular people or extraordinary things happening to regular people, it’s a great resource for actors to hear how people talk when interviewed and how they live their lives.
  10. The Dinner Party Download – A general overview of some interesting tidbits of information of the week’s events, jokes, great artist interviews, and always-fascinatingly-tantalizing alcoholic drinks based on “this week in history” segments. Hosts Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano strive to help you “win the dinner party”… and what actor doesn’t want to do that?!?