Take Your Career to the Next Level!
Work 1-on-1 with Dane, host of You Booked It.
EP 176: John Sovec (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it episode 176. Okay. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today, John. So vac, are you ready for this, John?
[00:00:17]All right. From Japan to New York, to the high seas. John has performed all over the world, including national touring companies of the wizard of Oz and the music man film and television credits include general hospital and Puma sportswear.
[00:00:35] And over 15 years performing with the Disney company for the past 15 years, john has had his own therapy practice in Pasadena, California. He was well-known for his signature style, which mixes knowledge, focus, approachability, and humor to create a space that encourages openness growth and development.
[00:00:56] And John has been featured on multiple mediums, including the Oprah Winfrey network Huffington post thrive, global cheddar spectrum news one and good therapy. John, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.
[00:01:21] John Sovec: [00:01:21] well,
well, thank you so much. Say it, and I’m really happy to be speaking with you today. Um, yeah, those capture kind of like some of the tight nuggets of it. Um, I’ve had a really colorful and exciting career as a performer. I did a lot of film stage. Um, television commercial, lots of industrials. As I always joke, I was that white boy who did those comic white boy wraps during the nineties and early two thousands.
[00:01:43] Everybody wanted in their industrials. You hand it to me and I somehow made it work.
Um, Yeah. And then also too, I think the thing is really cute too. Um, if you can think of a theme park anywhere in your neighborhood, I have probably performed there in some capacity over my career as a performer. Um, I was that go-to theme park kid as well.
Um, which is really a lot of fun. And then , uh, you know, as far as performing musical theater was my specialty, my background training, you know, it wasn’t voice acting. It was a ballet person just to keep my body going. And uh, , uh, musical theater was a blast for me. I loved it, had a great time and really enjoyed that journey for quite quite a few years.
[00:02:21]Dane Reis: [00:02:21] Very cool. Well,
Well, let’s dig into this first section here and John, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone
[00:02:33]John Sovec: [00:02:33]
Well, mine is from our good friend, Oscar Wilde and it’s to love oneself is the beginning of a life long romance.
[00:02:42]Dane Reis: [00:02:42] Oh, that’s really great. I have not had that on the show yet. Can you expand on that a bit on how that’s worked its way into your career?
[00:02:52]John Sovec: [00:02:52] Well, you know,
Well, you know, I think it’s really a fascinating world that we live in. If each one of us looks around. We are often surrounded by negative voices. Um, people who want to tell us we’re less than people who aren’t supportive and there’s a lot of negative energy that can come out in the world. Um, Um, and oftentimes it can come out in the performing arts world.
[00:03:10] There’s can be a lot of jealousy. There can be a lot of competition going on. And the idea behind this is that we. I have to learn to be my own best champion. I need to make sure that
that that negative voice isn’t inside my head so that I can speak positively of myself, love myself, know that I can get out there and do this.
[00:03:29] And I think it’s a great life philosophy, not just for performers, but it’s something that I also work with my clients in therapy on too. And I always joke is RuPaul
kind of has, you know, their own version of it. And he said, if you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else? And I think it had to plays out in that same idea.
[00:03:45] The more we can build a positive, powerful voice inside of ourselves, the more stable and steady and beautiful our life is going to be.
[00:03:53]Dane Reis: [00:03:53] yeah. Beautiful. That’s so true. And it’s also one of those things that is easier said than done, right?
Uh, do you have, obviously this isn’t a, a full on therapy session, right. right. But do you have any real quick little nuggets , for people for where they can start?
[00:04:11]John Sovec: [00:04:11]
well, you know, I think one of the most basic ways we can approach a negative internal voice. The one inside our head is to do a technique called reframing. So let’s say you have an audition coming up and they’re asking for a tenor and you’re a Berry tenor, and you’re not quite sure you’d be able to hit that hygiene.
[00:04:27]And instead of saying, Oh, I’ll never hit that hygiene. I’m such a bad singer. You can say, I’m going to prepare my best to hit that high G today. And I’m going to focus on making it happen. So it’s a simple reframe of believing in ourselves rather than listening to the negative things, the things we can’t do.
[00:04:44] And it sounds so simplistic, but I cannot express to you enough, the power of this simple technique of reframing.
[00:04:52]Dane Reis: [00:04:52] fantastic. What a golden nugget. And we’re just a couple minutes into the episode. Thank you for that. And. Let’s get into this section here in John, of course you’re an entertainment professional, I’m an entertainment professional. And I think that I agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest and personally emotional industries in existence.
[00:05:17] And you know,
you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while, yeah, there’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures.
[00:05:36] We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.
[00:05:51]John Sovec: [00:05:51] I’d actually like to share two stories about that.
[00:05:55] Dane Reis: [00:05:55] Yeah, for
[00:05:55] John Sovec: [00:05:55] I really think about you asking that question, because there’s one that definitely shows up for me as a performer and then another one that shows up for me as a therapist. So let’s start with the performer one first.
Um, there was a point probably about two thirds of the way through my dance career , um, that I had injured my foot.
[00:06:12] And I had to go in and get some surgery done. And it took me off for probably about three months. It was supposed to be six, but you know how his dancers can be. And in the middle of that, while I was in recovery, I was really kind of
kind of examining and in, how am I going to do this? How am I going to go on? How many continue?
[00:06:30] What do I want to do going forward? And I had this really beautiful opportunity to work with a casting director while I was on injury. And it was absolutely stunning and amazing how much I learned as a performer being on the other side of the table. I got to witness incredibly talented people come in and do their best and blow our socks off, but not be kept.
[00:06:57] Because they didn’t fit pre-assigned costumes because the choreographer had an idea of the hair color they wanted to, for people to have in certain things.
Um, I always joke sometimes it’s because you remind the director of his ex sister-in-law, who he didn’t like that. I got to really experience that on a core, deep level that sometimes no matter how well we audition or show up in that audition room.
[00:07:20]That it may be things beyond our control. And when I came back to auditioning, it totally changed my attitude and my experience of being in that room because I understood that it was my job to show up and do my best. And then after that, it was completely out of my hands and that was such a beautiful and powerful moment.
[00:07:38] And I wish that any performer could have the chance. Early in their career to sit behind a casting desk and really understand how little it has to do with what we bring to that audition room. It’s a
really, really eye-opening for me.
[00:07:51]Dane Reis: [00:07:51] Yeah. I’m so glad that you brought that up because that is something that has come up again and again, through this interview process at, on this podcast and your experience is so good and unique and you’re so right. And it’s something that is really. Made this podcast such an important resource, because that has come up again and again, and now we’re hearing, look, this is the way it is.
[00:08:15] You have to just show up and do you, and it really does take the pressure off. Doesn’t it.
[00:08:21]John Sovec: [00:08:21] Oh, absolutely. And the thing is,
is, is ultimately what you can do is the best auditioner is to show up as you 100%. I think when we try and preconceive what we think the casting director wants that that’s where we actually do a great disservice to ourselves. And then don’t show up giving our best audition or performance.
[00:08:41] Dane Reis: [00:08:41] yeah, 100% agree. And what about the other challenge that is with your therapy practice?
[00:08:49]John Sovec: [00:08:49]
Well, and that one came about after my injury, I came back and performed for a few more years. But I had also reached a point in my career where I had reached most of my major goals. Um, I always joke that into my mid thirties, I was still playing teenagers and it was a very lucrative thing for me. But as someone who was like maturing and growing, it was getting really frustrating.
[00:09:10] And my career had
kind of reached a pinnacle of where I thought I wanted to go. So all I was re-examining and trying to reset some goals. I actually got an opportunity from the Disney company to come in and work in entertainment management, and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to see what else was out there.
You know, as performers, sometimes we’re expected just to hit a Mark, say, align, kick our heels, sing a note, and then move on. But by moving into this corporate environment, I got to got to use my brains again, and it was really, really exciting. And in that opportunity, it helped me transition from that core creative self, into a more fully realized person.
[00:09:55]Of course while I was there
, um, a very good friend of mine got like, let’s call it a golden Mickey mouse for 25 years of service, whatever it is they give out. And I turned to another friend of mine and I said, you know, if I’m here in 25 years to get a golden Mickey. I do not think that I have lived the best life possible.
[00:10:12] And that moment was really eye-opening for me. And that’s where I began the process of looking what it would be like to move into therapy
, um, to really move into this new career, which was something I had been exposed to. Um, I’d been a volunteer in the HIV and AIDS community for many years and a lot of that involved, emotional support.
[00:10:29] And so in that moment, I really looked deep inside and realized,
you know, This is it, this is that moment. I can do this. And I talked to my partner about all the ups and downs of leaving a very lucrative job in the corporate world. And, Oh no, we were going to live in fear and poverty and you know, all of those things that come up and we were able to walk through it.
[00:10:51] It, wasn’t actually a huge change in my life experience. You know,
You know, we’ve able to live and survive and still enjoy our lives amazingly. And from there, I got to blossom into this amazing, amazing new career and to really give energy to all these other facets of who I am.
[00:11:06]Dane Reis: [00:11:06] , I really liked that journey and it’s no joke trying to shift gears.
Right. And it’s hard to transition into something that we’re still super passionate about and really want to wake up and do every single day because in the performing arts, we’re very blessed too. Wake up. And th this is what we grew up wanting to do.
[00:11:26] We, most kids grew up singing and dancing, you know,
you know, even if they don’t end up doing it, for the rest of their lives or for a career, but , to transition out of that is kind of a scary thing. And to find something that you are so passionate about is such a great thing.
[00:11:40] And I’m so glad that you shared that because. It’s one of those things that a lot of us as entertainers at some point are going to have to consider,
how do we, how do we move and transition through our careers? Because if you’re a dancer, you’re not going to be able to be in the spotlight until you’re 70 years old dancing, on stage, most likely.
Right. So how do
[00:12:00] do that successfully?
[00:12:01] John Sovec: [00:12:01] And if you are, you need to spend a lot of time with the physical therapist and massage therapist and on those foam rollers, you know,
[00:12:07]Dane Reis: [00:12:07] Exactly. You’re right. But
how do you, how do you do that? And I love that you’ve done it so successful and you’ve transitioned to something that you’re so passionate about, and it’s so great and encouraging for other people to hear that and how to do that. So thank you.
[00:12:19]John Sovec: [00:12:19]
Well, and one thing that I would just add to that for anybody who is in that moment for themselves of looking at, do I want to continue? Is it time to move on? You have to understand there is so much more to you than just yourself as a performer. And at the same time, any job that you move into your creativity, your discipline, your willingness to show up and do the job are going to pay off in, in ways that you cannot imagine from people who haven’t had the experience of being in the performing arts.
I mean, if you think about it, if you’re a dancer, the discipline, it took to show up at 8:00 AM for classes to stay late at night for a video shoot that it’s not just, Oh, I’m just going to be a dancer. There was so much work and discipline and focus that goes with it. And if you realize you can transfer that to any career that you decide to move into, I think it’ll set you head and shoulders above any of your competition.
[00:13:10]Dane Reis: [00:13:10] such great insight. And I think you are absolutely correct on that. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your. Spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing in this entertainment, creative life.
[00:13:37] Tell us about that.
[00:13:40]John Sovec: [00:13:40]
Well, I would go with the performer one first, cause there’s a really, really cute one from when I was really young. Um, I was one of those kids who actually got informing arts pretty young age, and I had an aha moment. Sorry, Oprah stealing that for today. Um, I got the opportunity to do a photo shoot for the Batman TV show.
[00:13:58] Now I was probably five or six at the time we did this, they were looking for some kids. It was for like a city of hope campaign, I believe. And I got to shoot. Unfortunately, not with Julie Newmar and not worth the kit. I got the water between, I got Lee Merryweather.
Um, but we had a blast that day and it was so much fun to just be in that creative environment.
[00:14:21] And she was very sweet and kind during the shoot. And it just got like little me so excited to realize that people got to do this for a living. So I would say that was that first like little baby spark that showed up. And then the next one was actually in my first year of college. So all during high school, I had done theater.
[00:14:41] I’d done lots of jobs outside of school.
Um, I was enjoying myself. At the same time I reached this moment where I said, okay, I’m going to college. It’s time to get serious. And the strange thing was, this was not for my parents. This was actually for me. So I looked into moving into biological sciences. I went to UCS D down to San Diego.
[00:15:00] And within six months of getting down there, I got offered a contract with Puma sportswear to go out and do some work for them. And I went through that big internal struggle like,
, like, Oh, I’ve got school. And I got into this great school and I’m doing well, I’ve got this Puma contract. And I called my parents and talked to them about it.
[00:15:17] And they were like, we will support you any direction that you choose to go. So I opted to do the Puma contract and we mean at school at the same time, you can just call me a little bit of an overachiever, but, you know,
you know, I did it. Um, and after the job was done, I said, mom, dad, I love this so much. I think it’s what I want to do.
[00:15:36] And they laughed and said well,
, well, we were waiting for you to figure that out. We knew this a long time ago. That, That, that , that, that realization that where my passion, my work was, was in that Puma contract, even though I got all my schoolwork done, that was that moment. And then I just shifted and committed and moved into performing arts as a full-time career and had a really beautiful career for close to 30, some odd years.
[00:15:59]Dane Reis: [00:15:59] Oh, brilliant. That’s so good.
[00:16:03] John Sovec: [00:16:03] So that was my acting one. My therapist, aha. Moment came actually quite a few years ago. As I mentioned earlier, I do work in the HIV and AIDS community. And that work there was based on. Emotional support for people who were living with HIV. Now I started this work back in the eighties towards the beginning of that pandemic.
[00:16:24] And at that time, what we were primarily doing was just nurturing and being there for people. Sometimes it was as simple as just being in the hospital and holding someone’s hand while they were dying, because there’s so much stigma and fear about HIV, right at the beginning. And that moment there, that work changed me at a core level.
Um, it made me realize that part of my job while I’m on this earth is to be there and give to others and be an agent of change in this world. And so I would say that was an early aha moment that stuck with me until I was ready to actually step into that new role.
[00:17:03]Dane Reis: [00:17:03] so wonderful that you. Took that on and made that part of your life when you did. Cause that I was not really, I mean,
I mean, I was around, but I was not old enough to be part of that , uh, that time. But reflecting on it and reading about it and speaking with people about it, it was, it seems crazy.
[00:17:22] It seems otherworldly almost that it was the way people reacted to it
and, and dealt with it and so wonderful that you were such a huge. Person that was there for other people. Love
[00:17:34] John Sovec: [00:17:34] and in the creative arts,
I mean, our industry got decimated, just all those beautiful, beautiful people that we know as actors, singers, dancers, artists, stage, hand, stage managers, casting people. That got decimated by this disease. I mean, we lost an entire generation of creatives and I always wonder, you know, what did we miss?
You know, what would have happened if some of those people that lived on in the projects that could have come out of their spirit in their heart. And , uh, it is to reflect back on that always just brings , uh, a little bit of melancholy for me.
[00:18:05]Dane Reis: [00:18:05] absolutely. Yeah. And let’s piggyback on that last question. And let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and callbacks, if it happened to be a part of it, but what was going on in your life and what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.
[00:18:32] John Sovec: [00:18:32] I would say that one of my favorite performing books, that moments was I had just come back from Japan, doing a job for Disney
over in, over in Tokyo. And I was auditioning for the national tour of the wizard of Oz. And has anyone who’s been through the big audition process? You know, You know, it starts with like 20,000 people. And then it windows down to 5,000 people. Eventually they’re 500 and bit by bit. It keeps winnowing down. And every moment of every time, you know, the stage manager come out with that list and read, I kept getting on the list. And the exciting part of it is my partner at that time was also on that list and it kept winnowing down, winnowing down, winnowing down, winnowing down, winnowing down.
[00:19:15] And tell we reached that moment where it was like, congratulations, you are part of the national touring cast of the 50th anniversary of the wizard of Oz. And it was such a beautiful and powerful moment. That was my first
, um, equity national tour. And it was just such. A beautiful and expansive and wonderful moment, especially because it was choreographed by Anna White, who is part of the history of musical choreography here in the U S and she was just so like interesting to get to know and have that opportunity opened up.
[00:19:46] And I also realized too, there’s like a national tour I’m going to be working for another year or so. And it was just a really exciting and beautiful moment. And to top it all off, my partner got the job as well. And so we got to travel the country, doing the wizard of Oz for a year, and that was a
really, really exciting experience.
[00:20:03] Dane Reis: [00:20:03] Oh, that’s great. And what a great experience to work with her and your right to work with your partner is amazing. That’s how. My wife and I met was on a contract. And obviously it’s worked out just fine since then.
Uh, but , I love that our, our relationship started off working together and it’s really just flourished into, you know, an incredible partnership and marriage and things like this.
[00:20:30] We’ve got a little girl and
it it’s so wonderful fulfilling to, to have that in your life. I think.
[00:20:36]John Sovec: [00:20:36] Absolutely. And I don’t know what your experience was, but performing with your partner on stage, it can be so joyous and playful and fun and wonderful.
You know, we were the cute couple in the company where we always made sure our mirrors were next to each other. And, you know, people came to visit us in our room and play games and play cards and all that stuff.
You know, we were just the joyful, playful, cute couple for everyone to be around. Um,
[00:20:56]Dane Reis: [00:20:56] Yeah. And it’s a lot of fun. Isn’t it? I think what really happens out of that is that when relationships get a bit further along,
, uh, because it was started in, based in working together that that really translates into, you know, the more. Challenging times and difficult times of every relationship.
Right. Because you’ve already, you already know how to collaborate and it’s really a cool thing.
[00:21:18]John Sovec: [00:21:18]
Well, and also there’s a fine art of living on the road that makes you very self-sufficient and you learn that skill. And then when you, you know, move back after the tour, you’re like, okay, we know how to set up an apartment. Let’s go.
[00:21:28] Dane Reis: [00:21:28] Yeah
, yeah, yeah. For sure. . And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And it’s a weird time, right? We are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
[00:21:48]John Sovec: [00:21:48]
Well, I work with a lot of creative types in my therapy practice. And the one thing that we’ve really been focusing on is this idea that simply because one aspect of your creativity is being limited right now. It does not mean you can’t use that creativity and focus it in another direction. So let’s say you’re an actor currently and you can’t get audition beyond Broadway because Broadway is closed right now.
Well, what else can you do with that creativity? Are there other skills that you have at your Beck and call that could fulfill that energy for you? I know a lot of people are self-producing and creating amazing projects online. Right? Other people are moving in different directions. You may be an actor.
[00:22:28] And all of a sudden you actually, I have a friend who ha who is a musical director on Broadway. And he currently is up in Boston with his partner and they, he has created a food blog. And he’s doing videos and it’s a really beautiful way for him to use his creativity, bringing back his musical side and his cooking side.
[00:22:49] What other ways can people creative? They can move into baking gardening. They could write
, um,there’s so many possibilities of taking our creativity and just turning it a little bit to focus on some other aspect that could be exciting and open up channels that we never even knew we had.
[00:23:04]Dane Reis: [00:23:04] For sure.
Kind of back to the reframing that we were talking about in the very beginning. And you’re right. As, as creatives , we, we will explode if we don’t have a way to. Get our creativity out. Right. Uh, and finding that focus is, is so important.
[00:23:21]John Sovec: [00:23:21] And I know in the work that I do currently, I believe that my creative energy makes me really successful as a therapist because when I’m working with someone one-on-one or a group,
right. Speaking somewhere, I have to be able to use that energy, to think on my feet improv, to be able to be present, to think outside the box so that I’m helping each person find their way along their path.
[00:23:44] And I personally believe
that that creative energy, that creative spirit makes me a much better therapist.
[00:23:51]Dane Reis: [00:23:51] I would agree because it’s not. So textbook. Would that be the right word?
I mean, obviously there’s, there are, there are things to look at and methodologies that you can point to. Right. But. To be able to really connect with people and use your creativity to navigate those conversations and meet people where they are.
[00:24:07] And you said you work with a lot of creatives. That’s fantastic. And the fact that you there’s a lot of empathy there, right? Because you are one yourself. So I think that’s so important and so valuable for anyone that would be a creative that would want to work with you.
[00:24:21]John Sovec: [00:24:21] Yeah. And that’s the thing that I encourage everyone. Who’s
kind of feeling that down energy right now is there are so many facets to your creativity. Nurture one that you put aside and see what happens.
[00:24:34]Dane Reis: [00:24:34] ah, such wonderful advice and it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightening around. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another are ready.
[00:24:53] John Sovec: [00:24:53] I think I’m a little afraid Dane, but let’s do it.
[00:24:57] Dane Reis: [00:24:57] Uh,
Uh, first question, what was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career in the entertainment industry?
[00:25:04]John Sovec: [00:25:04] Oh, my mom’s fear of poverty.
[00:25:07]Dane Reis: [00:25:07]
Hmm. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
[00:25:13]John Sovec: [00:25:13]
Uh, that one’s easy. You are not right for every job, but you always need to bring your best.
[00:25:19] Dane Reis: [00:25:19] yes. Third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before the industry went on? Pause.
[00:25:31]John Sovec: [00:25:31] Ah,
mm. I would say for myself that a big thing that works currently and pre COVID is maintaining and continuously building , uh, relationships with people in my field, in the community. Even when I was an artist or an actor. I was constantly nurturing relationships. So I was that person, the choreographers who returned to over and over and over.
[00:25:50] So I think that tied of maintaining and creating relationships so powerful and so much longevity for any career you choose.
[00:25:57]Dane Reis: [00:25:57] Oh, I’m so glad you just put relationships with longevity into the same sentence, because it is so important in our industry. You need relationships. If you want this career to be a longterm fulfilling career
[00:26:12]John Sovec: [00:26:12] Absolutely. Yep. Yep.
Cannot, cannot emphasize that enough.
[00:26:15] Dane Reis: [00:26:15] Yeah. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, maybe a YouTube video or podcast piece of technology, even that you’ve found is helping your career right now?
[00:26:30] John Sovec: [00:26:30] Well,
Well, let me joke with you. First, a piece of technology was finally getting a new professional mic. Uh, Uh, it’s solely changed the experience of doing interviews.
[00:26:40] Um, I don’t wanna say. There is no
, um, there is an amazing man named Dan Siegel. He is a psychologist here in Los Angeles. He’s at UCLA and he is one of the leading people in neurobiology.
[00:26:53] And if you think everything that’s happened in your life is just happening. Accidentally start reading a little bit about neurobiology, and you will understand that there are so many physiological pieces to every moment of reaction you have, that it’ll help you to give yourself a break.
[00:27:10]Dane Reis: [00:27:10] so good. Do you have a book, title that he’s has that you could refer to us?
[00:27:15] John Sovec: [00:27:15] Is a great book called brainstorm.
Um, it’s really powerful and interesting. Um, and , uh, the whole mind is another one, but any of the work by Dan Siegel, he does both professional work. Um, so things that are more based towards psychologists and then things based towards regular people who want to read about neurobiology,
[00:27:32] Dane Reis: [00:27:32] Oh,
[00:27:33] John Sovec: [00:27:33] stuff. And he did an amazing interview with him and the Dalai Lama. And in this interview, they talked about how the idea of the science of the mind and the spiritual mind are actually coming
closer and closer and starting to walk much more parallel to each other than we ever imagined.
[00:27:50]Dane Reis: [00:27:50] Oh, really? Very cool. I will have to look up that interview for sure.
[00:27:55] John Sovec: [00:27:55] Yeah, just some deep stuff here. And your speed round.
[00:27:58] Dane Reis: [00:27:58] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Love it. Love it. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do?
[00:28:12] Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
[00:28:15]John Sovec: [00:28:15] Actually the answer that we just had, I would really focus as much on the people as I did on the work.
Um, it is so important that we don’t just become automatons and show up and kickball change or hit this note here or avoid that barricade rolling in there, but that we really connect and be real people with real people doing this work.
[00:28:38] And I think that goes on all layers, not just fellow performers, but understanding how the prop person works. Talking to the musicians, getting to know your ushers. I can tell you your ushers, especially when you are a tour, can tell you stories, send you to a great restaurant and help you see cool things.
[00:28:53] So focus on people as much as you focus on the words.
[00:28:57]Dane Reis: [00:28:57] such great advice and bringing it back to relationships. Right.
[00:29:00]John Sovec: [00:29:00] Yep. Absolutely.
[00:29:02]Dane Reis: [00:29:02] And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in the industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.
[00:29:13]John Sovec: [00:29:13] You know what you want to do. Every single day, do something towards that passion. It could be something as small as updating a resume. It could be something as big as trying to reach out to a choreographer or a casting person. It could be creating a reel, but every single day, if
you know, there is something that you want to do, that it is your passion.
[00:29:37] You need to take steps towards making that happen.
[00:29:40]Dane Reis: [00:29:40] Yes, such good advice. And it’s a little things over time that compound into the end result.
[00:29:47]John Sovec: [00:29:47] Yeah. And I think people miss that everyone’s,
you know, searching for the big, you know, you know, I joked earlier about Oprah Winfrey aha moments. But for me, I think the way we make change in our lives, the way we grow, the way we become more powerful is by these incremental steps of change. And those incremental steps they add up.
[00:30:06] And so if we work for a choreographer who works on Broadway, but we do a small industrial with them, or we work with them at a theater,
you know, out in the country somewhere. By the time we come back to New York and we’re ready to audition for them, they know us, we know them. That’s a small step you’ve taken towards something.
[00:30:24] If you walk cold into that audition and waited for the aha casting moment. It might not play out the same, but
tiny, tiny steps can make such a huge difference in your day to day experience.
[00:30:35]Dane Reis: [00:30:35] for sure. I was interviewing two people recently. One was Theresa spinosa. The other one was Alison folk. They’re both choreographers and they’ve done some amazing things. Both of them, for instance, we’re on. Janet Jackson’s tours, right? Different tours, but still worked with her. Right.
Right. But they got those jobs.
Well, not only because they’re amazing dancers, but they really got their foot in the door because of the relationships they had with the other. Creatives that were on that project and working with them and assisting them in different things. So that’s what got more focus on them. That’s what got their name surfaced to the, you know, you know, to the top of people’s brains to go, Hey, let’s give this person a call and it’s all about those relationships.
[00:31:17] John Sovec: [00:31:17] And remember every one of those moments counts. If you’re doing one of those cold rainy dancing on cement shows with a really talented choreographer and you get out there and you bust it and you make a big, they are going to love you and bring you back over and over again. If you sit there and complain about as cold and it’s rainy, I know you can’t dance in that and they have to get you the right shoes and this and that possibility.
[00:31:40] They’re just going to put you in the back of their file. But those people who are in those positions remember, and they remember if you’re someone who can commit to focusing and working and bringing your full self to the project. And I was really lucky because I did have a series of choreographers who really respected my work and I respected theirs.
[00:32:02] And I would constantly be brought onto their jobs, moved in the position of a dance captain or a show captain. And that was because we had built trust over all these years. Small steps long-term goals.
[00:32:13]Dane Reis: [00:32:13] Small steps. Long-term goals really well said. And it is time to wrap up this interview, which means it’s time to give it your self, a plug, John, where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?
[00:32:31]John Sovec: [00:32:31] Oh, absolutely. It’s really easy to find me. You can go to my website, wizard John sovos.com. You can also find me on Twitter at Jon Slovak, and this is gonna sound redundant, but you’ll also find me on Facebook. At John Sobeck therapy and counseling. There’s a theme here, but it’s easy to find me, check me up online.
[00:32:48] And if anyone has any questions or observations, please feel free to email me. I’d be happy to connect with you and help you find resources wherever you are.
[00:32:57]Dane Reis: [00:32:57] brilliant. And for everyone listening out there, I’ve put the links to everything. John just said into the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with him. And be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, arts, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know,
you know, aspiring to create a career in the entertainment industry.
[00:33:20] You booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful entertainment career case in point, everything John just shared and drop here today in this episode. If you liked this episode, make sure you hit that subscribe button. So you don’t miss the next one. John. Thank you so much for being here.
[00:33:40] It’s been such a pleasure to have you want, and thank you for sharing all of your insight on this industry and our way to navigate it.
[00:33:48]John Sovec: [00:33:48] thank you so much, Dane. It’s been a joy chatting with you today.