“Don’t wait for success to come to you or for someone to validate you. Validate yourself.” – An Interview with Tony Award Winning Broadway Producer Ron Simons

“Create your own work. If you’re not getting the kind of roles you want, or if you don’t have an agent yet…you don’t have a manager…write your own pieces. Perform your own shows and get out there. Don’t wait for success to come to you or for someone to validate you. Validate yourself. Know that you have skills. Know that you are talented. Know that you are a gifted artist, and continue at your work.” ~ Ron Simons

Photos of Ron Simons Courtesy of Bobby Quillard

If you ever need inspiration as a black artist, a conversation with Tony Award winning producer and actor Ron Simons will have you feeling like you can conquer the world. That’s why you should listen to the AMAZING interview he and I shared in the podcast above.

In addition to giving artists tips on how to take their careers into their own hands, he shares his passion for producing plays that preserve black history and call audience members to action. He also speaks on the need for having more black people at the decision-making level of theatre, television, and film if we want to see changes in the stories being told and how we are portrayed.

Putting his message into action, Simons is using his power as a producer to bring to Broadway the musical Ain’t Too Proud — the story of the singing group The Temptations. Also on his Broadway lineup is Turn Me Loose, starring Scandal‘s Joe Morton as comedian and Civil Rights activist Dick Gregory. I’m also proud to say that Simons is mentoring me on my thesis production The Feather Doesn’t Fall Far from the Wing, A Play with Music slated to open at New York’s Signature Theatre on May 9, 2018 as a part of Columbia University’s Playwrights’ Thesis Festival.

These are just a few of the things I had the pleasure of discussing with Simons in our Black And Making It interview. I have no doubt you will enjoy listening. Be sure to download the podcast for yourself, and share it with another artist who can use the kind reminder that the only validation they need to succeed is their own.

Stay updated on the amazing things Ron Simons is doing through his company SimonSays Entertainment by clicking here to visit his website.


Stay Black And Making It,

Ayvaunn Penn, BAM-iT! Founder

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Upcoming Event: My latest play The Feather Doesn’t Fall Far From the Wing, A Play with Music opens May 9, 2018 at the prestigious Signature Theatre. Enter your email address below to follow Black And Making It, and receive updates.




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