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#12 Erin Clemons — Knowing When To Say No

My guest on this episode, Erin Clemons is a musical theatre performer who just finished a year long run in Hamilton on Broadway and is preparing to debut her first solo concert at 54 Below in New York in early January.

One of the big themes that comes up in this episode is something that a lot of people struggle with as artists and creatives…”accepting that it’s okay to say no.”

Erin has been part of the Broadway and US Tour productions of some musicals that I’m sure you’ve heard of or seen, but to step into the next phase of her career she’s making the decision to say no to many of the opportunities that she previously would have accepted. This is the story of a smart, talented and engaging human who I think will inspire you with her candour, her vulnerability and her courage.

In this episode we discuss:

  • People who value life outside of work: ie. Kellie O’Hara, Audra McDonald & Daniel Breaker
  • The Hamilcast: Ep 109: Yo, this one’s mine
  • Finding a balance between your work and personal life
  • Studio Time Ep 4. Jen Waldman — Finding My Why Changed Everything
  • If you’re interested in finding your own why, check out this TED talk by Simon Sinek, read more about it in Start With Why and then perhaps get together with a friend and Find Your Why.
  • Finding your why helps your process. It helps you know what you will do and will not do - which is something actors can really find joy in.
  • Erin’s husband Collin created the theatre program at Baychester Middle School
  • “I’m a big believer in the body manifesting things that the mind is already thinking, even if we don’t know it consciously.”
  • “I was giving up a lot of my time for not the exact dream that I wanted to be living”
  • The Long and The Short of It Podcast hosted by Jen Waldman and Peter Shepherd
  • “I want to be doing the exact thing that I’m capable of doing”
  • “Sometimes you’re on the right bus but you’re not in the right seat.”
  • Discover more about the work of Jen Waldman at Jen Waldman Studio and Pete Shepherd at his website here
  • Erin debuts her solo concert Mixology of Love at 54 Below, Jan 11 @ 11.30pm
  • 24 Hour Musical NYC
  • The power of “sprinting” to show you how much you can do and achieve in next to no time when you set your mind to it.
  • Erin describes how not going to one of the “top acting programs” in college turned out to be the perfect decision for her. Sometimes it’s right to defy conventional wisdom.
  • “Your time could be used so much more valuably if you take the wasted time that you spend going in for everything that you see and really put your energy toward the things you feel passionate about, the things that light you up. If you go toward those things with fire, I think that will be so much more rewarding than just letting everything land where it will.”
  • “I’m looking at the people who came to this industry knowing exactly what they wanted right out of college and those people are the ones who end up doing exactly what they wanted because they had a clear vision of who they wanted to be and what kind of work they wanted to do.”
  • The time you save by saying no to opportunities that aren’t right for you can be used for create your own work, getting together with friends and creating work, working on yourself in other ways, doing your own concerts, being a part of readings, learning an instrument, becoming a more interesting person.


Instagram | Mixology of Love: 54 Below (NYC) Jan 11, 2019