- OnStage New York Columnist
Over the past few years, I have become an avid fan of podcasts, specifically those revolving around theatre and the world of Broadway. On my drive to work each morning or on my bus ride into the city, listening to an episode of “The Ensemblist” or “Theater People” gets me excited and ready to nail the day ahead. Recently, a new podcast has caught my eye. Founded by Ilana Levine, this podcast, called “Little Known Facts”, focuses on bringing forth the hidden stories of some of our most beloved actors.
Levine has been acting since the 1990s, appearing on Broadway many times, including in “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown”, and in many films and television shows. The idea for “Little Known Facts” came to her a few months back when a friend approached her asking if she would be interested in creating a podcast.
“A friend of mine basically inherited a podcast company,” she explains. “I love podcasts; I love listening to them; they have really become part of the soundtrack of my life recently because it’s such a wonderful blend of storytelling and something you can do while cleaning your house or driving or whatever. So when he asked me if I would be interested in doing a podcast, I wanted to find something that would be enjoyable for me. They always tell writers to start with what you know and I think I took that advice and thought about what I know and what I love and what I’m interested in.”
The idea then sparked to interview her friends, who happen to be successful actors including Roger Bart and Matthew Broderick, and tell stories about not only the highlights of their careers but also the downfalls. “I took a couple of weeks to figure out how I would do this and I have some very kind and generous friends, all of whom are pretty successful, and I thought how fun it would be to share their stories and preserve their legacy in some way while doing something different. To make it different, instead of focusing on a project they are working on, I focus on their process and how they approach storytelling and things they would tell me as a close friend that they wouldn’t tell someone that they don’t know.”
She goes on to add, “I think what’s different about this is that this is a really up-close and personal moment with the actor, not so much around a specific job but their life and what brought them to where they are now. I want to find out how people handle things when life doesn’t go well; how they get through hard times, which is relatable to anybody no matter who you are.”
Most recently, Levine released her 11th episode, an interview with Roger Bart. Previous guest include Ben Platt, Anthony Rapp, and John Slattery. She tells that there are many exciting interviews coming soon that she can’t wait to release.
“Hearing about their struggles or about Hearing about their struggles or that Cythnia Nixon still auditions I think that makes all of us feel better. We’re all in it together. It’s not just us and them, we are all one community.”
For more information, visit www.littleknownfactspodcast.com.