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Podcast Interview with Jacklyn Thrapp

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode, the guest is Jacklyn Thrapp, an Emmy Award-Winning Journalist, Creator, and Executive Producer of the Off-Broadway Musical Good Morning New York. She also hosts the “Making A Musical Podcast”.

Key Points:

Background: Jacklyn is an Emmy award-winning journalist, experienced in media production, digital and social media management, and project management.

Good Morning New York: As the Creator and Executive Producer for this Off-Broadway musical, Jacklyn is responsible for its management and strategy.

Making A Musical Podcast: She also hosts this podcast that offers insights into the process of creating a musical.

CEO Hack: Jacklyn uses for organization to stay on top of her tasks and workflow.

CEO Nugget: Pay people from what you get in sales, but not out of your pocket. This helps in managing resources effectively.

CEO Defined: According to Jacklyn, being a CEO is about doing the work rather than focusing on the title.

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Jacklyn Thrapp Teaser 00:00

My secret is making my team and anything I do seem much bigger than it is.

Intro 00:07

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you are in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:34

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we were purposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, the business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, and what I like to call CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focusing on finishing it out, fighting the good fight and closing out the job. I think just as important as it is to start something, it's even more important in how you conclude it or finish it out. So if you think of the different things that you can finish out, be it everything from a project, it can be from a day, it could also be from a business in and of itself, and it can also of course be for the year. So when you think of finishing out, I want you to really think of these episodes because what we're going to really focus on is the last question that we really ask, which is defining what it means to be a CEO.

All the creative, innovative, and I think truly insightful questions that we received from this question is really what we want to highlight during the show. But of course, we want you to enjoy the entire episode and think about how you're going to finish things out and how you're going to finish things out strongly. So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jackie Thrapp of making a musical podcast. Jackie, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Jacklyn Thrapp 02:07

Hi there. Nice to be on the show. I'm excited for it.

Gresham Harkless 02:11

Me too. Super excited to have you on. I wanted to read a little bit more about Jackie so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing.

Jackie is an Emmy Award-Winning journalist, creator and Executive Producer of the Off-Broadway Musical Good Morning New York. She also is the host of the Making a Musical Podcast.

Jackie, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Jacklyn Thrapp 02:31

Yes. Yes, I am.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:33

Awesome. Let's do it.

Jacklyn Thrapp 02:34

Run on the question.

Gresham Harkless 02:35

Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you to get started with your podcast.

Jacklyn Thrapp 02:42

Definitely. So I think maybe with all small businesses, I know definitely for mine, I initially was a writer. I was trying to find a way to produce my musical or get it produced. It's pretty hard to get yourself produced in the entertainment industry so I just started my own company to produce my own stuff, then once in a while, i'll produce other people's stuff. In the podcast, I started because I feel like I talk about musical theater so much and a lot of my friends are not in musical theater, so I use the podcast as an outlet to explain what i'm doing.

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I get that excitement out of a post to going on for two hours with friends that are not involved in musical theater, wonderful friends. I love that they listen, but they don't need to so. That's why I started the podcast. Now we have a fun community of writers and producers all across the nation that produce their stuff. They ask me questions and our podcast basically follows the entire development of creating an off broadway show.

So it started more than a year ago, where we were just like hey, we just finished a run at a 30-seat theater and now we want to go off broadway, but we don't know how to do it. So every week we're just going to have a podcast and let you know what we're doing to try to get there. Over a year we went from having you know, a script, but no venue to getting a theater, having a theater, choose us for our free space.

Now we're casting. So it's been fun.

Gresham Harkless 04:06

Nice. I definitely love that. I love the fact too, that you talked about trying to find a way and when there wasn't necessarily a way you decided to create it yourself. I think that's the beauty of this day and age where we have so many kind of tools to create content and create information, create podcasts and so on and so forth.

Jacklyn Thrapp 04:22

Because I think that aside from podcasts too, even when it comes to influencer marketing, there are so many third-party platforms that connect companies to smaller influencers with only a few hundred followers. Not even influencers, they're just kind of people. But there are so many companies that connect these, and pretty much anybody can follow their interests and capitalize on it.

You might make something, you might not, but still, in our world and in our day and age you can completely capitalize on everything that you throw out into the world. I love it.

Gresham Harkless 04:51

Absolutely. Yeah. I love it too. And especially in this day and age where there's like the influencers, but now there are micro-influencers, so if you have an interest

Jacklyn Thrapp 04:58


Gresham Harkless 04:58

In something, you can definitely pursue it. You create a podcast, create a blog, and then there's usually, on the other side, because there are consumers that are searching for whatever it is that you're providing. It might be so niche that you're the only one that actually loves it and creates content around it.

You can basically create an empire around that, so to speak.

Jacklyn Thrapp 05:17

Right, because even what I do for my podcast, I did a brief documentary on influence and marketing, but that's a separate thing. I learned how it works, so basically in the documentary, all I was doing was trying to figure out how it works. So I'd have companies for them. You sign up for the third-party website. They have a company send you something and then they pay you 30 bucks if you post about it. So that's what I did for the podcast, for the influence and marketing documentary.

But then I brought it to my podcast where I started going to networking events in New York City. These are like new companies with a startup, maybe they have an Indiegogo page and they're trying to get funded or publicity. I say, Hey, I have a podcast that will open your business to the off-Broadway world, are you interested in paying $30 or I think my rate was $25 and we'll give you an ad and we'll play it until we hit $1000.

Listen, so we had a lot of companies just pay me like 25 bucks here and there and slowly I don't make anything. I think I've made I don't know less than a $100 off the podcast but that's okay because that's not my goal. In general my goal is to have it as an outlet to promote my off-broadway musical that opens in January

Gresham Harkless 06:26

Nice I definitely appreciate that. I appreciate you for bringing that up because I think that a lot of times people also use podcast as a way to market and brand as well to sounds like you're doing some easy on two things. It sounds like you are generating some revenue, but at the same time, you're also using it as a way to promote your musical.

Jacklyn Thrapp 06:44

Because it first started as a way for me to just talk and get it out because there was so much energy and excitement around my show. I had to have something to get it out. Then it started becoming a marketing tool where people who listen to the podcast started buying some tickets and some shirts, because I sell shirts for the show too. So then I started selling some things that way.

What I did for the podcast too, it's just a tool. I think a lot of people get into podcasting because they think there's money out of it. I don't know. I don't think there's a lot of money in it, that's just me. But I'm sure for others there are, but I use that podcast as a tool to get into the Tony nomination ceremony and to get into the Obie Awards beause a lot of these awards ceremonies don't ask your listener count.

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So if you say, Hey, I have 72 listeners, probably not the best, but if you say, Hey. I'm up to make a musical podcast, can I get a press pass for this really prestigious event? They'll probably get one.

Gresham Harkless 07:33

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Jacklyn Thrapp 07:35

I use it as big. Then I brought like my mic flag for my musical Good morning, New York. It's about news. So we pose as reporters for Good Morning New York. We had all this publicity through that too. So, my point is, I guess I just use every resource I have. I try to capitalize on all of it. I don't, but I try.

Gresham Harkless 07:54

Yeah, definitely. Go ahead.

Jacklyn Thrapp 07:57

Oh I was going to say the podcast is great. The main thing that I consider myself a CEO of is just my company as a whole, which is a musical theater producer, because I had to raise $13,000 . Then the Indiegogo page and then some. So for me being a CEO, it's more about my Off-Broadway company and in the podcast and the shirt.

All the other stuff I do is just a branch of my whole company.

Gresham Harkless 08:24

Yeah, absolutely. I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. This could be for you or your organization. But what do you feel set you apart and makes you unique?

Jacklyn Thrapp 08:33

Oh, let's see. A few things. When it comes to me as a Off-Broadway producer, I think that there are not a lot of commercial female Off-Broadway producers in their twenties. I think I'm one of the few. I haven't met any others. If I have, they're certainly not making money from it. I think, that's what makes me a little different. But also, my secret is making my team and anything I do seem much bigger than it is. So, for example, when we cast for our shows, I'll invite my aunt, some of my friends just sit at the table with me, even if it's just me and a director. I want an actor to come in and see like a panel of six people that all seem to be involved because it makes it seem big.

Marketing too, I use them to make graphics and artwork from so many talented people. But I think it's all about image so you can find somebody if you have no money and you're starting a company, you can find someone to make a logo for. I know graphic designers are going to kill me for this. But someone can make a logo for you for $25 and then you can make that. They can give you a few versions where there's one for your company, then a transparent one that you can put on shirt and then you can go to to create your shirt for free and then sell it and make a profit without ever having to produce it.

So my point is I try to make things seem much, much, much bigger than they are. I post all the time and yeah, there's no money, but I don't act like there's no money. I act like I have all the money. People get confused though. Like sometimes I remember when I was casting for a set designer and I was casting for actors, people get really confused when they see, Oh wow, you have reviews from the Daily News and CBS New York, and you have this logo, and you have all this hype, but your pay sucks.

Yeah, that's because there's no money in this. I'm just really good at blowing smoke up the media.

Gresham Harkless 10:34

There you go. It is always important because when you were talking, I was automatically thinking of like the club or the bar or whatever you want to go into. Nobody wants to go into or hear from the bar or club that has nobody standing in line. So it's like you have to create from a psychological standpoint that audience and have those people in and ask your honor, whoever, to come in so that you do start to create that momentum.

What I wanted to ask you for was a CEO hack. I know you gave us some, within TeeSpring. Are there any other kind of apps, books or habits that you have that make you more effective and efficient?

Jacklyn Thrapp 11:07 is wonderful. You can have a team, basically, it controls your schedules. It's really good for sales. It's good for organization. So I have all my schedules because we're doing in my schedules, we have an album that we're rehearsing for. We have the opera show. Then we have a cabaret show.

We have all these things that I have to keep track of. So lets you keep track of your entire schedule and your team can keep track of it. It's so organized and you can export it to Excel. I love it.

Gresham Harkless 11:38

Yeah, absolutely. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, or if you could hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Jacklyn Thrapp 11:49

I remember one of my early productions, because I know let's see, So when it comes to theater I do it and I do it all the time, but I also do have a day job as a journalist. So for me, theater was never about really making money. I like to have a budget where I can pay people enough and have the show happen, but there's not really like a profit in my pocket. I usually recoup or make a few hundred, more than that. I don't make thousands back because it's usually shared with everyone on the team. So if I can go back in time, and I've said this before on my podcast, one of my very first shows, I wanted to pay people right, but I didn't understand profits and losses.

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I was just like, Hey, I can pay them for my paycheck because they're taking time out of their summer to be in my show. So I ended up paying all of these people. Some people got $200, some people got like $500, but straight from my paycheck. So instead of going off the profits and how much we make or ticket sales, I paid them from my paycheck and not from the actual money we got back. I ended up losing thousands of dollars.

So if I went back, I would pay people what I get in sales, not just right off the bat here's money straight from my pocket because I was broke for a long time and I missed out on a lot of personal opportunities for myself because I was paying other people.

Gresham Harkless 13:16

That makes perfect sense. I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on the show.

So Jackie, what is being a CEO mean to you?

Jacklyn Thrapp 13:26

For me, it's cool to have the title. I think a lot of people dream about having that title and what it would be like to be a CEO. I think that sure you can visualize it, visualization is great, but I don't really care. I think it's all about the work and all about what you put out in the world, not necessarily the title. My thought.

Gresham Harkless 13:45

Absolutely. No, I definitely agree with that. So I appreciate that perspective because a lot of times you get caught up in those three letters and the title exactly what that quote and quote is symbolical. But really, a lot of times you just get the opportunity to work in your zone of genius, so to speak.

So I appreciate that definition of that perspective Jackie, I appreciate your time even more. I wanted to pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know. Then of course, how best they can get ahold of you and subscribe to your podcast.

Jacklyn Thrapp 14:12

Totally. I'd like to say just on one note from the two questions ago. I'm not cheap. I'm realistic about money because it seems like I just want to say that because like Off-Broadway community, it's non-union. So I do want to say I pay people. I have a pretty good reputation for paying people more than what people in non-union shows off usually make and I'm pretty realistic about it. So I just want to say that so people don't think that I'm cheap because I'm definitely not. I'm just not going to go broke. I'm not going to lose 7, 000 again, like a few years ago.

With that said, what else I want to say is that I have an offloading musical coming up and it's great. It's what I've been talking about. So basically, it opens January 9th, 2020, that's when previews begin and we open that Saturday on January 11th. We also have an album launch concert, that's October 4th. All of these are in New York City. You can go to to find out more.

Also, If you want to follow the journey, I do have a podcast, the Making a Musical Podcast. It's a weekly podcast, every theater Thursday. If you want to just listen in and see how we're developing the show, I'd love to have you on, because I think being an operative producer, a lot of people want to produce, but it's hard to do. It's hard to break into, and it's hard to figure it out, so I love sharing my knowledge as I go, because I'm still learning.

I'm sure that things that I said today, I'm going to disagree with in six months. I'll be like, no, no, I learned that bad idea. We'll see.

Gresham Harkless 15:43

There you go. It's definitely a process, but I appreciate you for taking some time with us. I think that one of the beautiful things about your podcast and everything that you're building is that you get the opportunity to document the process, which I think hasn't really been done as much in the past as it is now.

So I appreciate you for doing that. We will have those links in the show notes as well too, so that everybody can follow up with you. But I appreciate you appreciate your time, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:07

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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