Friend of the podcast Garth Kravits shares how his combined love of sports and theatre inspired him to create the Playball Podcast.
I grew up in the theater. I also grew up a sports fan and anyone who went to high school will tell you, rarely do those two worlds intersect. Sure, there were the occasional guest star appearances by a football player or two in Guys and Dolls. There were always a few guys from the baseball team around during Damn Yankees. But, generally speaking, sports was sports and theater was theater.
Once I got out and into the real world, however, I started to find that wasn’t always the case. Every show I did, and I mean EVERY show, seemed to have sports people in it. Somewhere in the cast or crew or wardrobe, there were sports fans. They didn’t come right out and say it. But during March Madness (a college basketball tournament), when you snuck out between shows to go to the closest bar and catch some of the games or at least some scores, and suddenly see your dance captain, the head of props, and your dresser all staring at the TVs, you realize… You are not alone!
My best friend and co-host of The Playball Podcast and I had often discussed this. Sean Dougherty is also an actor in NYC, and for years we’ve spent countless hours on the phone basically doing a radio sports talk show for an audience of just ourselves. We always joked about doing this where others could listen in, but it was just an idea with no momentum.
Years later, I was doing a show at Bucks County Playhouse, and during one of those usual downtimes during tech, got into a conversation about the NY Giants offensive line (football). I found my sports guy in the show and was thrilled to get into some good sports talk, when suddenly a voice came out from behind the piano: “The offensive line is nothing without a solid tight end and a running game." Another sports person in our show??! It was a Broadway music director that I had done a few shows with and I never knew he liked sports. Turns out he only likes football, and mostly college football, but still… I immediately called my friend Sean and told him I knew how we were going to bring our sports talk to the airwaves. Theater + Sports + Theater fans + Sports fans! The venn diagram in my head was creating crossovers like crazy.
Our first Playball Podcast was happening right before the Super Bowl (football) between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. We ending up having, as guests on the show, an actor from the Memphis tour in New England and some from the Dirty Dancing tour in Seattle! It was awesome.
We mostly did sports talk radio style stuff, but ultimately decided each show would have a theme: Greatest players of all time, sports crowds/fans vs Broadway crowds/fans etc... You can download all our previous episodes at the iTunes Store.
The Playball Podcast: Actors.Talk.Sports
Listen to our podcast episode on Broadway Sports here.