Casey Erin Clark sang at the Tony Awards a few months ago:  a dream come true for a Midwestern girl who grew up singing in church and starring in school musicals.  But it may not have happened if she had landed the Broadway role that she thought was her ticket to the big-time.  After earning a degree in fine arts, Casey came to New York City to try to make it on Broadway.  After making her off-Broadway debut, she soon found success when she landed a role in the cast of the 25th anniversary national tour of Les Miserables.  A few months after the tour ended, Casey was in final callbacks for the show’s highly anticipated Broadway revival.  It was the role she was made for; she could feel it.  But she didn’t get the part. And that’s when Casey began to realize that she might just have another calling.  

Casey tells us that it’s a myth that you have to be singularly devoted to your art.  While many actors believe that having a “Plan B” is only for those artists who aren’t truly committed to the craft, Casey realized that her Plan B might just be her calling. 

We talk with Casey about dealing with the rejections that come at you “a mile a minute” as an actor.  Casey shares that sometimes a career pivot can feel like you’re giving up on your dreams, when it actually might just be the start of something even bigger than you could have imagined.   She started to take on clients who needed help finding and fine-tuning their own voices; not just singers, but also c-suite business executives who needed help with public speaking, and corporations looking to invest in developing the voices of their top talent – often female talent.  Casey joined forces with her friend, Julie Fogh, and a star– their business, Vital Voice Training – was born.

Through Vital Voice, Casey and her business partner, Julie, were inspired to participate meaningfully in valuing and lifting women’s voices in particular.  Their experiences led them to focus attention on demystifying authenticity in the workplace.  For Casey, it isn’t enough to invite employees to bring their authentic selves to work.  We all need to work together to create environments in which every individual, especially women and other historically marginalized communities, can communicate and contribute from a place of trust and authenticity.  Casey also talks about how burnout and mental health considerations impact our ability to communicate effectively.

Finally, Casey tells us about how shifting her focus away from the theater has ultimately ended up leading to opportunities on stage that she never would have dreamt of a few years ago.  This is a story about pivoting, taking off the blinders, and not letting your dreams get in the way of the limitless opportunities that the universe holds.  

Episode Links and Resources:

Vital Voice Training Website:

Voice (Is) Podcast:

Casey Erin Clark’s LinkedIn Profile:

Broadway Inspirational Voices:

Additional Reading:

Body of Work:  Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together, Pamela Slim

Burnout:  The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, Emily Nagoski, Amelia Nagoski  

Half the Sky:  Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas Kristoff, Sheryl WuDunn  

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