7 – Tyler G. Mount: Producing Your Own Award-Winning Life

In This Episode

Read Full Transcript

00:58 Tyler:
You have to trust yourself. You have to be authentic and you have to be you. The rest is already done.

01:15 Tony:
Hey, it's Tony Howell. And thank you so much for listening to my podcast this month. My theme is #GlobalFutureMonth. So as we just celebrated July 4th and our freedoms as Americans, I'm interested in exploring how interconnected the world now is and where we are collectively heading for better or worse - as all humans on this planet.

So, in this episode I speak to the one and only Tyler Mount. Now you may know him from Playbill and the Tyler Mount vlog, but he's also NBC Universal’s ninja for social media and an Olivier, Drama League, and two-time Tony award-winning Broadway producer.

Tyler has been profiled by the New York Times, Forbes, and Out Magazine. And it's because of his self-made success, his visibility, and his access to high-level insights (whether that's data from NBC or an interview with Patti LuPone) that I thought that he would be the perfect guest to help guide us to where we all are heading for #GlobalFutureMonth.

In this episode, we talk specifically about finding your path or your purpose, producing your own work, and then the latest trends and strategies when it comes to digital marketing and content strategy. So if you want to find your voice and win awards and carve your path, this episode is just for you, enjoy.

02:56 Tony:
Oh my God. I am here with Tyler Mount. Tyler, thank you for being my guest.

03:00 Tyler:
You're so welcome. Thanks for having me.

03:02 Tony:
So I want to start off by letting people know what your new job is, because people may not know that you stepped it up and you're working in the huge major leagues now. So can you tell me about what your day-to-day is as senior manager of digital marketing at NBC Universal?

03:22 Tyler:
Oh my God. It's like, what don't I do?

I grew up in the Broadway community and I've worked extensively on Broadway as a stage manager, as a content producer, as a social influencer, and when the opportunity was presented to me to lead a social team at NBC, I jumped at the opportunity for multiple reasons.

I've always, always, always wanted to work at a huge media conglomerate like NBC, but most importantly, I felt as if I was getting to the point in my career on Broadway, that I knew the people I needed to know. I loved my job, but I wasn't really growing. And for me as a professional, it's really, really important for me to feel encouraged and motivated and excited and feel like there is some progress in my career.

Where I was, I didn't really feel super fulfilled. So when given that opportunity, I jumped at it and it just so happens that over the course of the next year, year and a half I moved up in corporate America as one might say.

And now I am leading a team and in charge of the digital media for NBC specifically on our new e-commerce startup: everything from social media, to digital media, to our on-air linear campaigns to experiential popups, to basically anything that deals with marketing in any sense of the word.

So I've definitely had a great opportunity to really step up as a professional, as a content curator and as a manager. I obviously didn't leave Broadway behind by any means - I'm still producing and creating content for another content creation site that I have. I really, really love going into work each day, which I think is huge.

05:23 Tony:
So I know that there are going to be listeners who will say, “what is an experiential popup?” So what I want to do is also share your path, share your story. So if we rewind back to Montgomery, Texas, where you grew up back to Austin, Texas, where you went to college, and then you make the decision to move to New York and go to Cap 21 - can you share first initially, what is it about theater that you love?

05:56 Tyler:
That's so good. To your point, I grew up in a super small town, Texas. I always joke, but at the time it was one stoplight and 300 people in the city limits. It was as conservative and as small as you can imagine. And as an only child, I would come home most days and just go into my bedroom and sit alone, like genuinely. I found solace in watching YouTube videos. Right when YouTube became a thing, I would watch bootlegs WICKED or RENT, NEXT TO NORMAL and SPRING AWAKENING, and that's where I really started to find a passion for theater. I loved it. I connected to the story. I connected to the music. I connected to all of the things that a lot of people love about Broadway in the theater community.

Ultimately, this was when I realized I really want to pursue this. Ironically, in small town Texas, we had one of the best state theater programs at my local high school. We had an incredible director, and as you can imagine, everything in Texas is competitive. So we had competitive football and we had competitive theater. And out of the 18,000-something schools, the top 8 go to State and I went to State every single year in high school where we won twice. It really just gave me a place to go. It fostered a love of the arts, and it gave me something to do, and I really, really, really loved it. So that's where I fell in love with theater: I loved the community [&] I loved the friends.

So then ultimately, whenever I went to school in Austin, I thought, “This is what I want to do for a living. I want to pursue it wholeheartedly.” And I was able to do that.

I was very fortunate in Austin. I graduated with my Equity card. I had worked at every major theater there. I would like to think I was well respected in the industry, and by the time I was done, I knew I was moving to New York. It was never a question. The same way I didn't really question going to college was just something I knew I was doing. It was just like when I graduated, I moved to New York.

I definitely knew I wanted to do some sort of conservatory program post-grad. And so I chose CAP, auditioned, [and] got in. It's funny, out of my entire class, I was one of two people who didn't get offered representation at the end of my showcase, and it was devastating to me because what does that mean? It means I'm terrible. I'm not good. I'm awful. I will never work on Broadway, which was my dream. I worked my entire life for this moment.

I hinged my entire success on that, and it's ironic. I mean, the feedback I got was [that] I was one of two people who were union members who were Equity and we were the two people who didn't get offered representation.

So I did the audition circuit. I did it for like two years, which doesn't sound that long, but was absolutely devastatingly difficult. It's one thing to hear it and know it. And I'm the most motivated headstrong self-motivated person. I wasn't too concerned, but doing it every single day was so tiring to me. I ultimately was thinking, this doesn't fulfill me. This doesn't make me happy. I had substantial experience working at equity houses as a stage manager, and that's what I fell into.

I was able to associate with the Broadway community, [and] I loved going to work every day: something I was really good at that I didn't feel like I was pushing or trying to force myself into like I was acting. And then I started producing my web series.

09:50 Tony:
Yeah. So let's zoom in there. I think it's fascinating. One of the things I want to talk to you about is this idea of purpose and carving your own path. So how did the web series come about? The Tyler Mount Vlog and all of its iterations?

10:07 Tyler:
I am a really, really big believer in (although it sounds cheesy) I'm the biggest believer in faith and everything happened for a reason. Just having to trust the universe and everything kind of falling into place is far better than you could have ever tried to mash it together, and this is the perfect example. My entire life I knew I had to be nominated for a Tony. I had to win a Tony. I had to be on the front page of the New York Times. I had to have my own show at 54 Below. I wanted to be respected and a member of the Broadway community. I wanted to make money in the theater. I wanted all of these really illustrious things. I knew the only way I could do it was to be in the BOOK OF MORMON.

Genuinely I knew I had to be in BOOK OF MORMON to get my big break so then I could transfer to another show and get my best featured actor in a musical Tony nomination. Then I would get a few of those, and I would win finally. I knew that's how it had to work. There was only one opportunity and one way for my life to kind of come through fruition. I was stage managing at the time. I was doing a show called ON YOUR FEET, which is the life story of Gloria and Emilio Estaphan. And I was really close with them at the time. I spent two and a half years of my life with them. I was stage managing a private concert that Gloria was doing. And at the time I was just doing a fun little web series. Why? Solely, because it fulfilled me as a human being. I knew it wouldn't be anything - I was just having fun. I didn't want to become famous from it. I literally was just doing it because it fulfilled me creatively, and I thought it was fun.

So my friend came in from Texas, and I was saying “I really think I want to do a web series. Will you sit on my couch, and we'll film with a really cheap camera? Let's just see what happens.” And that's exactly what happened. We filmed a terrible episode. It was terrible quality. It wasn't funny. I edited it into like three minutes. We watched it and I was like, this is the funniest thing I've ever seen. No one else will think it's funny, but I think I'm hysterical. So we put it on YouTube. We put it on Facebook, and about 500 people watched it that night. But when you think about 500 individuals, I thought, “That's not too bad for having never done this before.”

So I started doing that with a few friends, again, super casual, no plot, no premise and made absolutely zero sense. I'd be like, “Tony come over. We can have a bottle of wine. We'll just sit on the couch and talk and play a game. And we'll see what happens.” So jump back to me stage managing for Gloria and me walking into her dressing room and her saying, “I hear you have a vlog, can I come on it?” And I said, “You are the single most famous Latin performer of all time. So like, sure, you certainly can come over to my small house-kitchen studio and say, ‘Is this your closet?’ And come and do the show with me.” She's a woman of her word. The following week, she and Emilio, her assistant, were both at my house. We were drinking Barefoot Merlot. We played truth or dare, and the rest is really history.

She defined my career, not only as a stage manager, not only giving me that incredible opportunity, but also being the first person to publicly believe in me and publicly believe in this series that I was doing. From there, it kind of went viral overnight. You can imagine when Gloria is sitting on this strange gay boy's couch, talking about her uterus, like everyone from ET to Access Hollywood picked it up. So it went viral overnight for a very, very small amount of time. And then ultimately I reached out to Playbill. Playbill agreed to syndicate the show. Ultimately, they brought me on full-time to manage their video strategy, and I did that for about a year and a half.

By the time I left Playbill, I had done over 200 episodes. Every star of the stage has sat with me at this point basically, minus Idina Menzel. I was syndicating to 168 countries, 3 million people, and that's how it happened. And to my earlier point, all through my vlog, all through me never acting on Broadway, [and] me being authentic, I was on the front page of the New York Times. I had my sold-out 54 Below show. We can talk about this later, but I was asked to start producing, and those shows won me multiple Tonys an Olivier, and a Drama League award - all things that would've never happened if I didn't follow this gut instinct to produce this vlog, this little web series.

14:51 Tony:
So zooming in on that, because I think that that's important. One of the things that I've noticed in my clients, is that every artist has this itch to raise their voice, whether they do that through theater, whether they do that through vlogging, podcasting, whatever it may be. When it comes to your voice, your content, which just keeps getting better and better. How are you developing yourself technically, and then also spiritually, because it sounds like you really found this purpose for yourself?

15:22 Tyler:
I am constantly learning. I think as humans we constantly learn and I have had the huge fortune of sitting with Broadway's biggest stars. The people that other humans look up to and think one day, if only I could be 1% of who they are. I always learned from them, and I ask most of them the same question they're about, which is, “What advice would you give to a young person who wants to do what it is you're doing?” The answer is always the derivative of the same answer, and it's this, it is you have to trust yourself, you have to be authentic and you have to be you. The rest is already done. If I am trying to be a straight football jock in a musical theater land, guess what? I'm not going to be successful - A, because I'm not being authentic, but most importantly there is a straight football playing jock who's going to go into the room and will get it because he's better at doing it than me.

The same way if there is an audition for a Broadway-loving vlogger who has met all of the stars on Broadway, like I don't care who you are, I'm getting it because that's authentically who I am. So to your point, I think how do you keep refining? It's all about learning and the number one thing I've learned all centers around authenticity and intention. This idea that I am enough. Don't get me wrong. There are many times I don't believe that. There are many times I have to convince myself or tell myself or remind myself. But this idea that I am enough, that me being me authentically will resonate with people.

And that everything happens for a reason. All of "the bad things” that have happened to me in my life or things that I perceived to be bad, whether it was getting fired from a job or not getting a job or breaking up with someone or losing someone I loved or whatever it may be. All of these things looking back, I go, “thank God those happened because: If I hadn't gotten fired from that job, I would've never started pursuing the vlog.” If I hadn't lost that job, I would've never pursued another avenue, which is now what I'm doing in life. It's all of these things that I really believe the universe is leading us in a very, very particular path. We just have to get out of the way.

And at the end of the day, it makes you so much happier. If I'm not perfect at it, I will be the first to admit I'm terrible at it sometimes, but if I get out of the universe's way trying to fit and shove things together in order to make my dreams come true, the universe is always trying to be like, “Yo bro, I've got you, let's get it together.” Just follow your gut instinct. And if you feel good and you feel happy, I've got the rest. I'm living, breathing proof of that, so I think ultimately that is what I've learned the most.

18:25 Tony:
So now that you've had this experience of starting from zero to now managing a global brand's multi-platform account, can you speak to what are the similarities or the difference between old media and new media and for anyone that's listening old media is like TV, radio, newspaper, and new media, social media, websites, blogs, et cetera?

18:50 Tyler:
It is no secret that the things we consider old media, whether it's radio, print, linear, network television is on the decline. Consumers typically are not consuming media as frequently that way, but most importantly, advertisers understand that they can get more bang for their buck by investing in social and other types of digital platforms. So you have huge, huge, huge conglomerates - everyone from Johnson & Johnson to Ford Automotives that are dropping funding of these old media types.

The ratings on television are dropping through the floor. The cost of print ads are dropping through the floor. Then on the other side, the cost to serve Facebook ads or the cost to have an influencer do a custom post for you is going through the roof. Why? Because they can reach more people in a very, very targeted niche market, much more effectively and efficiently than broad linear television can.

So those are the huge differences that are kind of shaping the industry that I work in now, but the things that are just so similar is all about the concept. I always like to explain, the goal of advertising at the end of the day in marketing is to push a consumer through the funnel. The larger idea of this purchase funnel, the top level, being brand awareness and prospecting. People need to find out about your brand. Then they have to be reminded about your brand. Then they have to consider purchasing into your brand, whether that is, you are selling a car or whether it is you are selling yourself as a director. Conversion is at the very bottom of the funnel, which is clicking purchase now, or it's hiring that actor or hiring that director, whatever that is for you.

So the goals are the same. We have to move consumers through the purchase funnel, but even at its core, I will say this 50 times a day, it all comes back to authenticity and accessibility. It is the idea of what are both old media ads, a.k.a. ads that are running on network television and ads that are running, let's say something super modern, like programmatic ads running on YouTube. What are they trying to do? They are trying to do the same thing, move a consumer through the purchase funnel, but how? By being authentic and connecting to that user in a very, very, very organic way. So ultimately we're trying to do this same thing in both types of ads. However, one is much cheaper and one is much more effective.

So whenever you see something run on linear television, like over the course of a month, I can tell a brand they're going to get half a billion impressions. Half a billion people are going to watch that ad. However, for the same price, I can only guarantee 10 million impressions on social media, but I can say it's much more turn-key. It's much easier for someone to click on that ad. It's much more targeted because it's linear, it's called linear because it's a great line. Anyone can intersect it at any point and see the same thing. Digital is the exact opposite. It's curated, it's programmatic and it's targeted specifically, so your results are much greater there.

22:19 Tony:
So for those that are listening that say I'm not running ads, I just really kind of want to make a name for myself. Can you talk about content strategy for their own podcast or web series?

22:34 Tyler:
So the first thing I always talk about is consistency. As artists it is very, very hard, especially if you don't have a boss telling you what to do to remain consistent, and it is the biggest downfall of new content creators, for several reasons.

A, let's talk about the very technical aspect. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook all have proprietary algorithms that crave love and thrive on consistency. Why? Because it tells the algorithm that you are a respected real brand that is posting real content. So whenever I started, it was non-negotiable. I posted every Monday and Thursday at noon, without exception. If I had the flu, I was [still] posting. If I was going out on vacation for two weeks, I would've filmed four episodes the week before - it was non-negotiable.

Then on top of it, it is all about what is my magic word? It is all about “the authentic.” You can tell in the first three seconds if someone is doing something for an ulterior motive. If I'm vlogging to be famous, I can read right through it and it isn't funny, it isn't cute, and I don't want to watch any more of your content. I gained a name in the Broadway community, not because I had a vlog, but because I was authentic on the vlog and people identified with that.

And so I think of some of the biggest content creators in the YouTube space - people like Tyler Oakley - are famous because they are authentic. So I think first consistency, second authenticity, and you have to really, really, really be a business person at the end of the day. This is a business. So it is understanding why am I making the decisions I make?

We all like to think we have good taste. Everyone thinks they have good taste. They wouldn't be a content creator if they weren't, but I would be the first to admit that, although I think I have good taste, I always don't have the best taste. Meaning at the end of the day, I look at the numbers. The numbers will never, have never, can never lie. I will produce something that I think is the best thing I've ever produced and it just is terrible from an analytics standpoint. People don't watch it. It doesn't resonate with people. It doesn't mean I'm terrible. It doesn't mean that I'm stupid. It just means the content I produce doesn't resonate and it's "not good content for my niche audience," plain and simple.

But then once you start producing more and more work, you can look at all the data and start to make comparisons and block trends and see, oh, this actually does resonate with my audience and start to produce content that more stems to that thing. At the beginning of my career, I had such a mental block with, again, we kind of talked about this idea of like, who do I think I am? Who do I think I am to have a web series? People are going to think I'm a joke. People are going to think I'm stupid. Who am I to invite “Broadway star X” to my living room in hell's kitchen who has never met me. And they're knocking on my apartment door and going “Hey, will you have a drink with me in front of all these cameras in my living room? And then will you kneel on the floor? And let's dance, like literally who am I to think that I deserve to have any of that in my life?”

And at the end of the day, I realized so many people, my age, younger, older would die for that experience, and that's why it was resonating with so many people. I always like to say that I was channeling seventh grade Tyler on my series. It was Anthony Rap, star of Rent, [that] literally came to my house and we sang “La Vie Boheme” on my couch. Seventh grade Tyler would still be in bed. I just would always remind myself before I started filming, I would look into the camera and I would remember that there was a seventh grade Tyler in “small town Texas” watching this, and this is the only thing that he or she would watch today to get them through, and that is what I would do.

So that was a long diatribe, but consistency, authenticity, analytic strategy. It's very important. And the great thing is every single platform on earth, whether it's Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, they all have incredible analytic tools that are built in and anyone can use them. You don't need a computer science degree to understand them. So look at the numbers [and] follow the numbers because they never lie.

27:00 Tony:
Now you went from producing your own content to then producing Broadway plays and musicals, and you have two Tony's and an Olivier to prove it. So what was that transition, how did you make the switch?

27:15 Tyler:
I look back on my life to today and I go, if you paid me a billion dollars I could never tell someone else how to do this. I get asked all the time, “Well, how do I do what you did?” And you hear it all the time and it's not a great answer, but every journey is different. Because if I told you how to do it, I would tell you to devote your entire life to theater as an actor, fail miserably, then start stage managing and talk to Daryl Roth and let her give you your big break and then do a show with Gloria and then get fired from that show, and then be a waiter, then decide to do a web series, and then ask Gloria if she'll do the show and then accidentally get a job at Playbill, then go to NBC.

I could never, ever, ever plan it, and I could never recreate it for someone else. So at this point, it doesn't even shock me anymore. I'm like, “how random, but how right” is what I always think. When I was transitioning from Playbill to NBC. At that time I got a call from a producer in the industry named Hunter Arnold. Now Hunter has produced everything from KINKY BOOTS to ANASTASIA, to HADESTOWN, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND and many, many things in between. He said there is a systemic issue on Broadway, and the systemic issue is the fact that for the most part, there are exceptions to any rule. But for the most part, the people who are producers and successful producers of that are straight, older, white rich men. That is just a fact.

You look at the past five Broadway seasons and they're outside of celebrities. You are looking between three to five women of color. We're talking about thousands of producers. That is a systemic issue, that even if we're producing THE COLOR PURPLE which was incredible in its own right. The people who decided to do the show and who hired the creative team, who then hired the actors and are interpreting that story, are for the most part straight white men and Oprah Winfrey. So that is a systemic issue. And he said, there are no young people producing on Broadway, young being under 45. He said, I want to change that. To be clear, not based on age, based on sexual orientation, based on gender, based on national origin, based on race. All of these things that are typically overlooked because it's a rich old white man's club.

I'm completely aware I'm male, I'm completely aware I'm white, but I'm certainly not over 45, and I'm certainly not straight. So he said, “I'm doing a show called ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. I really want you, and there were multiple other people included in this program. I want you to try to be a producer. That's the only way we're going to change it. I will teach you everything I know. I will walk through every document with you. I will literally make calls for you. I will sit with you. I will do everything you need me to do. And then your next show, I want you to take the reins and I will sit with you and answer any of your questions. The third show that you do with me, I want you to just lead and ask me if you have any questions. Then the fourth show, I want you to do by yourself and only call me if you have an emergency.”

So Hunter really, really changed my life dramatically, overnight - again, a call out of the blue. At the time I had never heard of this man, had no idea what was happening. But again, when the universe literally says, “Do you want to be a Broadway producer?” You can't say no. And that's what really kept me ingrained in the industry and kept me participating. So my first show was ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. I was able to raise enough money to be above the title producer for that. That was my first Tony. Then I did a show called THE INHERITANCE, which is a two part gay drama that just closed in the West end.

Got nominated for an Olivier and I won that. Then I did a show called HADESTOWN - [and] got nominated for the Tony, won that. Then I currently have FRANKIE AND JOHNNY, which is Terence McNally's show on Broadway, starring Micheal Shannon and Audra McDonald. I have an show called OSCAR THE CROWN, which is in the middle of Bushwick at a gay club, which is wild set to the work of Oscar Wild. It's his life story. But ironically set to a crazy pop EDM score. Then I have a few more projects coming this fall that I can't talk about yet, but nonetheless, I've been very lucky. I would be lying if I told you any of those Tony wins had anything to do with me, I was just very lucky and worked hard to get above the title.

32:33 Tony:
That's amazing. So congratulations. For anyone who's listening, who wants to produce their own work so whether it's a one night concert at 54 Below, or the writer that's listening that wants to have a Tony winning Broadway show, what have been some of your big lessons as a producer?

32:50 Tyler:
First, you just have to do it, no one in this industry or any industry for that matter is going to ever give you permission to do it. Why? Because people hate changing the status quo. Why? If I'm already doing it and I'm already successful, why would I ever want someone else to come in and possibly disrupt that? I have a huge issue with that. My favorite phrase of all time, I will say it 50 times a day is me lighting your candle doesn't extinguish my own. The idea that there is unlimited energy and you coming to produce a show with me or me giving you advice or insight and not charging you for it, doesn't make me less worthy or less important. It just empowers you, they're not related at all. So the biggest piece of advice I would say is you literally just have to go out there and do it, period.

No one is going to give you permission to do it, but there is always someone in the industry who will help you. So it's asking the Hunter Arnold of the world, it's sending me an email and asking to grab coffee and talk about it. One of the things I love about the theater community is the fact that for the most part, I can't really remember a time that I've reached out to someone and I reach out to someone all the time, weekly and say, “Hey, can I pick your brain up on this? Hey, I have a question about this. Hey, can you do me a favor, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And I can't remember the last time someone's been like, “No, I'm not willing to help you. No, I won't do that. I'm ignoring you.”

I mean, there have been multiple times “I tried and I couldn't get you these tickets.” “I tried and so, and so is not available.” “I tried and life happened.” I get that. But especially in the theatrical community, it is so unique that everyone is so willing to see you succeed, so I think you already have an advantage there, and then the most important thing I learned as a producer is A: produce good work, and the rest will come, but B: I started (and this is what I hear almost all new producers start with the mindset of) “oh my God. Again, who am I to think I could do this?” “I feel so bad asking people for money.” And I had to realize that, no, I am just as worthy to do this as the most prestigious producer on Broadway, but most importantly, at the end of the day, I am not asking for a handout, your money that you're investing in a show, doesn't go to me at all.

Frankly, I don't get paid unless the show makes money and gets paid a hundred percent back, so I'm not here to waste your time because I'm not here to waste my time. But most importantly, I realized I am selling something. I kind of mentally lump potential investors into three categories. One, the first is close family and friends who will do it because it's me. “I really have loved you forever. I want to support you. This whole theater thing sounds fun, blah, blah, blah.” Then you have your second type of investor, who's doing it for the experience. I want to go to opening night. I want to go to the Tonys. I can "buy into this experience." Then you have the third, which is typically the really, really, really, really analytical finance background business men and women who are doing this strictly as a portfolio for financial profit. Once I learned, “oh, I'm selling three different things to three different people,” it changed my life and my ability to produce on Broadway. So to sum it up, I think it's all about knowing who you're selling to, being authentic, and being a good person. I mean, ultimately doesn't that always help.

36:44 Tony:
So now that you have had all of these awards and achievements, can you share what is your definition of success and how has it evolved?

36:55 Tyler:
Oh my God. My biggest issue as a human being is the fact that I am genuinely never satisfied. And there are great things about that to some degree, it always keeps me motivated [and] always keeps me driven. It always keeps me going to the next step, to the next goal, to the next accolade, but at the end of the day, it's really, really hard for me to be present in the moment thankful, excited, and grateful. So I remember these huge monumental moments of my career and they don't even feel real, but not in a, “oh my God, I'm beside myself.” Literally, it still sounds weird, but I've won multiple Tonys and I still feel like a loser. I still feel like I'm not good at what I do. I still feel like “Who am I to think I can do this and be successful at it?” The industry has literally said the exact opposite, but I'm the person who wins the first Tony and goes, “What's my next one? If I don't win one next year, I'm a failure, even before I get back to my seat, that is who I am.”

So my definition of success has certainly molded with time. If you told me that I was going to achieve what I have achieved before 30, by the time I was 80, as a seventh grader, I would've been like, “oh my God, that's incredible.” But here I am like, “okay, I'm very lucky. I'm very fortunate.” I understand that I've had experiences that a lot of people are currently working towards. And I'm really grateful for that, but at the end of the day, I'm still the person who's like, “Okay, what's next?” So my idea of success has certainly changed. Don't get me wrong. I will always love winning awards. And any producer who tells you, he doesn't want to win a Tony and doesn't care - he's lying.

But at the end of the day, I'm slowly learning that the thing that I really, really, really want in my life, more than anything, above financial success, above awards, above status is happiness. And I think, “What do I have to do as a professional in order to get happiness?” It's really fostering my friendships and relationships and the way I treat other people and the projects that I sign onto and why I sign onto them and fostering the next generation of young people who will do what it is I'm doing now when they're 30. So maybe that's a convoluted answer, but yeah, I'm the person who's never satisfied.

40:03 Tony:
So that definitely answers my next question, which is, “where does your hustle and where does your fire come from?” So I know that you run around, that you're very busy that you actually just jumped into this podcast. So real quickly, can you just let us know sort of what your daily routine is in order so that you can seek out those moments of happiness for yourself?

40:24 Tyler:
I am chronically exhausted. Obviously my schedule varies day to day, but typically I'm getting up around 6:37 answering emails or working out. If I answer emails in the morning, I work out during the day. If I work out in the morning, then I'm answering more emails during the day. I get into the office, typically back to back meetings from 9:30 to 4. 9:30 to 3:30. So you can imagine getting actual work done that you have to do as a result of those meetings is nearly impossible. So from there, while I'm at work, I'm obvious dealing with the day to day of things at NBC, but also at the same time, I'm trying to, depending on the week, depending on the month, I'm doing everything from interviews with press during Tony season to influencer campaigns for other companies, specifically for my own personal brand to securing my next show on Broadway, securing funding for that.

And then at night I typically am doing some social event, whether it's something as simple as getting dinner and drinks with a friend, but most often than not, I'm at like some industry event or doing a podcast like this. I typically am booked back to back Monday through Sunday.

42:02 Tony:
Well, the reason why I definitely wanted you to be our guest for July, which I'm labeling Global Future Month, is because of your vast array of experiences and all sides of many industries. So knowing that we are getting ready to celebrate our freedoms as Americans, as well as this global empire that you've built and that you continue to help others create, what is your vision, your prediction, what is the Global Future, I guess, especially when it comes to arts and entertainment?

42:38 Tyler:
So I think honestly, the trend that we're seeing now is only the beginning. The beginning being a move away from traditional or old media towards new innovative, more digitally focused. So social media, digital ads, influencer campaigns. You see the generation after mine is not consuming media the way I did, the way my parents did, the way my grandparents certainly did. And there are so many companies specifically in the Broadway world who really don't grasp that. And if they do grasp it, they're not acting on it at a rate in which will ensure their success.

So my guess is everything will be digital in the next decade. No brochures in the theater, no print ads on the news stand, New York Times will be digital. There is something so beautiful about the New York Times in your hand. There's something so beautiful about an actual book. I don't have a tablet. I literally love when I'm reading, I love reading a real book. But I think it is the companies who invest time, effort, energy, and money into this new medium, which is digital, which is the way people are starting and actively consuming media now that will be successful and continue to be successful in the long run.

44:05 Tony:
What kind of a project would light you up? Like what would be the dream project for you when it comes to something that is digitally focused?

44:13 Tyler:
So my dream project is something that I actually already started. I have a background in content curation specifically for Broadway, but there's no one place that you can go to consume Broadway video content for free. There are subscription services, but most young people aren't paying for these type of subscriptions. So I as a content curator really, really want to make Broadway accessible through an authentic way. And that is something I created called the MARQUEE CHANNEL with Hunter Arnold, who is a co-founder of the program as well. It is a digitally syndicated network that is completely free on YouTube that subscribers and viewers can see everything from my vlog to behind the scenes content, to first looks, like we saw the first look of Shoshana Bean and WAITRESS with Jeremy Jordan.

Just some great opportunities for theater consumers to see content in a way that they've never seen before - a.k.a. shot on Sony Red cameras, broadcast quality. It looks like it was shot for a Netflix video. So that is my dream project and that's what we're currently working on, and I think that's where the industry's going - video, video video.

45:43 Tony:
So beyond the Marquee channel and these three shows that you can't let us know are in development, but what is right ahead for you, what's next?

45:51 Tyler:
One of my favorite things about producing is not getting to opening night. It's the work that you do during the run of the show. So I love collaborating and coming up with ideas for social strategy for shows that I currently have open like HADESTOWN. I'm working on FRANKIE AND JOHNNY right now from a social perspective, especially because FRANKIE AND JOHNNY and HADESTOWN could not be more different in style, tone, and audience demographic, which I think is really, really interesting. I had success with a show in the West End that I'm currently working on getting to transfer to Broadway. So that's in the works.

My show OSCAR THE CROWN is my baby. It's the first show I produced knowing it wouldn't win a Tony knowing it was much smaller in scale, but I love it so much and it's like my passion project. So I'm working really, really intimately and closely with the creative and production team there to create interesting content, to get people out. And like I said, just playing the rest by ear, seeing what falls into my lap, as a direct result of working really, really hard.

47:07 Tony:
I'm super pumped and excited to see all the things ahead for you. I admire you and I applaud you. And I just want to say thank you for joining us today. So much good information.

47:19 Tyler:
Thank you so much for having me. I always love doing things like this and I get excited sharing the little I know with other people who might need it.

47:35 Tony:
Thank you so much, Tyler, for joining me on the show and thank you for listening. I want to zoom out and rewind. So Tyler went from being a small town gay boy who found solace in watching Broadway Bootlegs. He then worked incredibly hard to move to New York City as an Equity actor, and then was greeted with the all too familiar rejection. First from his college showcase and then multiple callbacks for his dream job in the BOOK OF MORMON.

So then he decides to focus on what he's good at and enjoys doing. And there's a trend here that he was always creating, managing, and producing content. First as a stage manager with live content and then as a digital content creator, and now award-winning Broadway producer and senior manager of digital marketing at NBC. I find this incredibly inspiring, and I hope that you do too, and I want you to think about these three questions:
Why did you get started in your line of work?
What are your special gifts?
Who are you creating for?

Now remember to focus on Tyler's three recommendations: that's authenticity, consistency, and being a business person. So, one of the things that you can do after listening to this episode is look at your analytics to learn more about your audience and what resonates with them and create for them.

Now, if this episode resonated with you, I would love it if you would please screenshot it and tag Tyler with your gratitude. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat at Tyler G Mount, and then hop over to MarqueeChannel.com to check out his latest work in the Broadway arena. I'm going to link to his first vlog, his latest and greatest content, and give you a visual for this idea of a purchase or sales funnel on the episode page, which you can find in the show notes. I'll also include helpful links for you to find your analytics on the top platforms.

Now, if you want to hear more episodes with other change makers, be sure to subscribe, and I would really love it if you would leave a review or share this episode or show with your friends. Now, of course, that isn't all. If you come over to TonyHowell.co, I have a brand visibility quiz for you. You can take our free Brand Bootcamp, join our global artist community, and more. And I would absolutely love to connect with you on social media. I'm @TonyHowell and please share something with me using #GlobalFutureMonth. What is your vision for our future?

Thank you so much for listening, and I can't wait to connect with you soon.

You may know him from Playbill and The Tyler Mount Vlog, but Tyler G. Mount is now NBC Universal’s Senior Manager of Digital Marketing and an Olivier, Drama League and 2x Tony award-winning Broadway Producer profiled by The New York Times, Forbes, and Out. Because of his self-made success, visibility, and access to high-level insights, I thought he’d be the perfect guest for #GlobalFutureMonth.

Click here to access bonus resources from this episode.

Connect with Tyler G. Mount:

Connect with Tony Howell:

Episode Credits:

If you enjoy this episode, please leave a review! Be sure to check out our past conversations and subscribe for next month’s special guest.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This