Artist as Educator (with Nicole Carlson)

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This Wooden O

This week, Daniel and Monty sit down with actor and arts educator Nicole Carlson, exploring her approaches to creating young artists rooted in the concept of the Ensemble.

Topics include:

  • Our brilliant idea for a new superhero called Subordinate
  • Nicole working on Willy Wonka Junior with 70 kids
  • Generational shifts in the age at which kids get cell phones
  • How to keep kids attention when they’re always on their phones
  • The sometimes compulsive need to TikTok
  • Going even a few days without a phone
  • The bizarre fact that there is WiFi at the Grand Canyon
  • Ensemble as the core of teaching
  • The structure of Success Academy schools and their special programs
  • What Nicole looks for even in a Kindergartener to see that they’re likely to excel in theater
  • The importance of encouragement in the artists of all ages.
  • Creating an environment where failure and exclusion are easier to deal with because the priority is the strength of the ensemble, not individual successes.

Each week, Daniel & Monty share recommendations of something they are watching, reading, or listening to. This week, Daniel suggests Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Monty suggests the streaming television showDickinson on Apple TV+

Music is by Kara Arena, Master of Music for Rude Grooms. Follow us @thiswoodeno on Twitter and Instagram, visit us on the web at, like us at, or support us on Patreon ( to join the conversation during livestream broadcasts of every episode.

This week’s shoutouts & further reading include:

This Wooden O is a production of Rude Grooms. Learn more at or follow us @rudegrooms on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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