Podcast Episode 62 – Benj Pasek and Justin Paul


If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a bit, then you’ve heard sessions with some of the industry’s greatest writers.  From Stephen Schwartz to Tim Rice to Lynn Ahrens, we’ve had a whole ton of ’em . . . with more to come.

But I thought it’d be interesting for you to hear from a team at the beginning of their career who think of all those guys and dolls I mentioned as their heroes.

Imagine if we had Stephen Schwartz after Godspell but before Pippin.  Or Tim Rice sometime around Chess.  Or Lynn Ahrens after Lucky Stiff.

There’s a good shot that one day someone will unearth this podcast and say, “Wow, Ken got Pasek & Paul, before X, Y and Z.”

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are not fresh off the boat by any means.  They’re Tony nominated and have a Broadway show to their credit, and a couple of high profile Off Broadway showings as well, including the upcoming Dear Evan Hansen.  But as Broadway’s next gen of musical theater composers, they’ve got a unique perspective on all things, including . . .

  • How they got their music to the world through YouTube.
  • What went wrong with the first musical they wrote after getting to New York and how they used that to their advantage.
  • 20 years from now, how they’d know if they “made it.”
  • Why all artists in the 21st century have to be great marketers.
  • How they used the “Michigan Mafia” to their advantage (it’s real, it really is).

Enjoy the interview, and trust that the future of the art is in pretty cool hands (and heads).

Click above to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Click here to read the transcript!

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