Emily McGill Everything You Need Is Already Inside Of You!
by Ari Schonbrun
Emily McGill Everything You Need Is Already Inside Of You!
Emily McGill had a passion for dancing, storytelling, and broadway, even as a child. She knew she wanted to be a part of broadway but not as a performer. After landing an internship by chance, she would have a 15-year career helping with many great productions like Legally Blonde and A Raisin In The Sun, to name a few. Then she was hit with colossal brick her grandmother passed away. It made her think about what she wanted to do next with her career. She discovered she loved tarot; she started giving tarot readings, is developing Emily’s Broadway Tarot deck, and much more. She shares how she overcomes difficult times and her best advice for anyone trying to accomplish a goal. You don’t want to miss it!
Ari: Welcome to whispers and bricks. My name is Avi Shermer, and I am your host. I have with me today, Emily McGill. Quite an individual. After nearly a decade and a half working in the entertainment in New York City as an expert communications and consultant and Broadway publicist amassing 20 Broadway credits. Emily lost her grandmother in 2014. This was a huge brick, Emily tells it as follows. Shortly after my grandmother died, my journey towards self awareness, healing and spirituality aka my magic began, I was recommended a therapist to help me work through the grief. And unlike many you have to date around to find the right person. It was the perfect match from the outset. I didn’t understand that at the time, but her magic is palpable and allowed me to play in my own. Working with my therapist to uncover and heal decades of wounding trauma and self perpetuating stories. I discovered a deep well of magic within myself. A power was forcing the impossible and yet there it was ready for me to tap into whenever I needed it. Emily became a tarot reader and storytelling strategist. Her passions are unlocking the magic and others amplifying unheard voices inner and outer. What we hear whispers bricks called the whispers, offering platforms for open dialogue and creating meaningful, meaningful experiences while cultivating community. She’s the founder of the pink tank, a women’s group integrating the personal and the professional and co founder of snob not what you think but Sunday night on Broadway, a monthly Broadway industry dance party. She’s also a member of PR collective spiral five, and a co author of the signature course the career rebels guide to modern PR. Currently development currently in development is Emily’s to Broadway Taro. Emily has expanded out to other forms of entertainment including music, film, TV streaming, and work with companies large and small from Disney, HBO and Amazon Studios, to boutique talent agencies, internet startups, nonprofits, and string quartets. Emily invites you to tap into your own magic every time you choose how to express yourself in the world. And she’d love to play with you on your journey. Whether through a tower reading or storytelling magic. Please help me welcome Emily McGill.
Emily: Thank you so much, Ari, thank you so much for having me there. It’s such a delight to be connecting with you.
Ari: Oh, thank you so much for agreeing to come on the show. How are you doing? How are you feeling?
Emily: I’m okay, I have a little bit of a sinus infection. So I’m gonna apologize in advance to your audience for any nasal sounding hacking up a little long, you might catch every now and again.
Ari: Oh, that’s okay. Your your your bubbly personality will certainly more than cover for all. Thank you. I know that just talking to just Seeing you makes me smile. And that is so important. And I love it. So thank you for that. My pleasure. Okay, now, as you know, the name of the podcast is whispers of bricks, the whispers of those voices telling you what the right thing to do is, and they represent the good in life. The bricks represent the bad things that we go through life. And we all know life’s not a straight line. There are many ups and downs many bumps in the roads. I don’t know anybody that hasn’t been hit with some sort of a break in their life at one point in time or another. So it’s out there. It’s the question of how we deal with it. And you know how to get it how to get around it. So let me let’s start with this. First of all, where did you grow up?
Emily: I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Go Steelers, even though I don’t give the NFL my eyeball dollars any longer. Can’t do it. But yes, I grew up in Pittsburgh. And you know, I was introduced to the arts in a very young age and loved it but always dreamed of moving to New York and working on Broadway and she went to college. I did. I went to school in Pittsburgh, a college called Point Park. They have a pretty big musical theater program, which is what I studied. have a degree in singing, dancing and acting.
Ari: You know, I might remind you my daughter when she got a one of her when she was in high school. And she got her report card. And it was really funny because she wasn’t. She wasn’t the most studious of kids. School was a necessary evil for her. And I’ll never forget. I don’t know how it came up. But when my older daughter was taking AP this an AP that my younger daughter came back and she had on a report card, it said she had AP lunch. Ricky, what is AP lunch? She goes, I don’t know, but I got it. Hey, so that was funny. So yeah, exactly. Okay, so let’s get down to it. How did you break into Broadway?
Emily: When I was three years old, my parents put me in dancing school. My friend of my grandmother’s owned a studio. So they put me in classes. And my brother followed a couple of years after me. And he was he is incredibly talented as well. He’s a Broadway choreographer. But at that point, I just wanted, I just loved you know, being on stage, I love dancing, I really enjoyed it. And then I was about 12 years old, we discovered a musical theater program in Pittsburgh. And so we started taking classes there. And I fell in love with the idea of storytelling, through the arts and creativity. You know, a lot of the dancing I had done up until that point, I loved so much because I enjoyed the actual dancing. But there was rarely a story involved because we did a lot of competition dancing, right? So it was like short, little, you know, two, two minute numbers that you would do on stage. And or you were prepping something for the recital. It wasn’t really like a narrative story. And when we found musical theater and started practicing that, and kind of getting voice lessons and acting lessons and, and weaving it all together, I just I fell in love with it. And I just had to be part of the Broadway community. And I didn’t know how that was going to happen, or when. But it was something that was a dream of mine. And so I decided to study theater in college, as I mentioned. But I kind of decided during my education that I didn’t want to be a performer. My brother, as I said, is really talented. He made his Broadway debut when he was 17 years old. He was a junior in high school. And I watched what his life looked like when his show closed. He wasn’t even on high school yet. He ended up moving home to Pittsburgh to finish school. And I was like, I don’t think I want that life. So I decided to think about how do you get into business side of it. And I had no idea. So I moved to New York after I graduated from college, and I started auditioning because I had to do it for a year, I had to give it a try. But during that time, I was introduced to someone who was working in a producer’s office and I was like, you don’t need an intern, do you? And she said, No, do you want to be one? And that that was Megan LaRoche opening the door for me welcoming me into into the community to start finding my own way. And so I interned on the very first Broadway show I ever worked on was Legally Blonde. The musical.
Ari: Oh my god, it’s one of my daughter’s all time favorites. Yes. The one who did AP lunch? Yeah.
Emily: Yeah, yeah. And it’s funny, because when I was in high school, you know, my math teacher always called me Elle Woods, because I was like, maybe your older daughter a little more studious, and like, you know, kind of in all those AP classes, but I also cared very much as to what I was wearing that day, and like everything was well coordinated. So she always would tease me and call me Elle Woods. So it felt like fitting beginnings in my Broadway career.
Ari: Wow. Wow. So you spent 15 years on Broadway. Right?
Emily: Yeah. Working in and around. So I wasn’t actually on Broadway. I was not a performer in the show.
Ari: Right. Right. Right. When I say you, were you in the industry. Okay. But it’s just easier to say you spent 15 years on Broadway amassing 20 credits. Yes. And, you know, it looks like you know, the sky’s the limit here. And then you get hit with this huge brick. Your grass, your grandmother passes away. So first and foremost, first and foremost, tell us about first of all, tell us about your relationship with your grandmother.
Emily: Mm hmm. We were really close. Um, I was a so my mom is the youngest of three. And her oldest sister, her older sister who she was very close with who actually today November 8, and we are recording this is her anniversary of her passing. She was killed in a car accident that also nearly killed my mother. Wow. 79 And when I was born six years later, my grandmother told my mom, you brought my duty back. So she really felt like there was action between my aunt and myself. Wow. And my aunt was her oldest child. So I there was a really deep connection. And you know, when I was very young, she babysat me a lot a lot. To the point when I was five years old RA and like account 21. She taught me how to play blackjack so that she had played blackjack. I was five. That is, that is great. That and we would play with pennies.
Ari: Wow. Wow. And you know what? I love you. I love your grandmother already. Yes.
Emily: Yeah. But she’s also a really complicated woman. You know, she had a lot of her own traumas, a lot of, you know, devastating bricks that have been thrown in her life her father passed away when she was two. Her mother was a single mother of four girls growing up, like during the Depression, and just after that, so she had a really, really difficult life. And she kind of took that difficulty out on other people a lot, because she didn’t kind of know what to do with it. She didn’t have access to things like therapy. Right. And so while we were very close, and I care for her, I love her so much. There was still a lot of difficulty in that relationship and challenge. And I was working on Broadway shows when she passed away. I was doing I had just finished working on A Raisin in the Sun starring Denzel Washington. Yeah, sure. And I was I we had started a production of a play called this as our youth which was starring Michael Cera and Tavi Gevinson and Kieran Culkin, like pre his huge succession, like up, you know, come up. And this was like, he was just like, the Callie’s brother who just was like a working actor. And it was three of them in the company. And we were like, out in time trials in Chicago, and and she passed in the middle of that. And so it was this like, wild, mind blowing experience, because she had had some health scares later in her life, but she seemed like she was doing pretty well. She had recently moved into a home. And
this assisted like an assisted living place.
Despite the fact that she had no longer had her own space. I think it was really beneficial because she was very lonely when she was by herself. And so I you know, it was just it kind of took us all by surprise that she passed when she did. And her birthday is
mine. If I ask how old she was. I think she was
82 No 686 Right now 2019 28 And she died in 2014. So think she was 20 680-986-8686.
Emily: so she had lived a long life. You know, it wasn’t totally surprising. But it was a little surprising because her health had been doing better than it had been right. Um, but I had also just made it home that Fourth of July weekend, she died July 15. And I had just gone home and I hadn’t seen her in a while before that. And so I think that was she was kind of like hanging on waiting for me. Right. Um, but it was, you know, we had a we had a great time and a beautiful visit. And then I was there three weeks later for her funeral. Yeah, um, which was pretty crazy.
Ari: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting that you say that she was hanging on. My, my grandmother was actually she gotten sick. And my niece was getting married. And literally, we were, you know, wondering, you know, you know, she gonna pass before, during, after, you know, we just didn’t know. And she was hanging on and hanging on. And, you know, the wedding was taking place, and we went to the wedding and we got home at Oh, God, I think it was like three o’clock in the morning. And then at 830 in the morning, we got a call from the hospital that she passed. So she literally she waited. She didn’t want to disturb our party and you know, the wedding. You know, she didn’t want that. She didn’t want her death to be part of that. And so she literally waited. That’s what we believe she literally waited until the morning. And then that’s when she passed. So very, very similar.
Emily: Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. And it was, um, you know, it’s crazy because she was born died and was married on On the 15th of different months, Oh, wow. And so, yeah. So after she passed, I got a, I had always wanted a Roman numeral on my shoulder. And so I got a 15 tattooed for her. So she’s always on my shoulder. Oh, wow.
Ari: Okay, so let me ask you, you talked about in your bio, you talked about decades of wounding and trauma and self perpetuating stories. You know, tell us about that. What was that all about?
Emily Yeah, I mean, I think we all have wounding from our childhoods that we, you know, as small humans who don’t know how to navigate the world, we make up stories in our heads about how we’re treated, or you know, why something happens the way it does, and quite often speak, whatever we think couldn’t be further from the truth, but to us, it is our truth. And so those sort of self perpetuating stories that keep us playing small, or keep us, you know, continually, sort of someone who doesn’t maybe own their power might say they find themselves in the same, you know, the same sort of situation over and over again, or, you know, they really struggle with a certain type of person or a certain type of situation. And it’s like, Yes, but what, what’s at the core of that? What’s at the base of that? What are the beliefs that you have put in place for yourself that, that helped you find yourself in these situations again, and again? And again? And how do you change them? Because, you know, one of my favorite sort of definitions of insanity is doing the same thing again, and again, and expecting a different outcome. And I had that thought myself this morning, I was like, Emily, you go do something different today. Because, you know, these neural pathways, we just got to sharpen this up a little bit, like, we got to create some difference, because it’s just like, especially after the last 1818 months that we’ve all spent surviving this global trauma that we’re, you know, like, we’re moving through it right now. Our neural pathways get so sort of, I don’t know, deep. And like, we need to start creating new ones. So, um, thankfully, through my therapy experience, and and, you know, the work that I’ve been doing in the last seven years in therapy, I’ve had the opportunity to kind of have someone help me excavate some of those stories and really look at the core of them and why I believe the things that I do, or believe to the things that I did, and how to sort of break out of those, those moments of playing small.
Ari: Let me ask you this. Did you ever get to a point so low that you you said to yourself, you know what, I give up? I quit. Forget about my dreams? I don’t care. I’m gonna crawl up into a little ball and lay on my bed and and that’s it. I’m done with JV get that low? And if you did, if you did, how did you get out of it? How did you raise yourself up?
Emily: Yeah, I was close to there, just before the pandemic hit. Wow. In January of 2020. I had my eye you know, after having worked on Broadway shows for like I said, almost a decade and a half. And I’d gone out to be a Broadway specialist at a pretty traditional PR agencies. So I was their in house Broadway expert. We got new leadership in there. So I moved on after that and started my own business. Excuse me, and the January 2020 was the best month financially I’d had in my business to date. And it was the worst. Just like experience of my life. I was working with a client that was incredibly difficult that had very unrealistic expectations. I didn’t know how I found myself where I was, I was like, how did I make all the turns to get to this place that I am that I don’t want to be? And I was not really sure where I was headed. I was not really sure how I was going to pay rent. I was not really sure what was going to come after this month of like not liking what I was doing in my life. And then, six weeks later, we had a global pandemic. And so it was really crazy already because I was at this I was already in this place of like Where am I going? I was I was already questioning so many things that so many people had to sit with during the pandemic. I feel like I’d like a jumpstart on some of that homework. You know what I mean? Yes. Oh, okay, we’re all doing this together. Now. I don’t have to do this by myself. Excellent. Excellent, great. I’m glad the rest of the class decided to show up my homework. Okay. So here’s what I’ve got so far friends, right. Like, that’s kind of how I felt about it, that I felt like I was in this place. And then all of a sudden, so was everyone else. And I think that sense of community of you are not alone, you are not experiencing this alone. We all are sort of in a state of total confusion and chaos. And, you know, sometimes it takes a while for the order to come from the chaos, it always comes, it just might take a little longer than we want it to. And I think that’s kind of what happened for me, you know, it gave me an opportunity to really review I had, like you said, this singular dream of working on Broadway. And then, after 15 years of having done it, it’s like, what next? Like, what is the next dream? I don’t know, I had no idea what my next dream in life was, as far as my career went, you know, I do, of course, have dreams of like, partnership and family and things like that. But like, for my career, I really didn’t know what it was. And that’s always been a very defining sort of, like, essence of my identity for myself for a long time. What’s my career, and then, you know, to be sort of disillusioned with where I found myself. And then on top of that, having your entire industry shut down for almost 18 months, when live entertainment and Broadway couldn’t happen, right? There was so much creativity, and so much cool stuff that was created on the internet. And, you know, I, I worked with some amazing people who had been doing hybrid events for a decade by then. So they were well prepared to jump in and start, you know, start helping people get their stories online, you know, theater companies doing their thing, right. Like, they’re excellent at that. Um, but also, I have a lot of time to sit at home and say, Well, what else do I love? Where else lights me up? Like what other aspects of my life give me joy? Beyond Broadway?
Ari: Right? Right. And that’s where the whispers come in, you know, your journey towards healing your own life. I guess it led you to discover some deeper truths about yourself about your life, and about the life that we all share. Absolutely. Right. So that’s, that’s just amazing. So like, what are you doing with yourself now?
Emily: Yeah, so um, I now call myself a recovering Broadway publicist. And the recovering part is ongoing. But I am currently working on a fun off Broadway holiday show. It’s called a Sherlock Carol. It’s a mash up between A Christmas Carol and Sherlock Holmes. And it’s really fun and sweet. It’s at New World stages here in New York. So that’s been keeping me pretty busy lately, but I’m also as you said in the intro, working on my Broadway tarot deck, I’ve been creating that with a dramaturg over the last year, and now I found an illustrator. So we’re starting to get moving, which is really exciting. Wow, I’m building my own and writing my own tarot deck and, you know, doing as many tarot readings as I can I have a Friday show with my best friend called pause for the cause. Where on Instagram, you know, we we talk about cannabis reform and prison reform and taro and she does some comedy. And yeah, just trying to, you know, do as much Tarot as I can. Because right now, that’s what lights me up the most. Wow.
Ari: So it’s nice. Um, you know, it’s very important to do something that you really like, obviously, you know, otherwise you would drive yourself crazy, which you’ve done in the past, as we’ve heard. Look, I’ve been there done that. Okay. So I don’t think and, and that’s the beauty of this program, is that there are people out there, believe it or not, who are just like you that have gone through or are going through the same stuff that you went through and are going through, right, and they all think they’re alone, and they’re not. Alright, there are people out there just like them that going through the same thing. And this kind of a program, you know, it gives them hope, because they said, Well, if she can do it, I can do it. You know, we can get and that’s great. So, before we go, All right, any words of wisdom you’d like to share with my audience?
Emily: I have to keep reminding myself that everything I need I already have. And everything I have is all that I need. There’s a really great mantra, there are a couple of folks on Tik Tok that has some really great mantras that, uh, that you know, gets sent my way sometimes. And so if you find yourself on tick tock, some of their mantras are really great. But that one in particular that anything you need, you already have within yourself like every, every single thing
Ari: is. That is amazing. Can I use that? I mean that that is. That is fabulous. That is that is just that is absolutely fabulous, brilliant words of wisdom. Really? No, I’m really I’m going to use that. So let me ask you this. If people want to get in touch with you, what would be the best way for them to do that? You have a website? Do you have an email?
Emily: I mean? Yeah, my website is Emily McGill. entertainment.com It’s very long when you type it out. I’m sorry, in advance. And my Instagram is Emily and McG and that’s an and an E. And yeah, you know, those are the two places that I hang out the most on the internet. So that’s where you’ll find me easily.
Ari: Awesome. Emily, thanks so much for sharing your story with my audience. Good luck going forward. You were great. You made me smile. You brought a smile to my face. And I always love that. Your your your smile and your laugh is electrifying. I mean, it’s just it’s unreal. You know, really good luck going forward. Stay in touch with me. You’ve been listening to whispers in Brixton. I’m your host Gary showman. Until next time, listen to the whispers avoid the bricks, and never ever give up on your dreams. Bye for now.