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Actor's Journal

In this section, you'll get to read about whatever sort of endeavors Joshua is undertaking at the time, acting and otherwise.

It will be updated often, so be sure to check back every now and then to see the acting world through Joshua's eyes. Or, to save yourself a few uneeded trips, you could JOIN THE MAILING LIST; you'll receive news of when anything gets updated. (CLICK HERE for more information.)

Wed., January 21, 2009

Instead of doing a ridiculously long recap of all of what’s happened since my last entry, here’s a quick rundown:

  1. I graduated from the University of Mobile with a BA in Theatre in the spring of '05.

  2. August 1st of '05, I moved to Virginia Beach, VA, to attend grad school at Regent University, pursuing my MFA in Acting and Directing.

  3. While attending classes, I was signed on with a voice-over company called Studio Center where I do voices for commercial and such.

  4. I finished classes May of '08 and graduated with my MFA.

  5. September 1st of '08, I moved to NYC to further pursue my acting career.

  6. While continuing to do work for Studio Center at their New York office, I auditioned the crap out of the city.

  7. Within a month, I was signed on to be a member of The Improv School, an improvisational troupe that travels to elementary, middle and high schools doing assembly programs on whatever subject the school asks for (i.e. the presidential election, peer pressure, bullying, cheating, etc.).

  8. Sometime in December, whilst doing an unpaid world premiere of a new holiday show called Pucelandia, I was hired on to play the part of Mr. Howell in a national tour of Gilligan's Island: The Musical.

These days, aside from continuing to do voice-over work, I’ve been auditioning for stuff that starts after the Gilligan’s Island tour ends.  I don’t know that I have any bites, yet, but here’s hoping!

I really love living in New York City.  I just wish that I had the money to go see all of the shows and stuff that I’d like to see.  Tonight, I got to see some really great improv at The PIT from a new troupe called The Bronx and an old troupe called Wilhelm, and it was FREE!  That’s right in my budget range right now.

Well, that’s all I’m going to write at the moment.  I realize that I really need to update the site and add more content, especially in the acting lessons section, but I’ve got a voice gig tomorrow morning and need to go to bed to be in top shape for it.


Sun., August 1, 2004

Buckskin Joe's Frontier Town and Railway. This is one amazing place. Having never been in Colorado before, this has been one amazing experience. I got here late Sunday evening/early Monday morning on May 2nd/3rd.

My training was interesting. "Sit here and watch all of the gunfights; we might incorporate you into some of them tomorrow." Simple enough, I guess. They sent me the scripts ahead of time, but I was a bad boy and didn't start memorizing my parts until the first plane ride from Gulfport, MS to Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. I got a few of them memorized by the time I flew into Denver.

My boss picked me up from the airport, and I got to talk with him for the two hours it took to get from the Denver to Cañon City. Instantly we were laughing about lots of silliness.

A few gunfighters came in a few weeks after me, but I quickly became friends with them when they arrived. Justin Davis, the managing gunfighter who hired me, had assembled a very diverse but very fun group of guys (six in all) with whom I was to spend my summer. We all live together in the town...that's right...in the town. It takes about thirty seconds to get to work, and that ain't bad. We live, work, and die in this town, and I couldn't be having more fun.

I had never picked up a real gun until I got to Buckskin. I've learned a lot about gun-safety and all of that sort of thing. I've also learned how to quickly adapt to changing situations in performances. In the beginning, we were assigned parts to play. As homework, we were told to learn all of the other parts in all of the gunfights (one part at a time per show, of course). So, as of this past week, I've played every single part in all of the seven fifteen-minute gunfights that we do on a daily basis (thirty roles in all). I've also played all but one of the parts in the two saloon shows that we do daily (four parts in all).

Buckskin has an interesting method of rehearsal. "You've seen the others do the blocking. Now hop in there and do this part for the first time in front of the audience." In other words, your rehearsal was watching the other guys do the roles while you were doing your own. Luckily, the blocking for the shows usually isn't complicated and is easily picked up. The lines, on the other hand. "The script is more of a guideline than something set in stone."

Doing these shows in such an intense manner has made me grow exceedingly as an actor. I've stretched myself the spectrum, playing everything from good guys to bad guys to stupid guys to con artists, etc.

Now days, since just about everybody has played just about everything, we decide about fifteen minutes before show time who gets to play what part or, in other words, who lives and who dies.

Ever since I've been in Colorado, I've been considering moving out this way when I get older. This is an amazing place to live and work. I'll tell more about this place on a later date. And, until then, may God bless you and direct you along the path to victory.


Sat., December 13, 2003

Let me get this entry running with some of the cool stuff that's happened in the past five and a half months since my last entry.

I got to play a number of roles in Our Town at the University of Mobile. My main character was Howie Newsome, the milkman. He was tons of fun because he's just a funny old man. On a few occasions, I played Sam Craig, which was just a straight shooter kind of a character; no problem.

After being assigned Howie, the director (Bruce Morgan) called me up and told me that Dr. Terry Ellis (the pastor of Spring Hill Baptist Church and the guy who was called in to play the part of the Stage Manager/Narrator) had a wedding to do at the same time as one of our matinee shows. Then he asked me if I could fill in for him on that show. Without hesitation, I said, "Sure!" to which he replied, "Have you read the play?" You see, the Stage Manager has about an hour's worth of lines, telling stories and narrating what's going on on the stage.

Because of the shear size of the part, Bruce didn't want me to have to learn all of those lines for just one show. So, he let me do the student show, as well. Though I got to see Terry do the part a whole bunch during rehearsals, I only got to rehearse each act once during the week of dress rehearsals. It kind of freaked me out a little, but I calmed down well enough for the performances.

There was one point during the first of the two shows I did as the Stage Manager where I just completely blanked out on stage. No one was on stage with me at the time, and usually during that show, no one comes out unless the Stage Manager talks about them. I couldn't remember what was going on, what year we were in, who was supposed to come on, or anything. Thankfully, though, the two people who were supposed to come out went ahead and came out (thank God for Rachel and Amy). When they did, my mind got back into place, and I started right back where I left off. Thankfully, I didn't have any brain farts my the second show as the Stage Manager, and I went through all of my many, many, many pages of lines without a hitch.

I didn't like the show when we had to read it in high school. In fact, I hated it. But, after performing and seeing the vision of the director come to life, I actually appreciate the show. We didn't do the pantomime stuff that's in the script, which was nice. And, having done what I consider the defining production of the show, I don't think I'd be able to appreciate anyone else's production the same way. I'm saying this because I was in it, but because of the shear emotion and depth that the director breathed into it. (Even he says that the movie is unwatchable and that the Robert Redford production was super boring.)

After doing Our Town, we did the musical Annie. I was cast as Rooster Hannigan, which is a super fun part to play. The song "Easy Street" was originally written to where Rooster had to sing up to an A. Not being a tenor (I'm a baritone/bass for crying out loud!), we lowered the song a step so I only had to pop a G. [I was surprised every time it came out. G's are always iffy with my voice.] I also got to do some fun dancing in the show.

One funny aspect of the show is that I was the shortest guy in the show, and because all of the orphans were played by college students, there were one or two of them who were as tall as I was. The character of Lilly was played by my old friend Scarlette O'Hara (yes, that is her real name), and she's a towering figure anyway, but they had her in heels and me in flats. So, she ended up being about a head and a half taller than I was. Even so, the show was loads of fun.

This weekend, we're performing Uh Oh, Here Comes Christmas at the Chickasaw Civic Theatre, which is sort of a sequal to All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. We're using the same cast as we did in Kindergarten, so it's just about the same format as the last show. I've got a very unique song called "Wind-up Toys" that's kinda cool. Overall, it's a nice little show. (With a cast of only five, what else can it be but a little show?)

I'm also in rehearsal for two other shows right now. We're doing Christmas at Lonestar Gulch at my church, which is (sadly) a little cheesey (as is most church drama, unfortunately). I'm playing a slow-talkin' sheriff (kinda the comic relief from the other corny comedy in the show).

We're starting a new tradition at school called "The Not-so Shakespeare Festival", in which the sudents do the acting, directing, technical work, props...everything. (The only difference between this and the regular shows is that the students are getting a chance to direct.) The piece that I'm in is a one-act called The Actor's Nightmare, which is super funny. I'm playing the part of George, the actor having the nightmare.

Now that I'm out of school for the semester, I'm getting a bit more of a chance to hang out with more of my friends, and I've now got some time on my hands to be able to work on the website a little more. I did the major part of the new design on Tuesday and the cool mouse rollover link code on Friday.

This week, I plan on writing up some of the easier acting lessons, like the parts of the stage and such. And, if the mood strikes me, I'll write some other stuff, too.

Well, that's it from me for now. So, until next time, may God bless you and direct you along the path to victory.


Tues., July 1, 2003

It certainly has been a while, but it's only because I've just been busy with life, the universe, and everything. We just finished our run of Oklahoma! at the Chickasaw Civic Theatre (I played a random farmer named Fred and did the old-age make-up for Aunt Eller). It was lots of fun doing the show, and a few of us went to see The Incredible Hulk after the cast party. (I thought it was a super kick-butt movie!)

I'm here at auditions for Our Town at the University of Mobile. (I despise this show, but I'm going to do it anyway because I feel like I'm sort of obligated, and it's the dean of the department's favorite show. Thank goodness she isn't directing this one.) I've already read for a few different parts, and the director told me to wait around in case he needed me to read for any other parts. Since I've got a few minutes on my hand, I can finally get another entry into the journal.

In other show news, I'll be reprising the role of Ray-Bud in Dearly Departed for a few benefit shows for the Penelope House in early August. It should be fun. I haven't met any of the new cast members yet, though I'm supposed to be teaching the other guys their characters and accents and such. Ya know...I'd better get busy with that...and soon!

On a completely different note, I've started storyboards for the first cartoon on my Animated Parables web site (www.AnimatedParables.com). I should have the first cartoon finished and the site up and running by the end of the summer. You can go the site now and sign up for the mailing list to get news and updates on how the site is going.

On a note a half-step down from that one, I handed in my two-weeks' notice at Chuck E. Cheese's last Saturday. After four long years of working there, I figured it was time for me to move on. My main reason for finally quitting is that I feel as though I'm spreading myself too thin, and I need to cut off the ends that are just wearing me out. I still enjoy doing the work, but I'm just tired. In other words, I need a Sabbath. I'm getting paid to do grunt work in the theatre at school, and I still do stuff at the radio station, so money shouldn't really be a problem.

On a weird note that's a minor sixth above the previous one, I purchase "Weird Al" Yankovic's new album, Poodle Hat, and it's stinkin' hillarious. I highly recommend it to...well...everyone! Go to the Official "Weird Al" Website for more info.

On a note about an octave above the last one, I've enrolled in the School of Biblical Evangelism (www.biblicalevangelism.com), and it's fantastic! I feel that my walk is now much more straight and steady. I'm much more focused now, rather than just going through the motions. I highly recommend the school to every believer.

Well, though the length of this might not suffice for an entry two and a half months in the making, that's about it for now. I'll get some serious work in on finishing the SETC journal entry as soon as I get another few minutes on my hands. Until the next time I write, may God bless you and direct you along the path to victory.


Wed., Apr. 16, 2003

I appologize for taking so long to get in another entry! SETC was exciting, but as soon as I came back, I came down with a sinus infection (which wasn't quite as exciting). I'm all better now, though.

The Pajama Game was pretty successful and lots of fun (more on that later). But, first I want to tell you about SETC.

When I started to write this entry, I found out that it was much too long to be put here. (It's so long, it's not even finished yet!) So, I've put the extended version on its own page. If you'd like to read (what I have so far of) a day-by-day recap of the trip, just CLICK HERE!


Fri., Feb. 21, 2003

Goodness! How busy I am with everything! We finished our run of Dearly Departed this past Saturday evening, and it went over really well. It did so well that we're going to be doing a special performance on May 2nd at Springhill Baptist Church.

We've already started rehearsals for The Pajama Game. We only got about 44 hours rest between shows. I've got the part of Hines, which is really fun! I get a couple of songs and I get to do a soft-shoe dance number.

The whole show is hillariously corn-ball. Watch the movie (which stars Doris Day) and you'll see what I mean.

Spring break is coming up, and a few of us from the theare department are leaving for SETC (Southeastern Theatre Conference; http://www.setc.org). The six of us that went to the state competition in November got passed up to the next round, and we're all really excited.

Here's the deal. You have 60 seconds if you're only doing a monologue and 90 seconds if you're doing both a monologue and a song. You walk on stage, and the clock starts as soon as you begin talking. You say your name and number, do your thing, say your name and number again, and walk off stage. Here's the kicker, you're doing this in front of 150 to 200 casting directors who're casting for their summer shows. If they like what you do, your name will be posted on the call-back bulletin board, and you will have to give them a few more monologues (and a few more songs if you sang as well). From that, they'll cast their shows and contact you later on the part they want you to play. Ain't it cool?!

There will also be lots of exhibits at this thing and a bundle of areas where you can talk with Broadway professionals, apply for tech jobs, and such.

This year it's being held in Arlington, VA, which is pretty close to Washington, D.C., and like it said before, real all pretty excited about it. We're all working on getting our repitoir of monologues lengthened for the call-backs. I've been listening to a lot of Shakespearian plays on cassette (in fact, I'm listening to one as I type this), trying to find a few monologues that would fit me well and show the dynamics of my acting ability.

Well, I'd better get to work because I've got "so much time and so little to do ... Wait ... Stike that; reverse it. This way, please..."


Sun., Feb. 9, 2003

I realize it's been a while since my last journal entry, but that's only because I've been so busy with Dearly Departed. We just finished our first weekend of shows, and it's gone over really well. The audiences seem to come out sore from all of the laughing.

The show has been loads of fun to do, but it's kept me so busy that I've barely been able to do anything else...which isn't too bad because I enjoy doing what I'm doing!

Speaking of being busy doing shows, tomorrow we have auditions for the next show at the University of Mobile (and we've still got another weekend of DD performances!). We're doing the classic musical comedy The Pajama Game. I'm listening to the soundtrack as I'm typing this so that I can familiarize myself with the show. It sounds like it's going to be a big bunch of goofy, corn-ball fun.

Hey! I just thought of somethin'! ActorToActor.com turns 1 year old this month! Ain't that somethin'?! Well, I thought it was neat.

Well, that's about it for now. If I don't write before then, have a Happy Valentine's Day!

May God bless you and direct you along the path to victory.


Mon., Jan. 13, 2003

Well, I had a BLAST at Walt Disney World with the theatre people. We stayed in the coolest hotel (All-Star Movies: Toy Story section). There was a statue of Buzz Lightyear 3-STORIES TALL (spiffy!)!

We went on the backstage tour of the Magic Kingdom, which was also spiffy. I learned all about Walt Disney, the parks, and lots more. [NOTE: If you ever get to have the backstage tour, request David as your tour-guide; he's GREAT!]

I'm back in school now, and we've just cast our straight show. It's called Dearly Departed, and it's about a hick family dealing with the death of the father of the family...and it's STINKIN' HILLARIOUS! I'm playing a character named Ray-Bud (standard hick name). I think it's going to be a great show...even though we only have about three weeks to get it all together. Ah, well...that's theatre life.


Wed., Jan. 1, 2003

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yup, it's a brand new year! I hope everyone had a good Christmas; I know I did.

My dad was home for Christmas and New Year's Eve for the first time in 10 years! So, needless to say, I was happy about that.

My reading of A Christmas Carol went well. I had people come and go throughout the whole thing, and my voice survived well enough. I was a bit hoarse for the rest of the day, and I couldn't really do much with it for the following day and a half, but it's fantastic now!

We had a really great New Year's Eve service at my church. A bundle of the local churches came and worshipped together with me at the helm, which was spiffy! I also got to play a flute solo, accompanied by piano. I played "Give Thanks" because I've got a lot to thank God for for this past year.

I'm still on a break from doing plays and such because I'm in one of those lulls between shows. But, this Sunday I'll be going to Disney World in Orlando, FL, with the theatre department from the University of Mobile. We're cramming five guys into a single room (me included), and then there're a few rooms of girls. It's gonna be lots of fun because I haven't been to Disney World in Orlando in over ten years.

Anyway, that's about it from me. This year is going to be BIG! I just know it is...plus that's what God told me, so I know it's true.


Sun., Dec. 22, 2002

Well, I've just said goodbye to all of my friends at the Playhouse-in-the-Park. Today was my last show there...for a few years, at least. I'm gonna be so busy with the shows at school that I won't be able to do anything else anywhere!

I'm glad we had such a great run of Scrooge. It was tons of fun! I sure am going to miss working with all of those people there, but we've all got to move on some time or other.

On a different note, I'm really excited about Christmas Eve because I get to do a reading of A Christmas Carol at a local Books-a-million! Pam let me borrow my Scrooge costume to do the reading in. I think it'll be loads of fun! I tested myself last Monday to see how long it would take me to read the whole book (and to see if my voice would even go through that much stress). Well, I was able to get all of the way through in about four hours, and my voice didn't give out, so I'm in good shape.

I think I'll go on complete vocal rest tomorrow to prepare myself for the vocal ravaging I'll be giving myself the following day. I hope lots of people show up! I think I'm going to put a hat in front of me for some ::wink wink:: donations because I'm not getting paid for this gig.

Oh, well.



© 2004 Joshua Nicholson, Mr. Jotz Productions. All rights Reserved.