Sunday, January 22, 2012

Joshing Around with Joshua Warr and Joshua Desjardins!

"Live every week like it's Shark Week!"  - Tracy Morgan on 30 Rock

 Bleed for your Art, or get the hell out of the game. - Joshua Warr

Happy Sunday,
I hope this finds you well.I wrote this on Delta flight en route back to New York from Denver today. It has been an incredible time out west but am anxious to get back to New York and the riches that await us in New York. And right off the bat is Joshing Around which showcases the talents of two of my favorite entertainers, Joshua Desjardins and Joshua Warr and directed by the equally talented Miles Phillips.

What happens when two emerging cabaret stars get mistakenly booked on the same night? Find out at the fabulous new version of Joshing Around!  Fresh from their acclaimed solo debuts, the distinctive styles of Joshua Warr and Joshua Desjardins collide on stage at the legendary Duplex.  Hilarity ensues!
  
Joshua Warr was most recently seen in Atlantic City in The Accused at the Tropicana.  Secret Theatre credits include: Side Show; Rafe in The Knight of the Burning Pestle; Tommy in Raft of the Medusa; Silvio in The Servant of Two Masters. Other NY Credits: The Revival (Lion Theatre at Theatre Row); SING NO EVIL (The Laurie Beechman Theatre); Nick in the NY revival of Bill Russel’s Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (The Laurie Beechman Theatre); and The Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland (American Theatre of Actors). Film: Maryann's Aide in Behind Closed Door; and David in Joonhan Lee's Columbia MFA film - Sketchbook. Warr was nominated for a 2010 MAC Award for Outstanding Male Debut for his work in SING NO EVIL. He is a graduate of the Maggie Flanigan Studio and earned a B.A. from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. 
 
But it all started in 2006 when Joshua starred as the villain personality in TLC's reality dinner party competition Dinner Takes All.
 ...He lost, but doesn't tell anyone.
 
Sing No Evil:

Joshua Desjardins is New York City's favorite nerd!  Originally from Boston, Joshua graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.  He then became the Executive Assistant for Cabaret Pittsburgh, through which he had the pleasure of meeting and working with musical theatre geniuses such as Elaine Stritch, Stephen Schwartz, Tom Wopat, Craig Carnelia, KT Sullivan, and more!  Joshua is currently living in New York City where he recently began recording music, with his latest single, "I'm a Nerd," being a huge success on iTunes!  He looks forward to his new successes with "Joshing Around."

 




I was thrilled that they BOTH sat down for my blog interview. Fasten your seat belts!
What was the first live show you remember seeing (elaborate on that)
JD: Well, I always remember going to see Nickelodeon Live when I was a kid, but my parents tell me I was OBSESSED with Cathy Rigby in Peter Pan!  They also say I wore out the VHS copy we had.  Go figure.  ;)

JW: I believe the first show I ever saw was Gypsy, which might explain a lot about me. HaHa!  It was a Summer Stock production and I remember being utterly obsessed with the score.  I went home and cast all my friends in my very own backyard production.  The most hysterical part about this story is that I didn't trust anyone else with the two lead roles, so I played Mama Rose and Louise.  
Oops!  Then when I was about 13 or 14 I saw my very first Broadway show - Jekyll  and Hyde with Robert Evan.  
I was HOOKED.  The show stayed with me so much so, the song 'Good 'N' Evil' opened my first cabaret show, SING NO EVIL which had a run at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in 2009 and 2010.  The rest is history, as they say.  


Where was this?
JW: Gypsy - Musical Theatre North, Potsdam, NY (may it RIP), Jekyll & Hyde - The old school Plymouth, baby!, NYC  

JD: I grew up in Andover, Mass, just north of Boston.  I believe we saw the show in Boston itself.  
 
Were you exposed to the arts growing up?
JD: Oh yes!  My grandfather was an entertainer during WWII, and there were plenty of community theatres in my hometown and the surrounding areas.  Not to mention out school drama departments.  I was almost always involved with one of them.

JW: I was extremely lucky to grow up in Potsdam, NY (home to SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music - YAY Renee Fleming and Lisa Vroman!) which somewhat had an arts scene.  We even had a Summer Stock theatre for a hot second!  Our village museum was kind of pitiful, though.  (I giggled when I wrote museum.)  But there were Summer festivals with concerts, High School marching bands, and I was in a few musicals growing up.  Other than that, we are a sports family - I played soccer, hockey, lacrosse and I ran track growing up.  

 What composer influenced you the most?
 JD: Now I would have to say Stephen Sondheim.  But growing up, Jason Robert Brown was a big influencer of mine.  I still remember when some friends of mine brought the soundtrack to Songs For a New World to chorus class.  Listening to that opening number blew my mind!

JW: I'm a Kander and Ebb boy ALL THE WAY.  Although I will admit, there was a stretch of a few years when I would lip sync entire Andrew Lloyd Webber CDs while trying to fall asleep at night.  That was until I heard my mother shout "Get to bed, Joshua!" 

 
First professional job?
JW: When I was 19 I apprenticed with Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre for a few months.  (I studied modern dance in college.)  Shelter was debuting A Pure White Room and I was cast in the ensemble.  We rehearsed at Ohio University and University of Illinois.  Road trip!  It was super intense but I was surrounded by some incredible talent and it instilled in my character an amazing and obsessive work ethic early on in my professional career.  What I learned from that experience was invaluable and still very much alive in my professional life today.     
Joshua Warr
JD: J.O.B.S. (aka Joshua's Own Business Service).  I walked dogs, lol.  :)
 
Your thoughts on Arts in Education
JW: I went to a Liberal Arts college, everyone discussed Arts in Education.  It's important.  End of story.  It is insane to me that the Arts and Athletics are being cut from schools across the country.  Programs like these ingrain wonderful things into our youth, when they are mentored by the right people.  The Arts changed my life and gave me a wonderful freedom.  

JD: Yes.  It's essential.  Haven't we proven time and time again that music and math are related?  Yet why is fighting to keeps arts in schools still an issue?
 
What makes you cry out of the blue when you see or hear it?
JW: Someone overcoming a major obstacle and Love stories both take me out of the game for hours! 

Joshua Desjardins
JD: The music from Titanic.  ;)  
 
Your thoughts on Carol Channing (All my blogs focus on Carol Channing’s Foundation For The Arts)

I’m campaigning for Carol Channing to receive the 2012 Kennedy Center Honor in 2012. If you agree that she should receive this honor, can you say why you think this should happen
JD: Um.....of course Carol Channing deserves such an honor!  Not only is she a LIVING LEGEND, but the fact that her legacy continues to help keep arts programs alive is truly remarkable!

JW: If there were ever a legend that deserves such a recognition it is Carol Channing.  I mean, it's an absolute NO BRAINER!  Give her the Award, Caroline!  Her career is a legacy and what she has done for Arts in Education is beautiful.  Her heart is as big as her smile and her energy is infectious.  Kennedy Center 2012, here we go.  
 
Most recent appearance
JW: District Attorney Rudolph Bernie in The Accused at the Tropicana in Atlantic City AND Joshing Around at the Laurie Beechman Theatre!  I like to be busy! 

JD: I most recently appeared with Joshua Warr in "Joshing Around" at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. Josh and I had a lot of fun there but we really wanted to improve the show. So, at the very end of the run we brought Miles Phillips aboard to direct us, and he performed miracles with "Joshing Around!" 
 
Next appearance
JW: Joshing Around at The Duplex!  This show is definitely THE show to see. Our first run, at the Beechman, inspired us to work on improving this show to be the best it can possibly be.  This ALL started with replacing our Director.  We are thrilled that MILES PHILLIPS IS JOINING THE TEAM!  We're super excited to have him directing Joshing Around. With Dan Micciche on keys, the music is in the right hands.  You'll be "oohing" and "awing" his skills all night long.  If you think you've already seen this show, let me be the first to say, you haven't!  There's all new fun and all new surprises!  I hope to see you there, Richard.  

JD: The show is BETTER THAN EVER and we've incorporated our accompanist--Dan Micciche from Chicago--into the show more. I honestly think this is a cabaret show of the season NOT TO BE MISSED!  
 
What is your biggest success in Show Business
JD: Besides "Joshing Around?"  I would have to say my music video for my hit single, "I'm a Nerd."  I have tons of views on that one, and I'm proud of it because I filmed and edited it mostly on my own!  :)

JW: Oh, geesh, I can't answer this. :)
 
What was your lowest low and how did you surpass that
JW: Oh, I'm out of my lowest low!?  
 
JD: When one of my best friends committed suicide in college.  That was the roughest point in my life.  But after a month of being depressed, I told myself that I was the only one who could make my life better again...and I did!  :)

 
What one change would you like to see in today’s industry?
JD: More people need to support one another.  I understand this business can be cutthroat, and sometimes it needs to be, but thats no reason to be unsupportive and mean to each other. 

JW: I miss the old days of knocking on a Producer's door and demanding to be in a show then breaking out into song and dance.  I always thought I'd do it just like Elaine Stritch!  I've got the raspy voice!!!  
 
Who are your TOP FIVE models and influences as an artist
JD:
1.  Marc Cohn because he writes music about something other than relationships.
2.  Lady Gaga because she's not afraid to be different.
3.  Elaine Stritch because she's not afraid to be a bitch! 
4.  Tina Fey because she had a dream and made it into a reality.
5.  Kristen Wiig because she's just fucking hilarious!  ;)

JW: MY FAMILY, Alan Cumming, John Cameron Mitchell, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Vincent Van Gogh, James Castle and Phillip Glass.  Oh, did I go past five?
 
What do you think ultimately made you become a performer? 
JW: I was always told I talked too much.  That hasn't changed.  It was either performer or lawyer.  Yeah, High School senior year mock trial didn't go so well.

JD: Growing up, my parents gave me some opportunities others only DREAM of!  When I was a kid, I always admired how Rosie O'Donnell would give things away to people on her daytime talk show.  Thus, I vowed then and there that I would become famous so that I could start a foundation to give kids the opportunity to go to the college of their choice when their parents couldn't afford it.  Needless to say, Oprah beat me to it... ;)

 
Are you happy at the point you are right now in your career?
JD: "Joshing Around" makes me very happy.  Only recognition for my work would make me happier. 

JW: Yes!  I love what I do.  But there is always room for more in the World of Warr.

 
Miles Phillips
Do you feel you have achieved what you set out to do?
JD: Hell no!  I'm still young in this industry!  :)

JW: Not yet!  No way.  I'm just getting started.
 
What do you do to remain positive when life's hiccups get you down?
JD: Watch movies.  Listen to music.  Create videos.  In other words, live life to it's fullest!

JW: ART.  My room is wall to wall art.  And my Divas ... their concert DVDs.  Because when you're going insane, a 'lil art therapy and you're back on top.
 
How on earth do you reach theatregoers now that newspapers are obsolete and there are so many channels on TV you can’t pick the right ones to advertise on and with the web being so hit and miss.
JD: I still email my "happenings" to a list of almost 1000 friends and family, and that's on top of tweeting and posting on Facebook.  Sometimes I think online media has easily become the new wave of promotion.  I get more responses on there than I do from my e-blasts.

Dan Micciche
JW: I'm still trying to reach theatregoers.  
 
A genie pops out of the lamp, he grants you three wishes. What are those wishes?
JD:
1.  To be given everything I want for free.
2.  Equal rights for all.
3.  The ability to stop time.

JW:
1) An endless supply of money to give away Arts scholarships.  
2) My own Sitcom
3) Patti LuPone and Elaine Paige as roommates.  I know, sounds like trouble. But, I'd have them singing "We Share Everything" by the end of day one! :-)

 
If you could travel anywhere in the world and spend some time there, where would you choose, and what would you do?
JW: South of France.  No place like it on earth.  It's my paradise.  Avignon to be exact.  History, culture, food, wine, Provencal countryside, Van Gogh, what is there NOT to love about Le Sud!?

JD: I would go to New Zealand (and I'm dead serious about this next part) and I would live in The Shire from The Lord of the Rings.  (Have I mentioned I'm a nerd?)  ;)

 
What would you ask God if you could right now?
JD: Why does he allow people to hurt some of his own creations...

JW: Not sure, actually.  Perhaps if he likes Red Velvet ice cream as much as I do!?!
 
What is the last stage show you saw.  Local or professional.  
JW: An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin. LOVE THEM.    
JD: Sister Act on Broadway.  Loved it!  Singing nuns and Patina Miller--you can't go wrong!  ;)



What was the turning point in your career?
JW: The back of the theatre!  But I don't really do too many turns anymore.

JD: Working as Elaine Stritch's assistant for a weekend in Pittsburgh.  She taught me a lot and inspired me to keep going!

When do you know it’s time for a new show?
JD: When it's time to be noticed!  :)

JW: My mood.  I get really antsy when I am not working on a project.  REAL ANTSY.  I wasn't joking about the obsessed with work part. 
Thank you, guys, for the gifts you give to the world!

Joshua Warr & Joshua Desjardins
Joshua Warr
Joshing Around

The Duplex
61 Christopher Street, NY, NY  

Saturday, January 28th @ 7pm
Saturday, February 4th @ 9:30pm

Reservations:  212.255.5438

$15 Cover + 2 Drink Minimum



Directed by multiple award-winner Miles Phillips.


Miles Phillips - Director - is a multiple award-winning actor, director, nightclub vocalist and recording artist with appearances in theaters, nightclubs and concert halls from Honolulu to London. He has countless leading New York and regional theatre roles, numerous film and television appearances, a popular solo album and two dozen original and studio cast recordings to his credit.

Phillips’ acclaimed directorial ventures range from film to regional companies to New York theatre and cabaret, including serving as Artistic Director for Musical Theatre Renegades and The Hot Spot Theatre Company.  Phillips received his graduate training with The American Conservatory Theatre and his MFA from The National Theatre Conservatory.   Phillips is directing the NY workshops and preparing the world premiere of the new pop rock opera Back Again.


An award-winning actor, Miles recently starred with some of Broadway’s brightest in The Broadway Musicals of 1930 at Town Hall. Recent critically acclaimed theatre performances include: Arthur in Camelot, Robert in Company, Feste in Twelfth Night, Lockstock in Urinetown, Banco in the New York premiere of Ionesco’s Macbett and Bassanio in both The Merchant Of Venice and the world premiere of its award winning new sequel The Doctor Of Rome. As a nightclub vocalist, Miles has been honored with MAC Awards for four of his shows and twice honored in the category of Outstanding Cabaret Male Vocalist at the New York Nightlife Awards. His latest solo show “…Reappearing In My Mind” recently played a triumphant engagement at Feinstein’s and has been playing to sold out audiences around the country. His leading man charm, glorious voice and passionate artistry have established him as one of New York's most celebrated male vocalists.


 
Joshua Desjardins with friend
Featuring Dan Micciche (Chicago) on piano.
 
Dan Micciche - Pianist - earned his BFA in musical theatre from the Boston Conservatory with a focus in music direction and conducting.  He made his Broadway debut in Chicago the musical and has performed in the national, Japanese, and Thailand companies.  He has been a soloist at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and with the Baltimore Symphony in Bernstein’s Mass.  Dan also starred Off-Broadway in Gemini the musical at the Acorn Theatre.  In addition to acting and singing, he has served as musical director on over fifteen shows ranging from Into the Woods to Nine to Kiss Me, Kate.  He has performed in almost every major city in the US as well many distinguished cities across Europe and Asia.   Dan has gained recognition as a voice teacher and coach while serving an impressive list of private clientele here in New York City, where he resides.


“Joshua Warr and Joshua Desjardins have two of the most beautiful young voices in cabaret!”
– Times Square Chronicles

Warr is “Wickedly Funny!”
– Entertainment Weekly

Desjardins is “Instantly Likeable!”
– Cabaret Scenes
 
www.joshingaroundnyc.com
Twitter - @nyjoshingaround

 NO COPY WRITE INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!
Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!
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                              Tomorrow's blog will be...Christine Fournier and GYPSY NIGHTS...LIVES ON TOUR!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!



  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!


Now, GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TODAY!

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TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS DAY
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

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