A couple of pieces of press from the Off-Broadway weekend (May 16-18)... and a few other quick notes
The debut of The Gospel... May 16-18 was a success! Four shows with fantastic audiences.
A couple of takeaways:
1) We have to change the name of the show for future incarnations. People are afraid of the word "Gospel" and it turns people away.
2) We have good video and that will help keep the show alive.
3) We have a great new script to work with and great direction from a world-class director in Brent Buell.
4) There is a ton of love in this world. I was sick as a dog the entire weekend, and the amount of people who came out of the woodwork to support and help nourish me back to health was outstanding.
A couple of radio interviews we did in advance of the show:
1) Stagetology—Click here: http://stagetology.com/?p=675
2) Valerie's NJ—Click here: http://www.my9nj.com/story/25528610/the-gospel-according-to-josh
(We made the front page of the My9 Website on Thurs. May 15)
Thank you so much for your support on this trial Off-Broadway run of the show! It was a ton of work and it couldn't have happened without the many hands that helped and the love and good vibes from friends and strangers alike!
The test is not whether you can make “it” happen—whatever your “Holy Grail” happens to be. The real test is actually a three parter:
- Perseverance and endurance. No explanation needed there.
- The route to get to your Grail will not be a circuitous one, nor will it be a well-paved path. Will you be willing to learn to swim, deep-sea dive, swing from vines, or drive an ATV to get to your destination?
- What will you do with your Grail once you attain it? Is the Grail the same one you thought you’d be holding when you first set out on your journey? Are you a different person now because of everything you learned while blazing a trail to your Grail? What’s your next move?
Recently a friend of mine credited some recent success in her creative pursuits to me.
I was stunned. I didn’t advise her on her writing work. I didn’t give much in the way of pointers or do any of the heavy lifting on her work.
“How could you thank me for your success?” I asked.
“You encouraged me,” she answered.
For years she had a writing teacher who nitpicked her work and gave thousands of notes and made her feel bad about her writing work and about herself.
I read her work, which was good not great, and said that she could go further. I gave a few brief pointers and some constructive criticism. I told her I believed that she could accomplish what she had set out to do. And she did.
All it took was some positive reinforcement.
After we got off the phone, it occurred to me that I too currently have someone in my life giving me a great deal of positive reinforcement. I’m doing some consulting work for a celebrity author. The head of his marketing team is giving me the space to flesh out my ideas and is letting me fail and succeed. Every idea is important—even the “bad” ones. And I’m seen as smart even when I say something that could be perceived as foolish.
Whenever I’ve succeeded at the various points in my life it’s been because I’ve had someone give me a dose of positive reinforcement to carry me along. I’ve just never noticed the pattern before.
It’s tremendously important that as we set out on our goals and survey new territory, we actively seek out people who will encourage us along the way. Encouragement is not a “yes” man, or an “I hate it” person. Encouragement is someone who acknowledges and celebrates the successes and failures, strengthens the wins, and calls you out, gently so, on your BS.
There’s a second component to creating a base of success for yourself.
Find a way to move beyond hand-to-mouth activities.
When the basic human activities of finding food, shelter, and clothing are achieved; it is then that we can move toward functioning on a higher level to whatever goal we’d like to achieve.
Even if it’s a small step toward reducing hand-to-mouth activities—it’s a giant step in the right direction.
Examples could be finding a way to make more money in less time, finding a faster route to work, creating an investment portfolio, saving money by cutting back on your fast food addiction and replacing with fresh food, and so on.
There’s a conscious thought process of plotting and planning and testing, trial and error to move forward in taking less time or automizing hand-to-mouth activities. The good news is that it will get easier over time. The other good news is that it’s a constant process… meaning you’re not the only one in constant pursuit of making your life efficient, therefore you have billions of people from whom to ask advice.
When you seek out that positive reinforcement and work to make your life efficient—you have a solid foundation that no metaphorical earthquake can shake.
So, you've read about it or heard me banging my pots and pans about bringing a new incarnation of my one-man show The Gospel According to Josh back to New York City Off-Broadway on May 16, 2014. We’re doing it as a benefit for suicide prevention and mental health services. To commemorate this, and to show that it's not just about suicide but has some quirky and fun bits to it, I wanted to share with you a piece of the new script. This following segment comes just after I made my television debut on The Maury Povich Show at the age 19. I hope you enjoy… and I hope to see you in May :)
As soon I got back into the real world, I realized that serving Moons Over My Hammy at Denny’s at 3 am was not going to afford me the life I wanted so I quit. And because since Spielberg may have lost my phone number, I had to start going back to the city to make something happen for myself, so I went in for everything I could: theatre, cruise ships, theme parks, hand models—I even auditioned to be a high school team mascot which I didn’t get because I couldn’t fit into their aardvark suit.
One day I saw a posting for a new film that took place in a post apocalyptic New Jersey. It was starring a few no name, up and coming WWF wrestlers and it paid. I answered the ad with a picture and resume and got an almost immediate response from the director saying I’d be perfect for the role of a half man half monkey who runs the prison that holds the wrestlers and then goes crazy. He said it would be great if I could meet him in North Jersey at the Dover train station near his mother’s house. We would discuss me and the film and how I fit in. I said yes, and later that week I got on a train to go north and meet with this director. When I got there, I was met by a man who was pockmarked, a little glassy eyed, and had a mullet. He never spoke above a loud whisper.
Nice to meet you Joshua. We’re going to take a ride to Hopatcong park where we’re going to film the movie.
I was a little nervous but the car ride there wasn’t too bad. We talked about me, and what I was doing. We spoke about his wrestler friends who were going to be in his movie and how he got into filmmaking. When we got there, he said we should take a walk deep into the forest. So we did and it was there he told me it was time to audition for the film.
Ok Joshua basically your character is half man and half monkey and goes nuts in the film, because he loves the taste of human flesh. So here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to get on the ground and lay down and you have to get on top of me and pretend that you’re eating my face off and ripping away my body parts, and you have to be convincing.
Can’t I just do a monologue?
No! It has to be this. I need to see if you can handle this; if you have the chops for it.
And then he got on the ground and laid on his back, closed his eyes and a little smile came across his face and I thought man this is really weird...but shoot, man I want to be in a film with wrestlers. So I got on the ground and pretended to gnaw at his face and rip his limbs off and went to town on that dude for about five minutes. After I was done he thanked me, said I did a great job, and took me for ice cream at Friendly’s for some Rocky Road. Then he sent me back to the train station. While on the train going home, I was pleased with how the day went until I got to the Elizabeth stop where I realized that he was probably never going to call me. And he didn’t. I still wonder if that qualifies as my first sexual experience—God I hope not…
You’re moving at a mile a minute. You have so much to do—like change the world and make everyone happy… and there’s little time to do it all. You schedule classes, meetings, work, charity events, blog posts, and a speaking event at the local YMCA. And it’s all in a week’s work.
That’s a lot to juggle for anyone. Breathe for a sec. Just because your calendar is full, doesn’t mean you’re actually being productive. Take a minute, slow down, and figure out whether what you’re doing is contributing to your personal mission and your well being. Think on it for a couple of hours… or a full day. You’ll probably end up saving yourself a bunch of energy and make everything you want to do work together. And maybe you’ll have time to finally dive in on that fun thing you’ve been putting off for years (ukelele lessons?).
Plan + Motion = Action
Winging it + Motion = Wasted energy
My 30 character, 1 man show The Gospel According to Josh is back in NYC… May 16-18 Off-Broadway. It's a benefit and proceeds are going to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Tickets are here: https://squareup.com/market/gospeljosh/the-gospel-according-to-josh-1
More info at: www.gospeljosh.com