Thursday, June 5, 2014

Josh's Dream

From guest blogger, Dr. Marvin Baker.

Building a foundation under Josh’s Dream

Some people spend a lifetime deciding what they want to be. Josh Brady knew he wanted to be an actor even before he started to school. He didn’t wait long to get some experience.

Mitch Pilleggi, Founder of the Vancouver Players, was the first to discover just how determined Josh was. He wrote, “I've always known that Josh was gifted, and I've been aching for the rest of the world to see.  I first met Josh when he was 8 years old, a tiny, pale, skinny boy. He walked in with the biggest smile on his face. He was excited just for the opportunity to perform, and it showed. He read a monologue that was written for someone over 3 times his age, and read it with excitement, and a maturity I'd never seen in someone so young. At a time when I questioned whether theatre was something I wanted (or should) continue, he gave me a newfound hope.    

“Over the years he kept coming back to audition, and luckily, there became parts for him. I remember the time a boy with a major role dropped out of a production a week before opening night, and I gave the role to Josh.  Upon receiving it, he simply smiled and said, ‘Now I can show you what I can really do.’ And I'll be damned if he didn't. He brought a side to the character I'd never seen before. He hooked the audience from the moment he went on stage, and took them on the ride with him. Audiences were raving about this little boy who transported them away. Whenever asked about how he did it, he would just shrug it off, and say "It was who I am."

Someone forgot to tell Josh to keep a detailed account of the when, where, and who of every theatrical production that captured his creative talent. The why was obvious, Josh Brady was born for the stage.
When he was 10, he had his first speaking part. Now ten years later he still remembers that first line, “We met in the garden.”  That was his debut in Kansas City. Peri Goodman and Reed Uthe cast him as the 8 of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland. Uthe has directed him in Dear Edwina, When in Rome, Guys and Dolls, and Cactus Pass. This July, Josh and Reed will be appearing together in Spamalot at the Jewish Community Center Theatre.

Josh discovered The Barn Jr. Players and the director, Jason Coats, found a boy madly in love with the theatre. Undocumented precious memories cluster and sequence is lost but as a junior player, his credits would include The Wiz, Into the Woods, The Girl Who Was Plugged In, Striking 12, and helped with tech on All Shook Up.

Josh also likes to write.

At twelve, Josh learned the power of discrimination. Kids tormented his best friend, a 13 year old neighbor, because he was gay, and his friend committed suicide to stop the pain. That’s when Josh wrote At 13. A few years later he read that poem for the audience at a concert by the Heartland Men’s Chorus and it moved them to tears. Three years later people still talk about that poem.  He shared his own story at 15 in his poem, Tired.

For three years Josh was a member of Perform Out KC, a youth performance group directed by Coats. In 2012, He also directed Josh’s original drama, TLC, at Kansas City Fringe Festival.
2008-2111 BVW and after high school 2111-2014
Under the direction of Laurie Vanderpol Josh performed in The Crucible, Miracle Worker, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Little Shop of Horrors.
Pterodactyls, Todd, at Vancouver Players, Vancouver, WA
The Boys Next Door, Barry Klemper, Beasley Theatre, Lincoln, NE
Marvin’s Room, Hank, The Barn Players, Kansas City
Spring Awakening, Hanshen, Vancouver Players
Sordid Lives, Ty, The Barn Players
Brighton Beach Memoirs, Eugene, Jewish Community Center, KC, KS
2013 was special. Competed in improv, scene study, monologue at Global Stars Network Convention on the Carnival Cruise ship.

Awards:
2013:
New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, $10,000 scholarship
Global Stars Network Convention, Best Overall Male Actor
2012:
The Barney Award, Best supporting actor in Marvin’s Room
JBT Award, Best supporting actor in The Boys Next Door
VPT Award, Best Actor for Todd in Pterodactyls
2011:
BVW Award, Best supporting actor in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Building a foundation under Josh’s Dream:

As friends of Josh, our goal is to send him to New York City this August to begin auditions for pilot seasons and beyond. The current plan is a minimum 2-3 month stay with a goal of obtaining employment and a permanent home there.

$8,000 is our goal.

We invite you to help make his dream a reality. Click here to donate: http://www.gofundme.com/8ghd6k

Questions – comments:  marvinbaker1925@gmail.com

I met Josh the morning after he received harsh words instead of a tip for his excellent service because this ‘Christian’ couple couldn’t support him because he is gay. I went to tell him that didn’t represent the God I love and serve. The incident and my response was reported on every major network, CNN, and Huffington Post. People keep asking “What can we do?”  Help build the foundation under Josh’s dream!