Sunday, August 11, 2013

Spotlight On...Justin Blake Broido

Name: Justin Blake Broido

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Education: BFA in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University

Select Credits: This Is Our Youth (Warren, Off-Broadway); Twelfth Night (Malvolio, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre - London); columbinus  (Jock, San Antonio)

Why theater?: Theatre is a magical event that is powered by the audience's participation.  The fact that live action is taking place asks a certain level of cooperation from the audience, which, at least subconsciously if not consciously, makes the audience member involved.  A movie can exist without an audience.  Theatre, by definition, must have an audience to exist.  It is that communal cooperation between actor and audience that makes the theatre one of the most exhilarating places to be.

Tell us about cal and grey: cal and grey is a story about two orphans who have grown up in a State ward.  America has been invaded, all the native adults have been executed, and the excess of children has been rounded up and placed into these institutions until deemed old enough for release into the new society.  The wards themselves are cruel unsanitary buildings where child labor is the daily routine, starvation is the norm, and beatings from the guards are expected.  As if the Wards themselves weren't bad enough, extremist groups of the new society have been demanding for the extermination of the orphans, and Wards full of children are being burned to the ground daily.  So whether inside the Wards or on the run, these orphans are truly damned.  In a leaky bathroom at 2am, our characters cal and grey find each other, and the limits of love and friendship are put to the test.

What is it like being a part of cal and grey?: I've been with this show since August of 2012.  It's the second time I'm getting to perform it, and after every single rehearsal I still continue to love this show more and more.  Our writer, Becca Schlossberg, has created a fascinatingly cruel world that never ceases to amaze me.  I've become obsessed with diving into this dystopia

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: As a kid, I was always obsessed with the creme de la creme.  Michael Jordan, Brett Favre, Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali.  I was always inspired by the best of the best.  You might notice I only named athletes here.  I didn't want to be an actor growing up, I wanted to be an athlete.  When my skill set guided me down another path, I still looked to athletes for inspiration.  I strive to bring an intensity and grace into my acting that is semblative of a hockey deke.

Any roles you’re dying to play?:  The son in After Ashley.  Besides having the same name as the main character, I've never in my life read a play and connected so viscerally to what the character is going through.  It's a story about a boy who finds his mother murdered, and his 911 phone call turns him into a celebrity.  IF ANYONE PLANS ON DOING IT GET AT ME!!!!

What’s your favorite showtune?: The Lion King - "Endless Night" "I know that the night must end, and that the sun will rise"  got me through a couple high school break ups :)

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Celebrities aside (I'd love to work with Denzel, and I'd love to play Laura Linney's or Sally Fields' son)  I've always wanted to act with a guy named Jack Walker-Pearson.  When I was an 8th grader, about to enter high school,  I went to the high school I was about to attend to watch the Drama Department rehearse.  Jack was in there (he had just finished his sophomore year at SUNY Purchase) and he was building the most beautiful set I had ever seen in my life with his brother Jimmy.  He had come back to help out the department.  He was one of the people who helped me understand what theatre is and how hard you gotta work to truly pursue it.  I've never seen someone work harder.  He directed me and fellow San Antonian Forrest Weber, my roommate and I in This Is Our Youth Off-Broadway, and he's a sick actor.  So I'd wanna do somethin with him.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:
Ha, maybe Russel Crowe's grandson.  Called: The King of Sevens.

What show have you recommended to your friends?:

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:
22oz. T-bones with my aunt's au gratin potatoes

What’s up next?: cal and grey is actually part one of a series that Becca has written called The Orphan Policies.  Fall 2013 Sunglasses After Dark Productions will present a staged reading of The Orphan Policies Part II: Train.  So I'm excited about continuing the journey of Cal.  I haven't read it yet :)

For more on cal and grey, visit and