Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Spotlight On...Josh Lanzet

Name: Josh Lanzet

Hometown: Westchester, NY

Education: Washington University in St. Louis (Undergrad)

Favorite Credits: Dating: Adults Embracing Failure (co-writer/co-star), Do You Want a Sandwich: The Romantic Missteps of Josh Lanzet (one-man show), Cupid Has a Heart On (featured player)

Why theater?: The exhilaration that you get from performing for a live audience and seeing them connect with what you're doing is hard to find anywhere outside of a theater. I think that there's also a camaraderie that comes with the rehearsal and performance process that really bonds people together. Those things create this force that pulls me to theater in a powerful way.

Tell us about Dating: Adults Embracing Failure: Dating: Adults Embracing Failure is a show that looks at the first dates and break-ups of 8 couples to see if there is a recipe for a successful relationship. Outside of its core description, the show is a funny, honest, and not-always-flattering look at the different variations love and romance can take when experienced by different pairs of people.

What inspired you to write Dating: Adults Embracing Failure?: We wanted to be able to create experiences that were honest and funny but that didn’t shy away from pain or discomfort. I always found the idea of art showing love and dating as a clean and linear experience to be disingenuous. This show was our attempt to make a mess of dating and love because that’s what we have both experienced.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I have always gravitated toward theater that can make me laugh one minute and make me cry the next. That always rings more true to me than performances that make the worlds of comedy and tragedy so black and white. When it comes to my artistic choices, I'm most inspired by my friends and family because those are the stories I get the opportunity to be intimately familiar with. Through this group of people I've experienced the pain of losing a parent, the joy of having a child, and everything in between. There's a well of experience and emotion in the small group of friends and family I hold dear, and that well is more than enough to serve as a source of inspiration for decades.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Donald Glover. He's a gifted writer, actor, and musician who isn't afraid to take risks. Any time I want to give myself a break, I remind myself of the stuff he has accomplished and get back to work.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: My childhood changed after I saw a live performance of 1776, so I regularly suggest that to people. Even the movie version is good (how can you not like William Daniels?). More recently, I was regularly recommending people go see the show Once. I really hadn't seen anything like it up to that point, and I thought that the mix of emotion, staging, and story was wonderful.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Jason Segel or Anton Yelchin, and the movie would be called "Lovably Difficult."

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: This is an answer that probably doesn't properly honor the heavy hitters of theater history, but my favorite theater soundtrack is The Last 5 Years and I would have loved to have caught it with Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz on stage with Jason Robert Brown at the piano.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I want to tell you that I feel guilty listening to Usher while playing Canasta on my phone, but I've moved from a place of shame to a place of pride.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Writing screenplays or running a tea cafe somewhere on a remote island.

What’s up next?: We have been consistently writing new material that is taking shape as the weeks pass. We're not attaching the ideas to any specific avenue yet, but I'll say that we have a bunch of irons in the fire and we're excited to share new material with all of you wonderful folks as soon as it's ready!