When I was eight-years old, I was absolutely terrified of being in front of a large crowd of people. I would sign up for talent shows at my school and be shaking in my shoes, staring at hundreds of people watching me, trying to perform. To be able to look back and recall that I had stage fright, reminds me of how far I’ve gone to overcome my fear of large crowds. Now, I feel comfortable to present at events such as the Young Artist Academy Awards, and that is what I love the most about working in Entertainment.
When I’m on set, I try my hardest to stay in character. Over the summer, I was cast in a film called #Hope - about events similar to what occurred at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida USA. In the project I portrayed the villain, and although that role presented me with a challenge, I did my best to distance myself from other actors so that I could stay connected with my character while filming. The emotion that my character displayed in the final project literally brought me to tears, and it impacted my course as an actor to get as mentally close to my character as possible.
In the Entertainment Business, friendships that young performers make don’t end at the last take of filming. While working on Or So the Story Goes (twice nominated by the Young Artist Academy), I worked with brilliant actors and actresses that made every take feel as though we are an actual family. The friendships you make last a lifetime - where you can watch each other grow together as entertainers and recall all those joyful moments of when you first met.
I have had the opportunity to work on many noteworthy projects. I recently came back from Sundance Film Festival 2019 promoting a film that’s important to me, called Abe . It follows a 12-year old kid from Brooklyn who’s half-Israeli and half-Palestinian. Although driven by his passion for food, Abe has never had a dinner without a family fight. He escapes from summer cooking camp and is mentored by the Afro-Brazilian Chef "Chico", who specializes in serving fusion food at pop-up food fairs. One side of the family prefers to call him "Avraham" (in Hebrew), the other side "Ibrahim" (in Arabic), while his agnostic atheist parents call him "Abraham", in English. But he prefers “Abe”. Just ... “Abe”.
I am really excited about this film because of how touching the storyline is. I feel that people of all ages will have some sort of connection to this film as it stirs thinking on sensitive topics such as bullying, peer pressure, and finding one's identity. I consider “Abe” to be a career highlight because of how much emotion the Sundance Festival audience expressed about my and my castmates’ performances. Audience members praised the actors for how well they portrayed their characters in the film, and I am very grateful for their appreciative responses."
Josh’s Networking Tip: Speak slowly. Speak slower than usual. Articulate. I talk really fast and sometimes it’s hard to catch what I’m saying. While networking, I would take a few calming breaths and keep in mind to speak slowly. Also, practicing in the mirror or with your parents helps.
Watch for Josh’s film Abe