Singer Spotlight: JOSH YOUNG
Josh is a recording artist and Broadway actor most recently having originated the role of “John Newton” in the Broadway World Premiere of Amazing Grace. Josh received a 2012 Tony® Award nomination and Theatre World Award for his critically acclaimed Broadway debut as "Judas" in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar. He appeared in two seasons at Canada’s prestigious Stratford Shakespeare Festival where his credits include: "Judas" in Jesus Christ Superstar, "Connie Rivers" in Grapes of Wrath, and "Che" in Evita directed by Gary Griffin, earning BroadwayWorld Awards for each role. Josh also appeared as “Che” in the US National Tour of the Tony Award Winning revival production of Evita, "Marius" in the US National Tour of Les Miserables and "Tony" in the 50th Anniversary International Tour of West Side Story. Josh has performed in North America's finest regional theaters including La Jolla Playhouse, Walnut Street Theater, St. Louis MUNY, Baltimore Center Stage and North Carolina Theatre. He's been involved in concerts and new works with NYC's Lincoln Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, The Transport Group and The New York Musical Theater Festival. Josh is the co-founder of Cutting-Edge Composers (cuttingedgecomposers.com), a concert and weekly web series on broadwayworld.com, created to give exposure to musical theatre's next generation of songwriters. BFA Syracuse University.
Name: Josh Young
Hometown: Wallingford, PA
Current town: South Orange, NJ
How do you use your voice professionally? I sing on Broadway, in theaters all over the world and in concerts.
First professional gig: Oliver at Syracuse Stage
Favorite Pre-gig ritual or warm up: I have a 20 min vocal warm up/down that I have been doing for the past 6 years. It was given to me by my coach, Katie Agresta, while I was doing Jesus Christ Superstar and it’s worked like a charm ever since. After that I sing along with a Sam Smith tune or two since there is so much range and singing in the passagio with him, sometimes Michael Jackson or Gavin DeGraw as well.
Three items you keep in the studio or in your dressing room: 1. I have my computer 2. I have a bluetooth speaker 3. If the show is VERY vocally taxing I may have a personal steamer
Three things you can’t live without: Singing, my dogs and unfortunately...my iphone.
Who has most inspired you? Mandy Patinkin
Who are your favorite voices? Colm Wilkinson, Sam Smith, Michael Jackson, Placido Domingo, Mandy Patinkin, Michael Ball
Most unforgettable performance you have seen or heard: That revival of Color Purple was vocally unreal and knocked me on my ass. If we’re talking about performance in the singular sense; Patinkin in almost anything. But his George in Sunday in the Park With George was unforgettable.
Crazy audition story or onstage/studio snafoo: Once during a production of A Little Night Music I left Stephen Bogardus on stage having forgotten to make my entrance. I was 3 flights up in my dressing room when I heard my que. I didn’t realise my mic was on (which I certainly should have) and yelled “F@!#” then with each flight of stairs “F@!#” then “SH@!” then “F@!#” then “SH@!”...I ran out on stage to Stephen trying to adlib by himself and an audience laughing at me.
Best gig ever! I played Tateh in Ragtime last summer and with all that’s going on in our country right now...it was VERY cathartic. And the score? Yea, that’s okay too :)
How do you relax after a performance or long session? Really? I just watch tv or go to bed. I don’t find it hard to relax one bit. I’m a professional relaxer.
What are you most proud of? I’m pretty proud that I get to perform for a living. Getting to do this and have a family, a home and a life, I feel, is no small feat and I’m proud that I’ve worked hard enough and figured out how to make it happen.
Biggest challenge of your career: Hmmm. I’m always battling being a shorter guy when I have a big voice. Also when I had my bway debut in Jesus Christ Superstar..... I had bacterial bronchitis, laryngitis and pharyngitis for our opening press week. Playing Judas, it was damn near impossible.
What do you do when you’re not working? I do yard work. I watch episodes of forensic files with my wife and my dogs. I cruise around the world (I mean I work for 2 hours of the week on these gigs but the rest of the time I’m free)
What’s the best advice someone ever gave you? Self confidence and fake self confidence are indistinguishable from one another to the observer. Oh one more thing someone once told me; “anyone can BREATH like Pavarotti” and that’s true, great breathing is learned. AND DON’T BREATHE BETWEEN SYLLABLES EVER
What are your words of advice for aspiring singers and speakers? Ask someone who won’t lie to you (who you trust and has great taste) if you’ve got the potential needed to do this as a career. Cause it aint easy and if there’s something else that will make you happy and more money...maybe do that. You can always sing! You can sing in choir, community theater, the shower...I think having a family and a happy life is better than struggling to make it as a singer. I know this isn’t what most people want to hear...but for those people I say: If there is nothing that will make you happier than singing for your living... you CAN and SHOULD figure out a way to do it. (but don’t hold me accountable if it doesn’t work out)
Where we can find you? Josh-Young.com