In The Spotlight

(June 21) In The Spotlight…
with Joshua Browne, Actor,  They’re Found In Trees
What’s the most exhilarating part of performing live on stage?
Keeping the ball in the air, so to speak. Feeling the ebb and flow in the cycle of tension between audience and performers as everyone in the room agrees to do the very silly and vital thing of participating in a story. The feeling that we are all sharing an experience that is unique to that specific point in time. Theatre is my favourite reminder that every moment of our lives is fleeting, and only happens once.
Can you share a unique ritual or routine you do before stepping onto the stage?
I don’t have anything that persists through all projects. I often find a song to listen to during my warmup that puts me in the right mood. Usually something wordless. It’s not a ritual or routine, but I often have the same recurring dream in the week before opening the show. I’m onstage and don’t know my lines, the script is in my hand but illegible, and sometimes the actual play we’re doing has been changed mid-performance. Some sort of male authority figure (my father, one of my teachers) is in the audience and very disappointed. It’s very Freudian and cliche, and it used to unnerve me, but now I just recognize it as a part of the process.
How do you maintain focus and stay in character when unexpected mishaps occur during a live performance?
Funny enough, when things go wrong there’s no effort necessary to focus. Adrenaline kicks in and the invisible lines between everyone in the room become very, very taut. It’s when things are going to plan that my mind can wander. But the lucky thing is that if it does, something (usually something unnoticeable) will go wrong and bring me right back into focus.
Which aspect of live theater do you find most challenging, and how do you overcome it?
The most challenging part of acting for me is the balance between control and spontaneity. Repeating things over and over again while keeping them fresh. Having the dexterity to make a moment sing, while still surprising myself. I don’t always overcome it, I don’t know any actors who do. But when I do it’s magic. As for how to do it, you’ve just got to do a ton of work making things specific enough that you can then throw it all away and be here right now, trusting that the work you’ve done will be there as a foundation and a guide.
(May 31) In The Spotlight…
with Jay Davis, Creator and Performer of the Michael Buble Tribute Show
What inspired you to create a tribute show dedicated to Michael Bublé? Were there any specific moments or experiences that sparked this idea?
The seed for a Michael Buble show was planted while I was singing in a band called The Groove Babies at a new years gig in 2012. The guitar player remarked how I sounded like Buble on our Buble covers. In 2019 I was heading into my mid 40’s and thought I’d better do this now! The first person I called was the guitar player from that new years gig. He was on board! Today he is Musical Directing the show and dazzling audiences with his guitar solos.
What do you find most challenging and rewarding about delivering Michael Buble’s music to audiences?
The most challenging part was workshopping all the little jokes and transitions between songs. The most rewarding part is providing work for myself and for everyone else who helps to put the show on. I’m truly blessed.
Before creating this Michael Bublé tribute show, what was your journey like as a performer?
I have had a varied and fulfilling career that allowed me to experience all areas of the entertainment industry. From tv commercials to movies, and from musicals and tribute shows to Shakespeare and fringe festivals. Singing in bands or doing voice over work. It’s been an amazing journey.
In addition to this tribute show do you have any other musical endeavors you are currently working on?
I am currently working on an Eagles/ Glen Frey tribute show. It should be ready by next summer.