Melbourne based actor and producer Josh Blau is gearing up to star in Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things at No Vacancy Gallery in the CBD from March 7.
After living and studying in Los Angeles, and several appearances on various TV shows including Offspring and Neighbours, Blau launched his own production company – RoundSquare Productions – and is combining his passion for acting with his desire to develop and create work.
We sat down for a chat with Josh about his upcoming production…
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up I always saw myself being an actor/musician. At times I envisioned myself owning a little cafe and I may still, but really I have always wanted to be an actor.
What’s your background – what did you study to get to where you are?
I actually studied Events Management, which has really come in handy when producing. I have my dad to thank for that, he made me do it!
What’s the first thing career related you usually do each day?
When I am producing/working on a show, checking my emails generally comes first. Otherwise I will pick up the guitar play around a bit in the morning, just to get my brain working.
Some say theatre has an obligation to inform as well as entertain – would you agree?
Not necessarily to inform, but definitely to ignite passion or evoke emotion. I think the best type of theatre is when the audience is left conflicted. Not knowing which characters to side with.
Tell us a bit about The Shape Of Things?
What I loved about The Shape Of Things when I first read it was the ending. It’s like getting a kick in the guts, in a good way. It shocks and surprises you. Makes you question who is right and who is wrong.
What should an audience expect from the show?
Fantastic dialogue, with a wonderful art exhibition. Get ready to go on an incredible journey with the characters.
What do you hope they take away with them from the experience?
A great night out at the theatre, an insight into modern day relationships and stimulating conversations for the next few weeks.
What is the best thing about theatre in Australia?
The theatrical community is very supportive. People are willing to support each other, which I think is very special, in every aspect. From fellow actors supporting each others shows, to having experienced stage managers and set designers come on board to do a project because they believe in the work.
What is the worst thing about theatre in Australia?
I worry sometimes that there is such a disparity in the standard of work that is produced, that audiences get turned off. If you’re not going to put it all on the line to produce the absolute best work you can, don’t bother! I also fear that in the wider community there is an indifference to the large pool of talent available to work in the arts. This talent must be nurtured, otherwise we risk losing a hugely valuable resource.
Most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you onstage?
Thankfully I have not had too many embarrassing things happen to me on stage. I’ve been lucky. The most embarrassing thing for me is forgetting lines. There is a moment where you’re taken out of your body and realise the audience is watching you, and you just don’t know what to say. It’s a scary feeling. Luckily for muscle memory I have always been able to get out of it, with no major problems.
The Shape Of Things opens on 7 March and runs until 24 March starring Josh Blau, Emily Wheaton, Nick Brien and Steph Lillis
No Vacancy Gallery — QV Building 34–40 Jane Bell Lane, Melbourne
Visit www.no-vacancy.com.au for more details
Win tickets to The Shape of Things via our AussieTheatre giveaway!