Joshua Robson: Rob Guest Endowment Finalist 2014

The Rob Guest Endowment annual concert will take place on Monday October 13, where six finalists — emerging stars of Australian musical theatre — will take the stage to show their skills and compete for a prize package that includes a cash prize of $20,000 for the winner’s personal development, as well as a headshot package from Blueprint Studios.

AussieTheatre’s Cassie Tongue asked ten questions of each finalist, in the lead-up to the concert, to find out about their lives, careers, and how they’re preparing for the high-calibre event.

Joshua Robson.
Joshua Robson.

Today we chat to Josh Robson, who moved from the cast of King Kong to the barricades of Les Miserables, currently in Melbourne.

When did you know you wanted to become a performer?
I have performed since I was about 5 years old, but the moment that made me realise I wanted to do it professionally was when I played Billy Crocker in Anything Goes in my final year of high school at Carey Baptist Grammar School. Amazing role and I had so much fun doing it

What made you apply for the Rob Guest Endowment?
I love how the endowment gives an opportunity for unknown Australian talent to be showcased on a big Australian stage. I applied because I consider myself unseen talent and wanted a chance to show Australia who I am as a performer

What would becoming the recipient of the endowment mean to you?
It is a huge honour, and every year it gets bigger and becomes a more acknowledged award. And it is nice to have impressed the judges we have already been in front of. It has the potential to send a performers career upward, and I would love to be given that opportunity.

How long did it take you to decide what to sing at the gala?
I knew fairly quickly what I wanted to sing. It is important to sing songs that mean something to you. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to sing whatever you want, so you must take that and run.

What has been the best moment so far from your time in Les Miserables?
It is the most rewarding show as a performer. It is tiring, exhausting and emotionally draining, but it is so worth it. It is hard to come across a show where you can develop your skills so much within the production season, and Les Mis is providing that opportunity to me. There is so much freedom, within the blocking, to change your intention as an ensemble character each show.

If you could play any role, regardless of age or gender constraints, what would it be?
One of my dream roles has always been Javert. So one day I hope that happens 🙂 Otherwise, the father in Next to Normal has a great emotional journey throughout that show and I would love to play that in the future.

Tell us about the experience of being involved in a world premiere musical during your time at King Kong.
It was intense. A four month rehearsal period was crazy, which included about two months of tech. As a first show, I didn’t realise how hard it was, until I started the six week Les Mis rehearsal schedule. It was one of a kind, and so much fun. The cast were the most talented and awesome group.

Tell us about your most memorable moment in the theatre – as an audience member or performer.
One of my most memorable moments was the first time we as an ensemble saw King Kong. We were sitting in the dress circle on the first day in the theatre and the curtains opening and he was so big. Such an exciting feeling and one I’ll never forget.

What’s your current belt­-it­-out­-in­-the­-shower song?
Who I’d be from Shrek.

You’re in a cast with several other RGE finalists. Are they giving you any tips  and if so, what are they?
They are all offering up their services and words of wisdom, but at the end of the day, I’ve got to listen to what I want. I can’t go out there and perform a song that other people want me to do. I need to love what I’m performing.

Gala Concert will be held on Monday 13 October. For more information, visit robguestendowment.com.au


Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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