Interview | Josh Reardon

When I showed a picture of Josh Reardon to my 13 year old brother – who is just way too cool and is the best hip hop dancer in his class and has more shoes than my entire family put together –  his response was, “That kid’s got swag.” Yeah, that’s pretty true.  Josh Reardon has style straight from a catalog and hair right out of Boy Band magazine.  He’s one of the tallest guys I’ve interviewed lately, clocking in at 6 feet.  And he’s also one of the nicest.  A gentleman through and through, he’s smart, funny, and plays one heck of a prince.  And to top it all off, he’s a romantic too. Girls, get ready to swoon.

You play the Prince, and I can imagine that playing such a good character can be a bit limiting. Disney animators always say it’s difficult to draw the hero becausethey’re just so good and they come with certain preconceived notions.  Has it been difficult constructing this character?  What are you doing to make it yours?

Honestly the hardest part of playing the Prince is that so many people have thoughts on who he should be. So many people grew up reading fairy tales or watching movies like Disney’s Cinderella that they really”know” the characters. But, at the same time this really gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself into the material. There are so many different versions of Cinderella (Disney, Rodgers and Hammerstein, The Julie Andrews version etc) that you really get to see a lot of different portrayals of you rcharacter. For me I’ve always liked to see someone else’s portrayal of the character I’m working with. It really makes me think about what I want to do with my portrayal. We have also had the opportunity to work with Nina, who has been a bit of a “tutor” for our characters. She has previously played Cinderella and has fantastic insight into our characters.  So in short, yes it was difficult to construct, but no (because I had so much help) it wasn’t.  To make him more of “my” version of the Prince I have tried to personalize him. When you look at the huge picture,the prince doesn’t have that much of a different experience from a lot of guys.I think most of us have had the experience of meeting a girl and trying to win her over one way or another.  Which, in a really (really really really) roundabout way, is exactly what the prince is trying to do. So trying to identify with him has been a huge part of my development. image (5)

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about your character?

The most surprising thing that I’ve found, is that he’s not all that much different from the rest of us. He’s really the “boy next door” if you know what I mean. He’s kind of the average guy, he likes to have fun, loves his parents and falls in love with a girl. I think there are a ton of guys out there who can identify with two out of the three, if not all three of them. The prince, in short, is really a down to earth, level headed person!

How is it acting with your fellow Prince?

Davis Wayne! Davis is fantastic to work with. He truly is.As well as being amazingly talented he’s a true professional about his work.Davis is greatly insightful, and I think I can attribute for the two of us when I say we have had very deep character discussions between the two of us. He’s always willing to discuss and idea or interject something interesting to a character. On a completely different note though, Davis knows how to keep things fun (and he knows when it’s time to do it). He’s always there to calm your nerves with the crack of a joke, or to break the mounting tension of along and stressful rehearsal. It continues to be a wonderful experience to see him on a daily basis.

Your character believes in love and wants to find true love. How do you feel about those topics?

I’d say “at the risk of sounding cheesy” but I already know how cheesy this will sound, and I’m going to say it anyway.  I completely believe in true love. Cinderella is all about magic, and what could be more magical than true love. I think that art and love are a lot alike actually. You ask someone, what is love? And they’ll give you an answer, but ask the person next to them, and they’ll answer you completely differently.  The same is true about art. There is no one true answer as to what art is, just as there is no one true answer as to what love is.

What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?

Oh romantics…a category I lack in haha. Actually, I do have a story, and if the girl I did this for reads this, she’s totally going to call me out on it haha!  There was a girl I knew, and somehow or another, I found out that she was having a really rough day. I just happened to be hanging out with my buddy who is a brilliant guitarist.So we came up with a plan. We actually ended up calling the girl on my cellphone and we sang Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” to her over the phone. We had complete harmonies and guitar parts and everything. It was a great time, and we got her to smile, which is the real important part haha.

How are you enjoying working with your Cinderellas,Rosemary and Katie?

They are absolutely fantastic! Katie is fantastic, and it’s awesome to get a chance to watch her perform (being in opposite casts).Rosemary is truly fantastic to work with. I don’t even know how to describe how great it is to work with such a talented individual as her. Rosemary and I actually recently went to homecoming together, so we’re defiantly friends off stage as well. Which is probably a good thing, considering the amount of time we end up spending together. I literally get the opportunity to work with her everyday (which is great)! Both the girls (and excuse me for speaking for Davis here) are such incredibly supportive , talented, professional people!

It’s such a young cast and everyone has such marvelous energy.  Describe an average day at the studio.

Well we all go to school during the day, so we all commute in after that. Personally, I go to rehearsal at my school, I’m working on a show there as well. I leave that rehearsal early and jump in my car. On my way down I snack on whatever I packed for dinner. I usually get to the studio around 5:15 (with rehearsal starting at 5:30) and sign in. Then I go into the lounge and great my fellow cast members (we’re huggers in case you hadn’t noticed).  Usually at 5:15 on the mark our brilliant stage manager Gemma comes in and flicks the lights. She reads off a list letting which actors know which rooms to report to. Eventually(especially now that we are running full acts) we all end up in the same room and work parts of the show together. In the room we will work on various combinations of blocking, choreography and voice to form what eventually becomes the show. At the end of the night we all get notes, we go home (usually to finish our homework) and get up tomorrow to do it all again.

Okay, let’s switch gears a moment.  You’re a young actor.  You’re in a field that has certain, shall we say, stereotypes.  Is it difficult being a young male singer and actor?  Have you ever been bullied or ostracized for being in this profession?  And if so, what’s your advice?  How do you overcome things like that, and not let people like that affect you?

Let’s be blunt here. Yes, I’ve been called gay. I’ve been called a lot of really offensive forms of the word gay. Which I personally think is insane. I don’t even know how the stereotype came about, but I think it’s ridiculous.I was a lot worse in middle school and elementary school and whatnot (the kids making fun of me that is). I actually used to play baseball rather competitively,and my team mates used to make fun of me because I would skip practice for rehearsal. Finally I snapped and just went “Guys, where do you think the girls are!? There not here watching our games, they come to all this theater stuff!”.They stopped pretty quickly after that haha. It got a lot better during high school;people kind of just let me do my own thing. I have a lot of friends that come see my shows even though they aren’t directly involved in theater at all. I have a really awesome group of friends who are really supportive of me, and I’m totally blessed for that. I personally am not homosexual, though I have friends who are. I also have friends who don’t date,; I have friends who lack interest in relationships. My point is, who cares? Why should we see people for their relationships, or “who likes who”, why don’t we just see people for people.Look at personalities rather than what’s just on the surface.  To be really serious for a minute here, I’m almost 18 (I have a few weeks until my birthday), and I have already seen far too many people give up on their dream. Don’t give up, and don’t ever let people get to you. Don’t let people tell you no. Because I guarantee, when your standing on that stage with all these people smiling up at you, and clapping,just for you. It’ll all be worth it.

Pittsburgh Musical Theater seems like such a fun, warm and nurturing environment for actors. Tell me about your experience with them.

Everyone here is fantastic; I can really and truly say that.I actually am fairly new to the program, this is my first full year of classes but everyone is so welcoming that I really feel part of the family here. Before this year, I did the summer program and got to perform with so many of these talented individuals in Les Miserables. Its really great to be back here again. Everyone is so supportive of everyone, you hear of so many places with cut throat actors who are like “out to get each other”, they really don’t have that here. If you have any interest at all in musical theater, I strongly suggest you come check things out. I wish I could have gotten involved sooner than my senior year.

Finally, my end question to every interview: tell me some advice you have for the people reading this interview that want to act and break into the theater community in Pittsburgh?

Remember when Nike’s had all the commercials with the slogan “Just do it”. That’s probably my best advice.  Just jump right in. Think of theater like a pool full of water, and dive straight into it. Talk to you friends,and check around, most areas have a local community theater (if not more than one). Check around your school, most of them have a drama club of some sort!Honestly, theater is a great thing to be involved in. You meet so many great people who become your friends for life, and I can’t even begin to describe what it feels like to stand up on a stage in front of people. But with what ever you do, I wish you the best of luck and break a leg!

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