Ep31 – Josh Lamon

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Alan: Welcome to another episode of the theater podcast. Intimate personal conversations with theater's biggest names. I am Alan Seales. 

Jillian: And I’m Jillian Hochman. 

Alan: How you doing.

Jillian: I'm so great. 

Alan: Why are you great. Because we just launched our Patreon page? 

Jillian: Because we just launched a Patreon. 

Alan: Is it a Patreon campaign or a Patreon? 

Jillian: I believe it is a Patreon. Because it's ongoing. A campaign has an end date. We will never end. Disclaimer, don't hold me. 

Alan: Hopefully if we get enough supporters on Patreon, then we won't be, we won't have to and we can possibly do more episodes. We can do more great content give you more access to people and their shows you want to know about. And plus it just helps us you know pay our editor and the graphic changes for the takeovers are not free. And speaking of takeovers. 

Jillian: Speaking of takeovers, nice Segway. 

Alan: This is now may. Which is now going to be brought to you by the prom, which was just nominated for seven tony awards including best musical. The episode here with josh Lamon. He is Sheldon in the prom. And man what a unique guy.

Jillian: We love josh. We actually, you'll find out in the episode. We've done some work with josh in the past. You'll find out all about it. And josh is someone who you may think you know him and it turns out you really don't. And that's really a universal thing. You may think somebody is one thing and you get to know them more and you see there's different sides of them and he is just so wonderful and has been through so much and yet is still here and standing tall. 

Alan: He owns it too. He owns every bit of it. And I respect him. I've known him for a little while now and every time I meet him, like I learn something a little bit different and

Jillian: You did and I’m coining that term. 

Alan: Yeah you learn something different about josh. Yeah he owns it. He stands tall. He's literally lived at a crack house. Literally had his life in danger by an abusive relationship, come out of it a bigger person, a better person. And the message he tries to get across though was very inspirational. 

Jillian: I don't think he intends to be inspirational. 

Alan: I think the most inspirational people don't. They don't intend to be inspirational. 

Jillian: josh is the poster child for hashtag. It gets better. Yes it really does. And he is the prime example of you can decide what you want your life to be and nobody can stop you.
Alan: And just a fair warning for those who are easily offended by adult themes or offensive language. Josh is full of it. A full of offensive language and adult themes, but man it's worth it. 

Jillian: may not be suitable for children. Depending if you hear of a theater kid. 

Alan: everybody head over to www.Patreon.com/theaterpodcast and check out the tears for less than your average Starbucks cup of coffee. You can get your foot in the door and just help us out. Gosh we have so many levels for so many different options. Getting your name in the show notes, getting shout outs on the show. We actually have a level where you can record this reflection with us. 

Jillian: I bet you want to do that. 

Alan: And we have a tier where you can come to New York and have dinner and a show with us. So that would be kind of fun. We'd love to meet you and see a show of your choice. Because who doesn’t love seeing shows. All right now everybody please enjoy this episode with josh Lamon.

Alan: A man of many talents, a man of many voices, a man of many lives. I'm currently sitting here with josh Lamon who is currently Sheldon in the prom on Broadway. That was just nominated for seven tony nominations including best musical. How are you doing.

Josh: Hi Alan I’m great. How are you. 

Alan: You have the best smile.
Josh: Thanks. It's true. Listeners at home you can even hear how beautiful my smile is. 

Alan: You can. When people smile into an audio recording device you can hear it. 

Josh: I also just have a nasly voice and that just makes people think of smiles I think. I think I don't know. 

Alan: Because if I talk like this you wouldn't think that I’m smiling. Do you have any other voices?

Josh: I can do [04:57 inaudible]. 

Alan: Do it. 

Josh: It's a sad song, its a wonderful song. 

Alan: All right you got it. Here you go tony, I have discloned it from my star trek. 

Josh: You are such a nerd. 

Alan: Not clonerrizers, replicators. 

Josh: I don't know. I watch mature things like big brother. Shut up, both of you. Shut up everybody in this place in the studio shut up.
Alan: So let's start. Take me back to your childhood.

Josh: Well a wintery evening of December 30th 1980 the stars kiss the moon and I was born. 

Alan: I am only two months older than you. 

Josh: Are you really. Okay yeah. No I was born in San Diego. I'm adopted. So my biological mother who is an amazing woman, I’m very lucky to know her. She found, she had I guess gave me away to the Lamon family. And that's sort of how the story begins. It's sad song.

Alan: We'll get into, I guess that reconnected. Did you always know your biological mother.

Josh: No but I always knew that I was adopted. I had books growing up that were like you're special because you're adopted. So I thought that I was the shit, like my sister who is not adopted. You know I was like fuck you I’m adopted. I'm special, you're trash you know. And yeah so I always knew. I didn't find my biological mom till I was 16. I was supposed to wait till I was 18. But you know it's weird when you're adopted. For me and like I always had this urgent need to find my biological family. Even though like my adoptive family they are my family. Like sometimes people are like well you know your real parents. And I’m like no these are my real parents, like my biological mother's my biological mother, she's never going to be my mom. You know that it's different. But like my little brother's adopted and he had zero interest. I think he still has zero interest and so I guess it's all individual. But yes so I hope I’m not rambling.

Alan: No, this is very curious to me. I've got, it's another close friend of mine. I met with about a month ago. This reminds me I need to follow up with her. She was, she's adopted and someone she did a twenty three and me or my DNA whatever it is. And like someone reached out on the web site and was like, oh hey I think you're like my second cousin based on DNA matches. She's like I don't know what these people are. And like overnight she's like I think this is my biological dad. Your uncle is my biological father. 

Josh: Yeah I did twenty three and me recently as well just so I hope your sponsored by them. Because like I don't know my you know genetic background really all that well. And so it's so weird. I'm like oh my god I have all these cousins and that's what they look like and that's where they live and they support what presidential candidate. 

Alan: Yeah she was torn between whether or not she wanted to know and reach out or whether or not like you know it's kind of like opening up. It was kind of a wound for her. Because she's very much I guess you know like her parents are her adopted parents, adoptive parents. And then finding out this other guy who's just here who has a family and children of his own. Like why did you give me up. What's going on.

Josh: No I mean it's all confusing. My biological father, he has a daughter, my half sister. And you know same sort of thing is like why couldn't you have kept it together. But you know but with that like being just a human I always say you don't pick your relatives, but you do pick your family and you know just because you find these cousins doesn't mean they have to be in your life or you know like I’m not in touch with my biological father but on purpose. But you know my biological mother I want her to be a part of my life.

Alan: Is she still part of your life.

Josh: Oh yes. She lives in California. She's fantastic. I mean because like really and also to be able to get to know her and say thank you for doing what you did, because you know how selfless is that. If I was like a teenage girl you know feeling all alone in the world, abusive situation the first thing that I would think is finally I have something that I can love and that's going to love me back. Finally I have a family. Which a lot of young women choose to do. But she said like, no I can't ruin your life. Like I can't even support myself. 

Alan: Is that what happened she got pregnant young. 

Josh: Oh yeah. And you know lived in a, had a very I guess difficult is the word home life and was living with my biological father and his family that were not very nice to her. And he had massive drug problem. And you know because she was able to give me a life that she felt she couldn't and that she wanted for me. She was also able to choose herself and put herself through school, find a wonderful man, get married, they have a beautiful life. So it's all really good thing.

Alan: Well it sounds like you've made peace with it.

Josh: Sure. I mean there's always going to be a broken bird aspect to me in that regard. Because like I always joke like I have abandonment issues. But like of course, you know there's always going to be some issues. But as you get older life is life and you know get into it. That's your you know deck of cards.

Alan: Do you think you want to adopt one day.

Josh: No I don't think I want kids one day at all. Though I do like the idea of fostering older LGBTQ youth. I have a spare room, so I sometimes I kind of honeymoon the idea of like, yeah if some like trans or queer kid like that's been kicked out and needs a home and maybe doesn't need a parent, but needs like somebody older, like a loving caring support system that is there to help them sort of leave the nest and to the adult world. I like that idea. 

Alan: Knowing what I know about you I think that resonates with your own childhood a bit as well. Because it sounded like you needed that.

Josh: Oh yeah. I mean my childhood like it was not really that fun. Like I did not get along with my family at all. From I don't know maybe like a fifth sixth grade on you know, there is this like really, I don't know it always felt very cold, very distant and it wasn't anybody's fault. But now as adults like we have relationships. But you know everybody's trying the best that they can and no matter what if you're a parent no matter what you do you're probably going to fuck up your child somehow. Congratulations. 

Alan: They're already messed up. At what point did you kind of decide that the home life you were in was not for you and you like you kind of left and went on your own and like how old were you when you left?

Josh: I was 18. You know like I grew up in san Diego and the minute I turned 18 I moved to Philadelphia for school. I was a terrible student. Nobody thought that I was going to graduate high school and my dad came to me and he was like, josh I found a college that will accept you. It's not new York, but it's Philadelphia. And I was just like, yeah ok. So I filled out the application and sure enough they accepted me and I was like bye. And yeah.

Alan: And you always, did you know at that point did you always know that you wanted to perform. Because you went to philly for performing.

Josh: Yeah since I was a toddler, my mom used to take me to go see plays at san Diego teen theater. We had season tickets front row center. And like those are my happiest childhood memories was seeing shows with her and they were always so supportive of that. They took me to see everything, like even like being a little kid like the national tour of follies. Which I was like, this is terrible. And now I am like this is the best show ever. You know so yeah those were my happiest memories and you know my mom recognized that. She found a junior theater in our little town and put me in the place there and then my first regional job was when I was ten in gypsy and you know and they weren't supportive and the fact that like I really wanted to be a child actor and they let me dabble in like you know regional theaters. But besides that they were like you're not getting an agent. We're not slapping you to LA. And I was insistent that they were ruining my career and they were like you don't have one. 

Alan: Well it's because of you. So you moved to philly and then I read an article about prep for this. They were saying that you actually, you did fail your acting class. 

Josh: Yeah. I failed or I shouldn't say I failed. Because fuck that I did not fail. His name was David something. Oh I wish I could remember his name. God I hated him. He tried to friend me on Facebook recently and I was just like you dick, but he failed me in my acting studio sophomore year. And you know with all due respect I was a mess. I was at school to party basically. But I remember going like I know I’m not Meryl Streep, but I’m not a failure. And they put me into this huge depression spiral and I was just like you know what? I'm done with school. I quit. You know I’ll make it work and all I need is drugs. And that was like my mindset. I was so messed up and I was 19 and I dropped out of school. My parents cut me off financially. They were like, oh well you want to be in the real world, welcome to it. And you know I was such just a disaster. So I got a job at the Starbucks across the street from my school which was awful. Because then all these motherfuckers from my school that were like totally judging me not judging me you know what I mean. And I had to serve all these dicks coffee. You know even that monster David. Like I had to serve him coffee, I was like this is so poetic. And then I got fired from Starbucks. And meanwhile I’m living in a crack house literally. It is a crack house. It was maybe like 150 bucks a month. So it was very affordable. I was living with this guy that I was in a relationship with who was extremely abusive. I didn't realize it at the time. And we were also like literally like so many drugs that you know I wasn't myself and I was so in love with him and didn't realize that I was being like that my life was literally in danger. But when I got fired from Starbucks I found an ad in Philadelphia weekly looking for phone actors. And I was like phone actors. That's hilarious. So I called and they were like you know this is a phone sex operation. I figured as much. They're like you'd have to be a girl. We do have guys work in the office, but that's the gig. Do you want to come in for an interview. And I was like yes I do. As a matter of fact yes I do. As a matter of fact I was just in college for acting. So you're in luck you know. And so I was a phone sex operator and in an abusive relationship with a meth head and then you know I got really lucky. I was and this is just to make a long story short. I saw an ad in the paper looking for actors for media theatre's production of Jekyll and Hyde starring Andy carl. How full circle is that. But I went, I went with a totally fake resumé. Because I didn't have any experience other than like a newsboy in gypsy and you know eighty nine or whatever and so I went and I even put theater companies that existed not knowing they existed. I was just like Philadelphia theater company. That sounds like a theater and not knowing that they're like, yeah it sounds like a theater, it's a major theater. And you know on the local audition form they wrote how many EMC points, which is equity membership candidate. I didn't know what EMC meant. I didn't know what the points were, so I put something like one hundred and twenty something obscene. 

Alan: Don’t you only need like 52. 

Josh: You know if I knew then and so I sing sixteen bars, I sang Virginia by frank wild horn. [19:52 inaudible] I think so yeah. Seize the moment. So I sang sixteen bars of Virginia. And they said thanks. And then about a week later I got a phone call and they were like, hi we'd like to offer you a role in the ensemble. And we would also like to offer you your equity card. And I was like you're giving me my equity card. They said well you know out of the pool you have the most experience. So if you would like it, I was like yes I would like my equity card. So my career is based on a pyramid of lies. But I was really lucky, I worked there the entire season. Most of the entire season. And then literally when things got so bad at home and I mean like when I say like my life is in danger, like I had to move out in the middle of the night, it was one of those kinds of things. Everything I owned was destroyed by this guy. Like mattress with like you know like took a knife to it. Everything was destroyed. I was homeless living on a friend's couch who had like six roommates. So I wasn't the most welcome. And I just remember going like fuck. I guess I’ll move to new York. And so I moved to new York.

a: When was this. 

Josh: Oh god, that was 2003 I think. And then for the first few years in new York I really just lived in new York but worked in Philadelphia and lived on friends couches while I did you know shows down there. So I was able to build a resumé and all these you know like walnut St. There, the art and theater company which is one of my favorite companies in the world. They really took me in and just like gave me show after show after show and I was able to support myself and I you know was able to like sort of like let go of the whole druggy thing and just sort of be me and you know it wasn't easy commuting and living on people's sofas and basements and whatnot. But they gave me a resumé and it gave me a real resume. You know I remember years later looking at my resume and being like, oh it's actually real.

Alan: So Andy Carroll remember meeting you oh so long ago.

Josh: I mean he remembers me because like we've stayed in touch vaguely like when I’d see shows with him, I’d let him now or he was so sweet. He invited me to the reading of altar boys like the final reading. And I remember being like, yeah this is cute but who's the audience? 

Alan: Jokes on you. 

Josh: I know and it blows up. And yeah. And then come groundhog day, like it was just the happiest of reunions.

Alan: That's cool. I love him. When you moved to new York you said your ex-boyfriend was a meth head. That mean did you do a lot of meth too?

Josh: Luckily for somebody with like a very addictive personality meth made me really violently ill. So I would do it with him, but not often. And so I never got hooked. Thank god because if I did I don't think I’d be here today. 

Alan: Yeah because I think you've been quoted as saying theatre saved your life. 

Josh: Yeah absolutely. 

Alan: Like literally saved your life.

Josh: Yeah. I mean also friends saved my life, like I wouldn't have left if it wasn't for my best friend at the time who was like Billy’s going to kill you tonight if you did not leave and like you have to go now. Do not take anything, you can't bring your cat, you have to go or you will die. And you know it's true.

Alan: Well I’m glad [24:04 inaudible] friends. 

Josh: Me too. 

Alan: Because you have made a lot of difference on the Broadway stage and a lot of difference to people's lives and now being in the prom too, I know that's changed you the prom itself is, it's based on a true story about two 17 year old lesbians who kind of get like in the middle of nowhere Midwest that get ousted from their own prom. And like how was this resonated with you. How is it changed you as a person.

Josh: Well it resonates I mean being like a queer person and I use the word queer for as an umbrella term for the LGBTQ plus community. You know we grew up in a time which was a lot more liberal than sometimes. But you know at school I was still a fag, at school I was still getting my head slammed into lockers or taste home on a go cart while they threw rocks at me for being gay. So like I know what that feels like. As an adult in 2019 I still don't feel very comfortable holding someone's hand. Just because if you do that you are actively resisting, you are actively putting yourself at risk if there's a lunatic and you know it's still so relevant when we did the macy's thanksgiving day parade it was the first time there was a same sex kiss on the broadcast. And I tweeted that. Next thing you know every major like news outlet has taken my tweet and is airing it and next thing you know like I have every major hate group in the world coming at me on twitter, like it was insane. Keep in mind like the majority of what I got was love. But when you're getting like hate and death threats and like crazy shit, it's like yeah maybe this is a lot more relevant than maybe I thought. Because you know we live in new York. We live in this beautiful bubble of diversity but it is a bubble. And you know I still get the conversations of you know like, oh no I’m ok with gay people. You know I got gay friends and it's like yeah that does make me feel better knowing that I’m not about to get beaten. But at the same time that's still a conversation that has to be had. So seeing this story come to life is very powerful to me. I want kids to know that they are not alone. I want kids to know that they have a community that loves them. I want kids to know that they are who they are and that is okay, there is no changing that. And you are born this way. It's not a choice. And so that aspect is very important to me. Especially the outreach that the prom does for the LGBTQ youth. Like we've worked with [27:30 inaudible] Centre and the Tyler Clemente foundation to name a few. It's also important. But then you really get me when you throw in Brooks, Beth, Chris, [27:42 inaudible] which is just like the best people in show business. These are the people that you look up to. These are comedy gods. You just, you cannot do it better than they do. And that's thrilling. When I started this show I started off in the ensemble. I think I had one line. My line was my son doesn't have to go to some gay prom and I stayed with the show. I left finding neverland just because I wanted to work with these people and because I wanted to understudy brooks. Like yeah so the show means a great deal to me. 

Alan: They're absolutely incredible. And you were incredible in the show too and so the part of the storyline that I left out was that the actors you have mentioned are these washed up Broadway actors in the show. Not in real life. Who decide to take on a cause and be activists and you are their publicist, their PR agent that gets them and is like, this is perfect. Well we'll get your images back. Did you do any research into know being a PR agent?

Josh: No, I mean because it's not that type of role. Like it's not Bryan Cranston in network. You know like I’m a secondary character to the secondary characters. So my job is to support them. I get a few good zingers. I have to dance my ass off at the end and that's my gig. The most research I did was, I can never say his name right. Who is a PR guy. [29:37 inaudible] who designed the costumes. She's a wickedly funny woman. And does he know she's in her 80s. I don't know. She was like, wow I think you should look like he has sweat stains all over him and the suit should be wrinkly and I said no he's not willy Loman. This is what he should look like. And she was like, well okay [30:08 inaudible]. 

Alan: So we're not saying rick we're not saying you have sweat stains. 

Josh: No i was saying because rick you're so glamorous. Like he has these incredible suits. 

Alan: He is, he always comes in looking impeccable. 

Josh: Exactly. And I was like these four you know quote unquote celebrities are not going to hang out with willy Loman. Like they're too egotistical for that. 

Alan: You mentioned you're the understudy for brooks who's one of the principal characters, but you're also one of the main characters yourself. How common is it for somebody who is really on stage in a very substantial role to also be an understudy for another substantial role.

Josh: Not often. It happened right before I got to wicked like way back then. [30:52 inaudible] green was playing Nessa Rose and also covered Elphaba. Same thing with [30:55 inaudible] who was D.B. Manow, she also covered Elphaba. So it doesn't happen often. But it was also like you know berry watching Brooke’s developed berry over the past however many years. I was like that is the part that I need to play that I want to play. And it has to be a part of my deal like I have to cover it. So that was part of it.

Alan: You negotiated that. Like you said I want to. 

Josh: Yeah I mean I was lucky because they wanted me to anyway, but I told my agency I was like you have to get me to cover brooks and they're like, are you sure? Don't you just like want to enjoy the ride? And it's so much fun. I love going on.

Alan: How many times you've been on now? You've been on 10 times. I still haven't seen you as brooks I think, as his role. 

Josh: I'm a phenomenon. You know it's so much fun. It's crazy. Well like when does a big girl get to like stand center stage and sing a song, like an 11:00 o'clock. No it doesn't happen all the time. Not enough. So I’m happy to be that bonnie Milligan gave me the torch metaphorically and now I am getting to do that. It's fun.

Alan: Yeah. Brandon Edward said that to me too, something similar was that there's a problem in lack of representation on stage in that now and burn this. He's for the first time he's getting to play an openly gay character as a gay man. 

Josh: Oh wow. 

Alan: Like in his longest career is over a decade. This is the first time that's happened.

Josh: That's interesting. Well it's fun getting to be a big man playing an openly big man. Thanks.

Alan: So getting back to the prom, though the audience feedback, do you get stopped at the stage door? Do people come up to you and talk to you and I mean what kind of feedback do you get? 

Josh: Constantly. Some of it is really really painful. Some of it is you know you hear a lot of kids that are really being put through it whose families are terrible to them because of who they are, that just refuse to acknowledge it. Some are very religious and you know saying that these kids are going to hell. This one man he was you know maybe about 21. I left the stage door and I was signing and then I got to him and he just burst out sobbing like you know like ugly crying and told me that he's a bi, that he's never said that to anybody before. He doesn't know what to do. He knows that his family like won't take it well and he feels so alone and so you know it's hard, because it's like what can I do for you? I can give you a hug. I can let you know that you're not alone, that you're loved. I can tell you to dm on Instagram if you need someone to talk to. But I can't. You know I want you to be free of this sadness and guilt. But you know I can't do that. 

Alan: Does that weigh down on you a lot. I mean because if you're getting this every night I imagine. 

Josh: It's not every night, but it's a lot. So you know but I’ve been through a lot. I have very thick skin and because of the stuff that I’ve been through on my own personal life I’m able to sort of like you know I compartmentalize it. You know so I can be there for you giving you my genuine love, but also not taking it home with me, because I can't do that. 

Alan: You take it, you take your love home to your two cats.

Josh: I do. Sweeney and toby they're really cute.

Alan: They're amazing. It's interesting to me, I’ve talked to a lot of people who have come out later in life and now I’ve been recently talking with McKayla diamond from the Cher show who identifies as bisexual and she's 19 and it's just, she has this worldly knowledge about her that I don't, even like still some 19 year old’s I don't see in some 19 year old’s. But like when you were growing up, you were the same age right. So like when I was growing up and I’m generalizing you with me here is like the internet was still brand new. I had modems right and didn't have broadband until college. And then once I got the internet, I didn't know how to seek out people like me, whether that was clubs or orientations or interests or whatever the case may be and now I feel like people are coming out at a younger and younger age as well they should. But you said even that you were bullied in high school. People throwing rocks at you. When you did you come out, when did you know that you were gay? 

Josh: Well I started coming out when I was about 16. But only it wasn't because I was like you have to know the secret about me. It was like you know I’m tough. I was like, oh you know what you're right I am gay and I’m going to make a hate crime out of this. I'm going to go to the principal's office. I'm going to identify you in a year book and I’m going to take care of this and I’m going to systematically destroy your life as best as I can. Like that was my mindset when I was 16. Even when I came out to my parents I came out to them in a fight. 

Alan: Really? 

Josh: Yeah. I was like oh yeah, then I guess I’ll just go stay up my boyfriends you know like, you know I’ve got a bit of an edge in that way.

Alan: What did they do? They didn't think you were serious?

Josh: I think they were a little shocked. But then again how could they not know, that would be some pretty heavy denial. So I mean they were fine with it. I remember my dad used to say like you know I’m fine with that, just don't wear it on your sleeve. And at first I took so much offense to that. But then I was like, no he's you know in hindsight I’m like he was just trying to protect me. You know just like to this day I don't feel comfortable holding hands in public. I do, because my personality is like nope we are here see us. 

Alan: Well you've obviously gone through some rough times. I want to talk about the good stuff for a little bit. 2009 your Broadway debut in here. But you were about to quit. It was like half past the audition right. 

Josh: Oh yeah that first audition is just like you know go fuck yourselves, like you're not going to cast me. I even tried to turn down the audition. I was like, I had an agent. My agent at the time who was wonderful got me the appointment and said and I was like, yo I’m fat and I’m balding, I’m not going in for hair and he was like no, they really want to see you. I was like nope. And then he called me again, I was like fine, fine I’ll do 32 bars. That's it. And I walked into the audition, it was at the public theater and I was like, what did I sing? I think I sing river by Joni Mitchell. And I did 32 bars and I was like, bye and that was it. And then they just kept bringing me back and bringing me back and bringing me back. And then the final callback was this like monster marathon of a callback. There was like 50 people in the room maybe auditioning for five slots and you know one guy broke his knee during the dancing. Yeah it was really intense. And then I waited outside in the hallway for like three hours before I got to go back in and sing and do the scenes. And I was just so defeated, I was like I’m not booking this. I hate this world. I called my agent left him a voicemail saying like I’m done and I want to do this anymore. I want to go back to school. I can't do this again. And he called me back the next morning and was like you know oh my gosh I totally understand, whatever you need. But before you take the break I think you should be in the Broadway revival of hair, because they just offered you this. You know like it was very overwhelming.

Alan: You remember where you were?

Josh: Yeah I was in my apartment. I was doing a children's theater show in new jersey. So I was getting ready to go to that and you know, like I really didn't want to, I was in such a bad mood. I think I was doing weight watchers at the time like one of a thousand times I’ve done it. And I was like fuck it I’m getting waffles and I ordered waffles and like I was basically crying into my waffles sitting Shiva over hair when I got hair. I think I called my mom first and then my boyfriend at the time I called him.

Alan: That's funny. And you've also been in elf. And finding neverland as you mentioned in groundhog day with Andy carl and then of course now the prom. And you've also done improper training at the upright citizens brigade.

Josh: Good old UCB, though my love for improv really, like UCB gave me a lot of good training and a lot of good experience. But the magnet is my favorite improv place in new York. I love doing musical improv. I even was on like a little tiny indie team that died real quickly. We were called the bubble pops and I love it, especially your musical improv when it's like give me a word... 

Alan: Tomatoes. 

Josh: Ok. Thank you and now we're doing tomatoes the musical and then the piano starts improvising and you do an opening. You know and you create a whole musical it's so much fun.

Alan: And then half of them have gone on to Broadway. 

Josh: Yeah. And that's how fun home started. Crazy right. 

Alan: King Kong the musical, who would have thought of that? 

Josh: Somebody was like ring of keys and there's like ring of keys the musical. Jillian's looking at us. Stop objectifying my body. 

Alan: Let's see. I want you to, I want to get a little phone sex action. What was your character who were you?

Josh: Her name was Fiona. Yeah. So do you want to call me? Okay. So I’m sitting in a cubicle because this was an actual office. And so the bring what happened and I sigh and then I pick up the phone and that's when I would hear an automated voice telling me what kind of call this is. Which means about 90 percent of the time it says fantasy girl, which is your main character Fiona or it says something else. It could be you know trans women, you know dominatrix, spanking like whatever is your thing. But most of the time it's always Fiona. Hi this is Fiona, who is this. 

Alan: Yeah this is mark. 

Josh: Hi mark how are you. 

Alan: I'm doing ok. 

Josh: I really like your voice mark. 

Alan: Well thanks. 

Josh: Where are calling from? 

Alan: Ohio. 

Josh: Oh my god I’ve always wanted to get banged in Ohio. So let me tell you about me. I'm 21, 5' 2'', got really big breasts, muscular vagina. Like I don't know anything about the anatomy of a woman. So as probably the describing like a centaur or something. 

Alan: I have a [44:24 inaudible] teeth in my vagina. I'm sure that got them every time. 

Josh: Oh yeah.

Alan: Ok so you've also had some television. You've been on 30 rock and inside Amy Schumer and the good fight and a couple more do you see more of the television in your future? 

Josh: I hope so. Oh my god, why do you Broadway when you can work for two days and make real money. Oh my god yes. If you're out there put me on your damn tv show. I could be on law order. I could be like yeah I saw Ellen the other day, is everything okay. Like why not. 

Alan: [45:10 inaudible] podcast recording. 

Josh: I hope so, I love doing tv, it's so much fun. 

Alan: Yeah the scene with Alec Baldwin looked like it was a lot of fun. 

Josh: I love him. He is funny. I mean he is everything that you think he is. He is a strong personality. But he is the nicest. He was wickedly funny. Yeah, I loved getting to work with him.

Alan: That's a lot of fun. Your newest project is a podcast which I’m helping you make. 

Josh: Yeah you are. Bam! 

Alan: What's it called?

Josh: It's called josh swallows Broadway. 

Alan: And what's it about? 

Josh: Oh gosh. Well it's me talking with some of my favorite people in the business. We have a you know in the first few episodes we're going to have Matthew Morrison, Rachel be jones, Christian Borel, Stephanie deblock like it's all my favorite people. All the people that I’ve looked up to for forever. I talk about their lives, so we laugh a lot. We'd be silly and now and then, oh my favorite part. I've had fans write in questions and I said great, I would love to call you live on the show and talk to you about your question if you're up for it. But what they don't know is that they're also going to get to talk with a really special you know Broadway celebrity. So it's really fun seeing them get like career advice or life advice or whatever from people that they idolize.

Alan: Yeah the questions a bit wonderful. The remote audience you know the guests have been absolutely incredible. So you know I think you're doing a wonderful job. 

Josh: Thanks I’m so excited. 

Alan: And yeah we'll help you on this podcast. Help you announce that once it goes live. Well it should be the next couple weeks I hope. So cool. So to wrap up this podcast we normally do three standard questions. Number one, very simply what motivates you. 

Josh: Nothing, what motivates me. I guess stability motivates me. Because I have none, because I’m an actor. So that's like what I’m always striving for.

Alan: That's interesting. That's such a unique answer.

Josh: I don't know I’m very, I am very business minded all the time. So somebody will be like oh my gosh this happened, yay for your show and I’m like, yeah no, no that's good. Because of x y and z and they're like, I was just saying congratulations. 

Alan: All right. Number two, what advice would you give to your younger self and younger people listening now starting out down a similar path.

Josh: To myself I would say be nice to my friend josh, to other people I would say be kind to everyone. Everybody remembers an asshole, be the kindness. 

Alan: All right. And if you could only see one show for the rest of your life, but you can see it as many times as you want, what would you see? 

Josh: That sounds terrible. You could only see one show.

Alan: It's like groundhog day. You can only go to one show for the rest of your life. 

Josh: You know what I’m going to do something real crazy and say the crucible, I love the crucible. It's a great show. I'll never be in it either. You know I saw Alan sign the devils book. 

Alan: We can get more of you on Instagram @josh.lamon on twitter @joshlamon. And of course www.joshlamon.com. You can get more of me. Theatre_podcast on Instagram and twitter, facebook.com/officialtheatrepodcast. Listen, subscribe, rate, reviews, share with your friends. This is produced by Jillian Hochman. Thank you to jukebox the ghost for the intro and outro music and once again we have just launched our Patreon page. Www.Patreon.com/thetheaterpodcast. Please show your support and help us keep going. We can do more than one episode a week if we can pay our editors some more. Everything is great. Thank you for listening. Josh thank you for being here. 

Josh: I love you. Thank you for having me. Do you want to hook up?

Alan: Every day. 

Josh Lamon is currently starring as Sheldon in The Prom on Broadway (which was nominated for 7 2019 Tony Awards including best musical). Josh made his Broadway debut in 2009 in the revival of Hair before landing iconic roles in Elf, Finding Neverland, and Groundhog Day. He has also toured Hair and Wicked.

However, all of this success did not come easily. In this episode, Josh discusses growing up in California with his adoptive family. He fell in love with theatre as a child but ultimately failed out of acting school in Philadelphia.  After escaping an abusive relationship, he wound up in New York where he ended up reluctantly auditioning for the show that would ultimately become his Broadway debut.

Josh continues to grow his career and is in the process of starting his very own podcast “Josh Swallows Broadway,” coming soon to a podcast feed near you ([45:20])!

Interview content begins at [3:41].

Closing standards begin at [46:46].

Connect with Josh:

Connect with The Theatre Podcast:

Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com.


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