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The 90th Annual Academy Awards with TheatreArtLife Hosted By Josh Carson

Josh Carson
By Ashley Sutherland-Winch

TheatreArtLife is covering the 90th Academy Awards and you will not want to miss our live coverage hosted by American comedian and writer Josh Carson!  I discovered Josh on Twitter following his coverage of the Oscars in 2017 and could not tear my eyes away from his tweets. His hilarious wit is the perfect addition to the Academy Awards broadcast on March 4, 2018. As we prepare for the countdown to Hollywood’s biggest night, I sat down with Josh to learn about his Oscar picks and how life is treating him as a working comedian and writer in the United States.

What are your Oscar picks for 2018?

My two favorite movies of the year were Get Out and The Big Sick. Shockingly, movies made by comedians that might have a little more to say. I love that they were able to use what they know from comedy to tell two, very different, very involving and emotional stories. A lot of people like to write comedy off, but comedy is the shortest distance you have to go to form a connection with an audience.

What did you think of the 2017 film landscape overall?

I’m afraid that movies these days fall into two categories: Blockbuster or Awards. We’ve lost those in-between movies. You know the kind. The ones that end up on TBS some random Sunday afternoon, and you say, “Well, now I can’t do anything for two more hours. Overboard is on.” It’s not just Attractions or Art. But, don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE the attraction movies. I already have my Black Panther tickets.

What do you hope to see in 2018?

I went through an Aaron Sorkin binge the last few months cause I’m going through a dialogue kick right now. So I’m paying more attention to dialogue in 2018. Actually — the writing is better on TV right now anyway.

What can people look forward to if they tune in to the TheatreArtLife social media for your live Oscar coverage?

Every year, I flood my social media with constant updates of award shows, which are inherently ridiculous, but fun. I’ve had many friends say they refuse to watch without my running “commentary.” (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had just as many people letting me know they were blocking me as well). Mostly, they should know, they’ve got a buddy sitting next to them on the couch with a beer, cracking wise. And if you miss a joke, don’t worry about it — there’s another six coming up before you know it.

How did you get started in your career?

I’ve never really thought of it as the “start” of my career as acting/comedy is just something I’ve always done. I wasn’t even out of college yet when I had my first success producing my own script at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, and from that point on, I decided that if I wanted to see something or perform something, I’d just have to go out there and make it. That’s led to more opportunities obviously (getting cast at the Brave New Workshop, the oldest satirical comedy theater in the US was a particular highlight that gave me both legitimacy and the chance to call myself a professional), but that’s always been my main driving force ever since.

What is your job now?

My bio says I’m an occasionally employed comedian/writer, and that about sums it up. Working the gig economy as best I can. I host a Trivia night. I’m currently putting together a sketch comedy show for the spring, and I’ve got acting gigs lined up all through next year. Still get to rock the part-time at Wells Fargo though. WOO

What is the best role/job/gig you have done and why?

Oh, that’s an impossible question and you know it. Every show is a new experience, and you find different things to enjoy and appreciate. Every year, we do a show called “A Very Die Hard Christmas,” in which we stage Die Hard as a Christmas special, complete with puppets, songs and Christmas magic. I get to play Bruce Willis, because of course I do. It’s a very R-Rated, raunchy piece of holiday fun — and we’re entering our seventh year of producing it, and we’ve got families that come see it every year, and they’ve started bringing their far too young kids. It’s not Christmas without it.

Before that show, I played George Wallace in a production of All the Way, a straight historical political drama. It was a completely different experience than our Muppet-show approach to Die Hard. It was one of the most intense, challenging productions I’ve ever been a part of.   How can you rank or compare the two? You can’t. Each show brings its own joys and frustrations. You take the joy where you can, and you apply it to your next show and just keep making more memories. We’re getting paid to pretend, no sense in not enjoying every last second of it.

What was the worst task you were given when you were starting out?

Being an improviser and a comedian, you’re kinda’ the “Go-to” person for the “worst” gigs since they know that I’m always willing to make an ass out of myself. That being said, I had to dance to Miley Cyrus in a flash-mob situation one time. That’s when I realized I didn’t have to say yes to everything.

What do you think is your best skill?

My aforementioned ability to always be willing to make an ass out of myself. You never remember the guy who *almost* made an ass out of himself. You tell the story about the guy that went full ass.

What do other people think is your best skill?  

People always seem to appreciate my determination to make sure everyone is having fun and enjoying themselves.

What advice would you give your 18-year old self?  

You don’t know everything and you know more than you think you do. Yeah. It’s a riddle you have to figure out. Good luck with that. Also, Austin Powers isn’t going to be nearly as funny as you think it is in even five years’ time.

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