Interview with Josh Totora, Bright Invention ensemble member

Yet another interview! This time we’re hearing from the wonderful Josh Totora!

Josh rehearses with Emily Gibson1) When you think of improv what is the first thing to pop into you mind?

A cliff. I have found that in order to begin to improvise, you have to just take a leap off of that cliff, and trust that you will land safely in the rest of the ensemble’s arms. I am definitely an actor who prefers to have a script to tell me what to say. So, the thought of performing anything without a script is completely terrifying. But through these past couple of months of rehearsing with Bright Invention, I have come to understand that the group is there to catch you and lift you, and you are there ready to catch them.

2) What do the words Bright invention mean to you personally?

Bright Invention means creating a moment and shining a light on it and through it. I love when an offer is made through action or word that just explodes a scene into new unexpected areas. Often two actors will go out for a scene with two wildly different characters or offers, and the negotiation that ensues to make a really grounded honest real scene where these two seemingly different people relate in a personal way is thrilling. Those aha moments of discovering what a scene is really about makes the work surprising, exciting, scary, and magical for both the audience and the performer.

Josh rehearses with Katherine Perry3) Has your time spent with the ensemble so far challenge you in any was you didn’t expect it would?

Oh yes! Every time we get up to work there is a moment of “I can’t do this, I can’t do this.” I honestly cannot remember the last time I had legitimate stage fright until now, and these were just the REHEARSALS! But that feeling is definitely becoming more and more manageable. I think there will always be (and there has to be) some level of nerves at play. We are literally making up a show on the spot that will never be seen again. That pressure can be enormous. But if you spin it and try to look at it in the opposite way, that same thought can be incredibly liberating- we are making up a show on the spot that will never be seen again! That is incredible. That is special. Early on in the process, I was incredibly hesitant to come out for any scenes or exercises. Now I can’t wait to get on the stage to play.

4) What are you most looking forward to in the future with this company?

Performing everywhere. Expanding and tweaking “Click”- our first form. Creating new forms. Pushing the boundaries on long form improv as an art. Growing as an ensemble, and creating work that is inspiring and important.

Interviews are the work of Bright invention Intern Brooke Fitzgerald.