INTERVIEW: Joshua Keith

557092_10100123697830440_159904449_nHi Joshua!  Thanks so much for talking with us.  Can you tell us about your background?

Born and Raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, I began theatre as early as the fifth grade. We performed Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing;” I played Leonardo. Looking back, being introduced to the brilliance of William Shakespeare at such a young age was one of the best theatre beginnings I could have had. Language and text came very quickly to me. I was invited along with our cast for one of the most magical nights I’ve ever experienced at the theatre. I saw the annual “Nutcracker” at the Stevens Center and I knew then – even as early as the fifth grade – that I was born to be on stage, not knowingly to what capacity, but I knew there would be a spotlight. Then I saw The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, that’s when I knew that capacity would start with DANCE, and to this day dance is still my first love. I just needed to “Find My Light.” (Theatre-goers will get that one.) I began my formal training at Howard University, earning at B.F.A in Musical Theater with a concentration in Dance, although I credit my growth as a performer to moving to New York City.

What’s been your favorite role to play thus far in your career and why?

I would have to say “Richie” from A CHORUS LINE. Richie had the biggest story and the brightest smile. Being able to dance and sing at the same time was an exhilarating challenge and to have the opportunity to tell his story every night was amazing. I can totally relate to being the only person of color in a room full of hungry dancers. Nobody looks like you, nobody sounds like you, and nobody shares any of your stories. Then what do you do? You let it fuel you to be the very best you can be. Then later you realize we are more alike than not.  I also know what its like to be the only person of color in a cast; I’ve been the “token” on many occasions. Richie’s story was literally my story. I started playing sports very young, acquiring my robust athleticism that most contemporary choreographers look for. I attribute a lot to Richie. Next up, anything from IN THE HEIGHTS. Although I was in the ensemble, any role in that show is worth it all. I understand the story of wanting to forsake all, find new, and start afresh.

Being on the road seems exciting but probably also exhausting. Any interesting things that you’ve been able to do while traveling?

The life of a traveling dancer can be considered an extraordinary life. From the jet-setting to the occasional shopping. . . I still pinch myself asking if its real. However, it can be quite taxing on the body. In theatre you get one day off a week, which is Monday . . . however on tour that’s usually your travel day.  Our travel day here to Cincinnati began at 7:00AM. The very next day we were on the stage again starting our 8 show week. So I mostly look forward to relaxing, and being alone to catch up on my blogging.

Joshua Keith and one of his hats.
Joshua Keith and one of his hats.

Anything you plan to do while you’re here in Cincinnati?

I have two things I’m looking forward to during my two-week stay here in Cincinnati beginning with Graeter’s Ice Cream. I’ve heard nothing but amazing reviews about their ice cream and it was recommended by a friend here. Oh! There’s a hat store across the street from the theater i’d like to check out. I love a good hat.

Being in a show that features so much dancing, how do you keep yourself in shape and healthy night after night?

Well I have a weekly 6-day workout regiment that I stick to. I HIT THAT GYM but even more importantly I sign up for every physical therapy spot I can with the tour, especially because they are free. I weight train to keep me strong to lift our beautiful ladies in the show, but I also enjoy weekly cardio (including the show). Most importantly YOGA! It will not only change your life, but it will add longevity to your career as a dancer. It also quiets the mind.

How can people find out more about you and what you’re all about?

FOLLOW ME! I’m a HUGE social media person. I love to share, and 10 times out of 10 I always have an opinion. My Name on Facebook is the same: Joshua Keith. My Instagram name is joshuakeith1, Twitter: @SirJoshuaKeith, and My Tumblr: http://joshuakeith-mylife.tumblr.com/. FOLLOW ME! Especially My Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. My Facebook and Instagram will keep you updated via pictures and short videos but my TUMBLR Page is where it’s at!! There you’ll get to hear and see the life of a dancer on the road. Trust me. It’s WORTH IT! Check it out, and be sure to follow: http://joshuakeith-mylife.tumblr.com/

You can see Joshua in DIRTY DANCING through October 5th at the Aronoff Center in downtown Cincinnati.  Click here for tickets and more information.

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