Please introduce yourself, what you do, why you do it, and what you want people to know about you.
I am a British actor, writer, producer, and director. I grew up in France and Spain and received my acting training in both London and New York City. I am the founder Artistic Director of the Blind Cupid Shakespeare Company, a multicultural and neuro-diverse group of creative artists including actors, directors, producers, writers, graphic designers, and more. The team is bi-continental, with artistic engagements in the US, UK, Central Europe, and Africa. We generate professional theatre (both live and virtual), as well as workshops, events, and audio content to expand our outreach and to encourage all to connect with the work of Shakespeare.
Blind Cupid was born from my love of Shakespeare and because I grew up in Spain in a hugely international community. While there, I had to study Shakespeare at school but there was nowhere where one could go to actually watch him. Kinda like studying music but not being able to listen to any. So our aim is to eventually bring Shakespeare to Spain and other countries that have similar problems. The beauty of Blind Cupid is that it involves artists from all over and therefore can be performed all over! We currently have a virtual performance of The Comedy of Errors being performed at the Manchester Fringe in both English and Italian.
At the moment, I am directing a performance called Knock Knock by Floyd Toulet and that is going to the Etcetera Theatre in London in November. Next year, I’ll actually be performing that same show at the Vino Theatre in New York. The show is fantastic and deals with Multiple Personality Disorder. I love creating work and bringing people together! I also recently filmed a short film called the Lightworker directed by Paul McNeilly and performed in an immersive street theatre performance called Dastardly Deal in Kent. The opportunities in the arts are limitless and I like to get involved as much as possible though sometimes I don’t know when to stop!
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I’m great at organizing people and creating communities. I absolutely excel at bringing people together and making them excited over a common goal. I enjoy creating safe and playful communities especially when that involves bringing out people’s authenticity and playfulness. I enjoy getting people to take off their masks (metaphorically speaking, I still believe in wearing a mask during a pandemic. As an actor, I’m an extremely active listener and I enjoy taking risks. I also believe in having opinions and making strong choices. This has translated into my role as a director too.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you wanted to do what you do now. Who did you tell first? What has it been like since that moment?
I was six years old when I realized I wanted to be an actor. It was during a production of Pinnochio and the first person I told was my Mum who has supported me ever since. I decided to start Blind Cupid during the fall of 2019 when I went home to Spain after years of performing Shakespeare in America and England. I was reminded of how I first came to love his work and how beautiful Spain was so I contacted my friend JT Stocks and asked if he would be interested in doing this with me. I don’t think he knew at the time if I was being serious or not!
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face and how did you overcome it?
The pandemic was a massive challenge to my career goals. But it also opened my eyes in many ways to how important theatre and the arts were to the world. This strengthened my resolve in many ways, making me realize that what I was doing was extremely important. The world needs theatre and Shakespeare is, in my opinion, an important part of that need!
If you had to pick the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could take your career (or business) to the next level…who would those 3 people be?
Andy Serkis is, I believe, a real genius in the industry. I admire him a great deal and would love an opportunity to learn and work for him. I think motion capture is an incredible art form and I’m excited to see how it develops in the future! I’m also a huge fan of Ricky Gervais – I really appreciate people like him who don’t answer to anybody but instead make their own destiny through their great resolve and work. I think he could teach me a great deal. Finally, in recent years I have become a huge fan of Taika Waititi whose sense of humor and creativity is amazing! Working for people like him would not only be incredibly fun but also a huge privilege! I also wonder what a movie version of a bonkers Shakespeare comedy like Midsummer or Much Ado would look like under his direction!
List the direct links/URL to your social media profiles so people can follow you:
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joe_actor/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joesprog/