Jiggity-jig! Took this photo last week as Anna and I were joining her sister at Caveat in lower Manhattan.
It is now midway through the month of June, and we have had our new apartment for a few weeks. I have resumed work at New World Stages and will begin working at a local Doggie Daycare called Disco Paws at the end of this week.
I have had a couple of video callbacks, no bites yet, but still like that. As of yesterday I am officially a New Yorker again as I now have my (temporary) license for NYC.
God, it feels good to be back.
This week, we have been attending the graduate rep productions for the current class at Circle in the Square. Overall, I have been enjoying the performances. Tonight I'll see the third of their three shows and am looking forward to it.
Beginning Monday, I'll be taking a class at the People's Improv Theatre on Musical Improv. I am very excited for that!
And with 4th of July coming up, Anna and I will be FINALLY reuniting with our darlings Jesse and Elizabeth to belatedly celebrate their engagement, puppy, and the four of us being together again.
While there are many wonderful things happening, I must be honest...I've been having a rough go mentally lately.
I won't get into too much detail here, but suffice it to say that I am trying to try, y'all.
I will say that my fundraiser for school has become stagnant.
If you are able to help out, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/hwpcpn-help-joseph-go-back-to-school as any donations will help us out.
Otherwise, more to come in the days ahead!
After 2-years of the COVID crazies, Anna and I will finally be saying adieu to Milwaukee. We are returning to NYC this upcoming June!!!
We have out first ever apartment in New York. Sure, we'd lived with others before, but this is the first time we have a place all to ourselves. We have an adorable studio in Astoria, Queens, and we are so ready to make that space our own.
We were always planning on returning to New York, but we received an additional push/kick in the pants to help us move even faster. A few weeks ago, I was accepted to Circle in the Square Theatre School's 2-year Musical Theatre Conservatory beginning in September! Right before the pandemic began, I was strongly contemplating returning to school to bolster my actor's toolbelt. The MFA programs I auditioned for did not pan out, but luckily for me, this one did. Beginning in the fall, I will once again be immersed in theatre, challenging myself to grow further as an artist.
Now, I am looking for a little help. If you are able to, I invite you to contribute to my GoFundMe. My goal is to get the majority of my first year covered before it even begins (so that the saving for year two can begin now). If you are able to help at all, please consider donating. Or if you're unable to give at the moment, please share my fundraiser with others as you can.
Over the past couple of years, I have finally begun to embrace my body. I am a fat actor, and I am proud of the body I have. Many who cast aren't sure what to do with a body like mine. Well, I plan to show them and make them challenge what their notions are about a body like mine. I have to thank a few sources who helped to push me over the edge from hating myself to loving. Obviously, my amazing wife, Anna, who has said she has always loved me no matter my size. To my family for their support. To Ryan Donovan, PhD, whose dissertation (and soon to be book) Broadway Bodies provided me with such inspiration.
An especially heartfelt shoutout to Aubrey Gordon's amazing work with both her book What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat and her incredible podcast with co-host Michael Hobbes Maintenance Phase. Humor, hope, a dash of sass, and a lot of poignant information combine to make these lifelines for me. Read her book, listen to their show, and remember to think twice about looking down on anyone who looks different from you.
I cannot say how excited I am that my new Voice Over Character Demo has arrived!
Please head to www.josephpyfferoen.com/voice-over.html to get a glimpse of what I can do.
A HUGE thank you to Bruce Kronenberg and and Bryant Falk of Abacus, NYC for their amazing guidance, direction, and editing. I am beyond elated with what we came up with.
It feels like it's been an age since I have written on this blog.
A few updates and fun news nuggets.
First off, I'm getting more and more into voice over. I have recently completed two different audiobooks. One of them is currently on sale at Audible, but be warned it is VERY graphic! The second should be up very soon.
I took numerous VO classes throughout the latter half of 2020 and made some amazing connections as well as progress. So much so, that I will soon be recording a VO demo with the amazing team at Abacus NYC (via Zoom, of course). I cannot wait to share this with you all. If you want, you can see a little clip of what I can do (once again, thanks to Abacus) in my new voice over tab. I cannot wait for there to be more added there soon.
On a personal note, I have been working out like the devil. I am currently the smallest I have been since the summer of 2019 when I barely slept and was sweating my coherent thoughts away. #BrooklynSummers, am I right? This time, I am doing it in a far healthier manner. I am working on several other personal goals but they will all be culminating in my applying to graduate school for the fall of '22. There are now five MFA programs I am planning on applying to, and I would be more than happy to be accepted to any of them. More on that in the future.
I also want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in the fundraiser that Anna and I created for my sister, Amanda. My sister has always been a close friend to me, but she also now takes the title of one of the most inspiring humans I have ever known. Much like myself, she struggled with weight her whole life. She began to make small, incremental, and sustainable changes to her activity level and diet, and in January, excess skin removal surgery #1 was completed. They removed about 13lbs of excess skin from her midsection, and there are still three more operations to go (arms, back, and legs). Amanda and her fantastic partner Genie are living and teaching in Thailand at the moment, which also means that these very important operations are a great deal less expensive than they would be here in the US. Unfortunately, they still cost more than these two make. So, in we swooped!
We created the GoFundMe back in December with the hope that people would be in the generous holiday spirit and shower us with money. Our plan was to reach our $7k goal by the end of February and give the money to my sister as one of the best birthday gifts ever. We had a good start, then things stalled for bit of time...you know, January. Then, last week, several amazing anonymous donors filled the gap and got us to our goal well before our deadline.
Officially we have met, and in fact exceeded, our goal. However, you can still donate if you want to by clicking here. I know its a lot to ask, given the craziness of the world, but know that this inspiring journey isn't over yet.
And who knows, maybe soon I'll be starting some fundraising of my own for school and/or my own post-weight-loss operations.
Just wanted to type up a few updated for you all, in case you were curious.
Firstly, I am beyond grateful to my ingenious father-in-law, Jay Lewein, who is building me a recording room as I type this. It is nearly complete, and I will post photos once it is completed.
Secondly, and related, I am going to be working even more on building my voice and auditioning for voice work. I have been taking an amazing set of Animation Voice Over classes from Actors Connection with the amazing Darren Dunstan. I feel that I have grown immensely in my ability and vocal agility since beginning these classes. I will also soon be taking singing lessons once again with a former castmate and long time friend Amanda Wise. We performed together in Five Course Love at Minneapolis Musical Theatre, photos are in the production stills tab.
Finally, I just wanted to say thank you to the few people who donated to my grad school journey. I still have a lot of work to do before I will feel ready to audition (and hopefully be accepted), but I am excited and confident.
The Fantasticks is a musical that will always hold a special place in my heart. The poetry and music combine to tell a tale that we all know but have never heard before. The blend of comedy and love sprinkled with rhyme show us how beautiful life can be.
Unfortunately for us all, we are not living in the "kind of September when life was slow and oh, so mellow." Happy endings seem to be few and far between for most, while too ripe plumbs and evil-minded bandits are running amock.
So, what do we do now? I have no solution. I can say vote, and I know many still will not or will have their rights infringed upon. I can say show love and compassion, but I know many cannot and choose willfully to be heartless. I can say all the things I want to. I can yell till my face turns blue and my head grows dizzy. I can cry till I feel that I may never be able to cry again and yet still cry more. I can demand change, however those who remain in power are also either afraid to, unable to, and simply won't change.
I wish I could do so much more. I will keep trying, and I will keep saying that nothing happening right now is normal. I will not give up my attempts to change both the world and myself one step (and often leaps) at a time.
I wish you all a September worth remembering.
"Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That dreams were kept beside your pillow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That love was an ember about to billow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Hello to all out there.
Firstly I wanted to say that I hope that everyone is staying healthy and safe.
To quote The Lord of the Rings, "The world is changing..." and I am ready for those changes. Some personal, others much larger and even more important.
I have always tried to check my privileges. I'm a white male (shock), and I understand that there are privileges inherit within that. But have you ever noticed that word before? At the center of "Privilege" is "Vile." How have I not noticed this before? To exercise ones privilege over someone is to commit a vile act.
I had written more, but I realize I am not the voice that needs to be heard right now.
Please, protest against the ingrained hatred. Note micro-agressions within yourself. You may say, "I'm not a racist," and while you may not be physically or verbally harming anyone, just make note of how you think and act around BIPOC and LGBTQ+. Little things can quickly become big. Listen to Black stories and ACTUALLY LISTEN!!! If you cannot go out and protest, please consider donating to causes like Black Lives Matter, The Bail Project, and the ACLU. Educate yourself on what you can do to help end this seemingly endless struggle.
There has to be a light at the end of the tunnel, but we will only get there together.
To those whom it may concern,
We are now in Wednesday of week 2 of the world pausing and saying, "WTF," and I fear I may be going mad.
Not mad in the sense of hating anyone I live with, for indeed I adore these crazy fools. Not mad in the sense of going completely stir crazy, though I am indeed feeling that. Nor mad in the sense of wanting to wear a hat indoors for no reason. I may be mad, but I shall never be that mad.
Mad in the sense of complete ennui for things to be semi-normal again. Mad in the sense that I am more than ready to be on the stage again (but that was a feeling I had for some time).
Things are all topsy-turvy, and I have frankly had about enough.
So, here's what I'm doing...trying to not go totally mad. I'm doing my best to read both literature and plays. (Very good.) I am working out at home. (Yay!) I'm enjoying the company of those closest to me. (Not really a choice there, but at least I like them, so that's a win.)
All in all, I am attempting to stay positive and not let this whole thing throw me completely off my game/nut/rocker.
My hope is that once this is all over and done with, I will be even more sought after in the audition game. I haven't given up, nor do I intend to.
Please send your positive thoughts and also any suggestions of things I should read/watch. I am also going to ask on here, do any of you out there have any suggestions of actors who you think I am similar to/roles you think I could/should play?
Please share either in the comments on here or on Facebook.
Stay safe y'all
This was not how I expected this day to go.
I woke up feeling a little down with the news. I learned that my grandmother, the woman who helped start me on this path was nearing the end of hers. Hospice care was called for and she was to have an in-home aid for her passing.
This woman, who taught me so much, had been suffering from dementia for some time which had taken a sudden turn for the worse.
Little did we know how sudden or worse. She died less than an hour ago.
You may ask why I am writing this...because I need to grieve in my own way. I need to honor the woman who influenced me.
Verlyn Bruns was not only an amazing teacher but an amazing human. She loved fiercely and would call you out should you need it. When my sister and I were young, she was the one who initially took us on stage. In her living room is a framed article of her repairing the grand drape at the Rochester Civic Theatre with my sister and I playing on stage. She never missed a show I was in.
If you had met her, you would never forget her...nor would she let you.
She taught my family how important it is to believe in yourself. She taught me how to bake, and how to be a good host.
Mostly, she taught me the importance of loving your family and friends. The circle you keep is what holds you up in this world.
Like I said, this was not how I expected this day to go. Anna and I will be flying out to Minnesota to be with my family as soon as we can. I thank you all in advance for your love, support, and condolences.
Grandma, I am going to honor you every day. Thank you for you love and strength.
I wanted you all to know that I am still out there trying my best. Last year, I had the honor of attending just under 100 auditions. This year is also off to a great start. I know I have put it out on other platforms, but I have a few goals for 2020.
I have been working on my weight all of my life, so for 2020 I want to get down to 220 lbs. I know it will be a struggle, but with support from my wife, friends, and my reps I know I can make this happen.
My second goal is to get at least 2 bookings this year. I know, I know, it does not seem like a lot, but 2 solid bookings will mean so much to me.
I will also shortly be getting new headshots, so be on the lookout for those.
Thank you all for your support!
Here you will find my most recent updates, thoughts, and what else is going on in my life.