Tell us a bit about yourself, who you are & what you do?
I’m Josh Piterman and I would consider myself a passionate, loving, affectionate, kind human-being who gets to transport people to another world through singing. Growing up I was a standard Aussie boy playing AFL, cricket, tennis all the sports. In high school I played the piano for a short period of time and the guitar up until year 10 at Wesley College. I first got into musicals because I learnt how to moonwalk! I was at school camp and got caught moonwalking by an English teacher who directs the school musicals (Dawson Hann). Like all things I jumped right into it, and I felt alive. I then changed around a lot of my year 12 subjects to be more theatrical and in the arts. Socially, it was difficult as my friends just thought it was a phase, it was 2002 and there was no Glee or High School Musical. I coped a shocking amount of bullying for wanting to sing and dance that at one point I said to my friends that I was bisexual just to get them off my back. I didn’t let it get in my way though. I absolutely loved it and saw drama & theatre subjects as a collective of boys and girls coming together with different of personalities. I love that I now know get to change someone’s reality for a couple hours and transport them into another world, which is truly my gift and service to share.
What’s been your favourite production you’ve starred in?
Phantom of the Opera, can’t really beat it. There’s been some great roles over the years but to play in the Phantom of The Opera is like nothing else. Starring in the production in London’s original theater it’s like no other theatrical experience I’ve been a part of. It’s great to see that people are still performing in the production from the 1990s, where Michael Crawford made it famous in the 1980s. You learn all the history, nuance, and layers to the production which is amazing. The singing in that role is incredible and the acting is intense but what makes it is the whole history of the production.
What are the pros and cons that come with being a performer?
One of the pros is that I get to do what I love every day and share it with the world, which a lot of people don’t get to do. If you did a survey in Melbourne asking, ‘Do you get paid doing what you love?’ I think the answer would be a really small percentage. Therefore, I’m super grateful! In terms of the cons, it is very sacrificial as I don’t have a social life especially during the production period. It builds habits in me that I consciously have to break – such as being quite introverted and being really good alone. I do it most of the time for vocal protection and to save energy for when I’m on stage. Work and career come first, that’s one of the sacrifices I’ve had to make to be that kind of performer I am.
Tell us more about how you conserve your voice?
When I’m playing Phantom, I’ll go home and not chat. Then I’ll wake up and not say much in the first couple of hours of the day, to give a good 12-13 hours of vocal rest. Then slowly vocalize in *sirens voice* to see where my voice is at for the day. It’s a constant battle between anxiety and fear and love. I then slowly start to talk and vocalize, by mid-day I’m good. What we ask the voice to do is completely athletic! It’s how to massage or what to do it to rest it. I have to accept that if I sing tonight if I haven’t had any shows prior is going to be a lot different compared to my singing if I’ve done 8 shows in a row. You just cannot be fresh!
Do you have a pre-show ritual you do before you head out on stage?
Yes, I do, for Phantom the show starts at 7:30pm so I arrive at 5pm and say hi to everyone backstage followed by a quick bite to eat. I like to do a meditation and a yoga-flow after to get in the zone. Next, I begin to do a proper vocal warm-up before makeup starts at 6:30pm. I then put my costume and mask on, and it’s show time.
Advice you would give to young and aspiring performer?
My advice would be to be in it for the love of the craft and not for external validation. It’s a constant battle for performers, as most people don’t get an applause for their everyday job. It can really determine your self-worth as artist but it's totally out of your control, we have to learn to let it go.
How would you describe your singing style?
I try to get rid of the high-brow associated with classical music. Possibly similar to what Michael Buble did with jazz, it's all about bringing it to a wider audience. Aside from performing in musicals, as a soloist, I try to be 'me' and allow the music to take the audience to another world. I also aim to bring a little comedy and fun cause I'm just a regular Aussie bloke.
How would you describe your style?
Jeans, boots and shirt or jeans, boots and t-shirt and jacket or jeans, boots, t-shirt with the shirt over the top type of vibe.
What do you look for in a good shoe – style, comfort or functional?
All 3! – I think comfort first because it’s not going to feel good if it’s not comfortable then style. I love a Chelsea boot and have a variety of them in my wardrobe.
What pair of Wild Rhino shoes can’t you keep your hands off?
Winton! They’re like heaven. I wear them 4-5 times a week.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
Early bird or night owl? Early-bird
Favourite movie? Gladiator, Shawshank Redemption, Braveheart, Cinema Paradiso or Waiting for Guffman
Drink of choice? Oat milk magic coffee or a salt-rim margarita!
Favourite song at the moment? Love theme, Cinema Paradiso
Introvert or Extrovert? Extroverted-Introvert
Check out Josh Piterman starring in the Phantom of The Opera from August 2022!