Interview with JOSH BLACKER | My Continued Sense of Purpose

We all measure success in different ways, and there is no one exact formula of actions to attain that what we desire. However, being consistent in the choice of our thought process will bring out the emotions connected to them. Everything we all want is to feel good most of the time; we believe that by having what we desire, it will make us satisfied and content. This makes one think if we got it all reversed, and by maintaining the momentum of emotions that feel good is the secret that will bring to us everything that we want. For sure paying attention to how we feel, will bring us more joy and will improve our experience in every area of our lives. 

Actor Josh Blacker who can be seen as Witchfinder Warrior on Apple TV+ series See, says: “ I just heard someone say that it’s not ‘fake it till you make it’ but rather ‘make it till you make it.’ That resonates with me as if you’re committed to your art and to the work you do, then you’re not faking it – you’re making it. That continued sense of purpose and belief in your abilities will, hopefully, result in a sustained long-term career.”

In this inspiring interview with Josh, you will tap into his inner wisdom, as well as his insights about success, acting, and inclusion.


 INTRODUCTION

  • Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Josh Blacker?  

I’m an artist first which means I find any way possible to express myself – usually, it’s in Film and TV and when it’s not in those formats, I paint, sculpt, write and play the guitar (badly). 

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

  • The entertainment industry, like any other professional field, is very competitive; there are talented performers who thrive and others who do not. In your own experience, how does faith in yourself sync with your beliefs to shape the likelihood of success?

It’s crucial. In fact, other than hard work I’d say it’s the number one thing you need. Without it, you can become jaded, insecure, and fatigued. I just heard someone say that it’s not “fake it till you make it” but rather “make it till you make it.” That resonates with me as if you’re committed to your art and to the work you do, then you’re not faking it – you’re making it. That continued sense of purpose and belief in your abilities will, hopefully, result in a sustained long-term career. 

  • There are more and more stories that celebrate diversity and inclusion within the entertainment industry. Why do you think this is happening and how do you envision the industry’s future? 

For far too long marginalized and minority groups weren’t represented in our industry, or more often they were typecast. The industry is finally waking up to the idea that films and television need to tell stories that represent the communities we live in, and that, in turn, will allow people of color, LGBTQ+ people, people with blindness and so on to see themselves represented on screen. This serves two purposes; first, it makes them feel seen and represented and second, it allows them to follow their dreams and pursue this business as a career. I applaud this new inclusive approach and I’m particularly proud of the work that Apple did to ensure our show, SEE, included as many actors and crew with blindness or low vision as they did. It helps tell the story far more authentically. 

Photography by  Noah Asanias | Stylist Joanna Kulpa

ACTING

  • On Apple TV+ series See, you play Witchfinder Warrior, a lethal warrior who is the strong right arm to Tamacti Jun (Christian Camargo), the Queen Kane’s military leader. How would you describe your emotions during the process of connecting and becoming your character?

I often find myself playing dangerous characters or characters that people consider bad. And, to be honest, I relish it. Being allowed to delve into the dark side of people and find the humanity in those characters is one of the more challenging but exciting parts of my job. We all live conflicted lives and have done things we sometimes wish we hadn’t. Expressing that in a committed but truthful way is invigorating as an actor. 

  • What did you feel when you first read the script of the story created by Steven Knight? 

Overwhelmed! There was just so much to absorb. But, after a second and third read, I KNEW I had to be a part of this show. The storytelling is rich, bold and unlike anything I’ve read before. 

  • How challenging is being part of a series where all the characters are playing blind,  and what have you learned about yourself personally and as an actor?

The biggest challenge is finding the authenticity of that world and portraying it in a way that is truthful and respectful of people who live with that disability in their real lives. Thankfully, Apple provided us with a two-month blindness boot camp which helped us dive deeper into that world and find ways of portraying it realistically and honestly. After doing it for two months of boot camp and six months of shooting, I realized how much I take my other senses for granted and how rich the world can become if you use them even just slightly more. As an actor, what was most profound was how much more active my listening became. If you can’t see someone’s facial reactions all you can rely on is your ears and how they’re speaking. So listening in that intense, purposeful way has made me a much better actor. The truly great actors listen so damn well. 

  • How would you describe the connection and the dynamics in the relationship between the Witchfinder Warrior and Queen Kane?

Well, I think I’d say it’s complicated. She has the utmost trust in us and believes that we will fulfill our mission. She requires absolute commitment from her people and even more so from her elite soldiers. The Witchfinder Warrior relishes that opportunity as he believes he is absolutely the best of all the warriors and will gladly prove it to his Queen. To do any less would bring dishonor to him and his Queen. The loyalty runs deep. 

  • Did being part of a project where so many series crew members are sightless in real life opened up a new perspective of possibilities within yourself?

In a way, yes. However, my brother-in-law is legally blind and he’s one of the best mountaineers I know, so I knew firsthand what blind people were capable of. To arrive on set and see so many cast and crew with blindness and low-vision absolutely crushing it, fortified my belief that with the right mindset, almost anything is possible. 

  • Are you involved in any other project that you are passionate about right now?

Yeah, my production company is in pre-production on our next feature film. I can’t say too much about it right now, but it’s a psychological horror/thriller that will leave people with chills. 

Photography by  Noah Asanias | Stylist Joanna Kulpa

LIFE

  • Playing becoming someone else gives you the opportunity to explore different characters and personalities. Does being an actor has in any way enhanced your sense of compassion?

Oh, for sure. When you approach each scene you have to understand the truth of all the characters and get to the bottom of why they conduct themselves the way they do. Finding the truth in even some of the most unlikeable characters makes you realize that humans are far more complex than we think and to see the humanity in them is important in broadening our sense of compassion to our fellow humans and all creatures. 

 GOOD SOUL

  • Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?

Not on a day to day basis but I’m a big advocate for animal rights and am so in awe of the work done by groups like Sea Shepherd, Animal Justice, and so many more. 

CLOSE UP

  • The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is “The essence of joyful living.” How does joy affect the creative process in your own experience and, consequently, the final manifestation of your actions?

As with any job or vocation, to have longevity and any degree of success, you have to find the joy in the work. I worked previously as a lawyer and found it joyless. Not that there aren’t any happy lawyers out there, but for me, it didn’t bring me joy. If you can’t find the joy in what you do, it will manifest itself in the end product. As an actor every time I get a new script, the joy of creating something new and exciting for people to see is one of the biggest motivators for continuing to love what I do. It also makes me feel incredibly lucky to have found something that brings me, and hopefully the audience, joy.  

  • Abraham Hicks (spoked by Esther Hicks) said, “You can be, do, and have what you want.” What is your opinion about this statement?

I agree. The Buddha teaches that everything we ever need is inside of each of us. And when we align our goals and values with our work and day to day life then we have all that we would ever want. I think we sometimes think we desire more than we need and it’s that tension between grasping for more than we need that creates internal tension and emotional discord. When what we want and what we do is aligned with who we want to be, then yeah it’s absolutely achievable. It’s harder than it sounds, but, I believe, achievable.


Instagram.com/JoshBlacker/
Header Photography by  Noah Asanias | Stylist Joanna Kulpa