Brunch is a favourite past time shared by many and should be an extraordinary experience, one that you will cherish. Vancouver has some wonderful places for brunch. Each of the places I visit is unique for what is offered along with the type of service and selection of dishes. I am on a journey around the city to find these extraordinary places and, at the same time, I will be joined by a notable personality who may be a Film Producer or Director, Musician, Arts Festival Director, Actor or other well-known individual for Brunch at restaurants in and around Vancouver.
For my thirty eighth brunch in this series, I was joined by Actor, Writer, Producer, Josh Epstein, at Cibo in Vancouver talking about Acting, Singing, Films and more.
Vancouver born and raised, Josh grew up acting on the stage and screen. Soon after, he appeared in Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond. This led him to performances across the country including singing for the Vancouver Grizzlies and Canucks, Presidents, Prime Ministers, British Royalty and a concert with The Nylons.
His career has taken him to major theatres in almost every Canadian province, appearances in Film and TV, Voice-overs, theme songs, as well producing and writing his own plays.
He spent three seasons at the esteemed Bard on the Beach in Vancouver where he appeared in shows such as Much Ado About Nothing, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and As You Like It, and two seasons on the other coast at the Charlottetown Festival where he starred as Elton John in British Invasion, and Mr. Phillips in Anne of Green Gables. In 2006 he played many roles and understudied Merry in the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings (Mirvish), and then ‘Welcomed the Sixties’ in the Hairspray movie starring John Travolta (New Line). Other favorite credits include The Spitfire Grill (Grand), and Death of a Salesman (Aquarius).
Josh has also written plays that have been performed at Studio 58, and The Chutzpah, Walking Fish and Charlottetown Festival and The Leeds Performing Arts Festival in the UK. He won a Jessie Award for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in 2010, a 2009 Ovation Award for Lead Actor for his portrayal of Leo in The Producers and has received Vancouver Jessie nominations for acting in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Much Ado About Nothing and Alice: A Wonderland.
You can follow Josh on Twitter @joshepstein1
How did you get into Acting?
When I was 8 years old, I landed a part and was singing, acting and dancing in the role of Michael in the original cast of the musical Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby and Long John Baldry. Then I was hooked. I did the Arts Club during high school and did Bard on the Beach.
When did you decide acting would become your career?
I completed my bachelor of Commerce at UBC in 2001, while also performing professionally on the side. I loved performing and then went to Studio 58, I graduated in 2004 and received the Sydney J. Risk Award winner for excellence in acting.
What was your favourite role you ever played in a theatrical production?
Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Vancouver Playhouse.
Do you feel your degree in Business has helped you in your acting career?
It is helping with my film career, I use it everyday now as I have my film company. Now I am very glad to have it, looking at budgets every day.
What were your most recent acting roles?
At Stratford: The Matchmaker (9 month contract) and Cymbeline –did both at the same time and won the John Hirsch acting award this year.
What was your favourite role you ever played in a tv or film production?
X Files in 1995.
What is your favourite foods?
- Peanut butter
What are your favourite restaurants in Canada?
- Vijs – Vancouver
- Chewies – Vancouver
- Nicli Antica Pizzeria – Vancouver
- The Oakwood – Vancouver
- Asa Sushi – Vancouver
- Down The Street – Stratford
Josh and Richard shared the Banana Bread Muffin and Pane de Chocolate, Josh then had the Fritata special and Richard had the Fritata special with Pecorino. To finish Josh had a Latte while Richard had an Espresso Macchiato.
What do you do in your spare time?
- Drop in Ice Hockey
- P90 or Insanity
- Play with my nieces and nephews
What are your favourite tv shows ?
- Girls (on HBO)
- Game of Thrones
What are your favourite films?
- Duck Soup
- American Beauty
- 500 Days of Summer
- In the name of the Father
Who are your favourite Actors?
- Daniel Day Lewis
- Jonah Hill
- Tom McCamus
What do you love the most acting on Stage or on Film?
Acting on stage – incredible roles, so many opportunities
What were some of the most embarrassing moments you have ever had in a production on or off stage or film?
- Fell off the Arts Club Stage once in ‘Marvins Room’ in a dramatic scene
- Jay Brazeau – cracked me up in one show in ‘The Producer’s and I cracked up.
Tell me what your role was with the film –Wait For Rain?
Co-Writer and Producer – already out and playing festivals now and won an award at Comicon. Just got the world wide release on I-tunes.
Is there a Director one or more that you want to work with?
- Paul Thomas Anderson
- Xavier Dolan
- Kyle Rideout
- David Fincher
- Chris Abraham (again)
- Denis Vileneve
- Michael Haneke
I understand you have a part in a new film called — Lawrence & Holloman due out this year, what part did you play?
I am an office buly (Film is based on Morris Panych play)
You grew up in Vancouver, why did you move to Toronto?
I moved to Toronto for Lord of the Rings (Theatre production), and I lived there off and on for 5 years, now back in Vancouver for my film company.
What advice would you give to kids wanting to get into acting?
Say yes to every experience that thy can whether in live or the arts that could help you grow as a person or an artist.
What inspires you?
Something that can make me laugh or cry.
What is next for you?
- Feature film ‘Eadweard’ filming in July in Vancouver
- Two other screen plays in development, we optioned a book called Monocerous.
- Craigslist Cantata at the Arts Club in April.
- True Heroins Show March 12 at the Rio
- Package Deal
- Singing in 2 bands Phonix and Famous Players
What would you like to do in the future?
We want to have a film company that produces and distributes films.
Style: A La Carte
Time: Saturday & Sunday 7am – 2:00pm
900 Seymour Street, Vancouver
For Reservations call 604-602-9570
Stay tuned to my next guest Interview along with the next Brunch in and around Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak