Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Q&A & Ice Cream With Josh Kaufman

This morning, I joined the new star of Pippin and winner of the sixth season of The Voice, Josh Kaufman, for the unveiling of the new "High-Flying Sundae" at Serendipity 3. It consists of three scoops of Neapolitan ice cream, hot fudge, raspberry sauce, sour rainbow ribbon candy, whipped cream, a circus swirl lollipop, and dark chocolate covered popcorn. I was particularly a fan of the popcorn and ice cream together.
The sundae in all its glory (glory).
When he's not in the show or doing promotional events like this one, Kaufman is working on his first single. After trying the sundae, he was nice enough to sit down with me for a few minutes before his two shows to talk about the journey from The Voice to Broadway.

Q: How did you go from a show geared toward getting a recording contract to doing theater?
A: Honestly, it was kind of a freak thing after the show. I was on The Voice tour over the summer and the guy who runs my website got in contact with me while I was on the tour and said, "Hey. You just got this message through the website about a Broadway show. I looked it up and it looks like it's for real, so you might want to get in contact with them." And it just happened that Bernie Telsey from Telsey + Company was at one of the live shows of The Voice and saw me there and got the idea to get in contact with me about this. It's not an avenue that people probably expected me to go down, but it's something that I've always been interested in and enjoyed, so when the opportunity came up, I thought I at least have to give it a shot.
Josh Kaufman, now playing Pippin on Broadway.
Q: Are you still in touch with any of the coaches from The Voice?
A: There is a guy who works really closely with Usher on all of his albums. He has sort of a musical director role in everything Usher does. He actually worked with him on The Voice. I do keep in contact with him and let them know what is going on with me. Usher had me come out over the summer to a dinner he had with his non-profit organization, Usher's New Look, in Atlanta. It's focused on education. It's a really good organization. I sang a song there. So, I've kept some contact, but obviously the guy's ridiculously busy. He's on tour right now.

Q: When you were going to do this, did you have to run it by them? Did you have obligations with the show besides the tour?
A: I did have the obligation to do the tour and really beyond that, everything flips over to the record label. I signed with Universal Music Group Republic Records and so it's more them that I have obligations to now. NBC and The Voice, I'm kind of finished with that. Everything shifts over to the record label, so I did have to make sure that this would all work because obviously I've signed a contract, so I have to make sure that there are no conflicts, but we were able to work all that out.

Q: Did you get to work much with Diane Paulus [the director] when you were preparing?
A: I did a lot of working in the studio with the stage manager and him reading lines and going through things with him, just the two of us. The day before my put-in, I had time with all of the principal actors and with Diane. She was real intense and would give any notes she could think of to give me as we'd go along, so it was a really good session, very helpful. 

Q: Is Broadway what you expected it to be?
A: That's a hard question because I don't know how many expectations I really had. It was more just go into it and figure it out and see what it is as I go. I saw the show and I knew what I would have to prepare for. I knew it would be a lot of work and a lot of time to put in. But I went into it pretty open-minded.

Pippin starring Josh Kaufman runs through January 4 at the Music Box Theatre.

1 comment:

Veronica Gubbs said...

Wonderful interview! I am so VERY proud of Josh and it's always good to hear him tell how things are going for him. Theatre, how VERY exciting!!!