Catching Up With Josh Strickland
By Gregory Miller
Let's go back in time a bit. Had you seen the Disney Tarzan movie before you were cast in the musical?
I had, and I obviously loved his music, and the music from the film. I was so lucky to have Disney to have such faith in me and just go with it. With that company, I couldn't have asked for a better start. To have a lead title character original role on Broadway -- I don't know if it gets much better than that.
Was it hard to adapt a character who was so-well known and beloved?
Of course it was. We definitely had to go through training with flying and acrobatic stuff, and learning how to walk like apes and that type of stuff. And the character is different than from the cartoon. We were going more for the character in the book. He's this really na've, young guy that doesn't have a razor, so he can't shave. We really wanted to get the raw, realness of it, and I hope I did the best job I could.
Did you ever get rope burn from all the swinging around?
Oh, absolutely, all over the place. It was non-stop, all the bruises from the harnesses on our thighs and in between our legs. It looked like we had just gotten beaten up, but it was just another day at work.
Do you miss the hair?
Yes, I wish I could have taken the wig home. It was kind of hot.
You had a stint on American Idol that didn't work out so well.
I'm glad because I think my life and career would have gone a totally different way. I think it was a great opportunity and a great learning experience. I'm glad I did it, and it helped my career because putting it on my resume, people will listen. It's a reality show like any other, and I'm happy for the people that did win and did have success from the show. I think it's a great way to let people who have talent who may not have another way of showing it get into the business. I really do have respect for the show.
Are you a hometown hero in Charleston?
I guess you would say that, but it's not like they throw me a parade or anything like that. It's cool, I grew up in Charleston singing and dancing. Some big highlights of my career came from there, doing some opera with the Spoleto Festival USA and when I was in middle school I got to sing with Shania Twain when she came. It was great. Singing in front of 12,000 people at 13 years old, it was a fun experience.
What are your plans for the future?
We have some more songs for our full EP that we're going to release. Hopefully if people like me, they'll invite me to do some club tours. I'd love to come be able to sing my songs and do my thing. And hopefully we'll grab another season of Holly's World by the year's end.
All photos by Andrew Sea James