Hey everybody, I got another interview for you! Josh Breit left TSF about 3 years ago for Chicago and has been rippin it up ever since then.
|Among his many talents, Josh is known for his insane freestyle rapping ability. He showcases this talent every week at the ComedySportz theatre in The BeatBox, a show that blends hip hop and improv into an amazing spectacle of long-form improv and fast-paced high-energy rap.
See a clip of Josh rapping as Challawood...
Where are you now and what do you do for a living?
I've been living in Chicago for a little over three years. I very recently started a new career as a casting agent for a casting firm in the Loop. It's by far the best job I've ever had.
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Plantation, Florida.
Did TSF introduce you to improv?
I was introduced to improv when I came to Chicago for a high school debate trip. We went to see a show at Second City and I fell in love with it then. I ended up going to UF, because it was free (Thanks, Bright Futures!) and was delighted to find out that there was an improv troupe there.
How did you find out about TSF?
I found out about TSF when I was a senior in high school from my friend Lindsey Stidham who was already in college at UF and in TSF. She told me about it at a movie theater. I danced around the lobby of the theater when I found out.
What was TSF like when you were here?
It's hard to describe what TSF was like when I arrived, because I have nothing else to compare it to. But I know it was a very close knit group of people who cared deeply for each other and the work they were doing. Also, we drank a lot. And some people hated each other, but most didn't. That pretty much sums up my experience in Strike Force.
What did you study at UF?
I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations, which I have never used. Ever.
Were you on the exec. board?
I was the Vice-President of TSF my sophomore year, and the President my senior year.
What venues did you guys perform in?
I performed mostly at the Orange and Brew (I don't know if it's called anything different now.) We also performed in the theater department's big theater for our yearly Mainstage Show. Other than that, we just did random shows here and there. My favorite show that TSF did outside of the campus, was when Sunday Group did a show for the Girl's Club of Gainesville. Those kids were an amazing audience and hysterical in their own right.
What were some of your favorite moments while you were part of TSF?
My favorite moment in all of TSF was during our Mainstage show my junior year. There had been a lot of protests on campus that year, mostly for stupid shit, like people protesting against Taco Bell and other meaningless shit. We wrote an opening sketch, in which the protesters crashed our show and had a sit-in on the stage. Then we dressed up Matt Devine like a super hero in spandex, had him run in, kick everyone's ass and the sketch end in myself and Derrick Aguis yelling to the crowd, "We are Theatre Strike Force, and we don't protest anything! Now let's start the fucking show!" It got a standing ovation every night.
Who were some of the people you looked up to while in TSF? and now in Chicago?
When I was in Strike Force, I looked up to Skyler Stone, who was the director of Sunday Group, and Natalie Sullivan, who was the president when I was VP. They were both amazing in their own right. Skyler was in a ska band called, "The Know How." I still have the t-shirt. Natalie lives up here in Chicago, and we are both performers on the ComedySportz ensemble.
Were you in any outside troupes?
At UF, I was in several outside troupes, including Stacy's Away Message, which once got challenged by the FSU improv group to a cagematch at FSU. We went to their school, won over their crowd, won the cagematch took their women, got drunk, and went home. The group that I was in that was most near and dear to my heart was Unlike Nav, a 3 man group with myself and the aforementioned Matt and Derrick. We performed together for 3 years, including a summer when we did shows at the Improv in Tampa. It was the most money I ever made doing improv.
Have you been back since?
I went back once since I moved away, to go to the Gainesville Improv Festival. It was fun, but felt amazingly old. It was depressing.
What other alumni were in your cast back then that are still doing improv now?
Pretty much everyone I performed with in TSF are still performing now, either in Chicago or LA.
How was the transition to Chicago?
The transition to was a pretty easy one. The Chicago improv scene is a very open and friendly one, and it definitely helped to already have some friends that I went to college with up here. I met my girlfriend (the lovely and talented Brooke Bagnall) through Natalie. The cold takes some getting used to, but that's what big coats are for. Whatever you do, don't get a coat with a hood covered in fur, like Dan Gordon (TSF alumnus), because we will all make fun of you.
How many troupes or projects have you been a part of in Chicago?
I am on a few different troupes up here in Chicago. I am on the ComedySportz ensemble, which is a short-form theater. The Hot Karl, which is the filthiest show I have ever been a part of. The Beatbox, which fuses long-form improv with free-style hip hop. And finally, Alpha Dog Omega, which can only be described as "frat-prov." Since I have moved up here, I have been a few Harold teams at iO Chicago and a few teams at the Playground.
Is there anything you'd like to tell current TSF members?
If I had any advice for TSF people now, it would be to not let the drama get out of control. I know it's there. Don't deny it. When you look back on it, you realize that it wasn't worth it and it was more a pain in the ass than anything else. Also, if you are planning on moving to Chicago, the best advice I can give you is make sure you have a heavy coat and a few grand in your bank account. Moving across the country is expensive.