Joshua Beaudry (transcript)

Joshua Beaudry

SPEAKERS
Joshua Beaudry, James Avramenko

James Avramenko 00:00
Friendless is presented by the Saskatchewan Podcast Network. Welcome back my sweet babies. It’s me, your intrepid host, James Avramenko. Back with a brand new episode of Friendless. The only podcast about me attempting to lose all my Facebook friends, one hour at a time. This week, I have my old aliens director Joshua Beaudry on the show. We discuss fighting with strangers online, seeking validation through art, creating alter egos to spark creativity, breaking imposter syndrome through routine, finding the bravery to sing in public, and what it takes to be a good friend going into 2021. A super quick note, I accidentally screwed up the recording of this episode and recorded my side of the interview off my computer microphone, not my regular microphones. So you will notice I’m a little more echoey I’ve tried my best to clean it out. But just bear with me. It is only for this week. And it was too good of an interview to just scrap altogether. So forgive me, please be kind. Be gentle with me. Anyway, let’s jump right into the episode. Here is my interview with the one and only Joshua Beaudry. Here on Friendless. Oh, right. So here we go, man. So I’ve got this week, I have Joshua beaudry. And I got to say before, before I let you speak, I gotta say, I have been wanting you on the show for almost since like, actually not almost like literally since we started the show. So this is super exciting that I finally get you on here and we get to chat. So welcome to friendless my guy.

Joshua Beaudry 01:53
Thank you, James. Thank you. I’ve been on here for a long time, too. I’ve been listening from the very first guy, Brandon episode. Yeah. And I think I’ve got every episode so I’m I listened to more than one season.

James Avramenko 02:06
Wow.

Joshua Beaudry 02:07
Yes. But I wanted to come on. But who’s gonna laugh? Or like my comment when I say Meh to people, they’re taking Christmas away comments.

James Avramenko 02:22
You know, this is actually one of the dilemmas of the show, especially with somebody like you who like not only do I consider, you know, a friend in person, but we have a really fun engagement online. And so it’s one of those things that I like, I’ve been hesitant to have, you know, to have you on because I, I like how we interact online. And so I don’t want to lose that part of it.

Joshua Beaudry 02:45
I have installed like, I think I have Instagram, and I have but I don’t ever use them like I’ve right we did once. And I there’s too much pressure to be clever.

James Avramenko 02:56
Yeah, can’t do it. I love it. I love it. Yeah. Well, it’s funny, because for me, I mean, as you’ve encountered, I mean, that’s probably one of the classic interactions that we had is is I find that Facebook now is no longer about, you know, wit or intelligence or humor. It’s all about just like a sledgehammer of conspiracies. And so it’s exhausting, you know, and it’s like, I have no, I just have no energy left to engage with anything like that. And so I’m just like, very rapidly pulling away from the entire thing, you know, but I still see you and I and I, I don’t know what the right word for it is. Is it like I’m proud of you? or, or, or is it that I feel a little bad that you’re still engaging with?

Joshua Beaudry 03:41
Should be both I think, right? Yeah. Like, my mother has told me that I that I sound crazy. Because I’m always interacting with people on you know, CTV or Yeah, they’re like their Facebook posts in the comment section. And that’s an addiction for me. And I should and I need to stop. I know, it’s not healthy. My mom tells me Yeah, I sound crazy. But then, you know, I ran into somebody who said, You don’t know me, but I know you. Because I’ve seen you on stage before. And I have to say, I love your comments on Facebook. Wow. That’s terrible. I mean, it’s good. I like, because it reinforced my idea that somebody’s got to say it, but no, it’s not good.

James Avramenko 04:27
It’s, you know, it’s one of those things that like, because so much of these arguments are in bad faith, right? They’re not logic based. They’re not fact based. They’re purely emotional and irrational. And so when you come at it with what you’re hoping to be a, you know, pragmatic discussion, what ends up happening is you end up sounding like the crazy person because you’re, you’re so oppositional to this fallacy that’s going on and that’s and that’s one of these behaviors. That is, so What’s the word it’s like, it’s almost like it’s like vertigo. It’s like it gives people who are trying to be rational, this sudden burst of irrationality, and they don’t know what to do with it. And so it, it kicks their, you know, fight or flight in in it and it makes everything just go nuts. You know, again, it’s why I’ve had to just pull myself away from it. Because I, you know, early on, I used to fight with people, but then I’d look back and I’d be like, James, you’re an asshole. Like you thought you’re fighting the good fight. But really, you look like a complete prick. So you need to just back up and just like, live and let live?

Joshua Beaudry 05:39
Or do you think that the comment section, this is what I’m trying to tell myself these days, the comment section does not reflect society?

James Avramenko 05:44
Not even a little.Yeah, I mean, at least I hope so. I mean, that’s, that’s the other thing is that it’s like, we are seeing how vitriolic and ugly people can allow themselves to be in person. So who knows if it’s real or not? Right, but on a lighter note, why don’t we? Why don’t we kind of Um, so, you know, it’s been it’s been a, it’s been a really tough, you know, year, year and a half for you and I in that we’ve barely seen each other, even though we’re literal blocks away from each other. And so realistically, Realistically speaking, where I think we could probably sort of like, end the story would be somewhere along the lines of when we when we worked on the aliens. But when we, if we’re ending there, what I’d like to do is I’d like to double back and I’d like to talk about what got you to directing that show, as a little filler The Aliens by Annie Baker was a play that, that Josh directed in 2018. And I had the honor of being one of the one of the actors in and it was, it was unquestionably one of, if not the best theater experience I’ve ever had as an actor, and, and so so like I say, I’d like to get us to the aliens. And I guess where we start with that is what sort of got you into wanting to be a theatre creator, like who, who tricked you into saying that it was a life worth living?

Joshua Beaudry 07:19
Probably my uncle cuz it’s arts related. He was a film director in Winnipeg. He is a film director in Winnipeg and knew a writer. And so in grade three, I got cast in a National Film Board film called snow angels, which is like something they would play at school, about winter safety for kids, you know, don’t walk snow ridges at the side of the road, because you might fall in a car could run over your head. And I got out of school for two weeks. And I believe I got some money from it. But I got out of school for two weeks and ate doughnuts. And it was amazing.

James Avramenko 08:00
And that’s got to be something to be said for one of the best parts of being on a film set is the arts like the craft services, I always want to call it arts and crafts, but it’s like, craft services is incredible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been an extra on something not even appeared on camera. I just sat all day eating.

Joshua Beaudry 08:17
They’ve gotta keep you happy somehow because that 12 hours of standing around can get exhausted who knew that doing nothing could be so difficult.

James Avramenko 08:26
It’s exhausting, though. Likeit really is like waiting to be like do you like me? Do you like me now? Now? Do you like me?

Joshua Beaudry 08:34
Yeah, I think that would so that would that would be my first experience. I probably decided at around that point. And I did it with my cousin, Aleisha. And I think she’s an actor too now. So it sparked something in both of us. And then I played a mad dentist in elementary school, and everybody laughed. And I think that’s when I realized I liked being the center of attention.

James Avramenko 09:01
Yeah, isn’t that isn’t that so true, though, is that you know, it’s funny. I feel like if artists are being really true with themselves, it’s like, oh, I got into the arts because I like people looking at me. And like, more often, like, more often than not, and I say this with no vitriol towards parents, but like more often than not, it’s like, oh, I wasn’t getting the validation I craved from my family. So I had to seek it in strangers.

Joshua Beaudry 09:26
Yeah, I feel like I have somehow and it’s so weird. More charisma acting than in life. Like, not that I’m not a nice person or whatever that you know, like, like, people engage with me, but I feel like I have more confidence on stage than I do in life. Because I sort of hide behind that. That role.

James Avramenko 09:50
You know, that’s actually something that a drama teacher of mine in high school talked about because I I had been in a couple of plays already. You know, in, in, in, you know, the school play and those kinds of things. And in my grade 12 year, I was picked to host the talent show. And just before I was getting up, I had a massive like my first big, legitimate panic attack. And I was like, on the floor paralyzed, could not move. And he was basically talking me down by saying, in retrospect, I don’t know if this is really the thing to be telling a child who’s freaking out. But what he was saying was that the reason you’re scared is because you’re afraid that they’ll judge you for the first time. Because when you go on stage and you’re a character, and if, if the audience doesn’t like it, you can still protect yourself by saying they don’t like the character, or they don’t like the direction or they don’t like the script, or whatever it might be. But when you’re on stage being yourself, and they don’t like you, then they don’t like, you y’know. And I was like, Yeah, thanks. Okay. I’d like to work on breathing again now.

Joshua Beaudry 11:03
Yeah, the that works. I remember doing improv and we would play switch all the time. I just didn’t like it, I just don’t know why especially, like, if it’s like a quick warm up, intro sort of game. A lot of the time, it’s just like, you’re looking for that one click quick, clever moment, or that’s what we’re doing. And I had a character that I would play because we were a character based improv, named Simon. And so what I would do is I would play switch, as Simon was he, he wasn’t scared to just go up and do anything. Like, and then I would try and tell myself that, like, I can do that. But somehow it wouldn’t. It just didn’t transfer.

James Avramenko 11:51
Yeah, that’s actually a thing that a lot of I’ve read lots about this idea of artists needing an alter ego in order to achieve their, their sort of maximum potential. It’s why it’s why, you know, it’s sort of the thought behind creating, like, whether it’s like, you know, a nom de plume, or whether it’s creating like a rapper alter ego, you know, it’s like, it’s not, you know, Curtis Jackson doesn’t get on stage, it’s 50 cent who gets on stage, you know, or whatever it might be, you know, and, you know, famously, right, right. You know, famously, Beyonce, you know, even though she’s fucking Beyonce, she, she used to pretend to be Sasha Fierce, right. And that’s why, you know, and, and it’s this thought of, or, you know, I mean, my favorite one, and this is because I’m a massive nerd, but like, you know, Bob Dylan, right? That’s not his name is Robert Zimmerman, you know, and, and, but Bob Dylan could do it in and, and especially at the start of his career, he made up all these stories about who Bob Dylan was, and, you know, he played down and, you know, he played all across this country, and he rode the rails, and he was this character that he was playing until it sort of became real for him. And then it became second nature and, and it’s this thing of, of, yeah, creating this, this alter ego that allows you to actually pursue it again, with the sort of the safety net of not being judged for yourself, you know, so I would be, you know, I would be Josh Beaudry not James Avramenko. And if you like Josh Beaudry, then then then it’s you. Right, you know, yeah. And, and, and it’s funny, actually, I’ve always sort of wished I had come up with something earlier. Now I feel like it’s too late.

Joshua Beaudry 13:28
So I think that’s just what got me into theater. And and then and then in high school. We did what is it? It’s the Les Miserables, but not the musical. We did like the play version of it. And I played Bametabois which was this guy who he Yeah, who is it? The cuts her hair? It’s not cassette? I can’t remember. But he somebody’s screaming right now they know the name T rex after and talked about her hair and I don’t know, like dirty my teeth up. And it went really well. It went over really well. And my friend, Bill attorno, who was like my first Saskatoon friend, and he was a jaded, he can be quite jaded and kind of cynical, and sort of mean spirited. And that’s his humor. And so basically an honest person. Yeah. Like, you know, I thought you were gonna be shit. But you were pretty good. And and I would do terribly in school. Terrible, terrible. Awful. Yeah. Just because I I could I have ADD and I couldn’t. And I would just get distracted, never do my assignments. And then I would like read whatever material The morning of a test and I would get enough to pass. Yes, because I could retain The information really quickly.

James Avramenko 15:01
Yeah. At least enough to just get through That’s it, buddy you’re speaking to the converted right there. That’s that’s how I got through all of school all the way through university even I like I had to just fake it until I squeaked through

Joshua Beaudry 15:14
I did not do as well in university, which is crazy because in high school my guidance counselor said once you get to university can study what you like, you know?

James Avramenko 15:25
Yeah, but it’s how you study.

Joshua Beaudry 15:28
Again, like just not focused. And so I would skip my classes all the time. We were working on a Duane Brenna play yesterday. And, and I What’s so funny is that I feel I’m probably one of the only people to ever get an incomplete and complete failure in first year acting class. Um,

James Avramenko 15:50
so did you know you studied at the U of S? Correct?

Joshua Beaudry 15:53
Yes.

James Avramenko 15:54
Nice.

Joshua Beaudry 15:55
And by studied…uuhhh

James Avramenko 15:58
You were occasionally present at the U of S. And so once you got out, um, um, did you like go straight into acting? Or did you like how did you kind of, because I always feel like Saskatoon, the sort of Saskatoon acting and you know, our art scene in general, as always a bit of a mishmash of like, some people seem to like come out the gates and get a professional contract like that same year. And then some people it feels like it takes them a real surprisingly long time, especially for the talent level that they bring. It takes a surprising long time to break in, you know, and so what was what was your experience with that?

Joshua Beaudry 16:36
Yeah, like, my last year was nine, D eight. And my first professional show was in 2001. which was at Shakespeare in the Saskatchewan. So a good three years. Yeah. And then my, like, my next, like, really big sort of, then I got one the year after that. And then my first I joined equity in 2006. I was not, like, out of the gates, like, you know, I was not getting the work right away. But I was always working. So I got cast in what was called a young company, unrelated to Persephone, it happened. It happened at Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan and it was sort of an affiliated, they used to have a second tent. And we would do shows in their in their billy tend to after the mainstage show ended. And so we do, you might rehearse for two weeks and put on a play. And we had to work so fast, and make decisions so quickly. That I feel like that was my biggest learning. I did my most learning. They’re the worst sentence ever. But

James Avramenko 17:52
oh, I it makes complete sense. I think that that’s like, I think that that’s the thing that is really lost in, in, in acting. And in art programs. In general, the thing that I feel like I missed out on when I went to theater school was this, like you don’t learn like, okay, it’s very important to know, theater history. And it’s very important to know theater theory, I think those two things are very fundamental knowledge bases that you should have. At the same time, though, I think you do not get better unless you do it. And so the arguments of, well, they’re not good enough, they need to get better. It’s like, well, you have to cast them so that they can get better. Or you have to create opportunities where they can do it to get better, because it’s not like, um, but I don’t know. I mean, it’s, there’s no such thing as a job where you can just learn it and do it. You have to practice. It’s why they have, you know, it’s why they have practicums. It’s why they have apprenticeships, it’s why every other job gives you practical application time in your education. And I just, I hate this like streamlining of like, oh, if you didn’t get in once, then you will never learn how to do it. And we will always bar you from it. You know, like get fucked.

Joshua Beaudry 19:05
Yeah. I mean, I and I feel like I, you wrestle and I was going to talk about this later, you sort of wrestle with things, but like, I feel like as I get older, I get better. And but I feel like I was always fairly strong. But then I would, but there’s like key moments where you leap forward, depending on, you know, experiences, but in most for most of that was working with the really great directors.

James Avramenko 19:35
Yeah. And now so So speaking of directing, I hate to sort of like fast forward a little bit, but I’d really like to hear about how you got involved with directing the aliens and how, like, how did that sort of from, you know, from your early, early years into getting into into that project?

Joshua Beaudry 19:54
Well, so sort of like I was just saying, working with the Really great directors. Yeah. started to feel like other people listening might go if I know them. Was this me Is this not me. But I don’t feel like there’s that many really strong directors out there.

James Avramenko 20:17
Sure.

Joshua Beaudry 20:18
And I feel like a lot of the time, people are just making arbitrary choices.

James Avramenko 20:23
Sure. Yeah.

Joshua Beaudry 20:26
And so much,

James Avramenko 20:29
so much of it is very rudimentary, right? Because it’s very, what’s the word for it? It’s like, yeah, arbitrary. You know what you nail that arbitrary. It’s this idea of like, well, we have to just be able to see you. So stand there.

Joshua Beaudry 20:39
Yeah. Yeah. And, and I don’t understand the perspective that people come from sometimes. So working with directors who have really great communication skills and can really sort of explained something to me had a big impact. And then I think the more I worked with them, the more I wanted to do it myself. Yeah, I did. And then then it’s always a struggle for me, because I also want to act. But I also want to work then I feel like some people they want to do one more than the other. And I really want to do both. And Persephone has this program where they are they I don’t know if they still do this, because I haven’t done it for quite a long time. But when they were looking at new shows, they would get together, the artistic associates, the artistic director, General Manager, and a few invited actors would read different scripts. And I actually read the ladder ladder, ladder, ladder ladder scene.

James Avramenko 21:44
Right, you did the Kj part?

Joshua Beaudry 21:46
Yeah, the KJ part and I and somebody had shown me the show before, and suggested that my, my theatre company that I have with some other people, that we produce it, so I wasn’t going to happen. So I was really excited when it was on when I saw Persephone, putting it forward. And I don’t know if that sort of seeded the idea that I might be a good fit for that. I don’t know how that worked out. Because I’ve been directing for six years before I got that chance.

James Avramenko 22:19
Yeah, I mean, it’s it was such a good Kismet kismetic moment, it feels like because he was, yeah, just speaking from an actor’s perspective. And we’ll I feel like we’ll actually touch on this a little bit further on in some of the questions, but, but I just I know that from, from my perspective, as an actor, it was such a I don’t even know what the right word for it was. It just felt like the perfect confluence of people working on the show at that time, you know, and, and my experience with you, as a director was so fulfilling and engaging, and I just loved, like, you know, speaking of, you know, talking about how to talk to someone how to get what you want out of somebody and how it wasn’t just stand there to be looked at it was, Why are you here? And then when we would talk about stuff, you would do this thing? Where you would you would clarify? I don’t know, I don’t even know what it was, but you would clarify the line in this way, where it would just snap things, you know, it would be little switches, and it was just, you know, yeah, it was it. I don’t again, I don’t even have the exact words for it. I just remember, I would leave rehearsal. And I’d be like, wow, like, I don’t even know what happened. I was just in it, you know, and it’s really powerful. It’s really powerful experience.

Joshua Beaudry 23:32
Well, thank you very much. You know, I think of I worked with Nieko Ochi, the Calgary director and writer. And we were working on a show called routes. And she was demonstrating something for me. So she was she kind of acted it like a little bit it wasn’t a line reading. But it was just like a thought process. And something’s never been clearer. Like just seeing and I thought like, she’s got skills, why shouldn’t she use that skill to like, help me discover this moment? People frown on that kind of thing. I’m not saying she wasn’t saying say it exactly like this. She was just demonstrating a sort of version of that.

James Avramenko 24:20
Yes. Yeah. Well, and that’s what it always felt like it never felt like a line read. Although I will say, I’m the kind of actor and the kind of director who will straight up give a line read I don’t give a fuck yeah. Because it’s like, if you’re not getting the thing that I want, I’m going to tell you the thing I want and like, and like, I hate this, like that’s the actor’s job. It’s like, well, but if they’re not doing their job, I’m sure I’m wrong about it, but fuck it, who cares no one’s letting me direct anyway. You know, the real the real central core of this show in general has been my exploration of myself that I mean, I feel like it’s sometimes sounds selfish to be like, I’m learning about me, but it’s like, the very central question of this show is, have I been a good friend? And have I, you know, have I caused more good than bad throughout my life? I don’t think anybody escapes unscathed. But it’s like have I have I at least tried to weigh the scales properly? You know? And, and so what I’ve been asking everybody and what I ask you is, at the very core of it, how would you define friendship?

Joshua Beaudry 25:39
It’s hard, right? Because I feel like there’s so many levels to friendship, like, Oh, I could be friends with anybody, as long as they’re nice. Um, yeah, I can be friends with people. And some of that friendship might gear into acquaintances. I’ve been working out at the gym. And there’s been a few people who have struck up conversations, and we’ve exchanged names. And now when I see them, I call them by their name, and they call me by their name. And I know they don’t call me by their name.

James Avramenko 26:18
Frank, Frank.

Joshua Beaudry 26:24
But I really liked engaging with these people. Because Because we have nothing really in common except for this, like, gym experience. And how often do I get out of my like, art theater bubble? Yeah, well, that’s really nice. But friendship, I think is, like, true friendship. Is support and kindness and thoughtfulness and, yeah, and generosity.

James Avramenko 26:54
Yeah, it’s it’s interesting that, you know, it’s, it’s the sort of tenants of friendship that I find don’t really change that much, no matter what age you’re in, no matter what technological state you’re in, you know what I mean? Yeah, it all really comes down to some very core key elements, I find, for me, what I what I’m finding, especially these days is the challenge of implementing that, right. Because there’s, there’s one thing to know, it’s good to be empathetic. Right? Yeah. It’s a whole other thing to know how to implement that on a daily continual spectrum. Right. And, and with the state of the world, in the state of conversation, and the state of how we interact, like, I guess the thing that I’m struggling with the most is, is how to implement things that I wish I could do more easily. You know, I wish I could care more easily about people who clearly don’t care about me, right? or whatever it might be.

Joshua Beaudry 27:57
Yeah, I know that. Like, I found that through this pandemic, I’ve been periodically reaching out to some people who I think might want that. Yeah, just to talk every once in a while. And what’s strange is I’ve had messages from people who I haven’t been in contact with me for a long time, who said, I was just thinking about you the other day and wanted to see if you’re doing okay, and like, that’s friendship.

James Avramenko 28:27
Yeah, yeah, it really is. You know, I, again, I think I think, you know, I think my personal exploration, I’m not sure if it’s entirely universal, or if it’s really the combination of a lot of mind neuroses and a lot of my own sort of, you know, mental and emotional hangups, this idea of the anxiety of potential rejection. And the idea that it’s not hard to say, Hello, you know, it’s not, it’s not hard to reach out to people. But for me, there’s this fear that they won’t want to hear from me, and then I’ll reach out and I’ll be, I’ll feel dumb, because they didn’t want to hear from me. And that’s why we hadn’t talked in 10 years. It’s, you know, and I am finding it very, very generally. I mean, you know, there’s the occasional hiccup here, there. But on the on the whole, generally speaking, people are very receptive to someone kindly reaching out to them right, and seeing how they’re doing. And I think that that’s something that I would I need to internalize better on myself, but I think it’s something that I would definitely share with anybody is like, if you are thinking about someone, you should let them know. Yeah, you should say hello, right. You should reach out and just say something nice. It doesn’t have to be you don’t have to have a big long in depth catch up. Just say hello and say something nice to them.

Joshua Beaudry 29:45
Well, this is such an extreme example of that. But how many times have you heard stories of like, I was thinking of killing myself, and then somebody called me. Yeah, so I Yeah, I definitely believe in those moments. Yeah,

James Avramenko 29:58
it’s definitely another thing to about this. This idea of I think we perceive other people’s lives is going better than they actually are. Yeah, it’s something that I’ve been really on a lot lately is this idea of, you know, like, there is no one in this world who’s having an easy time. You know, like, even the people that you’re telling yourself like, oh, they’re on Easy Street, they’re skating, they’re doing this or that. It’s like, No, no, there isn’t a soul on Earth right now who’s having an easy time. So every time you see somebody posting something joyful on on Instagram, or something positive on Facebook, I worry that our, our, our habit, and our tendency is to lean towards jealousy and resentment. And I wish we could lean more towards joyful appreciation of that, you know, and celebrate with them rather than wish it was us and not them.

Joshua Beaudry 30:55
We all have, I think, in the arts world imposter syndrome. Um, how bad is your imposter syndrome?

James Avramenko 31:06
I mean, it depends on the day, right? It’s it depends on like, what I ate that morning. That’s, uh, you know, I think I think for me, when I’m in my routines, right, because I’ve through years of experimenting with, you know, daily art creation, daily writing, and all this kind of production, and sometimes putting it in public and sometimes keeping it private. What I’ve learned is that when I’m deep in my routines, and I know, I will meditate, and then I will journal, and then I will write a poem. And then I will write a short story. Like, when I know my morning, I don’t get lost in that. I trust myself, as I’m working. And as I allow myself to work, it’s when I am quiet, right? It’s when I’m still and it’s when I’m not working on the thing that I’d like to be doing. That’s when I tell myself, Well, you shouldn’t be working on that anyway. Because you suck. Right? You know, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s, you know, I never feel worse about my writing than when I’m reading a book. And I read a lot. So. Um, or, like, the worst for me is, is trying to get sleep, right. Like, I can’t tell you how many nights I you know, I mean, because they’re literally most nights. I’m, I’m lying awake, thinking about what I didn’t write that day, or what I didn’t create this week, or where I thought my life would be by now, or what I would have accomplished if I only had done this or had that or been given this opportunity, right. And so I don’t I, you know, I don’t know if it’s necessarily, like, I hear lots about imposter syndrome. And I and I, and I believe in it. And I know, I’ve experienced it, I feel less like I don’t deserve to be an artist and more like, I don’t deserve to be celebrated. And so it’s not that I you know, it’s like it to me, it’s like, I always find that the the language around it is lacking for what I’m feeling about it. You know what I mean? It’s not that I don’t deserve to try and make it’s that I have yet to make something that’s worth celebrating. right?

Joshua Beaudry 33:17
That’s your feeling.

James Avramenko 33:19
Yes, that’s how I feel. Exactly. Yeah, I’m not saying it’s real. I’m just saying that, you know, my dumb my dumb brain is telling me that it’s right.

Joshua Beaudry 33:27
But yeah, I mean, cuz I’ll feel like that periodically, too. I feel like sometimes the the notion that, like, maybe people are just, Yeah, maybe people are just humoring me. Maybe I’m horrible. I don’t mind that so much. Because I feel like that’s what kind of pushes me to keep working. Like, rather than shutting me down. But yeah, but your work ethic around writing is incredible.

James Avramenko 34:00
Oh, thanks.

Joshua Beaudry 34:01
Yeah, that’s really inspiring. I, I just play a lot of video games. hen I’m working I’m working. But if my career was like, what you make if you go out and make it? I don’t know. Well, I yeah. That’s in lieu of this year. I’m, you know, who knows.

James Avramenko 34:19
Yes. Well, and that’s the other one. That’s it right there. That’s the other part of it is this whole thing of like, well, what would I be if 2020 hadn’t happened? You know, and so there’s this whole new, what if mental gymnastic course that I have to run? You know, it’s like, well, if I hadn’t been locked down since March, who knows where we would be, you know. ADVERTISEMENT – Conexus credit union is all about their members, improving their financial well being drives everything they do. And that’s not something they say. That’s something I say it’s a promise that’s delivered by overnight. hundred employees across scheduling their employees or members to, and they’ve been there. So they’re committed to making your money work for you. the banking industry needs to change, and connexus is changing it for everyone. Because connexus cares. Visit connexus.ca to learn more. What is your most vivid memory of our friendship?

Joshua Beaudry 35:27
20 cheeseburgers.

James Avramenko 35:29
Oh haha 30! 31!

Joshua Beaudry 35:34
right on your birthday?

James Avramenko 35:35
Yeah,

Joshua Beaudry 35:36
yeah, that mountain cheeseburgers. It’s a great moment. Also, you the three of you singing. So I mean, again, it’s all like aliens related because I those comes out of rehearsals. But

James Avramenko 35:52
yes.

Joshua Beaudry 35:55
Yeah, I gotta say it’s our time doing doing the aliens.

James Avramenko 35:59
Yeah, yeah. I mean, you’re, that’s exactly for me too. Like that. That month was the best month of, it was the best month of my time in Saskatoon at a minimum. Yeah, it was probably the best month of my life since since like, you know, leaving Vancouver kind of thing, you know, and like, sort of leaving my old old friends. Like, there was definitely a moment where I felt so included, you know, and I felt so seen and validated. And then but but more than just that they like it was obviously it was a personal satisfaction. And then on top of that, it was a creative satisfaction because I felt so proud of what we created together. And it felt like a it felt like a collective. And it felt like a team, you know, and and, I mean, it’s why I broke my heart that so few people saw it. And there was such a vitriol around it because I was just like, we we have spent a month trying to build something beautiful. And I believe we’ve done that. And then it was rejected. And it’s like, Fuck

Joshua Beaudry 37:06
yeah, that’s right. And, and I mean, forth. I mean, there’s a lot of things happening. I guess politically. I don’t, the policy, not politically that’s the wrong word. But, um, lots of stuff happening at persephone. That sort of tainted, it’s tainted that the reception of this show. Yeah. to agree, I think. And an all male cast, just I mean, that was I guess the thing, but I felt like it was such a great example of, of men being kind to each other, like more. Yeah, I don’t know, like,

James Avramenko 37:48
well, because it was an exploration of fragility. And it was an exploration in vulnerability, and it’s what it made. It’s why when I hear things like oh, all male cast, it feels really disheartening, because it’s like, but this is, to me the best version of that, because it’s not. And these three guys are being men. And they’re gonna talk about butts and boobs, and they’re gonna be men. It was like, it was a deep analysis of very broken men who were just struggling to hold on and, and and yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I i understand the other stance, I understand the other perspectives on it. It just makes me sad, because it was such a beautiful experience to be a part of,

Joshua Beaudry 38:33
but there were valid complaints around. I don’t think around casting. I think there were valid complaints around the idea of like a an all male show.

James Avramenko 38:45
The optics of it were very poorly managed.

Joshua Beaudry 38:49
However, the show itself, I think, is brilliant. And, and I think Yeah, we did a phenomenal job of it. And I do wish more people had seen it. You you put out when Jennica was away from home. You did a beautiful cover on the guitar. I can’t remember what the song was but I thought it was really beautiful. Thank you continue to do that. Do you do that privately and you just don’t post them anymore? Yeah,

James Avramenko 39:26
yeah, yeah. I yeah, that was my brightest diamond. I’ve never loved someone. Um, yeah, I actually I had, so the aliens was actually the first time I ever sang in public. Oh, thank you. That’s really that’s really kind of you. I really thank you for that. I mean, I guess I should say like, I mean, I was in musical theater in high school. So like I sang and like, you know, as Mr. Mayor Who in the seussical but like, I don’t really count those because everyone was crap. And you know, and and, and when I was a university, I took a Bob Dylan class Yeah. Where I studied his, like cultural impact and his sort of career trajectory. And I became really enamored with the myth of Bob Dylan. And so I taught myself. Actually, it took me years. So in University, I became really obsessed with him. But then I became also very overwhelmed by the, you know, the monument that is Bob Dylan, right? There’s no there’s no touching him. And even when I started studying him, I was already older than he was when he was writing like his some of his most iconic songs. And so I was already playing catch up. And that really overwhelmed and disillusion me, you know, and, and so I bought a guitar, and then I got too afraid of it. And so I took, I took probably, let’s see, if I graduated in 2010. It probably wasn’t until 2015 or 16, that I actually genuinely learned how to play it. And it just sat in a case and just came with me wherever I went, you know, and, and then I finally one New Year’s was like, fuck this, I’m gonna learn. And so I taught myself, you know, chords, and then, and then every month, I added a cord and I learned, you know, and then after, you know, six, seven months, I was playing little basic songs. And so yes, so for the last like, four years, I’ve just been playing for myself. And just like, I always I was, again, it comes back to this thing of like, I wish I had had more bravery younger to pursue music because I’ve always felt a very, very deep kinship to music and a very deep expression through music. I think that’s why I like poetry so much, because it’s like, it’s, it’s, it’s such an integral element of music is poetry. And, and so I figured, well, if I can’t play instruments, at least I can write the lyrics, you know? Yeah. And, yeah, so So yeah, I had only ever sung in public as, as a as an adult in the aliens. And that was a really, it was a super cathartic moment for me to sing that beautiful song and, and to be, you know, harmonizing with somebody whose voice was so powerful with mine, you know, and, and, and then, and then yeah, and then just kept playing it to myself, you know, so I just wouldn’t I hear a song and I learned it and, and then yeah, and then that the reason I posted that song is just because like it was, you know, I felt I felt more alone that week than I think I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Because, you know, here’s Jennica in Abidjan, and the world is shutting down. Yeah. And, and we already were so scared of her going because we didn’t know very much. And so there was, and it was really last minute, she literally got the trip, I think in February, and then she went in March, like it was so fast. That it was like just this whirlwind and, and, and I felt crazy, because everyone here was acting like business as usual. And, and I’m watching the news in Europe and Asia, and I’m watching the rest of the world panic and shut down. While Saskatoon is just like, go to the bar, you know, and so I just needed to do something. And again, it was one of those things where I decided that in the in the amount of time I have, I’m not going to be able to do you know, something that I’m proud of with my writing and maybe again, that’s definitely my neuroses and not truth, but I figured I would just do that song. And, and yeah, and again, it was like a very powerful moment for myself. Right. It was a very powerful learning moment for my own art and my own creativity. And, I mean, the reception was so lovely, and it was so nice. And you know, when I tried to do a little bit more, I did a whole new world, but then I was swearing in it. And so all the parents were really upset with me. And then I just stopped doing it. So I mean, yeah, I like I do it, you know, I bdo it. For myself in my living room, I’ll get drunk and I’ll play a song and I’ll really like it but I I kind of like it like that. I kind of like just playing music for myself and enjoying it for myself and not feeling the need to prove that I’m a musician to anybody. Because I do feel like I feel like that ship has sailed in terms of like, my creative potential. And so I just like to, you know, get drunk and play some Mason Jennings, right? Yeah. Have you ever turned any of your poetry into into song? Um, no, I tried two years ago, like probably like 2012. I tried to pair up with a friend of mine to turn some poetry into music, but it fell, it fell flat almost instantly. We just weren’t a good creative pair. So it just didn’t, did not work. But it’s always been a thought and especially now with this year. You know, I have now that I’ve sort of you know that now that I’ve published stuff now that I self published. and created a body of work that I’m actually like, proud of, to show to the public. I’ve always thought about maybe going back and tweaking it, but I don’t know again, it just feels like another project to feel shitty about myself while doing. But how about yourself, do you sing? Do you? Do you play instruments? Or?

Joshua Beaudry 45:22
Nope, not at all? No.

James Avramenko 45:25
Okay, all right.

Joshua Beaudry 45:27
I bought, I bought a guitar, and to learn, and then it said in the case for, I don’t know, 15 years now, I’d went to university and then I sold it to make rent. Right? And then, yeah, and then I got one again, with the intent of learning. I spent like a week or two, and then stopped. And then yeah, this year, we bought or last Christmas, we got a digital keyboard. Like it’s like a, it’s got the 66 keys, or whatever it is.And I have been taking some Udemy classes. I’m just learning like, simple chord progressions. So I am interested in learning music. I love music. I have written like, I, I would write lyrics, and then and then kind of like, set them to song like, without, you know, I would think stuff, but I didn’t have an instrument and I couldn’t write it down.

James Avramenko 46:31
Right. I see.

Joshua Beaudry 46:32
And I love music so much. But I, but I’m not. And maybe that’s maybe that’s why I love it so much.

James Avramenko 46:40
Right? Yeah. Because it’s sort of this theory of outside potential. Right?

Joshua Beaudry 46:44
Yeah. You know, you’re talking about Bob Dylan and being intimidated by his creative output. And have you ever listened to revisionist history with Malcolm Gladwell? They have an episode on genius and long term genius and, and momentary genius, you know, like, flashes of insight, and there’s a story of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen getting together and I think Leonard Cohen asks Bob Dylan. You know, I love I think it maybe it was, I shall be released, or one of them and just saying, you know, I love this. I love the song. How long did it take you to write it? and Dylan say, I think I wrote it in, you know, 20 minutes. Yeah. And, and, and Dylan saying, I, you know, I love Hallelujah How long did that take? And, and Leonard Cohen, saying five years? Cause he was constantly revisiting it. And yeah. And yeah.

James Avramenko 47:57
And I will say, I mean, not to, like, throw too much shade on anybody. But I will say I think, in retrospect, in terms of long term ability, I think that Leonard Cohen maintained a far deeper talent in terms of lyricism and poeticism. Than Dylan did, but, but that’s, I feel like that’s a discussion for a different episode. I feel like we should not kick the hornet’s nest, right now. You know, it’s, it’s end of November now, and we’re recording and life is different than it has been for any of us ever before. And so, as we adapt, and as we try to figure out what we’re doing, what do you think it takes for you or for your friends? What do you think it takes to be a good friend? Moving into 2021?

Joshua Beaudry 48:58
Yeah. In what regard? Like, like, in regard to just the world people’s, like, I feel like the vulnerable thing is everybody’s like, mental health is in jeopardy.

James Avramenko 49:13
Yes.

Joshua Beaudry 49:14
So maybe it’s just checking in on people a lot more than usual. You know, yeah, you know, cuz I think in your last episode, you talked about the importance of touch. And, and how, you know, if people not fortunate enough to have loved ones close, like we do. That’s got. It’s got to be hard. And so yeah, just reaching out to people more.

James Avramenko 49:42
Yeah. Yeah. It’s a funny thing, right? Because it’s like I it can be really ethereal, and then it can be really concrete. And I’m not even entirely sure where the question truly falls in my intention, but it’s this idea of if we believe we can be good friends, but we’re also living In this world that’s just the most confusing terrifying. miasmic Bizarro world that we’ve ever experienced. What is like, what can we do to keep each other level insane and, and? healthy? Right? I think you’re nailed it. I think you nailed it really though. It’s just like, like, I think removing old anxieties, right. Like, we talked about the fear of reaching out. And I think we have to get past that. And we have to just, we have to just accept that we’re gonna have to, we’re gonna have to look a little dumb sometimes. Right? Josh, buddy, it is just, it is so nice to catch up with you. I feel like I haven’t had a chance to talk to you like this in ages. And it’s just, I’m just so grateful. Like, not just for you being on the show. But I’m just, this sounds so cheesy, but I am just so grateful for you and for the friendship that you have provided me

Joshua Beaudry 50:51
Thank James you too.

James Avramenko 50:52
ou know, you know, like I say, this one’s gonna hurt to have to unfriend you. But at the very least we do have, you know, someday we will get to go to the yard and flagon again together. Okay, here we go. Here’s one last thing we got to do. Joshua beaudry. We are no longer Facebook friends. Can you see it? Does it like refresh?

Joshua Beaudry 51:17
Here? It literally didn’t change. But let me see. Now it says add friend.

James Avramenko 51:23
Wow, there it is.

Joshua Beaudry 51:25
And there’s your cheeseburger picture.

James Avramenko 51:28
That’s, you know, that that cheeseburger moment was the best birthday I’ve ever had like, like, Oh my god, it was incredible. Just that plate. That mountain. I’ll post it as part of the promo for the episode. But like that mountain of cheeseburgers, when it came around the corner. I’ve never felt happier or more loved

Joshua Beaudry 51:52
I’ve never wanted a cheeseburger more in my life than looking at that photo right now.

James Avramenko 52:13
That’s it. Thank you one more time to Josh for coming on the show. I just friggin love the guy. And I want nothing but the best for him and his incredible family. And you know what? I want the best for you and your incredible family too. I hope you’re all staying safe staying well. I know. It’s scary time. And I just hope you’re all being gentle with yourselves right now. If you like the show, let your friends know. Share the links, review the episodes. tell the world about the magic of friendless and your good buddy James. Don’t forget to give the show a five star review on Apple podcasts. It helps me out so so much. I feel embarrassed doing this. But yes, this is the part of the show, I need to plug a few things that I’m selling this holiday season. The advent calendar is in full swing. If you are listening to this on the day it comes out today is actually the first day of the calendar. Yes, you can still jump on if you like you will catch up on all the previous writing. And then you will get updated with all the new stuff going forward. Today is also the first day of my new book butthead being launched. I am super proud of the whole collection, but especially these brand new poems. I’m really excited to be sharing them all and I think you’re gonna really enjoy them. Give them a shot. Take a look at what I’ve got. You can find everything at friendlesspod.com.shop. Find me everywhere on social media at friendlesspod or on my personal account onaveragemango. Other than that, that’s it for me. Next week is another dear friend that I have made in my time here in Saskatoon, Megan Kent. But that’s then this is now so for now. Take care of yourselves. And I will see you next week. Fun and safety y’all


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