Fri, Jan 19, 2024 12:00 PM
An American actor and director who made Marlborough home has been helping children gain confidence.
Josiah Wise from Goodly Creatures runs drama classes throughout the school holidays.
And with after school classes too, the actor is proud to be helping youngsters thrive both on and off the stage.
“We always want to boost the confidence of the kids and their confidence in one another to work as a team to create sketch comedy because kids are naturally funny,” he says.
“Once they have that confidence, that’s when they start to speak up and face out, have physical reactions on stage, and develop their own styles, character and mannerisms much more naturally.”
Josiah worked as an actor and director in California and Oregon from 2013 until moving to New Zealand in 2020.
He sees drama as a key opportunity for children’s development.
With two programmes, one for 6-10 and one for 11-14 year olds, running each day, Josiah finds that the children naturally have the creativity within them to create a scene.
“I help guide them, drop some tips in where I think it’s needed, and give them frameworks to work around that usually come from sketch comedy because it’s usually more relatable and free-form for them to add their own flair,” he says.
Josiah knows firsthand the lifelong love of performing starts from a young age.
“My parents either watched or coaxed me to perform whenever possible, whether it was a song or poem or recital, and then I graduated from community theatre to study it and get to share that love of performing with Marlborough’s youth”.
“Sometimes you do have to lead them and get them started with demonstrating how to express something with stage presence by keeping scenes open and easy to join in on and mould.
“If we’re collectively welcoming on and off the stage, letting them explore their own creativity is the easy part.”