Hey all of you Mike-Rod lovers. Yes, today is Awesome Person Thursday but we’re gonna flip the script here. I want to talk about how awesome Michael is and about a fertilizer called PLAE that helped water the seeds of my artistic projects starting back in 2010.
Rolling back the calendar three years and I was a mostly out of work actor, and a theatre producer of small projects that could only seem to ever break even.
Enter Mike and enter PLAE. I had known Michael for a few years. He first consulted on a two projects I produced, Hot Cripple and then the inaugural New York City run of The Gospel According to Josh (“GATJ”). Both went well and led to some wonderful things: Hot Cripple was turned into a book and published by Penguin and that year GATJ was invited for a one night performance at The Media Theatre outside Philadelphia, and was subsequently added to the theatre’s 11’-12’ season.
By I wanted more. I was barely scraping by on these projects and was dirt po’. I was so po’ I couldn’t even afford the last “o” and “r” (whomp, whomp). Michael had mentioned he was re-launching PLAE that Fall to help people like me figure out how to make a living off of their artistic projects. I had everything to gain and nothing to lose.
In my PLAE class, I met tech startup owners, casting directors, insurance brokers, and marketing gurus—all people who were willing to reveal their secrets to their success and people knew how to take a project and bring it to the end zone, so to speak. I had been living in Oz and had never paid attention to the “man” behind the curtain—till PLAE. My classmates were also hardworking artists and arts entrepreneurs—a director, a music director, the owner of a small indie film company, and myself. We bonded as a group and grew together and found our success individually and collectively. Now, one classmate is the assistant director on a Broadway show, another an in-demand music director currently on an international tour, the other brought successful film concepts to market. Me? We’ll get to that in a sec.
The brilliance of PLAE is two-fold
1) You are the company you keep. You hang out with scrappers, hustlers, and those who are working to get things accomplished; you become one of those people yourself. Alternatively, you hang out with slackers, flakes, and whiners; you become one of those people as well. PLAE is cultivated for the scrappers.
2) Experiential learning. You’re not just sitting around listening to people speak. You work as a class to brainstorm and work together to solve problems of individual class members together. You get your hands dirty and out of the textbooks.
Mike and PLAE provided me with a good place to get my bearings. Now? I make a full time living as a writer/actor/producer. The Gospel According to Josh is in its third year of international touring. I’ve booked myself in 27 U.S. states and 2 Canadian Provinces. We’re opening Off-Broadway in May ’14. And I just got my book published by Skookum Hill The Gospel According to Josh: A 28-Year Gentile Bar Mitzvah. Available for pre-release: http://www.joshuarivedal.com/book/ 15% of proceeds go to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Oh yeah, and PLAE? Everybody got time fo’ that.
Joshua Rivedal is an author, actor, playwright, and international public speaker. He has spoken professionally about suicide prevention and mental health awareness in more than twenty-five U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. He serves on the board of directors for the New York City chapter of The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
He wrote and developed the play, The Gospel According to Josh, which has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, and is set to open Off-Broadway in New York City in May 2014. He wrote the libretto and is associate producing a Spanish language Christmas musical Rescatando la Navidad, playing in seven cities during Christmas 2013. He writes for the blogs The Arts Entrepreneur and The BLOGospel According to Josh. His short story Chasing Waterfalls will be published in Little Book of Big Epiphanies in early 2014. As a voiceover actor, Josh has lent his voice to the role of Hippo in Scholastic’s Rabbit and Hippo In Three Short Tales, the narrator of Julianne Moore’s Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully, the narrator of Cinderella Penguin, and numerous other audiobooks and animated projects.