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Josh Kieser Finds the Heart in Broken People

There are likely as many reasons for actors to enter the vocation as there are actors themselves. Josh Kieser has always felt that, for him, it’s about growth and giving a voice to the people & characters who need it. He notes that when considering any role, he places himself in the mindset of the audience and considers if he would be both entertained and enlightened to the circumstances of another type of person; if the answer is yes and the role is well written, then it’s for him. While the roles he takes on are not always intense (many of them are), Kieser is known for bringing his intensity to them. Whether it be comedy or a very disturbing drama, Josh has an inner fire that is palpable on screen as well as belies the easy going and congenieal person he is known to be in the industry; I guess that’s why it’s called acting.

In Papercut, Josh plays a successful actor who is hiding the fact that he is in a same sex monogamous relationship. His character (Kane) wants to reveal who he really is to the world but this is a point of contention in his relationship and among the industry advisors with whom he is associated. Kieser’s performance garnered Best Actor awards from the Gold Movie Awards Goddess Nike, Melbourne City Independent Film Awards, Rainbow Umbrella Film Festival, and nominations from Top Indie Film Awards, Actors Awards, Los Angeles, and The Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards. Director Damian Overton declares, “As the lead role in our film, there was a huge amount of responsibility on Josh. What he delivered was exciting and graceful. The role required a very strong handling of comedic and dramatic elements, both of which Josh excelled in. He deserves all of the respect he has gained from his peers and professionals in the industry. Josh is simply stunning in this film.”

As Chris Townsend in Thicker Than Water, Josh was afforded the exploration of a truly desperate young man. Chris is a teenager who is sexually and emotionally abused by his drug dealing uncle whom he lives with. Chris struggles to maintain some semblance of a normal life. He believes he may have found this in the family of one of his uncle’s former dealers. When D, the eldest son (and the former drug dealer associated with Chris’s uncle) returns home from rehab, Chris’s friendship with one of D’s younger brothers brings the teen’s history of abuse to the surface and begins to create a bond. Chris’s nefarious uncle Nic doesn’t take well to this. While the glamour of the film’s red carpet premier was a hugely enjoyable event, Josh reveals that roles like this are not without their toll. He concedes, “It can sometimes be a challenge just to forget about the harsher material. It’s great to stretch your acting muscles but the emotional nature of things can be daunting and have a negative effect on my mental state. I guess that’s something I practice for as an actor; to be able to get in and out of the states/worlds of the work and leave it behind each day… but that doesn’t mean I’m not mentally drained and just want to eat ice cream and watch Netflix. “

Even humor has its desperation, as Josh proved in Compulsion. As Felix, a beaten down office employee who feels that he has no one to relate to at home or work, he begins an unrequited love affair with a Japanese toilet…yes, a Japanese toilet. Perhaps not since Spike Jones' Her has man and technology been in such an embrace. The mood may be amorous but the humor is much greater in Compulsion. There’s an even deeper underlying wit in the implication that the JX2000 (the aforementioned commode) and Felix are mismatched in society due to the JX2000’s residence in the managerial bathroom. This Capulet & Montague-esque dynamic expands the comedy even further. Josh’s endearing balance of comedy and drama led to a Best Acting Debut from October Monthly Edition of Oniros Film Awards. The trappings of the corporate business world and its tendency to fillet the personal life from a person definitely resonated with the audiences who embraced this film.

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