Review Fix chats with actor/writer Joshua Schubart who discusses his new project, “.After”.
About Joshua Schubart:
Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Joshua Schubart has been working as a professional actor for over a decade.
Joshua had a tough childhood, growing up homeless and in the foster care system. At 14, his foster parents put him in catholic school, and his life took a turn for the best. He discovered acting in his early teens, as an escape from his day to day challenges. He would often say that acting literally saved his life, giving him the drive and motivation to make his dreams come true. Joshua attended the Asolo Conservatory for actor training and got a BA in acting from Stony Brook University. Upon graduation, he fully immersed himself in acting, building up a reputation as a hardworking and talented actor.
Joshua has been seen in projects ranging from small indie films to walking the boards at the Metropolitan Opera. Some of his recent work includes a recurring role in the Amazon series The Tick, and appearances in Seven Seconds (Netflix) and High Maintenance (HBO). His voice can also be heard on a long list of audiobooks available on Amazon Audible, a list that keeps growing.
Review Fix: What inspired this series?
Joshua Schubart: The idea for “.AFTER” came on my wedding day. I was walking away from the alter holding my new wife’s hand and thought, “What the fuck would I do if you died?”. It was a new fear that only comes when you make this kind of commitment. It was a thought that persisted for quite a while, and I eventually began to write it down. I also wanted to do a deep dive into what it means to be mentally ill. The triumphs, failures, how messy and awkward it can be, but also how absurdly funny life can be when a person is dealing with these kinds of complex emotions. These two things came together to become what “.AFTER” is today.
- Review Fix: How is it different from your other work?
I’ve spent a large portion of my career playing large oafs, or bad guys. As a larger human in the entertainment industry I was getting put in these boxes. I specifically created this for myself so that I would be able to play a complete human being who goes through love, loss, and a wide range of complexity. Please don’t get me wrong, I love all aspects of my work, and I will continue to do it for the rest of my life, but it was very rare that I saw someone like me on screen who wasn’t a laughing stock or a loser. I aim to change that.
- Review Fix: What was it like on set?
Schubart: It was incredibly fun, and incredibly challenging. Being the producer, writer, and star of the show came with a whole lot of responsibility. It was a constant balancing act. Overall it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Being able to bring an incredible work of art to life, with so many talented folks, is something that will be with me for the rest of my life.
- Review Fix: Has COVID affected it in any way?
It certainly put a pin in things for a little while. “.AFTER” had a successful festival run in 2019, and with the help of my literary agent Dave Marken, we began looking for a home for the show. When the country shut down, “.AFTER” took a backseat to trying to get the country healthy again. Then IFT Network took interest in the show, and the rest as they say, is history.
- Review Fix: What was it like to work with Brian Michael Smith?
Schubart: Brian and I came up together trying to climb the ladder in NYC. He is not only any incredible human being, but an amazingly talented and giving artist. Working with Brian is like working with a maelstrom of positive energy, creativity, and explosive storytelling. I am so happy for everything that he has accomplished, and will continue to accomplish in his life and career.
- Review Fix: What do you think he added that no one else could?
Schubart: I wrote the role for Brian. No two actors are the same, and that’s a fact. We can learn the same techniques, but ultimately your own life experiences and history will deeply shape how a performance interacts with the world. I’m sure many great actors could have done an excellent job playing Jeremy Washington, but none of those other people would have been Brian.
- Review Fix: How do you want it to be remembered?
Schubart: I want people to see themselves in the characters of “.AFTER”. All of them are going through things that are very relatable. If people watching the show, especially the ones dealing with mental illness personally or around them, come out the other side of the show feeling seen or with more understanding. Well, then I’ve done my job.
- Review Fix: What’s next?
Schubart: I have a few irons in the fire. I’m always working on a new audiobook, so those will be coming out steadily throughout this year. I have a feature I wrote that is getting some attention, and there may be some new acting work coming that I can’t talk about yet. Of course the main event for this year will be becoming a father!
- Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Schubart: I fell into this industry largely by accident. My childhood was less than perfect. I bounced around a lot, became homeless, and then found a home with my foster parents. I walked onto a stage with a trauma induced stutter, and found that while performing I could speak in complete sentences for the first time in life. I want to encourage anyone who feels like they can’t, or life is too much that they absolutely can. You can be, and do anything you want in this world. I love you and believe in you, don’t stop.