JJ Bozeman: the music of the drama

JJ Bozeman Interview                                                                                 

JJ Bozeman, a New York actor and producer plays Jonah McCabe in Deny We Were.  He was sought after for the part by the show’s wonderful stage manager, Sara Minesquero.  He’s drawn to playing characters that have a certain level of complexity.” I was drawn to the discussive element. You can debate if a character is justified, or if they are unhinged.” Audiences will soon find out where Jonah McCabe lies when JJ Bozeman brings him to the stage.

“Deny We Were” by Joe Moe
Directed by Marcus Gualberto
Produced by Jay Michaels in association with Fresh Fruit Festival
Ida Nau-DeLuke, executive producer
Production Design by John Gross
Lighting Design by Maarten Cornelis with Adam Hamdy
Wednesday 5/11 at 6:00 pm
Friday 5/13 at 8:00 pm
Saturday 5/14 at 5:00 pm 
at The WILD PROJECT, 195 East 3rd Street, NYC 
For further info: freshfruitfestival.com  

It’s all LA sunshine and fun until a handsome teenage inquisitor shows up with a chip on his shoulder. When precocious 17-year old Jonah McCabe bunks with adopted “Guncle” Dean Vela, raging hormones take a backseat to burning resentment of his controlling, ex-model dad, Jimmy, and a sneaking suspicion Uncle Dean and dad have been “more than just friends.” Dean deflects. Jonah’s mom, Carrie, vents her issues with partner Jimmy, who she supports financially and who, in return, enjoys it. Who is this gorgeous villain that has everyone eating off of his abs? When Jimmy finally appears in the charismatic flesh, thirsty secrets unravel in the narcissistic centrifuge that spins around an unsqueezable love-sponge. Desire and deceit, all suspended in a soap bubble of wicked humor.

I had the pleasure of chatting with JJ Bozeman to learn more about his career and his involvement with this project.

What is your creative process? 

After reading the script and understanding the beats leading to the arch of the story or character, I study the parts of the character that feel the most foreign. For Jonah, I found a playlist of music that made more sense for him than it did for my personal taste, and I listen to it on my way to rehearsal. 

Do you find a sense of added responsibility when dealing with plays that tackle serious, mature, or timely subject matter?

The urgency of a serious message does light a fire, but I think the need for a laugh can be urgent too.

What’s so good about off-off Broadway/indie theatre?

Accessibility for audiences, and artists alike. The theatre’s might be smaller, but at least more people can afford a ticket. Also there are more freedoms to experiment and develop with less pressure to succeed commercially.

It’s obvious the world is steadily reopening. What do you feel is different now than before the pandemic? Another thought: what should be different now than before pandemic?

I think everyone learned to value their time more than ever. A lot of us learned how lucky we are compared to others. —We should keep that going and demand fairer systems for ourselves for those less privileged. Free healthcare and access to housing is so possible for the richest country in the world, and it would stop so much violent behavior. 

What’s next for you? 

I’m filming a movie in June! I have a small part in a project called You Can’t Stay Here by director Todd Verow, starring Guillermo Diaz.

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