Partial Transcript: Roshan: Alright so my first question is what role does music play in your life?
Jonathon: So I’ll answer that on video right?
R: Uh it’s just gotta be audio honestly.
J: Oh So you’re recording right now?
J: Well, music, plays a super big role in my life. I - we can just chill here - I, play a lot, record a lot, write a lot. I’ve been singing ever since I was born. And I would sing ever since I was little, it’s all I ever do, so, it’s a big part of my life.
Partial Transcript: R: Would you say that like, coming here as been like a good use of honing in
J:The musical skills?
R: Yeah your musical skills and, what, the role of music that you put into your life?
J: Yeah it’s definitely shaped my -my mus- like- the role of music in my life like, when I came into college and I could hardly play guitar really, and I like I always sang so my voice was fine but like, i definitely improved tremedously with singing and just playing guitar and instruments. I picked up piano and bass, and a little bit of drums, and harmonica, and a bunch of instruments in college but it wasn’t so much like the academics that did it it was just like constantly playing with friends to be honest. Because I like I had tried, I had tried music classes here and they for me, like I tried music theory, and it was just terrible. I tried it for like a week and I was like “I can’t do this,” it just makes it so boring.
R: So like you didn’t find through like the school, you- I mean, through the actual like departments, you find that through from, more like the people that you-
J: Yeah I just been surrounded by doing music and working like with the audio engineer, and just, Rob, like so, academics were somewhat… yeah like, i don’t know I do theatre shows with music and you know musicals, but that’s more just like being, constantly doing, playing, everyday music.
R: Yeah you kind of like yeah. You gain it more just from yourself.
J: Yeah, more than you do in a classroom for sure.
Partial Transcript: R: Ok, so, that being said then, what is your major or your field of study right now?
J: It’s audio engineering and sound design, so , it’s a mix of
R: That’s your major?
J: Yes, it’s a self design major, it’s a mix of physics, music, and math. Basically I learn how to record music and network a lot with Rob Richards, the audio engineer. I do mixing and sound, all these other sound elements, so, that’s my major and I love it.
Partial Transcript: R: So, what made you want to partake in Godspell?
J: Well, I am Christian and deeply religious, so it’s like the most Christian you get in the theatre. So, that’s one aspect and I’m a scholar-
R: So yeah so did the-so one of the bigger influences that drew you to performing in this group, as opposed to say - “Wicked” I don’t know, whatever, like, if there was s- like, if there was some religious like kind of aspect to it, just personally for you. Because you have you know, more of a like, you make, you could have a very good like strong sense of your own religion because you play it throughout your music, that drew you closer?
J: Definitely I- so originally i thought i was going to act in it but i was cast as a guitarist. So a first i was bit disappointed but then i was like ok
R: So, you originally came into it for the -
J: For the acting yeah I auditioned in, but I was cast as the guitarist. At first i was a bit disappointed, but then I was like kind of glad because for one, I love guitar and then for another, I disagree with a lot of the choices in the show from like a religious perspective, like casting Jesus as a women or even like the ending with the flag. So I personally am very thankful that I just got to play guitar because I get to be part of it and still be involved. So yeah the main reason I did this show is like, well for one I’m on scholarship, so I have to be involved. It’s like the most Christian you get in the theatre, and then I just, kind of liked the music. So it’s been really awesome because like I get to read the bible with some of the cast members, actually explain what this is about. Because like, they know the words, but the parables have a lot deeper meanings. Which is really interesting, and it’s really fun because during the show they’ll say it, I just be like “yes, Amen, like this is great”, it’s better than a sermon Sundays.
Keywords: Religion, Amen
Partial Transcript: R: That’s cool, that’s cool, so actually yeah I was going to ask you, how do you feel about the idea of Jesus being portrayed as a women in this scenario.
J: I, from a religious perspective, strongly disagree and find it a bit, I don’t know if offensive is too strong but a bit like, almost like, on purp- like pushing the face from a Christian perspective because like in the Christian faith, one of the key elements of like the coming Messiah was that he had to be a Rabbi, he had to be like a man. So from a Christian perspective I don’t like that Jesus is cast as a woman.
J: I see that from the director’s perspective why she’s doing that and the statements that she is making during the show so I understand her concept behind it but i find it not being truly accurate to what it says in Matthew, so that’s kind of my concept behind it, I don’t like it at all, that’s why I play guitar.
Partial Transcript: R: Ok, so that’s why you play guitar. So how would guys say- so since you are a musician, how would you guys say that you interact with the other musicians?
J: With the other musicians or the actors?
R: First the other musicians.
J: So I like for me with the other musicians, so I play guitar, Anthony plays piano/keyboard, and Julie plays drums and there’s a bassist coming so - they are pretty good musicians.
R: The bassist wasn’t here today, was he, is he normally here?
J: Ah he wasn’t here at all yet but apparently they are hiring a really good bassist who like-
R: You don’t even have the bassist yet, he is going to come in later?
J: So that’s going to make things sound a lot fuller.
R: Was there any sense of discomfort I guess, or any-
J: Among the musicians?
R: Yeah like, you know, at the beginning, trying to ge-
J: Yeah I think for me, because I am a guitarist and guitarists don’t really read notes. So I have sheet music with notes so that was interesting so I had to learn those. Anthony had to play them for me. So that was kind of - and I can’t really count that well, because guitarists don’t really do that. At least, not many do. The best ones can do both. Yeah so, there has been tension with that but we’ve just been practicing a lot, so that’s been working well. Just rehearsing together. So that’s been smoothed out now.
Partial Transcript: R: So I guess like, ok, one of my questions is, Iike I’ll try and figure out how to form it, but- I guess with the difference of say like music as opposed to a musical, where like you said, you don’t really -you’re a guitarist you don’t normally just read notes or have sheet music you kind of do your own thing - and then- you know, in the sense of like music there is your own creativity or improvisation or something that you can throw into it. Do you, would you say in a like, I feel like in a musical setting you don’t really possess that as much?
J: Right - that’s a good point ah-
R: Would you- I - I got to- hat wasn’t really a question but i guess, do you know what like-
J: Yeah, no, totally, so if I were an actor on stage and I would only sing I wouldn’t have much flexibility because I have to sing the notes and have to say the lines and I have to do the movement and choreography. Beautiful thing is, a guitarist, especially in this show, is I have certain sections that are completely solo, so I literally just make- every night is going to sound different I can just like improvise
R: Oh really? Ok
J: Which is really fun this is the most, I find, this is the most fun, like in Light of the World I get to use my Wah pedal and just like improvise, and in the finale-
R: Because you were just jamming in between stuff when I was just like - that was cool.
J: Yeah it was really a lot of fun. I love it, which I find the most fun. So that gives me a lot of freedom which I couldn’t have had on stage, which I like, and plus I just love guitar so it’s just - I’m glad i’m just playing.
Partial Transcript: R: Alright, let me see how much I got here.
J: it has to be exactly ten minutes right?
J: I remember Tony being like “ughhhh”
R: You got fifteen more seconds, alright um, last question. Why a musical?
J: Why did I do the musical?
R: Yeah, was there a reason…
J: That I did the musical?
Partial Transcript: R: Wait no I already asked you that. Alright, ok. So apart from Jesus being a women, what is your opinion on like, the statement I guess of other people playing, I guess like, guy characters.
R: Is there is there, you know, some kind of political statement that she is trying to throw out of that?
J: I think it’s… yeah its… it’s definitely political statement to- well especially with the current president and stuff like that, one song is in Spanish and it’s about immigration so I understand all the- I think I personally like those like comments because I’m not really a Republican in that sense like I think Trump is not terrible but
R: *Unintelligable mumbles*
J: For me, personally, that’s totally fine it’s just the concept that, that she cast Jesus and all the disciples as women. Like, John the Baptist and Jesus, which are the main characters, as women - I understand I know she’s - it’s part of feminist theory and she’s Will’s professor but I just personally think it does disjustice to the text of the bible. Because they always talk about the historical orig- like were just walking out and they were like “oh it’s just historical and political” where if you read the bible, you don’t have this in between. It’s either, this is really, you know all the disciples are saying they are eye witnesses of these accounts and they all died as martyrs for what they believed in. Saying that they saw with their own eyes that Jesus rose from the dead, that he was fully God and did all these miracles and he was fully human, so the whole concept of the show is kind of - take the religious aspect out and just leave a moral aspect of like love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, be a good person.
J: Which everyone loves that, but when he says stuff about “deny yourself” and showing the miracles that the texts that _______ is the show takes it all out. And it ends with the death and not the resurrection. So I think the whole concept of the show is - somewhat -it’s based on the bible but it’s taking somewhat of the religious aspect out of it. And i think, just casting him as a woman.
R: Would you say it like, skews kind of the content a little bit?
J: Yeah it just does disjustice to the text and to the Christian faith, because, Jesus had to be a man. That was one of the prophecies that had to be fulfilled. And I’m not quite sure what the statement is supposed to be with her being a woman, so. But she has the right to do it, she is the director, during the talk back I’m definitely going to say my Christian perspective opinion that comes out on I think the following Thursday or something, because it’s over Easter weekend too.
J: So I’m looking forward to that, I’m not telling them I’m going to say something but I’m definitely going to speak up like, “this is, yeah I disagree.”
Partial Transcript: R: Would you, alright, so final question then um, would you say, I mean I feel like, was there any factor to the idea that there were, there just aren’t enough male actors in this?
J: That’s a good question, it actually wasn’t because there were enough good male actors who auditioned.
R: Yeah, you being one of them.
J: Me and even Jacob Litt like he wasn’t even cast in the show at all and it’s just like, I mean like when the cast list first came out we were like “what is going on?” But Jacob, you know, is a fantastic actor, singer so it’s obviously like clearly that was- the director did that on purpose so she has every right to do it, but that was definitely not the reason it was definitely that it was some statement.
R: Ok, alright interesting.
J: I just disagree with it.
R: No yeah, I mean, I don’t have any opinions on my questions.