Johnny Salib is an award winning actor, composer and theatre creator. He is also an artistic director for Sisyphean Productions known as a theatre company and runs a company called Queerdeer Media. Johnny appeared in some films/television roles and stage performance as well but very much into theatre production & music. I had the pleasure to interview Johnny Salib about his taste of music and being a true artist.
Carolyn: When did you first found your passion in being an artist?
JS: When I was younger I was really interested in writing and creating. I enjoyed manipulating words and creating pieces that would evoke emotions, whether it be for myself or for an audience. I started singing when I was around 9, writing music when I was around 13, and writing plays when I was around 20. So each step of my artistry was inspired at different times.
Carolyn: Can you describe how manipulate words are being used?
JS: Manipulating words to me would be making sure that sentences had a certain flow to them that’s smooth. More specifically to music. You have to fit a certain amount of syllables to a line and need to make sure that if you rhyme lyrics that the rhymes make sense and aren’t rhymes just for the sake of rhyming if that makes sense. I think manipulation is also using the right words. Some words are much more effective at conveying certain thoughts and you have to have to be very specific to make sure you’re giving off the right message with your work. For example, saying someone is unhappy versus distraught. They mean completely different things, but are often used as synonyms.
Carolyn: Amazing! I know you are multi-talented artist so which talents do you enjoy doing? IE: Singing, directing etc?
JS: Good question. I ask myself that every day. I’m fascinated with most art forms and have tried to dabble with as many as I can. I’d say the most common forms I use are music composition (incorporating voice, instrumentation and sound design) and theatre creation (including playwriting, directing and acting). I used to draw and paint a lot when I was younger though, but that sort of subsided when I went to college.
Carolyn: So you have some props for stage?
JS: I don’t normally design props because I go about theatre in a simplistic manner, using as little as possible to allow the audiences imagination to do the work. Sometimes if a piece is bigger I hire on a designer to help me with that work.
Carolyn: Oh I understand. I was just reading your bio about your work, you must like Harry Potter and you got to play as Harry Potter. What was that like?
JS: Funny enough, at the time I never read a single Harry Potter book. I also have only seen the last two movies, so it’s really funny I was put into that role. Regardless, it was really interesting to me. I enjoyed the experience playing Harry Potter, especially because the story was a staple to so many around me. It was also exciting to me to dive into such a well known character without knowing anything and discovering his issues on my own without the influence of pop culture, media or my surroundings.
Carolyn: Can you tell me about best scene you ever played? How do you feel about that?
JS: Given the fact that it was a farce musical, I’d have to say the introduction of characters was the best I played. It’s hard to capture an audience’s attention and when doing this farce specifically comedic timing and character authenticity was important. I think I landed the character strongly, making sure to keep his serious characteristics while remaining goofy and comedic.
Carolyn: Absolutely! Have you ever played on television or film?
JS: For short films, I commonly get casted as serious characters who are dealing with abuse or breakups, I’ve done a few stunt heavy-non speaking roles and a number of LGBT related films where I’m either gay or bisexual. More recently I’ve started doing comedy in short films as well, apparently I can be funny? As for TV Operas, CBC used to have a night-time segment that featured operas such as Benjamin Britten’s “Noye’s Fluude” which I was part of.
Carolyn: Wow. Do you like doing stunts?
JS: I love doing stunts! I actually would love to do more. As soon as I have the time, I’m going to go back to school to get higher certifications for them!
Carolyn: Is it like doing stunts like Fear Factor show? Or are there any certain kind of stunt you would like doing?
JS: I personally like more of the “combat” stunts. ie. being punched and kicked. I really love getting the crap kicked out of me.
Carolyn: Interesting. I know you are a singer, what are your favourite lyrics?
JS: Favourite lyrics that aren’t mine: “Waking up is knowing who you really are.” – Amy Lee of Evanescence. Favourite lyrics of mine: “It’s not that I love you, it’s that I want to be loved by someone like you.”
Carolyn: What would you want people to know about you if interested in becoming an artist?
JS: I’d definitely encourage artists to make their own path, specifically if you are a creator. Don’t wait for someone to hand you a job, make the job. I’ve been independent for years and love it. Yes, there is a higher risk, especially financially, but it’s worth it. You have all the control, you make your schedules, and you get to choose who you work with.
Carolyn: That is a phenomenal advice for others and I would like to
thank you for your time to have an interview with me.
Find Johnny Salib on Twitter at @_JSMusic and if you are interested in knowing more about him please visit his website at http://www.johnnysalib.com
By: Carolyn Bulsink