August 23rd, 2007

As fall approaches (or is it here already?) I find myself in a familiar position: unsure of what the future holds. After two seasons, The Josh Kornbluth Show has not been renewed and faces, at best, an uncertain future. (For now, it continues in reruns.) I'm having a great time performing my new monologue, Citizen Josh, at the Berkeley Rep, but that run will end on Sept. 2. I hope to tour the country with Citizen Josh, and I have two new projects I'm just beginning to work on: a narrative-film adaptation of my previous monologue, Love & Taxes, and a new stage piece about playing the oboe.

But for now, at the end of a couple of years devoted creatively to this TV program and to developing Citizen Josh, I am again -- as I haven't been, for a while -- somewhat vectorless: without an existing structure to direct my energies. It's exciting, in a way, but also scary.

Last night I went to see the movie Once with my mother and stepfather; it was as delightful and moving as the word of mouth had led me to expect. The slender story focuses on a street musician and a young woman (also a musician) he meets. Despite their poverty, they manage to put together a band and record a CD, which the man plans to take with him from Ireland (where the narrative takes place) to London and, he hopes, make a successful entry into the music business. The film manages to convey both the glorious and pathetic qualities of trying to make your way as an artist. I was struck, while watching it, by how pleasurable -- and yet artificial -- it was to enjoy these fictional characters' struggles: Film edits, takes you from point to point, conveys (if it is done well) a momentum that is often difficult or impossible to feel in your own day-to-day existence.

If I had been a more dedicated blogger, perhaps I might have gotten across that stop-and-start, and stop, quality of my life with some accuracy. But I've felt too uneasy to reveal myself in that way (except, perhaps, in occasional moments) -- also, unsure whether such unfiltered self-expression would be in appropriate in a blog that was on my employer's website. Maybe in the future I will learn to blog in a more open way. Or it may be possible that in order to express myself most deeply, I must go through the process of editing -- as I do with my collaborators on each monologue (and on Haiku Tunnel, the movie that I made with my brother Jacob and many other wonderful people).

I think that if I do more interviewing in the future, I'll also try to find ways of getting more lost in the conversation, so that the a vector can naturally emerge in the improvisational interaction with my guests. I still dream of finding a direction within an experience without necessarily editing away the points in between. I'll keep working toward that. I just don't know exactly where I'm headed. Let's keep in touch.

Entry Filed under: let's digress


  • 1. Julie Bernstein  |  August 23rd, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Best of luck to you, Josh, in whatever direction your career and life takes next. I meant to weigh in on your show around the time you first mentioned it might not be renewed, but I had a show of my own to prepare for at the time (though, unlike you, I don’t get paid for my performances – yet ;-) ). Of your TV episodes, the parts I’ve enjoyed the most are the Wandering Josh segments. I think that is where you shine, out on the street interacting with people, in short bursts of humor and entertainment rather than longer discussions in a static environment (although your show does have a very cool set). Your opening and closing monologues for each episode have always been great as well, but then, that is your main schtick, no?

    As far as blogging, should you need an independent host for that in the future, LiveJournal has been good to me so far – in fact, I recently purchased a permanent account. A lot of people use Blogger, Google’s blog site, as well. An advantage of these is you can set up friends lists and post filtered and private messages should the need arise. And of course they have all the same RSS goodness so people can enjoy your writing in the reader of their choice.

    Keep up the great work Josh, you are a real treasure.

  • 2. Josh Kornbluth  |  August 23rd, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    Thanks, Julie — you’re so sweet!

  • 3. Rhoda Curtis  |  September 25th, 2007 at 11:39 am

    Dear Josh:

    Sorry to hear that the show has not been renewed. I was about to offer myself as an interviewee. We met about two and a half years ago at East Bay Media in Berkeley, where I was editing my video of David Eichorn, a maker of cutting boards and a fascinating character himself, but I want to talk about ME.

    My memoir, RHODA: HER FIRST NINETY YEARS, recently published, is about my six careers, life with three husbands and many lovers. It’s not only an historical memoir of the many eras I’ve lived through, but it’s full of comments on the political and economic issues of the times.

    However, that’s all moot. I hope you get to do another interviewing gig. Your talent is too great to just lie dormant.


  • 4. Chris Knight  |  December 19th, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Josh, dang, sorry to hear about KQED not renewing your wonderful show. One of the real gems of the KQED lineup (my other favorite is Spark) and I’ll really miss it. Maybe you should start up an interview show podcast and run it independent?

    Anyways, we (ok, you, with all us watching) had some good times, and stay sane. Life is an adventure, and all that…

  • 5. Pat Monaco  |  May 20th, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    I will miss Josh. He was (is) refreshing and smart…which we all need and appreciate. PM

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