We had the good fortune of connecting with Joe Hebel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joe, what inspires you?
I come from a family of performers and musicians, and they continually inspire me. They are always creating and doing their own, unique thing, and all that creative energy motivates me. All my life I’ve been fortunate to have been supported in what I want to do, and that ranges from sports to music to acting. This support has been empowering and inspiring in the sense that if the people closest to me value what I am doing and believe I can be successful, I can carry that with me. I have never doubted my choice to pursue an education, and a career, in musical theatre. Some people may say that it’s “not practical” or it may not provide a financially stable career, but over the years my family and close friends have never made me feel like I couldn’t be absolutely successful in my career path, even though I’ve chosen something that can be really competitive and can involve a lot of rejection. For each audition I go on, I truly feel inspired to share what I can do, and connect with other people who have the same passions as me. I think that has been the most important lesson for me so far, to be inspired and excited about the process, rather than just focusing on the end result. Of course, we all want to land that great role or next job, but it’s essential to learn from and value the process, too.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in theatre and music, and shortly afterward signed with FireStarter Entertainment. I’ve been lucky to have been able to audition for a variety of projects, and one thing I learned early on is to manage expectations. Doing this work in our new world of Covid has also been a real adjustment, and it has taken me awhile to get into the swing of how it all works, and I’m still figuring it all out. Covid protocols change all the time, and Covid itself has really impacted me, as well as many of my friends and colleagues. In fact, I was set to perform as Billy Bigelow in Carousel a couple months ago but a majority of the cast, including me, got Covid in the days before opening and ultimately the production had to be cancelled. Currently, I am in rehearsals for a new musical called Camille that will premiere at the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival the first weekend of August, and after that I’ll be moving to Las Vegas to start rehearsals for the residency of Bat Out of Hell:  The Musical at the Paris Hotel & Casino.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Ventura County, but enjoy spending time in the LA area, and there are so many great spots to bring friends. We would definitely take in a show at the Pantages and eat dinner at 800 degrees, which is my “go to” for pizza whenever I’m in the area. My favorite Italian restaurant, Miceli’s, is also nearby and never disappoints. Another definite stop would be Malibu, as I spent a lot of time there when I was at Pepperdine. The Country Mart is a fun place to hang out, and also the Getty Villa on PCH is a beautiful place to visit. Depending on the time of year, I’d be sure to take them to a LA Lakers game because I’m a big Laker fan (Go Lakers!). Finally, I’d be sure to stop for pastries and gelato at Carrara’s, which is an Italian restaurant with locations in Moorpark and Agoura Hills. Nothing beats their gelato.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout would be to my family. My father just retired after being a high school choir and theatre teacher for 36 years, plus he’s also a professional singer. My older brother has been an actor and voice over artist, and is currently doing a great podcast called “This Was a Thing.” I have two younger brothers–one is a singer and musician who studies at the Bob Cole Conservatory at Cal State Long Beach, and my youngest brother is a senior in high school and a terrific piano player and composer. He was just accepted to the Young Composers Fellowship at the LA Philharmonic, which is a great opportunity for him. But, none of our successes would have happened without my mom because she has always been the glue that holds it all together. Coming from a family with so much creativity and talent, we are constantly raising the bar for each other, but in the best way.


Website: www.joehebel.com

Instagram: @joehebel

Twitter: @joefhebel

Image Credits
Veronica Jean Slavin, image 4 Kyle Moore, images 2, 5, 6

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