We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Mancell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I really like the affirmation is “the best way out is through” – this quote has its roots in both Hindu philosophy and the poetry of Robert Frost. Essentially it means the best way through a challenge is to face it and work your way through it. I’ve added the variation “the best way to it is through it”. This de-emphasizes the challenge part and focuses on the “it” on the other side – meaning successfully working toward a goal or achievement. A word that is not visible in the affirmation but is very much present is ‘intention’ – which is the fuel or mindset that propels you through all the difficulty. This is especially helpful when applied to creative work. More often than not, solutions to work-related puzzles are hidden and require persistence, patience and yes, more creativity!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m primarily a music composer for film, television, video games and commercials.. Being a collaborator is at the heart of my work. Using music to strengthen storylines, energize on-screen action or subtly address a character’s emotions requires a holistic approach in order to meet a project’s needs. After several years working at a music production studio, I decided to go freelance. Because I’m directly interfacing with potential clients, my priority is not only providing effective musical ideas but also offering myself as a collaborator who is open minded and approachable as the creative process evolves. More often than not, it takes a fair amount of revisions and tweaks to get to the finish line so being easy to work with is essential!
I’ve also been involved in LA’s music scene with a number of bands. Song writing, rehearsing, performing, recording and producing is intensely collaborative as well and gives me a different yet equally important musical outlet. 21st century technology has also enabled many long distance creative partnerships. Right now I’m working with a virtual band including myself, my brother in NYC and two original UK punk-era veterans in Manchester, England.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles has so much to offer in all areas, it’s overwhelming! In the dining out category, I’m compelled to take out-of-towners to Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada (which is actually in Los Feliz). The menu is streamlined to a few exceptional taco varieties and there’s patio seating. Win/win. Sushi is also an essential box to check. My favorite is Kobosu Sushi in Toluca Lake. The food is consistently amazing and it’s usually not a long wait to be seated (no advance reservations here). Win/win again. For the more active visitors, LA has a lot to offer. My favorite hike is Musch Trail which begins in Topanga State Park. It covers a variety of terrains and ends at Eagle Rock which is easily climbed and offers a spectacular view. For the nature double feature, I leave Topanga Canyon and head toward Pacific Coast Highway (aka “the one”), Westward Beach is only 15 miles up the coast. It’s clean and rarely crowded. It was the first beach I visited in SoCal and still my favorite. For the relaxed, gorgeous walk among the plants, flowers and trees, Descanso Gardens near La Canada/Montrose is the spot. Shopping? I’m not much of a shopper – except when it comes to music, of course. LA has many incredible used record stores including Atomic in Burbank, Freakbeat in Sherman Oaks and of course, Amoeba in Hollywood. Why don’t we hit all three? There are also obviously many great museums, historical monuments and neighborhoods to visit. Might take more than a week!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes to my wife, Karen. She is energetic, kind, driven, patient, tough, beautiful and embodies a ton of other positive qualities. She oversees a company that values intentional living and uses her creative mind’s eye to bring beauty and life to both her career and family. Her support as a partner and a co-parent is foundational.