We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Pais and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think of taking risks as making “danger-moves.” A danger-move is not something that would actually cause any kind of harm – or actually be dangerous. However a “danger-move” FEELS like it is dangerous. But in reality it may be as simple as making a phone call, setting up a meeting, or it might be creating a character with reckless abandon.
These things can stir up massive body sensations/emotions.
I’ve made it a practice to challenge myself to take action regardless of the intensity of the body sensations/emotions.
It’s taken practice. Sometimes I actually lean into the ‘risks’ that feel the scariest – that way I’m not living or creating within false boundaries.
The vast majority of the time, taking risks has led to expansion, not only in my career, but also in my creative range.
During the height of Covid I was offered the lead in a movie that shot in Ukraine. I took the risk, went to Ukraine, and did some of my best work in a film called Checkout which will be out in 2022.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am currently prepping for an upcoming Hulu Series, The Dropout, where I’ll be working opposite Amanda Seyfried. Gonna be awesome.
Back story: My early actor training was based on the traditional Stanislavsky training system. The result: that training left me locked in my head, caught up in an internal discussion about if I was doing it right. I knew that spontaneity and creating from my impulses was the missing piece. So, I went on a 2 year quest many years ago. I trained with people from all over the world because I wanted to make spontaneity something I could count on. I trained with the Avant-garde theatre of Tokyo, I trained with members of The Polish Lab Theatre, Director Tadashi Suzuki, and so many more. I was passionate about overcoming the challenge of getting out of my head, and becoming profoundly connected to my body, and creativity.
All the success I have had in the over 100 movies and TV shows I’ve been in is a result of my ability to access spontaneity and presence. Yea, I still get stuck in my crappy thoughts from time to time – but now I know how to snap back into the moment. The key to opening the creative channel and staying present is actually quite simple.
And what keeps me busy when I am not filming – is teaching. Teaching actors, artists and entrepreneurs to be present and free as they create. My approach to acting is called Committed Impulse. ( Committedimpulse.com).
There are 4 steps that I train my fellow actors who come to work with me.
1.Stay connected to the immediate environment
2. Keep your breath moving
3. Stay connected to the fluctuating energetic sensations in the body
4. As soon you realize that you’ve gone into our head and started listening to the crappy thoughts – say “I’m Back.” Then go back to #1 and repeat.
Try it – simple and mighty.
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.
I love inviting my friends to the bungalow colony I restored in the Catskills. There is no wifi there. So, no phones. Just cooking together – running through the woods – taking saunas – outdoor showers – playing cards – sleeping on the outdoor porches. Basically living off the grid for a few days and relishing in doing nothing while connecting to nature and friendship.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I owe so much gratitude to the hundreds of actors I have worked with in movies, TV shows and on stage. Their commitment to presence and play is something that has fueled me. And in turn I owe great thanks to the thousands of actors and entrepreneurs I have trained in the Committed Impulse approach. They have taught me so much, made me a better man, a better teacher, and a better actor.
Youtube: look up Committed Impulse