We recently got to know Josh! Josh is a comic book fanatic, a Disney dad, and loves to use his creative side! Read the full article to learn more about Josh‘s favorite Jewish experience!
GatherDC: What brought you to DC and what made you stay?
Josh: I moved for a job! I had moved overseas (Shanghai, China) and when I came back, I found a job in the DC area, and have been here since 2013.
GatherDC:You mentioned you’re a Balloon artist. Can you tell me how you got into this hobby?
Josh: Honestly, I was really bored one day and picked up a book on how to do it in high school (it was that or get some friends?). I grew up near Sesame Place in the Philly area, and I went to a hotel nearby looking for a summer job. When I told them I can do balloon figures, they hired me on the spot to entertain their guests, and I taught myself the Sesame Street characters. From there, I learned all the other characters I had loved as a kid (Disney, superheroes, etc), and I became the Geek Balloonist! (check out Josh’s art here: www.thegeekballoonist.com)
GatherDC: Describe your dream day in the DMV from start to finish!
Josh: I get to sleep in (no puppy or baby needs to take care of), then I go to the Silver Diner for brunch. After that, it’s a shopping spree to my favorite comic book store – Big Planet Comics, and then maybe catch a movie? It ends with a fancy dinner date with my beautiful better half (babysitter secured for the creatures), and then we get home in enough time to Netflix and chill ;).
GatherDC: What do you do to relax or for fun at the end of a long week?
Josh: Read comics, watch TV, write a blog post, play with my daughter, or sometimes all of the above at once!
GatherDC: What’s the one thing you can’t get through the day without?
Josh: My phone. Also, making a Disney reference. Seriously, I need more help than Sorcerer Mickey did when mopping the floors…
GatherDC: How do you connect with your Jewish identity or the Jewish community?
Josh: This is a tricky one, as I’m still wrestling with the very definition of what it means to be Jewish. But I’ve found connections as most do – shared experiences, common interests, and the unique, often-undiscovered aspects of the culture. In the case of Judaism, the fact that the entire comic book industry rests on the shoulders of the Jewish people is a major connection for me…I even have a seminar I’ve put together on it.
GatherDC: What’s your favorite Jewish tradition or cultural reference/experience?
Josh: I think Birthright is an absolute must for anyone that can take the time. It was wonderful to see Israel in a way that wasn’t just ancient texts from Hebrew School.
GatherDC: What’s your favorite Jewish food?
Josh: Bagels are pretty great. And the right Matzah Ball Soup can cure anything!
GatherDC: What is your absolute dream job?
Josh: Disney Imagineer. I’ve got so many attraction ideas…my favorite thing I did this year was take my toddler to Disney, twice!
GatherDC: If you were an author, what kind of book would you write and for bonus points – what would the title be?
Josh: I have an idea for an Encanto sequel about a dystopian Disney future that requires a now-adult Antonio to restore the magic in the world.
GatherDC: If you could learn one new personal skill this year, what would it be and why?
Josh: I’d really love to learn guitar…I’ve got a few ideas for songs I’d love to get out of my head. If only I could sing…
GatherDC: If you could invite any three people to your Shabbat dinner, who would they be and why?
Josh: Walt Disney, Stan Lee, & Robin Williams.
GatherDC: When Jews of DC Gather…
They’ll probably talk about politics. You know what they say–if there’s 10 Jews in a room, you’ll have 12 opinions haha.