Spotlight on Joshua Schneider

How long have you been performing on stage? 9 years!

What was your first show at Yorba Linda Spotlight? Disney’s Newsies was my first show at Spotlight.

Why do you like performing in shows at Yorba Linda Spotlight? I love performing in shows with Spotlight for a few reasons. First of all, I have always loved the welcoming environment that the staff has worked tirelessly to create. Before I even walked into my first audition, I felt that I was in a safe, judgement-free space that accepted me not only for who I was, but also for what talents and abilities I did or did not have to offer. Secondly, Spotlight allows its performers a copious amount of creative freedom, which I was not accustomed to prior to my time at Spotlight. Last but not least, performing here at Spotlight is just fun! Even if I have a ton of lines, blocking, and choreography to memorize, it never feels like work. The creative teams on every show I’ve been fortunate enough to be cast in have never failed to make rehearsals fun and exciting, creating an environment that always pushes us performers to do our best.

What is your dream role? I’m far too indecisive to pick only one, so some dream roles of mine include Shakespeare in Something Rotten!, Gleb in Anastasia, and Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors.

Of the roles you’ve played, which has been your favorite? Of all the roles I’ve played, my favorite would have to be Peter in Spotlight’s 2021 production of Peter and the Starcatcher. He was my first title character, and I had a blast exploring his layers and telling his story.

Has Spotlight helped you grow as a performer? If so, how? Yes, Spotlight has helped me grow as a performer! Throughout my time here, I have become a much stronger, more confident singer and actor.

What do you like to do when you’re not performing? I’m a photographer! When I’m not performing, I love using my camera to shoot landscapes and portraits. I especially enjoy astrophotography, and one of my favorite places I’ve shot would have to be Joshua Tree National Park!

If you could choose a show for Spotlight to produce, what would it be and why? I would love it if Spotlight produced Something Rotten! because I’d pretty much die to play Shakespeare if I ever had the chance. History is also my favorite subject in school, so the fact that Something Rotten! is a period piece set in the Renaissance makes me geek out a ton.

What are your strongest and weakest traits as a performer? My strongest trait as a performer is my work ethic, while my weakest trait is my physicality.

Of Spotlight’s past shows, which was your favorite and why? While we are still in production as I write this, Little Shop of Horrors has been my favorite show I’ve done with Spotlight because I’ve pushed myself as a performer in ways I did not realize I could before. As a part of the ensemble, I’ve had a ton of fun making the most of my time on stage as my multitude of roles, figuring out every little detail of them, from my physicality, to my voice, and more. Besides, it’s my absolute favorite musical, and I’m just beyond grateful to be a part of it.

Anything else you want to say? The only other thing I can think of to say is that I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to Spotlight. I can’t imagine where I’d be today without every mentor, opportunity, tool, friendship, and memory I never dreamed of having before I knew this place existed. Spotlight has been everything I’ve needed it to be, and then some. I wouldn’t trade my experiences here for anything.

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