Nice to meet you. I'm Josh
Hello and welcome to my “Introduction Column” as Charlotte Magazine’s new Contributing Editor for Arts and Culture.
I know that’s not a very good lede for this thing, but cut me a little slack: It’s my first day.
My hope for this blog is to make it a destination for anyone interested in Charlotte’s growing arts and entertainment scene — be they fan, newly relocated, a performer or venue owner.
I hope to introduce you to some of the area’s bright young stars and well as its seasoned veterans. I want to give you the inside track on shows or performances weeks before they ever hit the stage. And, if I’m doing my job right, I want to show take you behind the scenes of what makes this area’s “scene” so interesting.
And I want to cover it all. From comedy shows, theater performances, concerts, poetry readings, art gallery openings and everything in between. I seem to be in a perpetual hunt for good dive bars with awesome juke boxes or live blues music. I mention this now only because I hope someone can tip me off to one.
I’ll also invite some of the more interesting local characters to take over this blog for a day and show you what inspires them, what drives them to create and what makes them weird. Know that no one decides to get up in front of a group of strangers to perform anything unless they’re a little off.
I say this because I am one of those weirdos. I am a sketch comedy writer for Robot Johnson, a comedy troupe that performs each month at Wine-Up in NoDa. I also occasionally get up in front of strangers to tell jokes as a bad but occasionally entertaining stand-up comedian. I’ve been a journalist for a number of years covering everything from murders to marriages. I hope to one day write jokes or plays for a living.
“But how does any of that make you weird?”
Good question, me. Technically, I guess it doesn’t. So, I’ll level with you.
• I am obsessed with bad movies. I’m not sure why, but if you put any Nicholas Cage scream-fest in front of me, I will watch all two hours of it and complain the entire time.
• I once commissioned a cake in honor of the first time I grew a beard. Please note, this was only two years ago when I was 28 years old.
I hope that helps you get a sense of who I am. But this will likely be one of the few times I’ll talk at any length about myself.1
I really hope to get to know you better. I’m always looking to hear your stories or have my ear bent. And if you’re picking up the tab, I’ll even listen to your problems.
Contact me anytime at TheJoshLanier@gmail.com or on Twitter at TheJoshLanier. By the way, the “The” before my name doesn’t denote any perceived stature. There are apparently just a lot of Josh Laniers in the world that really enjoy the Internet.
Opening and closing this thing with strength.2
1. Lucky you.
2. I wish there was a better way to imply sarcasm in text.