We had the good fortune of connecting with Joseph Lymous and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joseph, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I chose a life of art because I’ve always believed in the magic of production and storytelling. I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans contains so much magic with all of its roots in blended cultures, food, festivals, parades, art, and ghosts. As a young person I grew up to find out that Santa Claus isn’t real, the Easter Bunny isn’t real, but our other big holiday, Mardi Gras, is VERY real.
Being a part of such profound creative energy taught me that not only do I never want to sit at a desk, but I may not ever even want to sit at all.
Now, as I create my work through the lenses of comedy and liberation I am always diving into the work hoping it moves folks in the way that my family and my city have moved me.
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 am what the entertainment industry is currently referring to as a multi hyphenate. I prefer to just be called a performing artist, but in order to market your work folks need you to distill yourself so that they can quickly compartmentalize you for themselves.
I create work through the lenses of comedy and liberation. Whether I’m directing or creating a character, a sketch, a video, a stand-up set, a puppet, or a costume I always want audiences to walk away from my work having had a laugh and thinking a little deeper about the world around them. I think I was making work this way long before I ever began to brand it as such. It was just in me as a Black/queer person from New Orleans to be creating laughs while looking for ways to liberate myself and my community.
As for the work being challenging I think that depends on your perspective. I think a lot of folks who have punched the same clock for decades would look at my life and be terrified to walk in my shoes, but as far as I’m concerned there was just NEVER going to be any other way. I do what I do because I do what I want. Thankfully, this has worked in my favor. The industry has taken notice of my brand and things are going very well right now. I’m pitching shows to places like Netflix, Cartoon Network, and PBS. I am a Just For Laughs New Face of Comedy. My digital content has been shared by The Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, and after a some time working with The Jim Henson Company I’m currently puppeteering on a show for AppleTV.
I have been working towards many of my goals for many years and it wasn’t until recently that I’ve realized I have been practicing patience. From the outside one could say, “Dang, Joseph has been at this shit forever!” From my perspective, I’ve been so focused on each individual project that it truly feels like I woke up one morning in a great apartment with a loving partner while my dreams manifest.
Obviously, it ain’t easy navigating this complicated world growing up in a Black/queer body, but those things would be in play even if I wasn’t an artists. I just happen to benefit from being able to use my voice the way I’d like to, through creation.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Soul Food – Thai Food – Local dive bars and speakeasies – Repeat
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shout out is dedicated to my matriarchal trinity: My grandmother, mother, and aunt. There’s not a book or class I have come across that has taught me how to be the artist you’ve groomed and allowed me to be.
Facebook: Jomiray Productions
Ambe J. Williams Michael S Kevin Gillingham Marcie Mars Joseph Lymous