So many great people! That’s how I feel about our delightful customers, the creative Downtown Staunton business community, and the unique variety of vendors that populates Staunton Antique Center, and my family…
For a while I’ve been wanting to start a blog series that from time-to-time profiles one of our vendors and so finally I’m doing just that. And in the name of it being a family business, I thought I’d start with my son Joshua who’s been at the Staunton Antiques Center for about a year working for me behind the desk, but just recently took the leap to become an on-site vendor, too.
I’m a proud mommy, what can I say?
Actually, we also carry my son Ian Boden’s sorghum BBQ sauce and his hot sauce (he’s the famous James Beard nominated chef of the local restaurant The Shack), and my husband Lou’s Spirit Heart Collective cds and now his selection of antique and vintage knives, so this really really is a family business!
But today I want to focus on Joshua because I’m so delighted that he jumped in to doing a booth around one of his passions — music. Joshua’s booth is called Vintage Media and it’s chock full of vintage vinyl records, and maybe even some tapes, videos, cds, dvds, and more — like some vintage audio equipment.
But because a mother can, you know, gush a lot (I love you, son!), I thought I’d let Joshua tell some of it in his own words. So I made a little interview here (which is how I’ll do the other vendor profiles going forward, too).
Me: What made you decide to do a booth?
Joshu: It’s a family business — I love working with you mom! You’re constantly an inspiration to Deb* and I. (Deborah Seif, his wife.) When I first moved to Staunton I had no interest in antiques. I was just at the shop to help you out.
As the year progressed it became apparent to me that this space was more than just a cool shop with interesting items for sale. It was community — and in-turn, a part of the larger Staunton community. And not just the business community, but the community as a whole. Which was one of the reasons Deb and I moved here in the first place. We had been moving around for the past ten years. We really wanted to settle down and be part of a community of good people.
For me, part of getting know my new town and community has been working with you at the shop, mom. I was inspired by you! You’re a super smart business person, but you’re completely people-focused. You’re all about the relationships you build with folks. That’s a value that I hold as well.
Me: Aw, I’m blushing!
Let’s talk about you. What else does your booth focus on besides actual vinyl albums?
Joshua: Currently I sell used LPs, VHS, and DVDs. Be on the lookout for vintage entertainment/music magazines, Betamax tapes and players, vintage 8-tracks, cassette tapes and players, and all sorts of music equipment and ephemera.
Me: Tell my blog audience a little about your life outside of the antique shop?
Joshua: Well you’ve been calling me a Renaissance Man since I was 12. My interests are diverse.
My main focus has always been music and performance. I was a professional bassist for many years, working up and down the East Coast as a session player and touring parts of the country. I’ve played everything from Jazz to Punk Rock, and I love them both equally.
After deciding that the touring life of a musician wasn’t for me, I stumbled into theater work as a sound designer and composer. This stumble also lead me to meet Deb, an actor and theater director in Philadelphia at the time.
From there, I went back to school in New York and became an audio engineer, then to Hollywood, California where I was mentored by one of the top sound designers in the biz.
While in Los Angeles I happened to wander into an comedic improvisation class. That was in 2012. It changed my life, both as an artist, and a human in the world. I’ve had the good fortune to have studied with some of the best minds in comedy. I’m an alumnus of both iOWest and Second City Hollywood. I still perform and teach improvisation for amateurs and professional actors.
Hey, as a matter of fact, shameless self-promotion here, mom — my creative parter Benjamin Lloyd, a brilliant and highly respected actor/director/improviser from Philadelphia (also the founding director of Bright Invention, an amazing non-profit improv theater company in Philly) will be joining me for a performance on Saturday, March 23rd at 8pm here at Staunton Antiques Center in the upstairs space, The Artisans Loft. The doors open at 7:30.
Here’s what’s in store for the audience. It’s a performance of our two man, hour long improvised theater experience: “Boden&Lloyd’s: The Deep End!”
This is not your typical slapstick fast and silly improv comedy. No. We fearlessly lead the audience to the deep end, building characters and stories based on a conversation that we have with the audience.
Yes, we actually talk to our audience before we perform. We bring them this question: What does “the deep end” mean to you? The deep end is a feeling we’re all familiar with. It’s a very human, unifying experience. So we take these experiences that our audience members share, some details, but mostly what’s interesting to us are the underlying themes because those themes are universal, they bring us together.
We take those themes, ideas, understandings and, via improv magic, turn it into an hour long piece of theater. There are multiple scenes that interconnect, with characters that come back and evolve — or don’t.
We plan NOTHING. Chew on that.
All we have are our experiences and the information we get from the audience. One other important note: This is NOT for kids under 17. We deal with adult themes, and aren’t afraid to go dramatic if that’s what the scene calls for. First and foremost we want our audience to connect with what they’re seeing on stage. We want to bring people together to laugh at all the things that make us so totally human.
So mom, I hope you don’t mind me commandeering this interview for that plug.
Me: Of course not sweetie. Hey, it’s happening upstairs in my Artisans Loft so…family business!
I hope you enjoyed this tiny peek into our family biz and a first vendor profile. Look for more interviews with our great talent body here at the Staunton Antique Center coming up on my blog and — go see my kid’s show! 🙂