A hush sweeps over the room. All eyes are forward, brimming with wonder. A moment on the precipice: will the flame illuminate the stage, or will it emblazon the theatre? Only the performer knows.
"...an expert in physical acting, having given more than 10,000 performances around the world, in shows like Cirque du Soleil, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Second City."
Actors work diligently to feel emotions internally, but what separates a good performance from a legendary one is the ability to share them! That’s where Joshua Zehner steps in. As an expert in physical acting, having given more than 10,000 performances around the world, in shows like Cirque du Soleil, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Second City, Zehner has an incredible ability to take performances to the next level by finding the truth in every moment and expressing reaction through physicality. He’s fluent in the universal language of silence.
From knowing where to position their hands to transitioning to the next pose, Zehner helps performers understand how the subtlest of gestures can have a great impact on the moment in entertainment. This is the essence of his teachings on physical acting: storytelling through movement and elevating performances by enhancing communication with the audience.
"...the subtlest of gestures can have a great impact on the moment... This is the essence of his teachings."
Because of his extensive background in various theatre roles, such as a performer in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a Command Performer for New York’s then-Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, an artist in residency for the City of Las Vegas; a writer for Circus-Circus Hotel & Casino’s Circus Fantasy; and a creator and director for shows like Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza and Cirque Berzerk: Beneath,respectively, Zehner’s diversified perspective on live performance is unrivaled. Coupled with more than 17 years of experience teaching improvisation, physical acting and comedic writing, Zehner has the ability to break down concepts into fun, digestible pieces that generate results.
"...Zehner helps each artist realize that every moment presents an opportunity to connect with the audience and make entertainment magic."
Whether it be a beginner looking to learn the art of physical performance or a veteran looking to take their skillset to the next level, Zehner helps each artist realize that every moment presents an opportunity to connect with the audience and make entertainment magic. If there’s one thing that can be said about Zehner, it’s that he is a born leader with a clear vision. This vision, together with a keen eye for identifying the greatness in each actor, enables Zehner with an uncanny ability to draw out distinctive talents from each performer and help them see what’s uniquely magnificent to them.
When he’s not on the road teaching or performing, Zehner lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife Natalie and cat Abigail. With an affinity for the masters, he grew up idolizing and studying the great physical performers, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, and animation geniuses like Chuck Jones. He’s a board-game enthusiast and, on nice evenings, you can find him relaxing with an Old Fashioned and his cigar.