Since its 1998 premiere at the Celebration Theatre, Naked Boys Singing has
become an international sensation, with productions mounted throughout
the U.S. and abroad, including Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Norway.
Meanwhile, the show continues its long off-Broadway run. In 2001, I had the
pleasure of seeing the Italian production in Rome … in Italian.  This past year,
at long last, Naked Boys Singing: The Movie was released to much critical and
popular acclaim, and garnering some of the best notices was Joseph Keane,
perky perfection as the Perky Little Porn Star (from Skokie, Illinois).  Joseph is
about to make his L.A. musical theater debut in Cabaret, at the International
City Theatre in Long Beach.  We caught up with Joseph recently as he
graciously sat down to answer our questions about his burgeoning career.

Hi Joseph. Congratulations on getting cast in Cabaret! Is this going to be
your professional stage debut in the L.A. area?

I’m so excited to be performing in L.A. again. I wrote and performed my
theatrical debut three years ago in thejoekeanemachine, which was
produced by my brother Jack at the Complex Theater in Hollywood.

Sorry I missed that, but I’ll definitely be there for Cabaret. Let’s talk a little
about your background. You went to high school at the School of the Arts in
San Francisco. Did you grow up in the Bay Area?

I was born in San Francisco, and I grew up there and across the Golden Gate
in Marin County. School of the Arts was a great place for me to develop my

What made you decide to attend an arts high school?

I attended a private Catholic high school for the first two years and was very
unhappy. I transfered to the School of the Arts for my junior and senior year.

Were you always planning on becoming a performer? Did you do any stage
work as a teenager?

As a teenager performing was my outlet. I was in the Marin Ballet’s Nutcracker,
took acting class at the American Conservative Theater in San Francisco. I
performed professionally for the first time in high school in South Pacific, and
saw my first professional show, The Phantom of the Opera.

Tell us about the move to L.A. How and why did it come about?

I’ve always wanted to be on film, so I’d always thought about coming to L.A. I
applied to Loyola Marymount University and had a very strong feeling there
when I visited. They accepted me (thank God) and I’ve been living in L.A. ever

You’re all over the Internet these days. For example, on YouTube there’s
autobus,” the short film you wrote, directed and starred in. I have to tell
you, you are (in the immortal words of Steve Martin) “one wild and crazy
guy.” What inspired you to make this very funny short?

Thanks for the Steve Martin quote. He and Mel Brooks are the best! The
character in autobus is from my show thejoekeanemachine. I wanted to work
with my friend Drew Droege and came up with this concept of characters
waiting for a bus that never comes.

I just reviewed a show Drew is in called Say You Love Satan, and he’s hilarious. 
Coincidentally, his costar Billy Briggs played the same role in the off
Broadway production of Naked Boys Singing that you do in the movie.  So it’s
a very small world!  Anyway, back to you, Joe. Tell me about your “rage journal” on YouTube. Why were you so angry? Do you recommend that we all
make our own “rage journal”?

This too is a comedic short. It was written by my good friend Sarah Vato who
was neither as ragefull or as crazy when she wrote it. I recommend that
everyone do a video blog, they’re always good to have around for a good

I had no idea it was scripted. Shows what a good actor you are!


Is there anything else exciting in your pre-Naked Boys Singing days that we
should know about?

Well… I was in Madonna’s “American Life” music video on my birthday years
ago and let’s just say that she is Super Human, and Super Cool.


Okay, let’s talk about your role in Naked Boys Singing, The Movie. (Your “Perky
Little Porn Star” has to be one of THE highlights of the film, by the way.) I’m
guessing that you saw the casting call and thought, “Yes!!! Getting naked in
a movie that millions of people will watch would be a dream come true!”
Am I right? (Wink.)

He he. I thought, doing a movie naked is better than doing no movie at all.

And it is a great showcase for you as a musical theater performer. I’m
wondering, assuming you had at least a moment’s hesitation before
accepting the role, what was your biggest trepidation? And what made you
ultimately decide to take the job?

My biggest trepidation was the unknown. I didn’t know anyone from
production, I hadn’t seen the off-Broadway show, I just didn’t know anything.
After seeing the outcome I’m glad that I took part in the movie.

What was the hardest part about making Naked Boys Singing? (No pun

The hardest part was that there were no naked women! It felt funny being
naked that first day but after we all did each other… wait that’s a movie I’ve
seen, not a movie I’m in.

Sounds like one of the perky little porn star’s movies!  Tell us about Cabaret.
Are you looking forward to working with Jules Aaron, Brian Paul Mendoza, and
your Naked Boys Singing costar Jason Currie?

Cabaret is my favorite play. I am thrilled to be a part of it anywhere. I am
happy to be performing for Jules and BP who give their actors freedom and
insight, and it will be great to work with Jason again.

It’s great that your L.A. musical theater debut is in a show that you love so
much!  Joe, what are your goals as a performer in 2008?

In the new year I’d like to book a couple of co-starring roles on TV, and do at
least one film. I’m developing a TV. show right now that I hope will get picked
up once things get going in Hollywood again, and I’m always doing a new
comedy project.

We’ll be looking for you on the big and small screen this year! Where would
you like to see yourself professionally five years from now?

On the set of my own show, having a laugh and makin’ a buck.

Thanks so much, Joseph. Best of luck with the production and we look forward
to seeing you on opening night!

Thank You!!

Comments are closed.