Who is Josh Spence?
Wow.. This is a bit of a tough one. I guess if you’re looking for the barebones, straightforward answer, then I would say that Joshua Raymond Spence, born 11/23/88 is a 5’11” Caucasian male weighing in at 200 lbs. He’s 70% water, and 30% other stuff. He loves Jesus, modern American literature, red wine, writing, his family (Ray, Cheryl, Stephanie, Joel, and Andrew), a few close friends (Brock, Cody, Bret, Veronica, Andy and Lou), and any song he can sing along to. He loves heated, passionate arguments about most anything he thinks he’s right about. It should be noted that he thinks he’s right about everything. This would probably make for a fantastically heated argument, at least in his mind. He loves to talk about stuff he’s learned. He processes information by talking it over. So conversations can sometimes be very one-sided. He’s also a creature of habit. He likes trying new things, and he’ll give anyone a fair shake, but he has his certain way of doing things. He doesn’t like clubs, bars, and most concerts. Being in crowds gives him terrible anxiety, but when he’s on stage, he’s home.
How would your best friends describe you?
Probably pretty accurately. Impulsive, funny, happy-go-lucky, fascinated by most everything, distracted by everything else. Loud, sincere, kind, sometimes a bit domineering. But usually not. Depending on who you ask, I shower too much.
What does an average day look like for you?
I wake up, try to read my bible for a minute, spend a little time in prayer. I like to be prepared for the day, and that includes getting my heart and mind right. I have to be awake 2 hours before I do anything. I don’t like the get-up-and-go approach.
Then it’s off to set. I work in film, so I’m on set 12-17 hours a day 5, sometimes 6 days a week. Come home, eat something terrible, and write. I have been writing a lot lately, and I’m choosing to make that a normal part of my life. Bored? Write. Lonely? Write. Confused? Write. Excited? Write. Angry? Write. Lots of it goes nowhere, but it’s better on a page than it is bottled up. Then it’s bedtime.
How did you discover your passion for spoken word?
It was something that happened very slowly, and then overnight.
I was raised on books. All sorts of books. History, fiction, science, but poetry always caught my attention more than anything else. I started to goof around when I was really young. I think I wrote my first poem about my brother and the things he complained about when I was 6 or 7. It went:
My pillow’s too frosty,
My apple’s too fat,
My mom’s fingers hurt me,
My buttons are cracked.
Yeah, it’s some pretty powerful stuff. Anyways, I grew up, but I never lost my love for poetry and literature. Whether it was hip-hop or Leonard Cohen, I was always reading or listening to some sort of Poetry. Although, I never imagined writing it for myself. Well, not seriously. It happened the morning after I rededicated my life to Jesus on Sept 11, 2011. I was walking around my work when out of nowhere this line popped into my head “He went to war with death and gave His life in the process” What happened next was insane. Well, that’s not true. It wasn’t insane, it was a move of God in my life. In about 2 minutes, I wrote my first poem (as it is now) about the saving power of Christ, and the love of God. This poem came on the heels of the darkest point in my life. So it was as much about restoration in my personal life as it was the restoring power of the cross for humanity.
Where do you normally perform?
Conferences. Special events, concerts. I don’t usually do open mics because my job schedule is pretty nuts. But I like to write specific pieces for themed events. I love how versatile and applicable the gospel is. So I bring Jesus into every piece that I write. After all, he gave me this talent. Who am I to keep it for myself? I live writing about Jesus. I mean, I’m ultimately living my life for Him. Why not write about Him too?
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration? Geez… I have so many. I’ll just start listing them. In no particular order:
Leonard Cohen, David the Psalmist, Atmosphere, United Pursuit, Isaiah the prophet, Sarah Kay, Robert Persig, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Dr. Seuss. My biggest inspiration has probably been Leonard Cohen, though. His irreverent yet honouring approach to all things beautiful has intrigued and invited me to explore my own voice more than any other author.
Where do you see yourself going in the next 5-10 years?
I have big, big plans. But I’m not ready to reveal them entirely yet, so I’ll simply tell you to stay tuned.
Although, in terms of a 9-5, I want to write. I’m figuring out what that’s going to look like, but for now, it’s simple blogging. Developing my craft day after day. Getting my 10,000 hours.
What does being light look like for you in your industry?
Not being grumpy. People in film often have no lives outside of their work, and they come to resent their jobs and those around them. I do my best to bring the joy of The Lord onto set every day, and love everyone I come into contact with. I’ll tell them about Jesus, and listen to them as they tell me about their struggles. I do my best to get to know my film-family because I truly believe that people are awesome and worthy of my time and love.
If you could pick a few things that you would want to be known for, what would those be?
I want to be a world-class communicator. Speaker, writer, poet. I want to worship with the voice and talents that He’s given me, to bring glory to God. That’s it, that’s all.
Where can people connect with you?
That’s my little space I’ve carved out of the Internet. A place to share what’s on my mind, and a place to share my plans as they develop.