Playful / Optimistic / Dedicated
Joshua Mesnik is an American filmmaker. He was born and raised in Naples, Florida growing up in a home his father built that's tucked within a dense pine forest, and spending weekends at his grandparent's house on the Gulf Coast.
His favorite activities growing up were air-soft skirmishes with his friends in the woods, boogie boarding in the ocean, and filming videos with anyone who would agree to play along with his ideas. Through his childhood and teenage years he created many films with friends before the concept of posting them online was available. He graduated from Florida State University, where he was a longtime member of the campus favorite "30 in 60" Sketch Comedy Troupe, performing in live shows to large audiences and producing comedy shorts online.
After pursuing a career in Advertising, he changed gears and studied anthropology in Ecuador, living with an indigenous community on the edge of the rainforest. The experience reset his digestive tract and opened his eyes to new worldviews, deepening his curiosity about life. Shortly after, he partnered with a non-profit organization, Open Future Institute, and piloted their innovative education program, The QUESTion Project, with students at his University.
After developing the curriculum with his colleagues, the QUESTion Project was invited to be taught as an elective course at a public high school in the Bronx, New York. Joshua moved to NYC to continue building the organization and facilitating the QUESTion Project with students and teachers in NYC and beyond. The project has now been taught to over 12,000 students across NYC and LA.
While living in NYC, Joshua continued training as an actor, public speaker, and filmmaker. He gave a TED Talk on The QUESTion Project and starred as a prick leading man in an award-winning horror film, Page One, alongside Tarik Davis (Co-Host of The Amber Ruffin show). He studied acting with Thomas Waites at TGW studio, especially enjoying the challenge of Shakespearean monologues.
When opportunities mounted, he moved to LA to continue his career as a filmmaker, and since then he has stumbled his way in high-heels through a musical, led an improv workshop for corporate professionals in a leopard onesie, sang with a Jazz Band for a recording session in a church, sprinted through WWI trenches while mortars and mustard gas exploded all around him (on HBO's 'Perry Mason'), and flung hula hoops at bad guys while starring in his film, Hula Hoop Boy which he also wrote and directed. (Winner of multiple awards, including Best Action Short - Independent Shorts Awards)
As a martial artist, Joshua practices Tai Chi, Wing ChunN, JKD, Karate, Taekwondo, and KickBoxing.
He is trained in using weapons for film including Katana, Escrima/Kali, Nunchaku, short sword/shield, and Bow Staff. He has studied with the Inosanto Academy (Dan Inosanto), XMA (Mike Chat), and Stunts in Motion (Jack Huang), and he works as a Fight Choreographer and Stunt Coordinator.
Moevir Magazine May Issue 2023 featured edition
[What makes a man look attractive]
Photographer: Angelica Reyn @angifly
Actor: Joshua Mesnik @joshua.mesnik
Tell us something about you. Maybe your life, profession, habit, dream.
I'm a dreamer at heart, and I have been impersonating dolphins ever since I first met them in the water. I live playfully and passionately, I dive deep and leap high for air. My life experience is the foundation of my optimism. I have no doubt that I am always where I need to be, when I need to be there, alongside those with whom I need to be. It is from this space that I treat my life as a quantum improv scene where nothing is scripted and anything is possible.
Could you share how you expand your vision of art, fashion?
Life is my muse. I try to keep myself open to the subtle messages embedded in seemingly mundane things. Such as a glimmer of light hitting the window... I may see that light as a doorway to a new reality, or I may also notice the greasy fingerprint on my window, illuminated by the light. I get a story from that: Ugly things are only made visible in the presence of beauty.
Is art, fashion important in your life? Why?
Discovering the art I want to make is a quest that values deeply. In a way, I see my artistic self-expression as one fruit of my process of self discovery... It's like I'm moving through the dense forest of all my assumptions about myself, my art and what I am capable of. Eventually, I make it through a clearing and discover the ancient hidden city buried under the forest floor, with priceless treasures waiting to be discovered and shared with the world.
What experience do you have in modeling? Do you have any problems with your profession? How did you solve it?
The hardest part for me as a model is relaxing my face. It's hard to shake the feeling that you are being "seen", knowing that you can't pretend in front of the camera... To add to this, the extreme desire/insistence to relax often creates the opposite effect... *cue deer in headlight with a strange forced smile*
My solution? Keep modeling, keep practicing, some shots will be cringy, some will be great, but the practice makes me more comfortable over time.
Do you have any education or training that informs your modeling practice?
My acting training supports my modeling work greatly. To recall, conjure, experience a feeling, to convey that feeling in a relaxed, intentional way, under pressure, with awareness of lightning, posture, breath... I have so much respect for models as I know they are tasked with many of the same daunting challenges that an actor faces.
In modern society, lots of people want to be famous, influential. What do you think about it?
The idea of fame is exciting to me. My family raised me to leverage my position of influence to contribute to the flourishing of humanity in a meaningful way... and give back to the world in which I'm a part of. This privileged position comes with great responsibility. I trust that if it's meant for me, it will be.
How do you prepare for your new shoot?
Aside from making a blood sacrifice to the God of Acne and pleading for clear skin, I make sure to get a good night's rest. I also generally avoid too much caffeine as my nerves will already be on high alert and I don't need that yellow tent on my teeth from my extra-strong black coffee.
Communicating with the creative team/photographer on wardrobe plenty ahead of time, to make sure I have all the clothes/looks I need already laid out the night before. Then I offer my final prayers to the Acne Gods and put my face in their hands, knowing my clear skin which has been given can be taketh away. ;)