Even the busiest artists need a break!
Johnnie is performing in Shove It Down My Throat
March 30 - April 14, 2019 at
Johnnie Walker is a theatre artist, filmmaker and DJ based in Toronto. He has been developing Shove it Down My Throat in residence with Buddies in Bad Times since 2016. His solo show Redheaded Stepchild has toured North America and was published by Playwrights Canada Press. Other plays include Amusement, Scheherazade, and The Other Three Sisters. Johnnie is a co-founder of Nobody's Business Theatre, general manager of AnimalParts, and a founding member of Boylesque TO. He also wrote, directed, and performed in the short film Saturn Devours and DJs a popular monthly queer hip-hop dance party/drag show called Hey Girl Hey.
When did you first think of yourself as an artist?
I think I’ve really always been an artist. My childhood was all about writing stories and drawing pictures and singing and dancing and putting on plays in my basement for nobody. And then I went to an arts high school which is probably where I really started thinking about doing art as a career. That’s where I started writing plays.
Who helped you develop your voice as an artist?
One of my most frequent collaborators has been Morgan Norwich, who is my best friend and spent many years as my “art spouse” as we co-ran the indie theatre company we founded together. I was very lucky to find such an ideal partner-in-crime in theatre school, and she’s always gotten my voice as an artist and pushed me to become the best version of myself.
What’s something that’s inspired you this week?
The series finale of Broad City. I wept! And sure, it was partially because I’m in the middle of opening a very personal show and feeling pretty vulnerable and emotional, but it’s also because it was a stunning and heartbreaking ode to the beauty of friendship. I will for sure watch it again and for sure weep again.
What’s your favourite restaurant in the city to visit?
I’m devoted to The Federal. I have lunch there at least once a week—the Gold Standard breakfast sandwich is iconic! Their dinner is great too. And it’s right down the street from my apartment, so it basically feels like home.
What do you want to see more of on Toronto stages?
Queer people, please! Queer performers playing queer roles instead of having all the juiciest ones get snatched up by straights. Trans performers playing trans roles. Non-binary performers playing whatever they want. And especially in the wake of Canadian Heritage announcing its absolutely shameful zero-dollar budget for the NAC’s Indigenous Theatre department, more indigenous work, supported by funding bodies and all audiences.