On the Couch with Joseph Naim

Joseph-Naim-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Joseph Naim?
In the arts industry, I suppose I’m known for my work in the Musical Theatre industry – currently performing in COME FROM AWAY. But to my family and friends, I’m the jack of all trades. I’m the tech guy, photographer, home chef, gardener, and most recently, Father.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Prior to studying Musical Theatre, I studying Remedial Therapy, and even worked in the health industry for several years at different Physiotherapy clinics around Melbourne before my career in musical theatre began to emerge. I strongly believe I would still be working as a remedial therapist if I hadn’t pursued my other passion for performing. I still have a strong urge to return to the health industry one day – so watch this space!

Who inspires you and why?
Earlier this year, my wife gave birth to our extremely premature baby boy, Eliyas. He was born at 23 weeks, 17 weeks premature. We are very fortunate that he is still in our lives and continues to defy the odds. Not only that, but my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 21 years of age, and there were doubts surrounding her fertility. Again, she has also defied the odds and is currently cancer free and has been an absolute super woman when it has come to the past months where we have struggled with our son spending months in NICU before finally being able to come home. So if it isn’t obvious, my family inspires me – The unrelentless strength and resilience of both my wife and my, now 8 month old, son.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I genuinely love what I do and already believe that it makes a difference in the lives of so many people. Theatre is such a large part of our Australian culture, and the effect the music and storytelling can have on audiences is so powerful. Even simply the opportunity to escape reality and be entertained for several hours is something we can all relate to, and recognize the value it can have on our lives and even our mental health.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Last year, my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand for our friends’ weddings and we absolutely fell head over heels. We spent 10 days in the South Island, and can constantly talk about when we will go back.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Living in Melbourne, I’m usually taking them to restaurants. There are so many wonderful restaurants to choose from, and there is something for everybody. Plus, I love to eat, so everybody wins!

What are you currently reading?
I recently finished reading Your Baby’s Bottle Feeding Aversion by Rowena Bennett. After Eliyas came home after 156 days in NICU, his feeding had become very difficult, and solutions offered by multiple dieticians, speech therapists and neonatologists saw little to no improvement. Upon stumbling on a facebook group for tube fed babies, this book was recommended to another parent who was having similar issues to us. And honestly, this book has accomplished what the specialists could not. Eliyas is now getting all his nutrition through oral feeding and even his feeding tube has been removed! Quite remarkable.

What are you currently listening to?
I am always flip flopping between so many genres of music depending on my mood. My spotify “recently played” list looks like multiple people have been using my account. I also listen to a few podcasts, one of the main ones being “Home Assistant” which is based around home automation.

Happiness is?
Happiness is being able to enjoy all my favourite things in life. This includes spending time with my family, and now, as a father, spending time with my son. I love being with friends, and entertaining at home – cooking dinner, making drinks and generally being a host. Happiness is also spending time on my own and my hobbies, home automation, 3D printing, photography, gardening, cooking, and the list goes on.

What does the future hold for you?
I’d like to think my career in musical theatre is still only getting started. I hope I can continue to work in this industry for many years to come. Also, I really want to embrace becoming a father and I’m really looking forward to doing so many things and sharing so many new experiences with my new family.

Joseph stars as Kevin J in the Australian production of Come From Away which is currently playing at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre until January, before heading to the Canberra Theatre Centre from 3 February 2022. For more information, visit: www.comefromaway.com.au for details

Image: Joseph Naim (supplied)