All Heart with Paul Cardall

The Chosen: Actor Noah James

Episode Summary

On the twentieth episode of All Heart with Paul Cardall, Paul is joined by an upbeat, energetic actor Noah James who portrays St. Andrew in the popular crowdfunded biblical series The Chosen. Noah shares his passion for music, forming a band, and realizing he had a knack for acting, which led to being trained at the prestigious NYU’s Tisch School of Arts. From recent appearances on HBO’s Shameless, La La Land, Gilmore Girls, and a list of Los Angeles Theater credits, Noah’s infectious optimism, smile, and diverse talent is producing a fruitful career inspiring audiences world-wide. Noah is All Heart with Paul Cardall.

Episode Notes

On the twentieth episode of All Heart with Paul Cardall, Paul is joined by the upbeat, energetic actor Noah James who portrays St. Andrew in the popular crowdfunded biblical series The Chosen. Born and raised in Tempe, Arizona, Noah shares his passion for music and that he even started a band before realizing he had a deeper love for acting. Like thousands of other hopeful thespians, he applied to NYU not realizing how competitive it is to be accepted, which is why he didn't apply to any other theatre programs.  He was accepted and trained at NYU's Tisch School of Art.  His theatre training led to a series of roles on stage in Los Angeles. Since then the kid from Arizona with an infectious smile and good looks landed roles on productions like HBO’s Shameless, La La Land, Gilmore Girls, a list of independent shorts, award winning podcasts like King Falls AM. More recently Noah performed the audio narration for author J.D. Netto's novel, The Broken Miracle - Part One, inspired by the life of Paul Cardall, born with half a heart, who hosts this podcast. Noah’s optimistic spirit and diverse talent is not only producing a fruitful career, but the young actor is inspiring audiences world-wide. The podcast episode is filled with humor as Paul and Noah laugh about diverse musical tastes, ironic scenarios on the set of The Chosen, and filming the biblical series in Paul's home state of Utah. Season Two of the Chosen begins Easter 2021 with 7 seasons planned by creator Dallas Jenkins, who was previously interviewed by Paul Cardall along with Jonathan Roumie (who plays Jesus). Listen to their inspiring and encouraging episodes for more about their lives and role in The Chosen. Noah concludes by sharing with Paul what brings him joy and Noah is All Heart with Paul Cardall. 

This podcast episode is sponsored by BetterHelp, an online portal that provides direct-to-consumer access to mental health services. The online counseling and therapy services are provided through web-based interaction as well as phone and text communication.

All Heart with Paul Cardall is proudly a part of the American Songwriter Podcast Network. For more information on Paul Cardall, please visit https://paulcardall.com/ or find him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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Episode Transcription

- [Announcer] Hey, everybody. Welcome to the American Songwriter Podcast Network. This is All Heart with Paul Cardall. ♪ Child, lift up your weary heart ♪ ♪ This world can be unkind ♪ ♪ Don't let them define you ♪ ♪ Child, tomorrow breath ♪

 

- Hello, everybody. Welcome to All Heart, I'm Paul Cardall broadcasting from Sarasota, Florida. Those of you watching on YouTube you can see the beautiful, beautiful ocean. That is the Gulf of Mexico and it's spring time, flowers are coming out. It's a reminder life begins anew with everything we've been through it's a powerful reminder that we are pulling through, we are getting through all of this. Today's episode is very important because Easter season is upon us, and The Chosen is a very popular biblical TV series. And we've talked to Jonathan Roume who plays Jesus. If you go back into episodes back in season one you can hear that same with my interview in Dallas Jenkins who is the creator and the director and the writer of the chosen series. And today's guest is Noah James. Noah plays Andrew in the series. This is just a remarkable person. In fact, I had such a great time talking with him, the interview that you're gonna hear that we invited him to do the narration for my story which is the broken miracle. You can check that out on Audible it's a lot of fun to hear Noah share the story written by J.D. Netto. You can learn more about that also with the brokenmiracle.com, but without further ado let's get into this interview with my good friend and amazing actor, Noah James.

 

- Yo.

 

- Oi man. How are you? Good, good, good to meet you.

 

- What an honor, man. We have enjoyed your work, it's been amazing.

 

- Oh, thank you so much. Thank you.

 

- We had Dallas on the show.

 

- He's Clark Kent, as we call him.

 

- He's so funny. He just everywhere at once. He's like a free safety on a football team.

 

- Oh, he's everywhere. He can't get past him too.

 

- And then we had Jonathan. Yeah, he was fantastic and we had a chance to talk about his career, which is kind of what I want to do with you.

 

- Yeah, totally.

 

- Because everybody is in love and obsessed and I thought it was so cool though that you guys ended up and I know Daryl.

 

- Yeah okay, cool, cool.

 

- Now that you guys would end up in a Mormon set with an evangelical director.

 

- Oh, it's everything. We got it all, man.

 

- It's so awesome I love it. And being in Goshen, Utah, all that stuff that's cool. So we're gonna get into that, but so Noah, thank you, welcome for being here on All Heart with the American Songwriter Podcast Network, you are a musician.

 

- I am a musician. I am, but it's funny. I use that, it's like in quotes because I grew up playing music. I started with bass when I was in fourth grade and I think I started with bass because my brother played guitar. So I couldn't quiet and he's four years ahead of me so I was like, okay, well let me do the other thing. But I was always a guitarist who played bass, I think. And then I started playing guitar right around freshman year of high school, and then I picked up the ukulele, which now I probably play most of all ukulele and acoustic guitar and mandolin I got.

 

- I love it.

 

- But I always knew, like I was in a band. I was in a Green Day cover band when I was in middle school.

 

- Before American Idiots.

 

- Yeah it was before American Idiot even came out. And we would play at the the pep assemblies and stuff and I always loved being on stage playing music but I knew even then that when my friends in the band would be like, "Yeah, maybe we can do this. Maybe we can make this what we do." I always just like, "No, I'm not gonna..." For some reason I just knew that that wasn't gonna be my life as a musician but I do still play as a hobby and I like it.

 

- Well, I see it sometimes on your Instagram you're playing.

 

- Oh yes.

 

- And then some of your colleagues that are also on The Chosen are playing, Jonathan plays the drums. I think it's Jam that plays Peter.

 

- Yes Shahar plays bass. Oh yeah, but he's a really, really good bass player. And we had a little cast party, we've only filmed the first half of season two and not in sequential order, just random pieces of season two we have half of it and then we'll do the rest of it starting in January. But when we finished filming that portion in Goshen, Utah, we had a little cast party. And at the cast party, we all had our sort of travel instruments and Jonathan got a I forget what it's called, A box.

 

- Box, yeah, he loves to box.

 

- Yeah, and so we had a great time just playing kind of all all night.

 

- So Noah, where did you grow up?

 

- I grew up in Tempe, Arizona.

 

- Arizona?

 

- Yeah, Arizona.

 

- Goshen look.

 

- What was say that again?

 

- You said that Goshen, Utah, the desert look of being cold down there.

 

- Totally yeah, although it wasn't nearly as cold as it was in Goshen. That was new to me and I've never quite, I went to school. So I was in Tempe until I was 18 and then I went to school in New York at NYU and that was like the first time I had ever been in the cold or even in snow, I don't think I'd ever seen it snow until I got to college and I have not adjusted at all, I still freeze when I'm in anywhere under 40 degrees I'm just totally out for the count.

 

- Did you choose to go to NYU obviously to do acting or what is it?

 

- Yeah, I was always a and sort of have been a procrastinator, and for some reason, someone had told me that NYU had a great acting program and I looked that one up only and was like, yes, it does look good, let me only apply there. And so I only applied, which is like the worst advice anyone could ever give. I only applied to NYU and I was kind of going my mom was like, "Maybe look at some schools on the West coast, you're close." And so I was like, "Yeah, I'll look and maybe apply at some point." And so like not paying attention. So I auditioned for NYU early decision and flew to New York with my mom and I go upstairs and you're waiting with all the other kids and everyone is like it's the most nervous I had ever been. And I didn't even know like really, ignorance is bliss, I didn't understand like how many people are gonna be auditioning or anything there but so I'm there, I do it, and then I get home and I'm like, all right let's take a few weeks off and then I can look at the other colleges see what's going on.

 

- Now when you're auditioning you're doing like a monologue of some kind?

 

- I did two monologues, I had a dramatic monologue and a comedic monologue. And then I had-

 

- Which one did you think was better, comedic or dramatic?

 

- They were both probably bad. I think they both were bad, if I look back I would have probably said that my dramatic monologue was good, and then looking back, I'm like, what was I doing? Just very strange idea of how to be dramatic, But kids, and I always sort of had an innate, I understood performance and and how to be on stage and make people laugh so I got the comedic stuff and the dramatic stuff was I dunno, I definitely had to go to school and learn I'm happy they let me in.

 

- But did you have enough life experience at that time to know how to draw on something dramatic and painful?

 

- I always knew that I wanted to approach things through the imagination. So there's a lot of not to get like too actory, but there's a lot of different sort of schools of acting. And one of which is bring up painful personal memories and sort of link it to the scene, and I always knew that that didn't seem like the way for me, but I went to the Meisner Studio and he was a really prolific American acting teacher. The big three American acting teachers being Strausberg who was that kind of emotional recall guy, and then Adler and Meisner, and Meisner is all about living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. So it's all using your imagination and putting yourself in the character's shoes and then where there are gaps that's where you start to link it by using your pure imagination.

 

- Which seems healthier.

 

- It certainly did to me and it still does.

 

- How many actors go into depression not because it's hard to find a job but because you're drawing on so much pain and you're living that day after day to get there?

 

- It gets hard. It's almost like if you were trying to run a marathon every single day, you get burnt out like that and that's going to be there for you. Like if you're doing a scene and it has a really tumultuous relationship with your mother or something and you have one with your mother like that, you don't need to do a lot of work to, that's gonna be there for you. You don't need to like, then on top of it be whipping yourself on the back, that's there for you. So anyway, to briefly close out too on the audition thing, I got home and I waited a few weeks. I took some time off before looking at other schools, and then I realized that I had missed the deadline for every other school to apply and so then I went into a panic mode, and then two days later I found out that I got into NYU and I was like, that's it, I guess I'm going to NYU.

 

- That is amazing, God is on your side.

 

- Yeah it was something, it was definitely and I'm so happy and thankful that I went I had a great time.

 

- And I'm looking at your IMDB, that is the where you can find out what everybody has been in on the imdb.com. So I'm seeing that you did an episode of Rivendale?

 

- I have a lot of friends from NYU who we're in the film department and film program and stuff, and so we're always kind of making our own work in the in-between, to keep ourselves sane while going from job to job or trying to get the next job. And so that was a short sketch of river Riverdale that's the CW show and it's placed in Rivendale which is the Lord of the Rings Elvin Town. And so we were like elves but going to high school being all.

 

- I've seen a bunch of these like "The Elf Who killed Santa."

 

- Oh yes that was...

 

- "Breaking & Entering". Everybody, the apostle Andrew.

 

- Oh yeah, there's a lot.

 

- "Dog It Down", some name is "Missing Vivian" that's another one.

 

- Oh that was a strange one, I killed someone in that one. Oh, there was a murder at sea, I was in a boat in Long Beach filming on a Russian man's semi yacht thing, listen, I've done a lot of strange independent films.

 

- "Drunk Hawk Man" this is a series.

 

- That was a series, so that was actually the same people who did Rivendale, "Drunk Hawk Man", Hawk Man is like a superhero that's kind of, not all that well known, and so the idea behind it was that it was a superhero who's kind of doesn't know what he's doing with his life. And I actually played The Green Lantern who was his best friend who he convinces to go on benders with him.

 

- That your favorite superhero, The Green Lantern?

 

- You know who my favorite superhero is, when I was a child I loved X-Men and I'd watch the cartoon. And I collected cards and I remember when my parents were divorced and my mom got remarried when I was maybe in second grade, and I refused to wear a tie at the wedding unless it had a Wolverine on it. And we found a Wolverine tie, he was my-

 

- Your parents' second marriage wearing the wolf shirt. You're part of the wolf pack now, I mean, we're part of the wolf pack.

 

- It's true.

 

- You're crazy. And then you played Barry on this season's episode of "Shameless".

 

- That actually literally just premiered yesterday.

 

- You can go and watch if you love "Shameless" I've never seen an episode but you can go watch.

 

- It's pretty much the opposite of "The Chosen".

 

- Well, you gotta have a diverse profile, you're all over the place. And it's interesting too, because for those that have watched "The Chosen" were big chosen people. When we saw your character of Andrew, you're very soft-spoken, you're just natural because your character is the first to recognize that Jesus of Nazareth is the lamb of God. You were following John the Baptist as the story goes, John tells you, "This isn't in the chosen but go follow the other guy because I can't even latch at his shoes." Or something like that. But then here's your personality in real life like this is the brilliance of acting. You're so going and fine and comedic, and yet you have this serious character that, you try to tease Peter a little bit but it's like one hundredth of who you are.

 

- For sure no, I'm definitely a very outgoing, an outgoing dude. And I think that when I started acting, the thing that really made me realize that this is what I wanted to do with my life was the idea that I could live an infinite amount of lives in one life and experience all the things that humanity has to experience. And so what I looked at that I was really excited about with Andrew was I loved the idea of that brother sort of in the background, whereas I'm used to being on stage, as an actor, I liked the idea of being in the background, trying to just work things out as best as possible, intellectually, not the one to run into a fight.

 

- Nano part.

 

- Yes, exactly. But then when in episode four, when I run all the way from John the Baptist and from seeing Jesus, it's like leaping right away. When that's makes itself known to me, there's no hesitation. so I really, really just wanted to, I was looking forward to bringing that to life.

 

- Well, and that's what we see is you have this conviction that Peter does not yet have, and you're there pitching him and trying to really convince him, and this is what's crazy is you found the Messiah that every person throughout history has been waiting for, and you just happened to find him and then you go and try to convince Peter and we all know, it's like Titanic, we all know what's gonna happen but when you're right there with it, the great thing about this show is there's major character development. So by the time the ship starts to sink, we're gonna be so invested in each character, it's gonna be fascinating to see how Dallas and the other writers lead you guys down that fateful road.

 

- We talk about that a lot because if all goes according to plan and we're able to do this the way they want to do it for, they talk about seven seasons of the show and we're just filming the second. That is such an amazing opportunity to really be with these people for a long, long time. Unlike when you see a movie of it and it essentially relies on the fact that you already know the story, and then you kind of see the ending, but this is not that this is really experiencing the interpersonal connections between these people and seeing how at the end that could be so much more momentous because of that. I think that's the goal of the show to really build that world out.

 

- Hey, everybody, I wanna take a break from this incredible conversation with Noah James to tell you about betterhelp.com. I'm actually working out right now because I know how important is to get control over our mind and our body. Betterhelp.com is an opportunity for those of you that want a personal counselor, a therapist, maybe you don't wanna let people know that you need some help. You go to betterhelp.com, they will match a counselor for you that you could interact with online. I come to a point where I can't manage myself and I recognize I need help, so go to betterhealth.com and start getting that weight in your mind and your body lifted to feel extra freedom, betterhelp.com but right now back to this conversation with Noah James. So let's back up and talk about how Dallas found you, how you found Dallas, and I understand that Andrew wasn't the first role that you thought you might be inheriting.

 

- Yeah, so I auditioned first for the shepherd which was the short film that really led to "The Chosen". And I didn't know anything about it because no one did, it was just a short film and hadn't obviously been made. So I read and knew, okay, this is a Christmas short and it was going to film over Christmas basically, I think.

 

- Could an agent send you a script?

 

- Yeah, so my agent was like, go in for this audition just like any other audition like, "Here's the script, go in tomorrow." And so I read it and really thought it was well-written and I liked the fact that it was a period piece, but it doesn't feel stale and old and so that was really intriguing. But then it was just like a lot of auditions where I went in. I did it that one time for the casting director and I left and I never heard again. And I didn't know that I was maybe in the running for that part, and the guy that got it also is amazing and he should have gotten cast in that part.

 

- They film you though cause later Dallas sees this stuff.

 

- Right, they tape the audition and then they send it to Dallas. So I didn't meet Dallas like I'd never saw him, and then a year and a half later I come in, I said that again, sorry. No, it's pretty crazy when you think about how it all happened, but yeah, a year and a half later, I get the call to go in for "The Chosen" for the role of Simon who becomes Peter and I had no idea that it was connected to the short film I auditioned for a year and a half ago. Again, I went in one day and never heard again. And I walked in and Dallas said, "Noah, listen we asked specifically for you, we're so happy you're here." And I thought he was mistaken. I was like, he thinks I'm someone else. And so finally I was like, "Dude, I think that you think I'm someone else." He's like, "No, didn't your agents tell you we asked for you specifically?" I was like, "Absolutely not, I did not know that, but I'm happy to know that now."

 

- That's kind of feel good.

 

- It did feel good and then you have to, and then he's like, "Great, let's see the scene." And I was really excited, I knew that I wasn't quite in the target for Simon. Not that I wasn't going to act it my way or bring myself to it, but you just know when you're reading a part like my instrument. As actors we are our own instrument and I knew that it wasn't in the bullseye of the character. And so when that happens, when you get auditions like that, you prepare and you really bring yourself to it and you do your best with it, but you really are auditioning for the show as a whole, and you're kind of going like, look I'm doing the work and I may not fit this exactly but hopefully there's something else here for me. And that's exactly what happened. He asked, I think at the audition, he's like, "What do you think? Do you think of yourself as Simon?" And I was like, "I think it'd be kinda hard for you to cast me as Simon." And he's like, "Yeah, I was thinking the same thing." I was like, "But I think there's other stuff." I really liked this world. And he's like, "I agree, I'm gonna be in touch, I'm gonna send you other people let me just think about it."

 

- That's amazing, I know that Dallas was specific in trying to recreate people that would have looked like they lived in Israel at the time, I'm curious what your heritage is and if you came from a religious home.

 

- So my dad is from Israel. So yeah, so there you go. And then on my mom's side, actually, both sides were Sephardic Jews. And so meaning-

 

- That is uneducated people.

 

- So Sephardic Jews are Jews sort of coming from the region of Spain or around Spain, Spain, Morocco, Northern Africa. So I'm about 75% Sephardic, 25% Ashkenazi and yeah. And on my mom's side, family from Turkey, Greece, my dad's Israel, Syria that whole Mediterranean Middle Eastern area.

 

- Beautiful, my wife and I travel a lot. We've been Turkey, Israel, a bunch of times and-

 

- Gorgeous.

 

- It's not only is it the best food it's the best looking people really is amazing. I can't stand COVID because I wanna travel.

 

- Believe me, I'm a big traveling guy and it's been a challenge to know that that is just on hold for a while. Although maybe we're on the other side of things and looking at the other half. But actually, I just went to London right in February right before everything shut down in March. So I got a little bit of the itch scratched and now I'm just at home in my kitchen.

 

- So it's a miracle though that you guys are able to during the COVID crisis, be able to assemble and film this? Because there was no place to film, originally it was done in Texas because that's the part of the United States that Dallas felt looked the most like ancient Israel. Cause he hadn't been to Utah where I'm from, I'm from Utah.

 

- Oh, really? What part of Utah?

 

- I grew up in salt Lake city.

 

- Oh, okay, yeah.

 

- I live in Nashville now for some time, but it was interesting to watch when the dilemma came about what are we gonna do? He was asking for prayers, fasting like he does then out of nowhere there's this set. It was used for other productions of reenactment of the Bible, anyways it's been used a lot for the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints and their purposes. I didn't realize they rent that out.

 

- They kind of don't so it's actually they really don't. But I think what it was was they saw "The Chosen" and they really, really, it really resonated with them, and I think they had had that on their radar for a while, but they had heard that's not gonna be rented out, that set, which is understandable. But then when they saw "The Chosen" it resonated with them so much and then they approached them again after season one, and then I think that's when that deal was made. The production value that that set lends to the show is indescribable, it's so amazing. They just released a teaser online of some of the second season and it looks so good and so much of that is obviously the crew and the team behind it but just the location itself is gorgeous.

 

- And you guys probably recreated because I remember when we left off, you guys had gone into Samaria and so I'm sure there's some Samaritan scenes.

 

- There's a lot, there's Samaria. It's funny because anytime you say something people are so tuned in that if you're like, and then there's this area and they're like, "Ah, we know exactly what stories coming up then." So I do have to be a little cautious about what I say.

 

- I get it. What was it like though, to be in Utah for a couple of weeks filming just the first half of the season, where you filmed half the season just all out of order because you guys are going to snack on first of the year probably get back at it.

 

- Yeah we're going to Texas next. So we'll be in Texas in January, but filming in Utah. Well, first of all, the logistical challenge and maybe nightmare that was getting everyone to be able to film during COVID cannot be overstated. Like they were working day and night trying to figure out how to get everyone to be there filming and also be as safe as possible because... And they did a wonderful job and we were all tested, you test before you go there, you test right when you get there. You stay in your hotel room for a little bit and then we were tested at least three times a week sometimes four times a week while filming, and then any background actors were tested every day whenever they would come in. So that aspect was daunting at first but then they got into the rhythm of it and we were able to be safe and film. Cause some of those scenes, we're walking around a marketplace, there are 100 background actors and it's like, you can't wear a mask when the cameras are rolling so it was a challenge. But aside from the COVID nature of everything, Utah is one of the most gorgeous places I've ever been in. Provo, I would go once the gym's closed and COVID land I had to totally switch and just, I'm like, I guess I'm a runner now. So I can't live ways let me go run. And so I would run around the neighborhoods in Provo and right at the foot of the Y mountain, and then it snowed one weekend so there was the white and red and green on the mountains. It feels so special driving into set and seeing that and then working on this.

 

- Amazing. I was gonna say I would imagine Jonathan was tempted to get into character and heal people if they got COVID so. Cause I was sick when I interviewed him I said, "Why don't you just get into character and heal me right now?" He's like, "No, it doesn't work that way." Where's your faith? He's awesome. So did you know any of the cast members before filming?

 

- I didn't know any of the casts before, which is funny cause now we really are a little family and whenever you work that intensely with the same people over a certain period of time, you really are a group. And we're friends and we get along very well which is a miracle in and of itself because you're talking about like 20 actors so you just never know what you're going to be dealing with, but we all really get along and I met one of the guys who's coming on to be one of the new disciples. We met at a film festival out here in LA. I was in a film that was in a drive in screening for a festival and he was good friends with my co-star, and he walked up to me. We're in masks at the festival and he's like, "Hey man, I'm gonna be on "The Chosen" with you. We're gonna be disciples together." And it was super cool to meet him before, maybe a month and a half before we went and filmed.

 

- He's not the guy that's gonna betray you, is he?

 

- I can't even say no because it's like if I say no, it narrows it down. If I say yes, it clearly narrows it down. But I guess I can say, I don't think he's the one who betrays us.

 

- To say who they pick for Judas Iscariot. People get confused that there were actually two Judases cause there's Judas, a brother of James and then there's Judas Iscariot. And there's so many different Simons and Peters and it's like.

 

- There's some definite like for the sake of narrative clarity, there must be. We didn't even have that scene in the first season right away where there's a little James and then big James and we have that scene where he's like, ah two James's, what do we do about this? Because it can get confusing and so you wanna stay true obviously to the source material, you don't want to be making stuff up but at the same time it can be very confusing and you know what? We all do look similar. We have similar hair and beards it's helpful to be as clear as possible.

 

- What was it like now, Eric I know Eric, I don't know where you've been. Eric is one of the most decorated actors of all time, he's from India and he plays Nicodemus. What has it been like just to see him on the set? And were you in any of the scenes with him?

 

- I had a brief moment with him where I lead him up to Jesus when they have their big sit down meeting on the roof. First of all he is like the sweetest guy, loveliest, sweetest guy, obviously unbelievably talented, but just human to human, so wonderful to spend time with. And we were all at the same hotels and stuff so even if we weren't working with each other in scenes, we were around each other, we would have lunch together and stuff. And so him and I had a few days where I think we drove to set together once and we hung out at lunch and we had that scene and I was just asking him to regale me with acting stories which he did, and they were wonderful.

 

- You have to take advantage of that, you have to get advice, get mentored.

 

- Yeah, and he's just a lovely, lovely guy and his work is amazing as you see in the show. And he's had a long, long career and I think it's okay to say obviously I don't wanna be telling his stories, but he's essentially had a semi retirement because he kind of wanted to step away from the industry and he had a major lifestyle change, but then Dallas approached him with the show and he wanted to be a part of it. So he came and hung out with us. He had a big RV that he came in and it was just awesome. He was like living on the road for a few years and just a really fascinating cool guy.

 

- Like Willy Nelson

 

- A little bit like Willie Nelson, yeah.

 

- He doesn't fly faster or slower, I guess. His style that's cool.

 

- But it's about the journey, man.

 

- It's the climb, as we see-

 

- It's the climb.

 

- That's cool. So music's obviously been a big part of your life. I always like to ask people cause you're younger, what was the first CD? I don't know that you bought a cassette.

 

- Okay, so I definitely did not buy a cassette but the first CD, although it wasn't that far away from where I would have been, like they still sold cassettes in gas stations I remember.

 

- Right, right, those were the comedy clubs, the blue collar comedy tours.

 

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

- 396 for the truckers.

 

- My first album I ever bought was No Doubt "Tragic Kingdom". That was the first album and I learned bass listening to a lot of that album but then also, so it was No Doubt and then I started listening, oh, well, I went off into some strange areas here, but No Doubt. One of my favorite bands still to this day that I listen to all the time was and is Rage Against the Machine. So rage was my jam, even as a kid, like fourth grade Noah listening to rage. Yeah, exactly. And then Green Day, I have a punk phase in middle school. That was my Green Day phase. I had a very brief stint into metal rock. I was listening to Korn when I was in fifth grade. Oh, it was something, man. They was growling all in my ears and I just loved it, tiny kid Noah loved it. And then I mellowed down as I got to high school then I started listening to a lot of do you know Iron & Wine?

 

- Iron & Wine's fantastic in fact-

 

- So good.

 

- My publicist rep them.

 

- Oh yeah, that's fantastic. I saw them in concert once and was totally blown away and yeah, listen to a lot of Iron & Wine, Death Cab For Cutie, going more into indie acoustic kind of-

 

- You're maturing.

 

- I was maturing.

 

- You're doing Bible movies now. No country music?

 

- I never was a country guy. Arizona has a little bit of a country soul to it and they love their cowboys out in Arizona but the music was never, it wasn't a big country scene out there, but I think Iron & Wine was as close getting into kind of folksy. I did listen to some more bluegrassy type stuff around that time as well. I forget some of the names, but in that realm Calexico and Iron & Wine I think had an album together,

 

- Trampoline Turtles, Mandolin Orange, these are fantastic bands.

 

- I'll check them out, I'll check them out.

 

- Bonnie ever, obviously.

 

- Yeah well he's in his voice is just like magic in your ears so yeah.

 

- One thing I like to ask people at the end is, you've had some amazing opportunities in your life. You've had some challenges because your parents got divorced that always is very difficult. What is the one thing in life that brings you the most amount of joy? And then after that, what is it that you hope to accomplish in your lifetime so that when we're all gone and these are kind of deep philosophical questions but you're doing Bible stuff so I can ask this. When we're all gone 200 years from now what is it that you hope people will remember that you left behind something you did? Or what is it you hope people will remember your contribution to our world?

 

- Wow, all right, let's take that one step at a time. Okay, here we go. Well, first I will say that I don't wanna be misrepresenting my childhood because, while yes my parents were divorced, I did have a very lovely childhood and there was stability in, I'm sure that's a little bit of chaos, but there was there's stability there and I'm close with my stepdad, my dad, my mom that's all cool. But of course there were challenges growing up maybe that's why I was listening to the Korn, but I would say what brings me the most amount of joy in life, man, that is such a fascinating question because I love celebrating humanity. It's why I will listen to classical music or go see Shakespeare or listen to EDM as I'm running as fast as I can. I just love the human spirit, I love what we were able to accomplish, and I love celebrating that in a group of people. It's why COVID times have been so hard because even just if you take a concert, there's something so magical about music being performed on the stage and the rest of the audience is there experiencing it in real time. It's not on your phone, it's not on your TV, you're there and there is a spiritual connection to everyone around you and to what's happening and that to me is why I love theater, I love doing plays, I love seeing plays that in and of itself the performing music theater, anything like that, that is a celebration of humanity, and that to me gives me the most amount of joy. It's a birthday party, it's a wedding, it's a funeral, it's anything where you are giving respect to the life, which includes suffering, joy, pain, bliss, everything in between when you are taking the moment to respect that and be in contact with it, be in connection with it. That gives me the most amount of joy.

 

- I love that I was reading the "Art Of Communication", I don't know if you've read it.

 

- Yeah, yeah. I haven't read it, but I know of, yeah.

 

- And what you're touching upon is you are totally associated right now because you find so much joy in everything you're doing. It's so encouraging and exciting and it's what we all want to feel, an excitement for life and a kudos to you, man. So nailed it 200 years from now when it's all gone, though.

 

- Okay, so the 200. Yeah, so that's a fascinating one, so to get back to that.

 

- You have been with Jesus or you're living another good life or whatever.

 

- I know, that's a question that will be with people until the end of time. And I think that if I were to say what I would like to leave in 200 years. There's the one hand, which is that my job which is also so much a part of just who I am, my job as an actor is to tell stories. And so to me, the highest mark of being able to do that is to really tell stories that are impactful, mean something to people, change people's points of view for the better and inspire empathy. Anything that I can do that can help even tilt the scale more towards an empathic version of this world, that to me, and it's a slow process, but however I can best help that even if it's being kind to someone on the street or telling a story that impacts someone very deeply, all of that I think is super important to me. And so I don't think it's so much about a name thing or an ego thing, or like they must remember me. It's not so much that it's anything I think one of the things that we're here to do is to make life better for yourself, for those around you, for everyone who will come after. And if we all do that then the world's already pretty magical and we can get more and more.

 

- That's beautiful, obviously the work you're doing right now with "The Chosen", I've gotten countless people that have because I've shared these interviews, I've had people are telling me all the time they didn't have a relationship with God, now they recognize they need that higher power in their lives. So you guys are doing amazing work just in bringing more meaning and purpose to people so they feel like someone else as their back, they're not alone in the world and that's what's so beautiful. So you're in the process now of fulfilling what you have just stated.

 

- Oh, well, thank you.

 

- That's fantastic. So, Noah James, where can people find you if they're not watching "The Chosen" you have an Instagram account?

 

- Sure, yeah. So on Instagram, it's @James_NoahJames that's where you can find me.

 

- Do you have a website?

 

- I do have a website, NoahJamesprojects.com. And that's a website that has a lot of my actor stuff what's going on recently and I also do a lot of voiceover, so that is kind of the place where my voiceover stuff resides, yeah. I am Noah James, I am the narrator of "The Broken Miracle" which just released on Audible. It tells a story of Paul Cardall who is an internationally acclaimed songwriter and pianist and how he was born with half a functioning heart. And the story follows him as a child who required surgery immediately, and then as an adult, sensing that his heart is starting to give out on him. It interweaves these themes of family, love, music, and just strength in the face of the most dire of odds. It's a really, really beautiful story I can't wait for you all to hear it and let us know what you think. Dude, listen when all this is over we need to... Listen, you will have to be carrying it because I won't be able to play along with you, but we, at some point, we'll move to have a little jam session.

 

- And I have friends who are like really good players so we'll have to get together.

 

- I'll hide in the background and just be like, I'm flying a little.

 

- It'll be good, I'll reach out to you when I'm out in LA and let's go grab lunch or something.

 

- Definitely, I would love that.

 

- Thank you so much for being on this, We're gonna paint this out on American Songwriter Network and Noah and it's more people watching your work so thank you for being here.

 

- Thanks so much man, thank you for having me.

 

- [Announcer] This is All Heart with Paul Cardall.