What was your childhood like?
Justin: I grew up in a musical home. My parents played piano, guitar and sang. When I was 10, my parents were looking for an outlet for me to do something that included singing. At that age, there were not a lot of options but they found musical theatre. Growing up, I performed in lots of plays. I loved singing, dancing, piano, acting and percussion. I had a very rich musical and theatrical childhood.
Benj: Writing, poetry, and music was introduced early in my life. My mom is a developmental psychologist and on the side she liked to write songs to capture moments in our lives. This became very popular at my preschool. My mom and her friend became a children’s music duo and continued to write many albums of kids music about growing up such as “Jumping in a Puddle” and “Hugs and Kisses.” I grew up in an environment of turning every moment of life into song. As I got older, I became interested in writing my own songs. I was so lucky to grow up in a very supportive environment where theatre and music was accessible and encouraged.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Justin: I knew musical theatre was something I had a passion for but I didn’t know I could do this as a career. I thought of it as just a fun way to express myself, exercise that creative muscle, and develop my talent. It wasn’t until high school when I realized that people do this for a living. Then I knew musical theatre was going to be more then just a fun hobby.