J o s h  A n d e r s o n - G r e y

"...every culture in the world, on some level, can engage with storytelling" Read our interview with writer & actor Josh Anderson-Grey...

Hey Josh, so glad we finally got together for this interview. So without further ado, let's get straight into it. 

What are you watching right now?

Well! I’ve just finished watching Monarch of the Glen. It was a TV show that came out in the 00’s, but was recently uploaded to iPlayer. I’ve been watching it with my parents, and we just finished it last night! It was a really nice show, light-hearted comedy set in Scotland & yeah I really enjoyed watching that. 

I’ve been watching Doctor Who as well… don’t tell me what’s been happening recently though! I’ve only got up to ep 7 of series 12. So I haven’t seen any of the new ones. I mean I know a certain someone has come back.. I don’t know exactly what’s happened but I've seen snippets here and there… but as far as storylines are concerned, I'm not sure. I’ve just watched, up to, the episode that comes after the ‘Praxeus’ episode of Season 12.  Yeah, that’s where I am with Doctor Who

Also! Survivor! I’ve been watching that. I believe the episodes come out two by two, once a week, but i’ve not been watching them live - always conscious that I don’t want to run out, I’ve been trying to stagger them. 

Nice! Okay next question, what music/podcast serenades your commute currently?

People have often asked me this - what music am I into, and I can’t give them a straight answer, not to be difficult…. But… It’s not that I like a specific genre, I like songs themselves. I can listen to one rap song and think it’s funny or nice, and another one and think Ah, this really isn’t for me... So yeah I like a bit of everything! Depending on the music, and the story in the song, and how it flows. A couple of example of songs I like to listen to: Rather Be by Clean Bandit & The Lady is a Tramp by Frank Sinatra. 

Gorgeous. Those are some good songs. Last question of the quick fire round, any books on the go at the moment?

Well, over the past year and a half, I’ve really been reading play scripts, for example, King Charles III by Mike Bartlett. Very recently, I’ve been listening to a story-podcast by a writer called Mitch Day… There's one in particular I really like called The Guinea Pig Clause. What Mitch Day does as he will get actors to narrate the stories, and some of the actors are people I know, because of a community we are a part of called Director’s Cut Theatre. They have a community of actors, writers and directors. I'm involved as a writer, so I really enjoy listening to them.  

Awesome, thanks so much Josh. Now, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into your creative endeavours, such as your writing?

Well, I've always been interested in storytelling, ever since I was a little child. My parents used to read to me, I enjoyed listening to those stories, and as I got older I tried to write my own stories, I tried to emulate the stories I was reading at that time - not necessarily the same characters, but the kind of characters that I would want in my world. As I’ve gotten older I think my ear for good storytelling has gotten better. 

As a kid I’d write short stories and poems as well, and I've gotten back into poetry quite recently. Prior to this Autumn, the last time I wrote a poem was about four years ago!

As a teenager, I liked the idea of writing short scripts. I liked the idea of starting a web-series, as a teenager, around 13/14, I knew I wasn't gonna be able to actually write for TV at this stage, so it would be cool to write stuff for Youtube. That didn’t actually happen though, and thank goodness it didn’t, ‘coz I was a 13 year old boy! But I'm glad that I had the taste for it, it made me think about the kind of stuff I wanted to write. 

Well that leads us nicely onto our next question! What do you write about and what inspires you/who inspires you?


That's a good question. What’s my work about? The thing is, I don’t write about any one subject. Is that deliberate? I would say... It’s not so much that I am consciously thinking I mustn’t write the same thing over and over again, although I wouldn’t wanna do that anyway but… I just find myself coming up with story idea, after story idea, and I wanna explore them all! 

So, what do I write about? I write about what goes on in the world… obliquely maybe, but if I see something maybe or think Ah, that's a subject that people are talking about, let me address it in my own way.  Not necessarily to say: I’m gonna draw a line under it for everyone, I've got the answer, you will all listen to it... but more, this is my take on it. Or, not even pose an answer to any question, I might just say… Here is a story, in which this debate is playing out. I'm not necessarily going to tell you what to think, I'm going to present it to you and let you make up your own minds, or just consider the arguments.  

I sometimes feature debates in my pieces, things that we may or may not want to talk about with our friends, but we wish to hear other people speak about them anyway. I try to write with earnestness and grace towards my characters. 

And I also like to write things that can either, hopefully, either challenge people or uplift them! Because I'm not the kind of person who will try and write a piece with a view to bash people over the head. Depending on the point I'm trying to make I can be quite clear about what I'm trying to say, but I believe that there's a way to do that without sounding too worthy. And I want to invite people to think about X, rather than say, i’m going to give you a hard time for not thinking about this or reaching a conclusion. 

‘Coz we’re all thinking about stuff, we’re all learning, listening to what other people have to say. I try to show grace even when I’m challenging people. But I also like to write things that can uplift people, maybe bring a bit of happy to their day, or maybe even encourage them!

We find your work very uplifting! 

Ah, thanks. I’m not saying that all the world's problems are going to be solved by Art, but I do think that Art can do a lot of good!


And I think every culture in the world, on some level, can engage with storytelling. They may not engage with a specific type of story, they may not engage with specific characters, they may not engage with the way they begin or end or all that BUT, everyone appreciates a story on some level. I mean - just talking about your day is technically storytelling. 

Sometimes stories don’t need to change the world, sometimes people just need something that they can relate to, you know, and that's enough. 

I agree! 

So, what would your advice be for someone trying to be more creative/do some writing?

I think all creatives are different in regard to their writing styles… and because i’ve always got stories stewing away in my head, it can be challenging to think, what shall I write now? And it might be determined by a specific opportunity, but… generally speaking… one thing I would say is, make a plan, when you're writing, but don’t marry it. 

Because I have found that, if i’m writing a short piece, i’ll write a few lines in preparation and think, right this is how i’m gonna structure it, this is gonna happen there, the beats, essentially. And then as I'm writing, I'm thinking, either the beats don't work, or something else would work better, maybe the beat should be saved for later, that kind of thing. So - don’t just stick to the plan because it's the plan!

Think, okay here are the characters, the characters are saying this…why are they saying this? Or, they could do this… should I let them do that instead of going with what I had before? 

And I think in the creative process its important to not let yourself be too rigid. Don't be too rigid when writing a story, let the story flow and let the characters speak to you. 

People that arn’t creatives might read that and think, ah thats all artsy fartsy… but as a writer, when I've got the script in front of me, and I’m writing, it does feel like the characters are in my head - speaking! And that helps a lot. 

So… make a plan but don’t marry it, you don’t have to get everything done in one day, don’t beat yourself up over it, go for a walk, daydream about it. Don’t just think you have to remain hunched over your laptop until draft one is finished, give yourself some time, give yourself some breathing space, think about it. 

What could the characters do next? What would you like them to do next? Where are you trying to get to? Could the characters learn something along the way? Would one character fall by the wayside? Would another character step by and save them? Could that be part of their character, or would it be completely out of character? Those kinds of questions. 

Also, if you’re introducing a debate into your writing… don’t make your character sound too much like an idiot. Because your character still has to be credible. Even if it’s a character you don't agree with. You’ve got to treat them like real people, this is an intelligent person, there's a reason why he/she/they have done this, even though I myself might not have, so why would they do that? Treat them like people, not cartoon characters! 

They are some really useful points, thanks Josh. 

I think that there should be a level of honesty that comes along with all storytelling, fictional or otherwise. Take me on a journey with you! And you can lead me up the garden path, you can take me round the bend, all around the houses, take me on that journey, and where you want to leave me is up to you, as the writer, but at least take me there! 

Ooooo. Well Josh, thank you so much for all your great answers. So, last question, what’s next for you?

I’m writing more for theatre at the moment, there's a play that I started writing in 2022 and a segment of it was read at one of Directors Cuts’ rehearsed readings, back in the summer and people were very complimentary about it, they seemed to like it, so I want to work more on that! 

Maybe, try my hand at some more audio-writing. And continue to write things that make people think, uplift people or just.. present something wholesome!

Thanks so much for your time Josh, it’s been really great. 

Thank you!


Follow them @joshandersongrey


The Directors Cut Theatre 

Thank you @gstillmoment for their beaut picture