Who is JM Darling?
Joshua’s Blog is White Witches and Wildflowers.
My real title, I feel, should read. Joshua Darling: conduit. I am the product of, and feel it is my destiny in life to to take social, cultural and artistic threads and offer to and facilitate in the rewiring with other pulsing, electric entities. In my long line of occupations ( starting from age 11 blacksmith’s attendant, strawberry picker, carpenter, sailor, actor, director, dating coach (!) photographer, filmmaker) I spent some time as a bartender. I paid my way through school crafting cocktails from a bygone era in retro Martini bars and earned the title Mixologist. While I hated slinging drinks (the Prince of Saudi Arabia tips 2K, btw and Prince Charles, nothing), I’ve thought the title was appropriate to me in many ways.
It started early, when I myself was the new ingredient thrown into new situations. I spent the first 17 years of my life sailing around the world on a series of sailboats my family (mostly my father and I) built ourselves from scratch. By the time I was 18 I had extensive time in 40 countries. Now, as an adult that number is 62. I picked up about 6 languages along the way. This was hardly a glamorous existence. Boats were built from wood and language lessons came from street fights on docks in Tangiers, Amsterdam, Kingston and Baranquilla. But they also came from kisses from Danish gals in endless summers. And Parisian whores petting my head on their way to home from work. To be 11 again… Add to this, my unique brand of multiculturalism. Dadwas a Brit (possibly from Spanish and Irish lineage) who grew up tap dancing for the Allied Forces in WWII with ne’er a lick of school (but spoke 6 languages) and Mom ) is a Filipino/Spanish/Chinese/American the daughter of a wealthy politician and agriculturalist. I vacillated as a child between a frankly poor neo-Dickensian life and a sort of charmed Gatsby existence. Maids, drivers, my own TV show to host and direct and a slew of movie stars to date (in SE Asia). Did I mention when I wasn’t with these people I was with my Grandfather, the main suspect in the Black Dahlia Murder?
In my early adulthood I found the US and the UK to be places where I wanted to study, work and become a man. I had found my way acting and directing classical theater pieces in Asia and studied Shakespeare for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After (bizaarely) finding myself in casts of musicals like Les Miserables, I began to work in earnest playing Macbeth, Mercutio, Oedipus, Tamburlaine, Hamlet, Othello (yes), Richard III and neoclassical plays as a director. In directing I somehow convinced producers to allow me to cast award winning actors next to people with almost no experience. The result onstage was sometimes electrifying. I followed suit in staging plays that cast actors of different cultural backrounds and even language in the same piece.
My photography work had been finding voice primarily in the world of nudes, erotica and editorial. I made an extra living shooting high end escorts ( read here ). Shooting for government campaigns, some work in an Oscar nominated documentary, boutique alt erotica sites and fledging short films somehow put me on the map (Is there map? I should say “booked employment through some degree of name recognition”). But this work isolated me from my friends in the legit worlds of theatre, film, dance and academia.
I was casting a short film with my partner Sovereign and we were hitting our heads against a wall finding a trained, striking actor willing to appear in material with strong erotic themes. They’re there, but it isn’t easy. In a flash, I felt the relief of recognition: I needed to cull from my theatre friends (many highly accoladed) come out to them that I worked in the adult world and see if they wanted to take greater risks in expressing themselves. To my great surprise they’ve almost all said yes.
This was the birth of Darling House. Sexual culture, representation and discussion or no less worthy, in my opinion, as the edgy worlds of downtown theater, punk, the Factory or any other platform of developing art. It’s my goal to curate a cadre of outstanding creative, sexy spirits both new in their fields and highly expereinced to share with you my view of wonderful, multifaceted tapestry we live in.
I’m mixing it up to see if you like it.
Joshua Darling (founder, Darling House) is a photographer, theater/filmmaker and actor. He has played the title roles in Richard the 3rd in Central Park and directed Tony, Pulitzer and Oscar Winners. His photography has been seen in the NYTimes, the Washington Post, NY Post, the Academy Award nominated film Client 9, Hustler, GQ (Italy) and in countless websites and magazines around the world. He lives between NYC and California and still makes a mean mojito.