Writer, director and publicist Josh Mitchell is originally from Boston, but currently lives in the heart of Hollywood. In July of 2014, he published his first novel, The Dude Who Did Dictionaries, the story of a man who leaves his high-paying job as a advertising copywriter to instead work in a bookstore and attempt to write the world’s first all-sexual dictionary. A sprawling, gritty depiction of a recession-afflicted world, The Dude Who Did Dictionaries is a gripping account of one man’s fatalistic downward spiral.
In August of 2014, Mitchell released Pissing on the Pulse of the Planet, a book that offers unique musings on sex, politics and pop culture, all viewed through the lens of Mitchell’s subversive comedic wit.
Mitchell recently wrote, directed and starred in Lack of Cockery, a feature film about a venture capitalist who finds himself questioning his perspective on identity, life and love.
Meanwhile, Mitchell’s public relations company, Wickid Pissa Publicity, has become one of the most in-demand firms in the entertainment industry, offering services ranging from marketing, branding and event production and management. Learn more about Wickid Pissa Publicity at www.wickidpissapublicity.com.
What was your childhood like, and how did it shape who you are today?
My childhood was adventurous and enlightening. I became a bibliophile at 18 months: Curious George, The Ugly Duckling, Tropic of Cancer. I gobbled up texts as if they were liquefied apple sauce (I got frustrated when I couldn’t turn the pages). I loved being naked. I was much more active and liberated when I was unclad. I didn’t have to worry about my mother dressing me up in cheezy Cookie Monster outfits. I took my real first steps on my first birthday – an unwrapped gift from God. “That’s one small step for Josh, one huge pain in the ass for the rest of the world.” I loved attention and I still do.
Who are your biggest creative inspirations?
The iconoclasts who have influenced me in no particular order are Henry Miller, Keith Haring, Eminem, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Soderberg. I like artists who lift up the random rocks of the world and unveil a universe we would have never known existed if it hadn’t been for their inventiveness.
What initially convinced you to move from Boston to Los Angeles? Was it difficult adjusting to life on the west coast?
I left Boston and moved to LA because I knew you had to be in the belly of the beast to truly maximize your chances of success in the film and TV world. There is a reason why all the studios are in Hollywood and why all the movie stars live here. Because this is where the magic happens. I recently celebrated my three-year anniversary on the west coast and the things I miss most are my family, friends, lobster, and Fenway Park. You can watch my feature film Helen Keller Had A Pit Bull to truly learn about my transition and some of the shady characters I have had to endure in the process.
What do the Red Sox need to do to put themselves in position to make the playoffs and contend for the World Series next season?
They need to pick up a few elite starting pitchers and watch my short film Out For Buckner for inspiration…
How much of yourself is there in Frank Flutie, the protagonist of The Dude Who Did Dictionaries?
There’s a lot of me in Frank Flutie. I have a lot of spite for the corporate world and micromanaging, power-hungry bosses. I despise the 9-5 office job. I’d rather play leapfrog with a unicorn. Just like Frank, I was born in a historic, affluent town called Hingham. I based the company The Banker that Frank works at on my first job out of college in the financial district of Boston. I share some of his skeptical sentiments about marriage and women. I put a lot of myself in my novels and, if you know me on a personal level, the similarities will be transparent. The only real last fame is literary fame and I try to expunge all of my experiences into my characters so I can capture all of the chapters of my life.
What inspired the story of Lack of Cockery, and what were the biggest challenges you faced during the making of that film?
My latest feature film, Lack of Cockery, was inspired by the hustle of Hollywood. As a publicist, I work with a lot of emerging and fresh talent and a lot of them are so poor they can’t pay attention. It got me thinking about ambition and goals and how money cures a lot of problems in terms of stability. The story is my valentine to those who pound the pavement on a daily basis and will walk through hell in a gasoline suit to achieve their dreams.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work with Wickid Pissa Publicity?
The thing I love best about Wickid Pissa Publicity is the diversity of talent and companies I get to fraternize with on a daily basis. I specialize in elevating buzz, branding, and exposure for unique brands. So some days I am working with a young female actress, a TV producer, a new energy drink, a t-shirt line, a Kickstarter campaign – it runs the gamut and keeps everything fresh and exciting for me. I also get to attend a lot of red carpet events and networking parties with delicious food and open bars.
What’s your drink of choice?
Green tea when an angel is on my shoulder and strong Belgium beer when the devil is dominating the dance floor.
What’s the best song you’ve heard recently?
I love the new single “Hurricane Heart” off my favorite singer-songwriter Marc Broussard’s new album A Life Worth Living.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My typical day is me on my computer for way too many hours, client meetings, a gym visit, lunch on The Sunset Strip, and a screening of the latest indie film at night.
If a local deli named a sandwich after you, what would be on it?
It would be called The Meatball Mitchell and it would be smothered in my nana’s homemade marinara sauce with piles of fresh provolone cheese.
What are you working on next?
I’m shooting a fun and endearing new short film called Vintage Vehicle this month and I have created a provocative new TV series called NoHo District, which I will be pitching to the networks. I am also gearing up for my tenth year in a row at the Sundance Film Festival in January.