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Broadway's J. Breckenridge Shares 'Tale Of Torn Hearts And Minds' In Powerful Video

Curtis M. Wong
·Senior Culture Reporter, HuffPost
·3-min read
J. Breckenridge's debut album, "Monotony," will be released in May. (Photo: Nelson Castillo)
J. Breckenridge's debut album, "Monotony," will be released in May. (Photo: Nelson Castillo)

After more than a decade of telling other people’s stories, Josh Breckenridge has found a perfect vehicle for his own bicoastal narrative.

The New York actor has spent much of the past year at work on his forthcoming debut album “Monotony,” which was written and recorded under music-specific persona “J. Breckenridge.” On Thursday, he unveiled the video for the album’s third single, “Home Is Where the Art Is.”

Directed by Qlint Chesney and shot on both coasts, the “Home Is Where the Art Is” video is what Breckenridge called his “meditation on decisions made and results lived,” following his journey from his hometown of Fallbrook, California, to the lights of Broadway. Though the song is rooted in his own experiences, he hopes his “tale of torn hearts and minds” will resonate with anyone who leaves their hometown to pursue a personal or professional dream.

“I think the best kind of song is one that hits home with the listener, no pun intended,” Breckenridge told HuffPost. “Time off has given me moments to reflect on life choices. I miss birthdays, graduations, life moments living 2,780 miles away from the souls I love. I felt it was a story worth telling. ... I hope [audiences] see themselves in my story, and that it opens each familiar heart to the simple fact they’re not alone.”

Check out the “Home Is Where the Art Is” video below.

Breckenridge made his Broadway debut in the 2007 revival of Terrence McNally’s comedy “The Ritz.” He returned in 2010’s “The Scottsboro Boys,” and in the smash 2017 musical “Come from Away.” Along the way, he’s racked up a number of impressive screen credits, with roles in NBC’s “The Blacklist” and CBS’s “Blue Bloods.”

The actor remained in the cast of “Come from Away” until March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered theaters and other performance venues around the world.

After two months of unemployment, he moved back to California and decamped to a motor home in his mother’s driveway. This unexpected living arrangement gave him an ideal setting to focus on “Monotony,” which he described as “the product of a quarantined mind gone mad” and is due for release next month.

“The fact that I had time meant it was the right time,” said Breckenridge, who cites The Weeknd, Brian McKnight and India.Arie as artistic influences. “I kinda feel like my creative heart and mind said, ‘There. You needed a second? You got it. No more excuses. Get to work!’”

“Each song is a scar, an individual piece to the puzzle of me ― the bold, the buoyant, the weak and the strong,” Breckenridge said of his new music. (Photo: Nelson Castillo)
“Each song is a scar, an individual piece to the puzzle of me ― the bold, the buoyant, the weak and the strong,” Breckenridge said of his new music. (Photo: Nelson Castillo)

As to why he’s choosing to go by “J. Breckenridge” for the project, he added: “I just wanted some separation. This music venture is a brand new bag for me, and although we’re talking about a difference of three letters, this rebrand is ... a chance to chuck my actor self to the side and really allow for a unique, untainted journey.”

If all goes according to plan, Breckenridge hopes to support the release of “Monotony” with a series of live performances. He also plans to take the stage in “Come from Away” again on Broadway once it’s safe to do so.

“People can expect to feel the many shades of me,” he said. “Each song is a scar, an individual piece to the puzzle of me ― the bold, the buoyant, the weak and the strong.”

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.