Josh – Young Austinite, Bboy, Movie Stuntman

Josh Vinyard - Downtown Austin Breakdancer

For additional photos from this shoot by Peter Tsai, visit the Bboy Elusive photo shoot on Peter Tsai Photography

What’s your Name?
Josh “Elusive” Vinyard

What decade you were born in?
90’s

Where is your Hometown?
Austin

How long have you Been in Austin,  why?
A little under 20 years — Simply put: It’s home

What do you do to pay the bills?
Dance. I am a corporate entertainer.

What’s do you do for fun / as a side gig?
Stunt work for film productions

What’s your story – How and when did you end up in Austin?
Came here with my family when I was about 3 years old. Even though I was young, I was able to identify Austin as being a unique place with a great balance of just about anything you want

What’s a memorable experience or story about you and Austin?
A good one to pick may be my audition for America’s Got Talent. It was my first time being filmed for live television, and a real stepping stone from being just a dancer to an artist.

Josh Vinyard

Do you see yourself in Austin in 3 years? 10 years?
I don’t ever see myself ever really moving away. 3 years, 10 years; doesn’t matter. Temporary relocation is probable in the future in New York or LA but I want to end up in the same place I started

What are 3 great things about Austin?
1. The people
2. The night time scene
3. The tolerance for just being plain weird

Any favorite Austin restaurants? Food trucks?
Korientes… Cabo Bobs… Oh no, don’t get me started…

Favorite local bar or coffee shop?
Negative. I’m a man who doesn’t drink alcohol or coffee. Let’s leave this question out 😛

Favorite Austin event / festival?
SXSW is with out a doubt the grand daddy of all Austin events.

What do you think Austin will be like in 5 years?
Like a sardine can. Cram packed with other people that smell. I love our tourists, but please don’t live here.

Josh Vinyard

What do you do to deal with the Austin summers?
Stay inside and only go out when the sun is down. Vampire living.

Fill in the blank: Austin is ____________________.
Home

Any final words of wisdom for our readers?
Too much to put, so let’s try a condensed version. Learn + Love = Grow. Learn something new everyday; anything. Love what you do and yourself everyday. When you do both of these, you grow as an individual. And if we don’t grow, then we’re just some wilted plants in the dirt wasting life


Da’Shade – Spoken Word Artist, Cinematographer, Action Coreographer

dashade_moonbeam_martial_arts (2)

What’s your Name?
My given name is Jeffery Johnson, but the majority of those that traverse the surface of mother earth know me by my earned name, “Da’Shade Moonbeam.”

What decade you were born in?
The 1970’s

Where is your Hometown?
Austin, Texas (The ATX)

How long have you Been in Austin?
All my life, Born and Raised!

Current Austin Neighborhood: why?
78723, it’s where I spent my formative years. Even though it’s currently infested with fixed gear bike riding hipsters, and is slowly succumbing to the gentrification, I still love this area. Good memories, good people.

What do you do to pay the bills?
I am a Youth Care Worker II at a local Non-Profit that provides housing, and counseling services to At-Risk-Youth. What I want to do to pay the bills?! Live off of my many artistic abilities!

What’s do you do for fun / as a side gig?
I love going to the Movies! I am a Southern Hip-Hop/Spoken Word Artist… AND a DSLR Cinematographer… AND a Film/Stage/Action Choreographer, that is also a Stage and Film actor… AND a Martial Arts Instructor, poet, and motivational speaker!.. AND… You get the point, I do a slew of artistic things on the side.

dashade_moonbeam_martial_arts (1)

What’s your story – How and when did you end up in Austin?
My story is long. Long enough to be recognized by Google! Hint, Hint. I am a Street Nerd. I was raised with positivity in an utterly calamitous environment, filled with gangs, drugs, death, and violence. I was able to see the light in the darkness so to speak, and with help I was able to walk my own path. I am not a saint, I am a wolf that has lost interest in eating sheep.

What’s a memorable experience or story about you and Austin?
Let’s see… I was a Featured extra on Friday Night Lights (Episode 305 or Every Rose has its Thorn.) and I was joking around with cast member Kevin Rankin about comic books. Long story short, Kevin points to cast member Taylor Kitsch and says that “Taylor is plays Gambit in the new Wolverine movie!” I thought to myself, “I have to get out of this city lol.” Kevin says “With your talent, you may want to do that sooner than later Shade.”

Do you see yourself in Austin in 3 years? 10 years?
I see myself being based in Austin. I have recently acquired the Travel bug and I am opening my mind to the opportunities this planet has to offer.

What are 3 great things about Austin?
1. Food
2. Film
3. People

Any favorite Austin restaurants? Food trucks?
Daisies Cafe on Hancock Drive!

Favorite local bar or coffee shop?
Bennu Coffee on MLK, and Summer Moon on S. 1st for coffee hands down!!! As far as Bars go The North Door and The ND are my Favs to grab a drink!

Favorite Austin event / festival?
Frontera Fest, and Zell Miller III Hip Hop Theatre Explosion!

What do you think Austin will be like in 5 years?
Bigger! Hopefully we can retain our identity.

What do you do to deal with the Austin summers?
I am tempered in the fire! There’s not much you can do beside Deal with the heat, or it will Deal with you!

Fill in the blank:
Austin is a great place for out of town musicians, and performers to get local support, but if you’re local and want support from Austin Locals, get famous somewhere else first! Then Austin will LOVE you!

Any final words of wisdom for our readers?
Support your local performers, and artists!


What is it like living in Austin, Texas?

I hope readers of this blog have learned a lot about Austin, Texas through the personal stories of Austinites. It’s great to get first hand accounts, but sometimes it’s good to see the larger picture:

A profile of Austin, Texas AKA how I describe Austin to people:

Austin is a mid sized city and known for it’s friendly attitude and laid back lifestyle. For a city of it’s size, there’s a whole lot to do here thanks to a world class university, being known as the Live music capital of the world, and a growing and nationally recognized restaurant scene. People are generally very friendly, happy to be here and positive on the city (except for the heat). It’s very easy to meet new people in Austin or to strike up a conversation with a stranger at a bar or an event.

Austin has a highly educated population thanks to the university, a healthy jobs environment, and a vibrant high tech and entrepreneurial scene.

Austin is a quickly growing city as a result of immigration from all parts of the USA. Currently, Austin is the 3rd fastest growing city in the nation and the 13th largest city in the country.

According to the official Austin census numbers from 2012, there are over 1.8 million people in the Austin metro area and approximately 800,000 people in Austin proper.

According to the official Austin census figures, Austin grew:
26% between 1990-2000
15% between 2000-2010

While most people here are positive about Austin, there are some people here that think that Austin is changing too fast (see Lori’s story) Those who moved to Austin from a larger city such as LA or NYC might think Austin a bit small.

Having lived here for 10 years, I can definitely see that Austin is going through a growing phase. It used to seem that Austin was quite far behind the curve on the latest trends, but now Austin is a very fast follower or even a trend setter in terms of music, fashion, and food.

There are new buildings popping up all around the city – despite the real estate bust of 2008-2009, Austin’s skyline has consistently been filled with tall construction cranes over the last 5 years. But with growth comes some of the big city problems such as traffic, overcrowding, and a change in the friendly small town feel of the city.

Additional Resources:

What should you know before moving to Austin?
Demographic Trends in Austin, Texas

A book that will help you see what Austin is like – AKA shameless self promotion (I am the photographer):

Buy my Austin coffee table book