What people are saying about working with joe...
Writer, Lyricist - Whiskeyland!
Actor - Hamilton, Motown the Musical
I owe my artistic life to Joe Ricci. Not an exaggeration. As a writing partner, as a consultant, as a mentor, Joe has pulled me out of the muck a thousand times over. He's been there for me with a level of loyalty, vision and endless imagination that is unparalleled. Joe has that unique and invaluable ability to help fellow artists find their voice, to nurture their creativity without imposing on it, and guide them towards a product that is fully realized, layered...and most importantly, their own. Don't sleep on Joe, he's one in a million.
Elizabeth Van Meter
Writer, Performer - Thao's Library
Documentary Film Maker
Joe Ricci is the finest director I have ever had the pleasure of working with. His ability to create an open, safe and creative environment gave me the courage as an artist to dig deeper than ever imagined.
Joe’s investment and passion to storytelling is inspiring and continued to challenge me throughout the entire process as both writer and performer - his commitment to truth, connection, and discovery is unparalleled.
Playwright - Soldiers & Other Living Things
Joe is likely the only Director that I would trust to bring this play to life. His research on the subject matter, the historical period/context of the work, and the complexities of the characters portrayed, far exceeded my expectations. Additionally, he is extremely knowledgeable in all technical aspects of production and his dramaturgical input was invaluable!
Playwright - Torn Sweater
Actor - Soldiers & Other Living Things
When Joe is thinking & working really hard, he messes with his hair, often resulting in complete chaos on top of his head. The first time I saw him do this was in rehearsal for a show he was directing me in and it became clear how invested he was in the project. The second time I saw him do it was at an early meeting we had, at the beginning stages of a collaborative effort to shape the play I’d been researching, writing and re-writing for ten years. Sitting across from him at a midtown coffee shop in the early hours of the evening, after we’d both been through long days at work, I realized that his interest in and dedication to my play was something I wouldn’t find in any other collaborator. Joe has been an artistic lifesaver. A mentor and friend and critic and questioner. Loyal and encouraging, thoughtful and patient. A brilliant director, writer and artist. Somehow he knew exactly what I needed to lift my play from a perpetual re-write to a play with production potential and did so in a gentle, yet constructive way. I can’t say enough about Joe as a director, creator, collaborator and friend. He’s the person you want in your corner. He’s a rarity amongst artists and I thank my lucky stars to have found him.
Playwright - Diamonds are Forever
What impressed me the most about Joe’s directing, was his incredible attention to detail. No aspect of the production was left wanting, whether large or small. He was able to elicit the finest performances from the actors because he was unwilling to settle for less. He took the care and time to craft a unified vision for my play and when I witnessed the final production, I couldn’t imagine one single thing that I wished had been done differently.
Actor - Botanic Garden
Joe was able to cut to the chaste, both in the text and with specific actions. His ability to convey his ideas in a collaborative manner, without creating tension, was of such great value. As we had a relatively short rehearsal process, it was imperative that we work in a focused manner, which required great clarity and specificity.
I think that my appreciation for his directorial skill was manifested in the little things he was able to share in the course of rehearsal, and also during our brief run. He knows how to "slap one's hand," literally, if there is something going on that is just actor tension. And, he knows when there is a disconnect between words and action, for example in my physical choices (or lack thereof), that quickly focused me in on what was happening (or needed to happen).
I told Joe that he provided "handles" that are reminders of what we probably all know, and sometimes without contemplation or intent, just plain forget. By refocusing using the play's text and story as our playground, we created a genuine, real, and I think for the most part "in the moment" product that touched the people who saw it. Perhaps that's why "Botanic Garden" earned "Best New Play" honors from the 77 entries that were a part of the three month festival!
I highly recommend the opportunity to work with Joe, as a director. And I'd imagine he'd be a blast to work with as an actor. He simply keeps you "on your toes."
Composer - Whiskeyland!
The most expensive acting coaching in the world couldn't be better than a midnight drive back to the city from New Jersey with Joe Ricci. I'm just saying, I paid 50k a year for NYU, I probably should have just followed him around with a tape recorder.