Analu Cruze-Josephides is fulfilling his dream of becoming an actor after being a government worker for 20 years
By Don Perez / The Union
There’s something creepy about libraries, with the scent of musty old tomes, towering aisles upon aisles of shelves obscuring views and the eerie quietness.
And then Schauerman Library has Analu Cruze-Josephides — lead reference librarian at El Camino, horror actor off campus.
“Growing up, I hated horror. It really surprises my friends and family,” Cruze-Josephides, 44, said.
His friendly and outgoing personality clashes with his roles in film; his friends call him “Sunshine.”
Cruze-Josephides, of Greek and Hawaiian descent, has been in several short films, playing odd characters with a creepy aura about them, like the Greek god Morpheus in “Morpheum.”
He doesn’t mind being typecast. Such a niche might lead to more roles.
“I don’t mind being typecast as the villain. There’s something about being the villain. I enjoy being that,” he said.
It hasn’t been all ominous supernatural beings and killers for Cruze-Josephides — among his favorite roles was a stage bit as a wizard in “The Princess and the Pea.”
Cruze-Josephides’ next film, “Concealing,” has him playing a family man suffering schizophrenia and becoming more and more violent.
In the short film “Nic,” a thriller which was a finalist at the Cinecafest Central American short film festival, Cruze-Josephides (billed as Analu Cruze) portrayed a mysterious character who turns out to be a murderous Scandinavian water spirit who lures victims to drowning via his music.
Nic’s director, Daryl Arleen Callejas, said Cruze-Josephides improvised as he didn’t know how to play a violin or flute, so he used a ukulele for his siren’s music.
“There’s a strange vibe about his character,” Callejas said. “At the end, I just told him to look very creepy, scary or weird. He did [the final scene] in only two takes and it was very hard to decide which one to use.”
Dandelion Lin, director of “The Bride of Death,” said Cruze-Josephides was “wonderful … passionate and gentle,” and conveyed his versatility and skill in his body language, as he was in costume for the role. Cruze-Josephides played the Grim Reaper in the film.
“He showed spirit,” Lin said, adding he knew of Cruze-Josephides’ delay in returning to acting. “He is not afraid of pursuing his dreams, the American Dream.”
For Cruze-Josephides, acting has been a dream of his since he was 4 years old in Oahu.
After getting some stage and extra spots, Cruze-Josephides said he stopped acting for about 20 years on the advice of his family, who thought he would be more financially stable in getting a government job. He did that, becoming a genealogy researcher focusing on Hawaiians and getting a master’s in library and information science.
But there was a gnawing emptiness for a man who was proud of his Hawaiian heritage, but felt that he left his heart in the Golden State, somewhere around Hollywood. “I was sad and depressed about not fulfilling that part of me,” he said. “I want to be able to have my cake and eat it too; to be a librarian and an actor and see how both can be lucrative.”
For now, Cruze-Josephides will continue to learn acting skills from Hollywood teachers, all while directing students in the library.
“‘All knowledge is not learned in one house.’ Go out and learn from the different teachers, the learned ones, and gather those skills and tools you need,” Cruze-Josephides said, invoking a saying of Hawaiians. “I need to be here for my students. Being present for our students is the first thing. My overarching goal is not just to be educated, but to educate others in many things.”
Video published on The Union website on May 16, 2017; article was printed in the May 18 edition of the newspaper.
Photo and video by Don Perez.
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