Loose Canons09.06.23
#loose canons#pijf

Loose Canons - Justin Rogers

Loose Canons is a series where we invite artists we love to share five things that have shaped their creative practice. Actor and magic consultant extraordinaire Justin Rogers offers five things that give him his spark.

Loose Canons is a series in which we invite artists we love to share five things that have informed their work. Meet the rest of our Loose Canons here.

Justin Rogers (Ngāpuhi, Te Arawa) trained at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand  Drama School and graduated in 2015. He has enjoyed  working across stage and screen with highlights including Shortland Street: The Musical, The Cherry  Orchard, The Master Builder, The Last Five Years  as well as film projects To The Other Side, Get Plugged and The Magic Show. Recently, he lent his voice to Disney as Timon in The Lion King: Reo Māori and as Oaken in Frozen Reo Māori. Rogers also does magic, and consults on productions using magic tricks.

His tour with Indian Ink's Mrs Krishnan's Party throughout the United States and Canada multiple times clocked up over 250 performances as DJ Jimmy J.

This year Justin returns for their latest show, Dirty Work, playing 16 June – 2 July at Q Theatre, Auckland, 21 – 23 July at Theatre Royal, Nelson, 28 & 29 July at Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch, 2 – 11 August at Soundings Theatre, Wellington and 18 – 20 August at Addison Theatre, Tauranga. Find tickets here.

Nieces and nephews

I don’t have children of my own yet, but my siblings do. This is a picture of my nephews and nieces piled on top of me. I think we’re all watching a funny video on my phone or something. I love these kids so much and I really love being an uncle. I think the role of uncle gives you lots of permissions you maybe don’t get as a parent. I love that I can sneak them chocolate when they’re not allowed it. Or just be another adult they can trust in the world. Someone who's got their back no matter what. They’re seriously talented filmmakers too. Out of the blue, they’ll send me little films they’ve made on an iPhone and edited together. These films are hilarious and smart. Often there’ll be some pop culture reference they use in their work and I can’t quite believe the depth of the joke or the moment they’ve created. I’m inspired by how ready they are to be creative and how gung ho they are to just shoot something and not worry about it being perfect. Which is such great learning for me. Inevitably in every one of their creations lies at least one moment of utter genius.

My laptop

This one seems kind of silly to include because laptops are just part of our everyday lives, but my laptop really is such a creative gateway for me. It’s so exciting to have such an incredibly versatile tool that you can take with you anywhere. I edit videos on my laptop, I record voice work and music. I read, write and annotate scripts on my laptop. I have hundreds of books and video courses on my laptop. It represents to me endless possibilities of creation and learning- what could be more exciting than that?!

Monopoly Deal

I became obsessed with this card game a few summers ago. If you’ve never played it before,please go out and find one. They’re selling them at Countdown for like $10 (which is a steal). It’s similar to the board game in that you’re trying to build up properties. I like this game because you have to deal with the luck of the draw and make do with what you get. Without being too philosophical, I like to think of life that way too. It’s not what you get dealt, but what you do with it. I find it empowering! I also really love how games allow us to connect with people. We all want to win, and although with games it’s not life or death, it’s still very important. Games bring light-hearted connection, silliness and attention – all things that I love to have with my friends and whānau. 

My dad was working overseas for two years and we found an online version of this game that we played every Sunday night. It was a ritual: jump on the video call, log on to Monopoly Deal and play each other for a couple of hours. We were together, but weren’t confined to the usual ‘bullet-point-update’ people tend to give in those situations.

Oakura Bay

I have memories of endless summers here. Me and my cousin reading the Alex Rider spy novels in the hammocks out back. Getting to the end of the series so deciding to write our own sequel. This place held me with endless joy and possibility as a child, with gentle care and curiosity as a teenager and with rejuvenation and growth now. It’s a place I constantly return to recharge, refocus and set goals. Each year I look back on where I’ve been and look forward to where I want to go. The crisp sea and endless blue of Oakura Bay is the perfect backdrop for this work.


Jon was my teacher at drama school and he continues to be a friend and mentor. Jon is profoundly knowledgeable about our craft, but what makes him special is his ability to actually share that knowledge in practice. It can be difficult when someone is clearly very good, but doesn't have the skills to tell you how to do it too! Jon is a gifted teacher and a loving soul. We have collaborated on a few projects and he always brings a calm, depth and endless curiosity to the work. Learning is one of the most important aspects of my craft and I’m lucky to have Jon on the journey with me to plug into the infinite possibility we all possess as artists.

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The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.

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