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Back to School Joshua Hoffman (R.J., B&B)

Joshua Hoffman (R.J., B&B) Looks Back On His School Days

What is your earliest school memory? “My first memory of school was when I was in kindergarten in Santa Monica and I remember being nervous to talk to a girl in the playground.”

Would you describe yourself as a good student? “Yes, I was a very good student. I’d say I was very intelligent and I’d pick up information very quickly. But I also was very rebellious. I would want to talk and I’d end up in the hallway all the time, but I also would get straight A’s. So no teacher could figure out what I was doing.”

What subjects would you say came naturally to you and which did you struggle with? “Mathematics and English, I absolutely loved. And what I struggled with was history. And languages.”

Did you have a favorite teacher in high school? “I did. His name is Joe Bradley, and funny enough he taught science, one of my most difficult subjects to do other than history. He understood that at 6:50 in the morning, I was not ready to learn pretty much anything, ever. So he’d start us off by going outside and we’d ground ourselves on the grass with our bare feet and then we’d learn science. That was the only way I was gonna make it through that class. That man was a genius.”

Were you involved in any extracurricular activities? “Definitely. I played baseball my whole life and through high school. I was in the art club, as well, even though I never took an art class.”

Were you a good test-taker? “I was. At first I was very nervous, and then as time went on, I got good at being the last one out of the room instead of the first one out of the room.”

Did you get in trouble or get detention? “Oh, yeah. Many, many, many times. A good one was that I finally got a car in my senior year, and I would just decide when I was done at school. So I would leave a couple of periods early, but the big issue is that I’d leave with my friends. So the school would be like, ‘We’re noticing that a certain collective group of individuals disappear at the same time every Thursday or Friday. This is done; we’re putting all of you in detention.’ And that was, in hindsight, really funny. But at the time, it was like, ‘How could you?!’ ”

What crowd were you in in high school? “The crowd that was ready to leave by 10:30, 11 o’clock in the morning [laughs]. I was big in music when I was in high school. When I got home, I would spend five or six hours working on music every day and I was teaching myself production, so my group was every kid that wanted to make music in the school. We’d all hang out and talk about it and we’d write lyrics at lunchtime and I’d make beats and send them to friends and we’d talk about what we could do with them.”

Did you do any theater in high school? “I didn’t do theater in high school. I was already acting in film and TV.”

What is the best book you read in high school? “There were so many. I will say A Raisin in the Sun.”

If I told you that you had to take one of your high school classes over again, which would you pick? “I would probably go back and take that physics course again with Mr. Bradley. He was just such a great teacher and honestly, I had straight A’s all throughout high school and that was the only class I ever got a B in and I would take it again.”

Where did you go to college? “I went to NYU [New York University] for recorded music.”

Were you involved in Greek life there? “I was approached by one frat bro at a party, and he was like, ‘You should join.’ And I was like, ‘How often do you guys throw parties?’ And he said, ‘Oh, like five or six days a week.’ And I was like, ‘So when does anyone study?’ And he said, ‘Oh, we don’t do that.’ So I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I’m not joining. Pass.’ ”

What was dorm life like? “It was nasty. We had someone throw up in the shower and then they just didn’t clean it up. I had a roommate who was obsessed with Fortnite and I was obsessed with the TV show CHEERS, so I’d be watching CHEERS and he’d be screaming at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning at Fortnite, so that was an interesting dynamic.”

What was it like going to college in New York City? “It was the best experience I think I’ve had in my entire life. I’ve wanted to be there since I visited when I was 8. When I graduated and I moved back to California, I reflected on it, and I realized that almost every single moment had such a deep effect on me and how I treat people or see the world. It was amazing.”


Courtesy of Joshua Hoffman


Courtesy of Joshua Hoffman