JT PETTY on “JOHNNY BOY”

Who me? Director JT Petty

Actor Shea Whigham and producer Glenn McQuaid

Parenthood is about as scary as shit gets. And I’m saying that as the dad in the equation. I know I got off easy. I didn’t have to submit to a transformation that would make Cronenberg queasy. I didn’t have to somehow push a watermelon through a wallet.

But even as the dad, just witnessing something so obviously supernatural unmoored a lot of my comforts and cynicisms about the world. Watching my wife give birth made me think a less dramatic transformation like, I dunno, lycanthropy wouldn’t be so far fetched a proposition. And the day-to-day transformations of our daughter from dumpling to human are equally amazing. Watching the fontanelles come together and fuse, the sporadic inch-a-night growth spurts; I wouldn’t be all that surprised if she woke up one morning with webbed toes and leathery wings.

Even outside the Rob Bottin material, there are the obvious fears of parenthood: a.) no matter how good you are, you will eventually fail your children, and b.) eventually you will die and they’ll have to figure out all this shit on their own. So I thought, man, that sounds like fun listening.

And working in pure audio is such a good opportunity to actually scare people. It’s clichéd advice by now to cover your ears if you don’t want to be frightened watching a horror movie. You don’t have that safety net for a radio play. If you don’t want to be scared, don’t listen at all. So I hope you enjoy “Johnny Boy.” It may not be as disturbing as the Ron Howard/Steve Martin meditation on parenthood, but it’s definitely scarier.”


Shea Whigham and Amy Seimetz

Whigham and Seimetz encounter TROMA Alumnus Bill Weeden

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