“Dudeoir Photo Guy” Josh Varozza Gets National TV Show

Best part: it’s all about inclusiveness and being happy with who you are

By kncitom on December 8, 2019
  Oak Ridge high school graduate Josh Varozza is a big guy, with a big beard, a big personality, and a big heart. Most of us first noticed the bail bondsman and El Dorado County resident in 2016 when his series of “dudeoir” photos (taken by the-then Tami Bears of Artistic Photos by Tami…she’s since become Tami Varozza) went viral. You remember those, right?
  Right. Well, Josh is about to get a little, um, bigger, notoriety-wise, anyway: he will be the host of a brand new, original TV series called “Beauty Redefined”, which premieres next spring on Discovery. 
  OGTV is the production company that presented the idea to Josh, and then produced it. According to their website, the company (the “OG stands for “Only Good”) focuses on developing “positive, uplifting, inspiring and heartwarming” programming. From the sounds of it, Josh’s show will fit that description to a T.
  I exchanged emails with him recently and here’s what he had to say.
  What’s the show about?
  Josh: A professional overview of the show says “…Josh will take us across the country on an enlightening journey from awkwardness and preconceptions to self-confidence and joy.” I, on the flip side, prefer to explain that I’m making new friends with folks doing things outside of societal norms. Everyone can be cool.
  Where did this idea come from?
  Josh: I was approached by OGTV. They thought what we did with “dudior” was pretty cool and really highlighted body positivity and people doing things different. They first did a segment on me in 2016, then asked if I’d be willing to shoot more stuff. So we did some shorts: a local lady sumo wrestler (who) basically abused me and that was cool. The second episode was my wedding to my beautiful Tami (who first came up with the idea to shoot Josh that way). The third episode was me ice skating with drag queens and the last short episode was a beard competition.
  You’re not a TV personality; you also own and manage your own businesses. How are you handling all this?
  The load has been tricky. In addition to filming and running a bail business, I also am the fleet manager for a local distribution company. Life is weird. You just learn to juggle the things you want. There are hard days, there are really hard days, and then there are real rewarding days. I hope viewers will watch this show and fall in love with the weird characters I get to meet and I hope everyone becomes more inclusive. Most of all I hope everyone can learn to love themselves the way they deserve.
  You’ve shot 6 full episodes already. Are any more planned before spring? After that?
  As of now there will be 13 shows for the first season. If it gets good traction we will go from there.  Right now we have approximately 60 subjects planned. 
  Where can we see it?
  OGTV is essentially a YouTube channel at this point. They had a stand-alone stream channel for a bit then pivoted to YouTube. You can find all our original short episodes on there (click here for those). But, the new, longer episode versions will be airing on Discovery starting this spring.
  Tell me more about the 6 full-length episodes that have already been shot
  I did a revolutionary war reenactment about the whiskey Rebellion of 1794 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Then we went to Whiting, Indiana and hung out with the original Philly Phanatic at the Mascot Hall of Fame. From there I headed to Bakersfield to work with the students at Inclusion Films, a project started by Joey Travolta (yes, John’s brother) that gives non-neurotypical young adults a chance to work in the movie industry. Not only was that an extremely rewarding event, it’s just downright cool! After that I went to Lincoln center in New York and learned how to be a ring master with the Big Apple Circus- which was gnarly. Then, I did some burlesque dancing at the House Of Blues on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and finally, I flew to Minneapolis and the Mall of America to meet Santa Larry, the first Santa of color to be hired by Mall of America. That was pretty stinking cool. We resume filming again in January. Luckily they gave me December off.
(interview continued below)

  When you and Tami did those “dudeoir” photos in 2016, did you have any thought this could ultimately be where they could lead?

  I had no idea that those silly pictures would have opened so many neat opportunities for me. I think it’s a fairly solid testament to the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new. I think currently the world is in a tough spot. We are overwhelmed with bad every time we try to tune into the news. What we did in 2016 was try to give folks something to laugh and smile about. That goal still drives everything we do. 

  To that last point: I interviewed Josh in late 2016 for a freelance piece in El Dorado/Folsom Style magazine. One thing he told me has stayed with me. In fact, it changed the way I look at humor, and of putting yourself out there, even if it means a laugh at your own expense. I asked, basically, how he really felt about those photos being out there in the world…? He replied, “We’re in some tough times. People need to laugh. And if they can forget about their problems for a minute and have a laugh at my expense…? I’m all in.”

  I freaking love that.

  We’ll keep you posted as to when “Beauty Redefined” premieres on Discovery. In the meantime, as Josh might tell you himself: don’t be afraid of who you are; you’re that way for a reason. So celebrate it.


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