Cape Pizza Maker Actor Joshua Koopman Stars in Comedy Earlybird

It’s been quite a month for Cape Cod actor Josh “Koop” Koopman and the crew at Pizza Shark Cape Cod, which he co-owns with his wife, Sarah Scanevin Koopman, and friend Todd Montgomery.

“It’s been a wild three weeks but you just have to ride the wave when it happens,” he said.

The actor/pizza guy had us in a tizzy.

On Tuesday, Koopman’s latest film, the indie comedy “Earlybird,” became available on Amazon Prime, Peacock, Apple TV and other streaming services. The ads are slated for TV spots during “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Access Hollywood.”

The film had its world premiere in 2023 at the Milwaukee Film Festival and IFFBoston. The trailer of the film can be seen on YouTube.

The Milwaukee festival description said, “(Earlybird) tells the story of a struggling theater owner as he tries to revive his business with increasingly outlandish play productions. A meditation on creative careers and the potential for passion to fade, this film fiction will hit close to home and serves as a beacon of hope for art patrons and workers alike.”

On April 3 at 7 p.m., the 90-minute “Earlybird” will have a one-night Cape premiere at the new screening facilities at the Chatham Orpheum, which houses one of three Pizza Shark locations. (The others are the original at Pleasant Lake in Harwich and now one in Dennis.)

“None of my staff have seen the film yet and they will be at the premiere. I’m terrified,” he confessed.

“Earlybird” is about a small community theater troupe struggling to fill seats while putting on quality shows to maintain their integrity as actors. But it becomes a comedy of errors when the naked actors stage a “joke show” that’s a big hit and their leader, played by Koopman, lets it go to his head.

Koopman, an Army veteran who returned to acting and whose films include “The Golden Scallop” with fellow Cape Codder Marnie Schulenburg and “How to Rob,” said he tries to envision the feature film in its entirety. , so that when scenes are shot out of order, he still has a firm grasp of where he wants his character to be.

“In many ways ‘Earlybird’ is a love letter to wanting to do good work,” Koopman said. “My level of panic comes from not wanting to disappoint the other actors.”

Community theater has been at the heart of Pizza Shark since Koopman and many of the other people — Trish LaRose, Jared Hagan, Holly Erin McCarthy, Anthony Teixeira and Jess Andra — who work there are veteran Cape actors. Although their availability is limited during the summer, Koopman said, they are great team members because they are “outstanding people — smiling and talented.”

“Earlybird” was filmed in less than a month in Milwaukee. Koopman said he got a boost after Good Deed Entertainment picked up the film, written and directed by Martin Kaszubowski.

Coincidentally, the animated Pizza Shark ad, created by Koopman’s Barnstable High School acting teacher John Sullivan and shown during Boston Celtics games, went viral on “X,” reaching 775,000 views on the popular site. seen as Twitter.

Also, the Cape Cod pizza business saw a huge spike in demand for its wares after “White Lotus” actress Meghann Fahy wore a Pizza Shark sweatshirt while revealing her relationship with actor Leo Woodall after a year of “Are They or Not are they?” flirting on social media.

“Fahy’s Instagram post was on People.com, Vogue, Glamor magazine, Page Six. She’s walking with her back to the camera and she’s wearing our cobalt sweatshirt,” Koopman said.

The cobalt blue sold out immediately, and Pizza Shark began receiving three dozen online orders a week for the shirts and hats.

“It’s a good secondary income stream,” Koopman said, noting that acting and pizza work well together.

“I don’t audition anymore. I think if I’m in a room with 50 guys who look like me, one of the other 49 can probably do it better,” he said. “My great freedom is that I’m only making movies with people I love and stories. I am interested.”

Gwenn Friss is editor of CapeWeek and covers entertainment, restaurants and the arts. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him or X, formerly Twitter: @dailyrecipeCCT

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