There are only three characters in High Heels and Hoodoo, and the one we were most worried about casting turned out to be the quickest and easiest. Madam Josephine is a Gullah root doctor (aka a hoodoo practitioner), and we figured it would be tough to find an actress who could pull off a convincing Gullah accent without it sounding fake or campy. But when we met with our casting director Richard Futch, the first name out of his mouth was Joy Vandervort-Cobb. Richard had cast Joy in several episodes of Army Wives, as well as in a movie where she played a Gullah woman. Richard showed us her head shot, and she had such a great look that we crossed all of our fingers and toes hoping she’d nail the part.
When we received her audition, we did a little fist pump. Not only does the accent sound great, but she has this amazing, smoky voice that’s perfect for working hoodoo magic in a graveyard at midnight. She also easily conveyed Madam Josephine’s no-nonsense attitude. We’ve found our root doctor!
Joy is an Associate Professor of African American Theatre and Performance at the College of Charleston, and just a few minutes of googling reveals her students absolutely adore her. In addition to her film and television credits, she has also written and performed her own highly-regarded one-woman show. We are thrilled to have Joy portraying one of our three strong southern women, and we’re relieved the casting for this part turned out to be so painless.