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    21 Questions with Justin Lewis
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    This article appeared in the May 2012 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit

    Any embarrassing live-performance moments?

    “My first ‘big gig’ was playing a Norah Jones pre-show. Nervous, I pronounced her name over the mic as Norah Junes.”

    What makes somebody a Louisvillian? 

    “When you leave the city but can’t stop talking about it.”

    In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?

    “I write and sing songs in my kitchen and oftentimes put running shoes on people’s feet while working at Swags Sport Shoes.”

    Fill in the blank: “­___________’s Louisville” should be the next banner on the side of a building. 

    “Swag Hartel.”

    Your perfect meal?

    “Crab cakes. Anything crab cakes. I am much like Bubba from Forrest Gump, but with crab instead of shrimp.”

    Earliest childhood memory? 

    “Crying on my first day of kindergarten. I had anxiety about leaving home. Then I had an ice cream cone, and I was fine through college.”

    What song’s been stuck in your head lately? 

    “The Andy Griffith Show theme song…for about two years.”

    When you were younger, what did youwant to be when you grew up? 

    “A comic-strip artist. I was constantly drawing things for my family to put on the refrigerator.”

    The weirdest place somebody has recognized you in public? 

    “My dentist’s office. A lady saw me open for Lucinda Williams and said she enjoyed the show a ton. I felt awkward because my dentist was cleaning my teeth.”

    Who’s somebody doing big things in Louisville and is flying under the radar? 

    “The Iroquois Amphitheater has been bringing great music and people to a different part of town.”

    What Louisville band would you pay to see? 

    “Two that I’ve really been digging lately have been Dan Hardin and the Pass.”

    Your drink? 

    “My roommate, Stuben Johnson, has taught me a lot about craft beers. A close tie with a good beer is a thick cup of coffee.”

    Favorite possession? 

    “My family’s home movies. My dad bought a video camera right after I was born and literally recorded our entire lives together.”

    All-time favorite Louisville restaurant? 

    “Vietnam Kitchen.”

    All-time favorite Louisville athlete? 

    “Been a huge fan of Muhammad Ali since I saw him fight the U of L Cardinal mascot at a game when I was really young.”

    Can’t-miss TV show? 

    “Breaking Bad is basically the only TV I watch.”

    Local sports team? 

    “River Frogs and the Redbirds, may they rest in peace.”

    What film has had the greatest influence on your life? 

    “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

    Where do you go to be alone? 

    “The loft in my house.”

    What’s something nobody knows about you? 

    “I am a closet fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Donatello being my favorite.”

    If Actors Theatre staged a production about your life, what would it be called? 

    “The Humana Festival of New American Justin Lewis.”

    Photo:  courtesy of Justin Lewis

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    Didn't I tell you? I run this place! Not much goes on here without me knowing...I'm always watching.

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