HOMETOWN: Pleasant Grove
AGE: Old enough to know better, too young to care.
Before moving to Utah, Joseph Leavitt pursued an acting career in Los Angeles. He was frequently told he would make a great Santa. “I was always resistant because I saw myself above such nonsense,” Joseph says. “Then one day I looked in the mirror and wailed ‘Ah crap! I’m friggin’ Santa Claus.’” Joseph met many celebrities in his L.A. Santa days and even did a private party for Lionel Richie.
FORMER CAREER: I had a performing career for some time that I augmented with manual labor and various clerical/customer service jobs. Santa is an off-shoot of my show biz background.
STAPLE SANTA GIGS: I was Santa in L.A. at The Grove and The Los Angeles Zoo before moving to Utah with my wife. These days I do private parties and events including the Brunch with Santa at the Downtown Sheraton in Salt Lake.
“Then one day I looked in the mirror and wailed ‘Ah crap! I’m friggin’ Santa Claus.’” — Santa Joe
BEARD TALK: I used to tone down the copper in my beard with pigmented hair spray, but my hair and beard are much whiter now. In fact, I played Caiaphas in the LDS film “The Testaments” and the director of photography asked that the whiteness of my beard be toned down because it fluoresced on camera.
SUITING UP: One day at the Los Angeles Zoo it was 106 degrees, even though it was December. I wanted to jump in a pool, suit and all!
BEST KID QUOTES:
“I’m worried about your cholesterol. I think you need to lose weight!”
“I figure if I get all girly stuff for Christmas, all the girls will want to come play with me.”
“Santa doesn’t love me anymore because I used the F-word yesterday.”