The polka life ain’t always the good life, but it’s the only life for Justin “DJ Kishka” Gorski.
For 11 years, he smiled under his faux beard as he fought off drunken bar crowds. For his second act, Gorski is hanging up his accordion and picking up a camera. “I loved the character but wanted to do something new and interesting with it,” Gorski says.
So, he created, directed and acted in The Kishka Show — a comedic, semiautobiographical web series. The 15- to 20-minute episodes follow the strange offstage life of a peculiar polka player and show his origin story: the birth, the accordion, the beer, the beard and the uniform. “You never really see me perform,” he says. “It’s either before or after the show.”
The Capitol Theatre hosts a free screening of the first episode, accompanied by vintage polka footage from the National Cleveland-style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum on Dyngus Day April 17. Gorski plans to drop a new episode on YouTube every month, starting in April.
“Kishka is the Everyman, trying to love polka music,” he says. “He just keeps getting knocked down.”