CUE & A: Beautiful's New "Gerry Goffin," Scott J. Campbell on His Dream Roles, Vocal Idols and Botched Birdie Audition

News   CUE & A: Beautiful's New "Gerry Goffin," Scott J. Campbell on His Dream Roles, Vocal Idols and Botched Birdie Audition
 
Scott J. Campbell, who stars as Gerry Goffin in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Scott J. Campbell
Scott J. Campbell

Campbell has appeared on Broadway in Jersey Boys and toured as Tunny in American Idiot.

Other stage work includes Titanic (Barrett), Les Misérables (Marius) and West Side Story (Tony).

Full given name: James Scott Campbell. But everyone's always called me Scott. When I joined the unions, there was already a Scott Campbell (what are the odds!?), so I added the "J."
Where you were born/where you were raised: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Home of the company that created Blackberry, Research In Motion.
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
What your parents did/do for a living: They were both teachers. My dad had a doctorate in philosophy; my mom taught French at a private school.
Current audition song/monologue: Really depends on what I'm auditioning for. I don't have a standard that I go to.
Siblings: 8 siblings! I'm the youngest of NINE children!
Special skills: Dry wit; sarcasm; awkward jokes that tank.
Something you're REALLY bad at: Juggling; feats of dexterity; not putting my foot in my mouth (sometimes).
Who were your earliest mentors/inspirations when first starting out? Bit of a non-answer, but I feel like I'm still starting out; there are so many people who mentored and inspired me along the way, it's hard to name just a few.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Spring Awakening, with the original Broadway cast. It was a college extracurricular trip. We also saw Mary Poppins and The Drowsy Chaperone -- awesome trip!
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? Something you couldn't see now, like the Ziegfeld Follies; or an iconic or pivotal performance or piece, like Brando onstage in A Streetcar Named Desire.
Current or recent show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: I only recommend things I've seen, and I've been in L.A. for the past couple of years so I haven't seen a lot of what's in NYC right now. How about what I'd like to see? Side Show, Sleep No More, Here Lies Love, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, just for starters...
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: "Sunday" (Finale of Sunday in the Park with George)
Some favorite modern musicals: The Last Five Years, Sunday in the Park with George, Rent, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spring Awakening, Avenue Q
Some favorite classic musicals: Anything Goes, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, West Side Story
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would have most loved to perform with: Maybe it's partly because it's still such a short time ago, but Philip Seymour Hoffman immediately comes to mind.
Your personal performance idols, living or dead: Jeff Buckley's ease, Freddie Mercury's range, Frank Sinatra's style, John Legend's soul, Norbert Leo Butz's finesse
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Jenna Russell and Daniel Evans in the revival of Sunday in the Park with George which played at Studio 54.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Usually soundtracks to things I've really enjoyed seeing.
MAC or PC? MAC
Most played song on your iPod: I stream a lot.
Most-visited websites: wikipedia.com, ted.com, thedailybeast.com
Favorite Tweeters: Rob Delaney (NSFW) - he makes me laugh out loud, which isn't easy.
Last book you read: Wow. I don't read enough. Last book I read in full was "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. But I'm always reading newspapers, online articles and listening to NPR. So that counts.. right?
Must-see TV show(s): I gotta say there's too much to watch. I have to really, really get hooked onto something to call it "must-see." Last thing I was hooked on was "House of Cards" - but that's not TV - or before that, ABC's "Lost" (but only the first two seasons). "House of Cards" has a wide variety of incredible characterizations and the production values are so high.
Last good movie you saw: "The King's Speech"
Some films you consider classics: "Diner," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Superman" (Christopher Reeve!), "Braveheart"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Duh!! Jessie Mueller in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "The Colbert Report" (Sad to see it go)
Three favorite cities: NYC, New Orleans, Las Vegas
Favorite sport/team/player: American Football/Dallas Cowboys/Aaron Rodgers
Best holiday/birthday gift you ever received: My wife threw me a surprise birthday party in L.A. last year; that experience was the best gift.
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: It might have been Green Day's "Dookie." I remember being able to browse a catalogue of CDs and send away for a bunch. Definitely had a punk music phase in my teens.
First stage kiss: I can't recall; I don't kiss-and-tell! There have been a few… PASS!
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was my first leading role, and I duped my Mom into thinking I had gotten the role of one of the brothers so that I could surprise her on opening night.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: You wanna hear, "When I first saw so-and-so do such-and-such role!" Right? But I mean, I rediscover that moment frequently. The first time I really knew was the moment I decided to apply to a theatre program as my field of study for college. But I never told myself: "I can make a great living performing." My momma didn't raise no fool...
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Green Symphony on 43rd makes mean juices and wraps for my on-the-go lifestyle.
Favorite liquid refreshment: A fine Highland Single Malt Scotch or a toasty Japanese Whiskey
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Nothing set in stone. It changes from role to role. I like to listen to music before a show and I appreciate my space after 1/2 hour. Especially for this show.
Most challenging role you have ever played: I'm playing it right now. 8 times a week.
Biggest challenge about this current project: I feel like there's a direct correlation between the show's emotional impact and the investment of its actors, including me. Fully investing each performance is a duty that requires ongoing commitment and discipline; not just onstage, either. While that's true of any piece, to me, it's especially true of this one.
Most fulfilling or fun aspect about the project: I could go on and on. #acting #grateful #blessed Truth is, this company is a family, and they've welcomed me with open arms. Playing Gerry Goffin within this wonderful cast is humbling and fulfilling to a degree I can't really express. And the fun aspect: the success of the show is dizzying - the houses are packed, the audiences are standing/singing/dancing every night. That's pretty #special
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Knock on wood, for all the nightmares I've had about: being out there naked/forgetting all my lines/vamping 'cause I've gone up on my lyrics/stopping the show/messing up the guitar - I've made it this far largely unscathed.
Worst costume ever: I guess it's a matter of opinion, but the underwear I solely wore onstage in American Idiot were pretty sheer.
Worst job you ever had: Insulating a warehouse without the proper equipment. I got pretty itchy and my throat hurt real bad. Ah, to be 16 and stupid again.
Craziest audition story: I remember stopping and starting "Cry For Me" for Jim Carnahan about 5 times when he was casting Bye Bye Birdie. Didn't help that I was going in right after Andrew Rannells, who happened to nail his rendition of "Cry For Me." Ah well, can't book 'em all.

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Other career lowlights: Being asked to take of my shirt in an audition room; literally miming shooting myself in the foot and exclaiming "Let's act!" after figuratively shooting myself in the foot (wish I could elaborate).

If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be? Don Kirshner (played by my dressing room mate Paul Anthony Stewart). It's a really fun track, and Paul gets a ton of laughs.
Leading man role you've been dying to play: George in Sunday in the Park with George (note to casting..)
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Peter in Peter Pan. Damn you, Allison Williams!
Something about you that surprises people: I'm Canadian (I lost my accent).
Something you are incredibly proud of: I'm Canadian
Something you're embarrassed to admit: With all the amazing variety in cuisines and small businesses in NYC, I eat at Subway (and have a points card because I do so that frequently).
Career you would want if not a performer: Lawyer. I can argue and articulate, so it's a natural fit.
Three things you can't live without: The 3 "F's" - Family. Friends. Fulfillment.
"I'll never understand why…" … Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the White House.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Bullet points - Work for the "yes's"; Get used to the "no's"; Actually listen; Be true to yourself; Be malleable; Have FUN; Be sure it's what you want!
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