PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: If/Then and Once on This Island Star Jerry Dixon

Cue and A   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: If/Then and Once on This Island Star Jerry Dixon
 
Jerry Dixon, who returns to Broadway in the new musical If/Then, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.
Jerry Dixon
Jerry Dixon

Dixon has appeared in the original Broadway/Off-Broadway casts of Once on This Island (Daniel); Five Guys Named Moe (Nomax); Bright Lights, Big City (Tad); The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Lucas) and tick, tick…BOOM! (Michael).

Screen work includes “Law & Order,” “Everwood” and “Peace Maker.”

Full given name:
Gerald Francis Dixon

Where you were born/where you were raised:
Chicago, IL. Raised in Kalamazoo, MI.

Zodiac Sign:
Libra

What your parents did/do for a living:
Father- Clothing Designer. Mother- worked for an energy company.

Siblings:
Carl (brother), Vincent (brother), Windy (sister)

Current Audition Song:
I’m not willing to part with these particular trade secrets at this time.

Special skills:
Pogo. Ice-skating. Cooking from whatever is in your refrigerator.

Something you're REALLY bad at:
Drawing

First Broadway show you ever saw:
West Side Story

If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be?
Show Boat (the five-hour version before they made the cuts)

Current or recent show other than your own you have been recommending to friends:
Rocky

Favorite showtune(s) of all time:
"Ol’ Man River," "Unusual Way," "Sunday"

Some favorite modern musicals:
Dreamgirls, Billy Elliot, Nine, Next To Normal, Once On This Island

Some favorite classic musicals:
Fiddler On The Roof, No No Nanette, Carousel, Oliver

Broadway or screen stars of the past or present you would most love to perform with:
Lena Horne, Burt Lancaster, Lana Turner, Louis Armstrong, Bruce Lee, Omar Sharif, Barbara Stanwyck

Your personal vocal idols, living or dead:
Sarah Vaughan, Michael McDonald, Mel Tormé, Marc Broussard, Pink

The one performance – attended - that you will never forget:
This is not fair. But, you did say one... Nicholas Nickleby!

Music that makes you cry, any genre:
There’s so much. So I’m only going to list a few songs. Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach- "Painted From Memory"; Tim Miner- "Get On Your Feet"; Judy Garland- "I Happen To Like New York"

MAC or PC?
MAC

Most played song on your iPod:
"Home" by Marc Broussard

Most-visited websites:
eBay, Playbill, Amazon, Netflix

Last book you read:
"Lost Broadway Theatres"

Must-see TV show(s):
"Game Of Thrones," "Mad Men," "House Of Cards," "New Girl"

Last good movie you saw:
"Nymphomaniac"

Some films you consider classics:
"Imitation of Life," "Gaslight," "The Birds," "Wild Is the Wind," "Lilies of the Field"

Performer you would drop everything to go see:
This will only get me into trouble. So, I will pass.

Pop culture guilty pleasure:
"Top Chef"

Three favorite cities:
New York, New Orleans, Paris

Favorite sport/team/player:
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

First CD/Tape/LP you owned:
I bought used library copies of Jesus Christ Superstar, A Little Night Music and Say Darling at the same time.

First stage kiss:
High school, Anything Goes. I was Billy Crocker. Sarah Combs was Hope Harcourt.

Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager:
At age fourteen, I played Joe in Show Boat and got standing ovations for singing "Ol’ Man River."

Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
I honestly don’t remember the specific moment. I did years of show after show. Before I knew it, it was my profession.

How you got your Equity card:
I did a season at Bucks County Playhouse with Rita Gardner, Pat Paulsen, Julius LaRosa and Andrea McArdle.

Favorite pre-/post- show meal:
I like to make myself a plate of nachos when I get home at night.

Favorite liquid refreshment:
Fresca

Pre-show rituals or warm-ups:
Push-ups. And checking in on the pigeons outside my dressing room window, which my Twitter friends named "Adele" and "Dazeem."

Most challenging role you have ever played:
Dewain in I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, a wickedly difficult contemporary opera by John Adams.

You've been away from the Broadway stage for a good stretch of time. What drew you to this particular project?
It was the mix of old and new that was impossible to resist: an original show, with fresh contemporary ideas, being created by truly talented long-time friends and colleagues.

Biggest challenge about this current project:
All of the stairs at the theatre. But, hey, what fine shape we’ll all be in!

Most fulfilling or fun aspect about the project:
Working with so many folks I already knew, and then getting to know some fantastic new friends.

Any upcoming of side projects you can talk about?
As a director I am helping a few writers develop new pieces. Projects range from a Vietnam reunion musical, to a celebration of baseball legend Roberto Clemente. Yay, new works!

Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
It’s a wonder I continued in this business. Because, my worst happened on opening night of my first musical ever. My first verse of "You’re The Top" (Anything Goes), I was staged to slide from the top of the ship’s staircase, to the bottom. I forgot to rosin my hands – and my opening-night, nervous, sweaty hands locked onto the rail, which made me flipped over and plunge to the stage deck.

My Reno did not miss a beat, while picking me up and carrying on with the show!

Worst costume ever:
My “Basic” that I wore in Up With People! I had striped, bell-sleeve, clown shirt, and flared, skin-tight, pimp pants.

Worst job you ever had:
I was a daily accountant for a clothing store in Kalamazoo. Spent eight hours, a day, ALONE, in a teeny, tiny office, with no windows, reconciling receipts. ARRRRG!

Craziest audition story:
Um… because it involves known and living persons… I'd better not…

If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be?
Not going there

Leading man role you've been dying to play:
Tevye

Leading lady role you wish you could play:
Bess

Something about you that surprises people:
I’m a Trekkie. Like, hard core!

Something you are incredibly proud of:
My fairness

Career you would want if not a performer:
Space explorer

Three things you can't live without:
My love for My Love, Music, Friendship.

"I'll never understand why…"
… I can’t fly, like in my dreams. It’s very frustrating.

Words of advice for aspiring performers:
Learn to re-dream. Because, if you’re as good as you think you are, and you’re tenacious, you’re going to get that ultimate role, in that hit Broadway show. So, then… “What’s next?!”

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