PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark Star Jennifer Damiano

By Matthew Blank
23 Aug 2011

Jennifer Damiano
Jennifer Damiano

Tony Award nominee Jennifer Damiano, currently starring as Mary Jane in Broadway's Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

She has previously appeared on Broadway in the original companies of Spring Awakening and Next to Normal, earning a 2009 Tony Award nomination at age 17 for the latter performance.



Full given name: Jennifer Lynn Damiano
Hometown: White Plains, NY
Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Current audition song/monologue: "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia. Haha, I think I need to update though...
Special skills: I actually have NO idea what to write here!
Something you're REALLY bad at: Parallel parking! I legit can not parallel park. This is no joke!
First Broadway show you ever saw: Kiss Me, Kate! What a night. :-)
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? Hm... it might be The Who's Tommy, with Alice Ripley as Mrs. Walker. Oh yeah!
Favorite showtune of all time: It changes but currently... "The Next Ten Minutes" from The Last Five Years is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.
Some favorite musicals: I think I've been blessed enough to be in three of the most incredible musicals I could ever think up.
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead Hayley Williams from Paramore and Fiona Apple. I don't try to sing LIKE them but I respect the crap out of them and their sounds. Their voices are so original and unaffected, such amazing instruments.
One performance - attended - that you will never forget: I was feeling like a real misfit in middle school, but when I saw Wicked it made me feel really cool for being different... and you can carve that in STONE!
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Classical piano. And if strings are involved... forget it!
MAC or PC? PC baby! And I don't care what the iWorld has to say!
Most played song on your iPod: This week it's "Oceans and Streams" by The Black Keys.
Most-visited websites: Google!
Last book you read: I just read the play Eurydice... beautiful. So sad and so FUNNY!
Must-see TV shows: "That '70s Show" and "Boy Meets World" are the least pretentious shows to ever be on TV. I love them, and I don't care how lame that sounds!
Last good movie you saw: That movie "Away We Go" kept it pretty real.
Some films you consider classics: "Amelie"
"The Dreamers"
"Almost Famous"
Pop culture guilty pleasure: "America's Next Top Model"
Favorite Kardashian: I really need to save myself the embarrassment of how excited this question makes me... by NOT answering it! :-)
Favorite cities: New York, New York and New York!
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: "14:59" by Sugar Ray!
When did you realize you could sing? I remember singing Annie in my uncle's basement really well one night when I was about 9. And the rest was history.
First stage kiss: My friend John Mara when I was Marian in The Music Man opposite him!
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: Marian in The Music Man. I had such a fun summer doing that show.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: Somewhere during the Next to Normal Broadway run I found myself learning more about myself onstage than in real life and I truly realized the beautiful, tremendous, extraordinary gift that is performing. It will always be just as much for the audience as it is for me because there is no point to it otherwise.

I think I was waiting for myself to not feel like a brat for being so lucky. When I felt like I was truly working hard to make money and was giving myself to the audience as opposed to just soaking IN myself onstage is when I knew something was right and I was meant to be here.

How you got your Equity card: Spring Awakening
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Well, you MIGHT be able to find me at Kodama eating sushi every now and then.
Favorite liquid refreshment: Coconut Water! Yummmmmmmmm!
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: LOL I fell once during Next to Normal. I get really embarresed just thinking about it... it was at SUCH a sad moment for me to have fallen!



Also during The Music Man when I was younger, me and my friend John were dancing the "Shipoopi" and got so out of control that we just fell on to the ground. That was one of the funniest moments of my life!

Worst costume ever: I do recall wearing THE MOST FLATTERING pajama pants on earth in Next to Normal!
Worst job you ever had: Student... just kidding?
Most memorable stage door moment: Adam [Chanler-Berat] used to get all the funny stage door moments. Once, some old ladies told him he was looking thin and asked him if he was eating.
Who would play you in the movie? Kristen Stewart. Actually, maybe it would be Julia Stiles! Or maybe I'm just flattering myself...
Leading lady role you've been dying to play: Diana in Next to Normal
Leading man role you wish you could play: Peter Parker in Spider-Man
Something about you that surprises people: I was on a track team once.
Career you would want if not a performer: Wouldn't it be cool to be a professional tennis player? Of course you'd have to be amazing at tennis for that to happen. I guess I need a more realistic Plan B.
Three things you can't live without: My loved ones, music and an 8 o'clock curtain :-)
Words of wisdom for aspiring performers? No faking... no matter how scary that is!