A Family Affair: A Glimpse Into Life With a Family of New York Actors

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18 Dec 2012

Jane Brockman

Both Tim and Jane are also reinvigorated by seeing Jonathan on stage. "It's so exciting, and I know those feelings, and the adrenaline rush one gets," Tim says. Jane adds, "When you see your kid do it, you say, 'Oh, I remember that.' It helps you to keep that going and reconnect."

Tim elaborates: "When you do a special piece like Next to Normal and you get to play Gabe, or you do Les Miz and you get to play Jean Valjean, or Margaret in The Light in the Piazza, oftentimes it's a while until you get to have that kind of experience. Those are pinnacle roles. Especially very early on in a career, when you're very impressionable, you'll always take that experience with you and want to have something that will equal it or surpass it."

So, what keeps Tim going? "In some ways, it's continuing that quest to find whatever will make it a mountaintop or pinnacle experience," he says. "Whether you're commercially successful, or you're pursuing artistic interests, or a career, just immerse yourself in it and to become part of that whole tapestry. I also love the community and the ensemble experience of theatre. All of us collectively coming together in one room — from the production team to the actors, the vehicles, the vessels out there on stage who get to tell the story."

That quest will continue for Tim, whose current show Evita will end its run in January, producers recently announced. But the ups and downs of an actor's life are typical for this family. "My dad always tells me, 'Don't let anyone take your joy from you,'" says Jonathan, who witnessed his parents' navigation of the ebbs and flows of a life on the stage.

"It's just part of keeping the fire lit. You have to keep going." Jane observes. "We're always seeing shows that we look at and go, 'Oh, Jonathan would be great in that part,' or we come to each other with suggestions."

All three are absolute in saying they wouldn't have selected another path. Storytelling, music and the shared joy of being on stage are in their blood. "In all of our passions and in all of our spirits, we have to explore what's going to ultimately propel us to be a giving, loving human being who's going to make an impact in this life. I celebrate anybody who finds whatever that passion is to go on and nurture it," says Tim.

Could the three be tempted to appear together on stage if the right project came along? "Oh, we should! We'll have to see how it all goes," Tim says. "Jonathan is on a real quest [with his own career]. Jane and I are both having phenomenal experiences with our shows." A father and son duo, perhaps? Tim is quick with a title, "A Pair of Shews!"

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