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 grin
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?!”