Jason Stuart [Interview]

 

Hello Folks, and happy Friday to you all! To kick off the weekend with a good laugh, we have an incredible guest for you all. It’s the “swiss army knife” of actors, the wonderful Jason Stuart! Jason is that guy that I have been watching for years, as an avid TV and film watcher, but also as a huge fan of comedy. That’s right, we have another damn fine comic on our hands here at Trainwreck’d Society. And not only his Jason a fantastic actor and stand up comedian, he is also a god damned inspiration!

Jason Stuart did something that could have wrecked his career very early, based on the timeframe in which he did. It’s almost sickening to discuss in this day and age, but we simply cannot ignore the past. Jason Stuart came out as a gay man in the early 90’s, at a time where you just didn’t do that. Anybody who watched the 2018 film mid-90’s and refused to believe that some of the dialogue in that film wasn’t lifted directly from what was considered “appropriate” at the time – believe it. And while it is still not safe to say that things are “better now”, you have to understand that they sort of are better. But, the chance for regression in the changes that have been made is always there. But thanks to people like Mr. Stuart who pioneered the very simple idea of just being who you are and loving who you wish to love very early on, changes have been made for the better. He is commendable for his talents in the world of art and entertainment, and even more commendable for his actions as a human being.

And with that, Jason has a wonderful new book coming out entitled, Shut Up I’m Talking: Coming Out in Hollywood and Making it to the Middle. Without a doubt, it is going to be something that you simply HAVE to read. And we are so happy that Jason was able to take some time out of his numerous gigs to share some responses to some questions with us here today. So Folks, please enjoy some incredible words from the even more incredible human being, the great Jason Stuart!

 

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What inspired you to get into the line world of comedy and acting? Was it an early aspiration that you have had since you were young, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I started acting at a very young age. When I started getting laughs on stage doing school plays and community theatre, I knew this was what I wanted to do. At the time, I thought I wanted to be famous. But what I learned as I became more adept at the work, was that I loved the idea of being able to make people laugh, cry and touch people. I love the idea that you can go into the theater or see a movie or watch a TV show and I could change the way you feel about something.

 

What was your very first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned that still affect your work today?

I guest-starred on a TV show called The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts and played a ping-pong player who smoked pot in college. I thought, “This is it! I’m going to get jobs like this all the time!” So I quit community college … and didn’t get another job for two years. I really had no idea how lucky I was to get that job or lucky to get any job. So I just started to work hard and put one foot in front of the other until around 10 years later when I was able to start making a living.

 

While you are indeed a renowned actor, you also happen to be a hilarious stand up comedian. And we love stand up around here! So with that, I am curious to know how your experience has been in the world of stand up? Over the years, a lot of changes have been happening. In your own personal opinion, what have been some of the positive changes you have noticed over the years since you started?

 

Comedy has been very good to me. I’ve been able to work all over the country and actually learn geography! I went to public school. Lucky I learned anything! But to be honest, I was so bullied in school that it was hard for me to pay attention. One of the bigger changes is that people don’t go to comedy clubs as much as they did when I started out. My fans like to come to theaters or alternative spaces. So, that’s what I focus on now. Also, young people watch comedy all over the Internet now. So they are less apt to come to clubs because they have to talk to real people in real life.

 

One very specific project you worked on has me all sorts of intrigued, and I know it’s probably a weird one, but I gotta know….America’s Most Wanted. You appeared as a detective in 2011. How was this experience? It seems like it would be very different from other acting gigs. What do you remember about working on this project?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it was just like any other job. The reason I wanted to do it is because I wanted to play the role of a detective. That role got me a number of other roles after I  put it on my demo reel. I have a supporting role “Detective Walter“ in the film Abducted coming out this year. Every job leads to another. You have to show people that you can play something in order for them to believe that you can do it. My good friends Billy Damota and Dea Vise cast me, as they have several times. They gave me the opportunity to play roles out of the box that I was offered at that time. I only played fussy managers or annoying Jews or funny gay guys. But because of people like them, I’m now considered for all sorts of roles ….most of the time.

I understand that you have a book that was recently released to the world. And you had a signing event that was hosted by our friend and past guest Alexandra Paul! Can you tell our readers a bit about the book? What can they look forward to learning about you and the your sometimes insane business?

The book is about this young gay Jewish boy who went to see Funny Girl starring Barbra Streisand. When I saw it I fell in love with Omar Sharif, her costar. And then thought to himself,  “If I love a man, who am I to be but Barbra Streisand, the woman. She’s funny on the outside and sad on the inside just like me. But she’s a not a guy.” This was very confusing to me as there were no gay role models in film and television in those days. It was very upsetting for a young boy at that time to come to grips that I might be gay. The book is about cleaning up the wreckage of my past and becoming a man. Dealing with a crazy family, a father who was in the holocaust, brothers and sisters who don’t show up for me and the ins and outs of show business. Also a lot of fun stories about everyone from George Clooney to Tiffany Haddish. And a lot about my very flamboyant mother, Gloria!

 

 

I am also very intrigued by a radio gig you have now entitled Riffing with Jason Stuart. Can you tell us a bit about this project? What compelled you to get into this game, and how can our readers find it?

The reason I started getting into hosting Radio, was that I wanted to get a boyfriend. So I wanted to find a job that would keep me from going on the road. I wanted to learn a new skill set. Just being funny wasn’t enough, I had to learn to interview people and I’ve been doing that for the last 10 years and for five different shows. What I really love about the job is you get to ask questions to people that you’ve known forever or work with, that you wouldn’t ask if you were just hanging out. So to me that’s a lot of fun.

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Well my book is my main focus now. I have another film called Immortal coming out where I play a very intimidating private investigator. The film also stars Dylan Baker, Samm Levine, Robin Bartlett, and a lot of wonderful character actors. I also have created a new web series with Mitch Hara called Smothered, about two middle-age gay men who hate each other but can’t afford to get divorced.

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Having my mom sit in the front row of my book signing, as she was smiling with joy over a book she was afraid I would tell too much in about her and the family ups and downs.  At one point she said “Don’t use my real name! Call me Goldie not my real name Gloria”. I said “Ma, I’ve been talking about you for over 30 years everyone, knows who you are.”  She said “Oh yeah, I forgot.”

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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