by Andre Jackson on January 29th, 2012

Though many of us don’t want to admit it, there is definitely something magical about The Oscars. Since 1929 when the very first Academy Award presentation was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, there have been those of us with passionate feelings for or against the event. And by “us” I don’t just mean actors. Oh no! I can remember how my own grandmother, a factory worker from northeast Arkansas, would skip out on her church bible study for just one night each year. OSCAR NIGHT! Her red carpet critiques could rival Joan Rivers and she usually hadn’t seen a single film from the list of nominees but that didn’t keep her from giving her “informed” opinions about who should win and who shouldn't.

Personally, I really love The Oscars. I rarely agree with who wins but that’s the fun of it. I love the suspense, the anticipation, the excitement, the defeat when your pick doesn’t win and the “I KNEW IT!” moment when The Academy decides that you were right. Sure, there are all sorts of factors that go into who wins an Oscar that have absolutely nothing to do with the actual production. But, for just a few hours on Oscar Night, I willingly wrap my mind in a star studded cloak of denial and enjoy the show.

This year, the Oscar drama started early. For the hosting job, Eddie Murphy was IN (Yaaaaaaay!) then he was out (Booooooo). Luckily, Billy Crystal was hired (Hooray!) then the rumor leaked that Robert Pattinson would be a presenter – (eyes rolling). But, hey, who knows? Next year he could be a nominee! Stranger things have happened at The Oscars. Let’s not forget, Cher has an Oscar but Glenn Close doesn’t. CHER!!??

Now, for the important part…

Here are my picks in some of the top categories this year. *Note – this isn’t who I think actually will win but who I’d choose. So - whether you’re decked out at the Kodak Center, cheering on your favorite contenders at an Oscar party, or chilling on the couch with a beer - I hope you join me on February 26th when the world watches Hollywood's biggest night that so many of us love to hate!
  • Best Picture: Hugo

  • Best Actor: Damian Bichir (A Better Life)

  • Best Actress: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

  • Best Supporting Actor: Christoper Plummer (Beginners)

  • Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)

  • Best Director: Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris)
Faith. Love. Hope.

-Andre

by Andre Jackson on January 22nd, 2012

Very often in my life, I’m asked “Why aren’t you in a movie yet?”. Mind you, I actually have been in a few films. Maybe not a film you’ve seen in your local theater (or any other theater for that matter) but I have managed to have my image immortalized in front of the camera on several occasions. Though I’m probably most known for my performances on stage, I really love working on film. It’s something I plan to do more frequently in my career.

Still, finding then hopefully being offered quality roles in television or film is an underestimated rarity. Finding a role isn’t particularly difficult. But the moment you place standards upon those jobs, the fewer and further in-between they quickly become. This is precisely the reason why so many of my colleagues are tempted to simply accept whatever is offered. Instead, I've accepted that my different approach will mean that for now my wait will be longer and my resume will be shorter. You can also be assured that when I say “yes” it will be well worth the wait.
Faith. Love. Hope.

-Andre

by Andre Jackson on November 12th, 2011


Long before I ever realized that I wanted to become an actor, I've been a fan of Spike Lee movies. School Daze, Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Crooklyn......pretty much his entire body of work has been a subliminal inspiration for me and probably every other artist fortunate enough to enjoy a Spike Lee Joint.

This week......(whew!). This week I had the extreme privelege of having a private meeting with Spike Lee here in Los Angeles. I know you're gonna hate this but I can't go into too much detail right now about the meeting except to say that opportunities have arisen and wheels of progress are in motion. I will, however, confirm that Spike Lee is every bit the cinematic genius and gracious professional I've always perceived him to be.

Of course, there will be more news to follow.
Faith. Love. Hope.

-Andre

by Andre Jackson on March 8th, 2008

I've officially decided to stay with The Lion King for another year as Simba. Cherita agreed to join me on the road for a while sometime this summer. Otherwise, it I know I couldn't have taken the offer. I'm pretty excited because we'll get to be together AND we're scheduled to visit some pretty cool cities - ie: Washington D.C., Sacramento, Seattle. Also, we'll be in Kansas City and Oklahoma City which are both only about two and half hours away from my family in Wichita. I'll get to see my little sister, mom, step-dad, and nephews more than I've been able to see them for the last few years! Cherita's favorite uncle lives in Oklahoma City so that's a huge bonus for her as well.

It wasn't exactly and easy decision to make though. I was looking forward to getting back to the film/TV industry in LA since the strike is finally over. However, things are still pretty slow and SAG is probably going to go on strike in the next few months. After the terrible WGA strike last year, I don't want to take the chance of battling unemployment all summer when I know I have a guaranteed job offer staring me smack in the face right now. Plus, I really enjoy being Simba here in the Gazelle Company. I guess I'm attracted to weird dysfunctional family environments.

So, for those of you who haven't yet had a chance to see me in The Lion King, you've got another year to catch me. Hakuna Matata!

by Andre Jackson on December 31st, 2007

I took this from our lobby at The Minskoff Theatre here on Broadway.  It's only 11am the New Year's Eve crowds are already gathering.  It's gonna be CRAZY tonight!  Have fun, everyboday and be safe :)

by Andre Jackson on December 19th, 2007

Here are a few shots I took around Manhattan on my day off this week.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

6th Avenue - Midtown
Rockefeller Center Angels
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

by Andre Jackson on December 17th, 2007

Well, I'm in Detroit, Michigan. I'm sorry to say that this place is the pits. The city itself seems to be suffering from a mass state of depression. I don't want to bash the place but, folks, Detroit needs help! I wouldn't think that a major city like this could be so run down. There are abandoned buildings everywhere (especially downtown) and I was told today that Detroit ranks #1 in violent crime, suicide, depression, and home foreclosures. I've personally ranked it #1 on my list of suckiest cities on tour. The one highlight is that it's Christmas season and Cherita will be here with me soon. That's if I don't get shot while performing onstage. In this city I think it would be best if I keep my Simba from making any sudden movements just in case some of the more trigger happy patrons get past the theater metal detectors. Pray for me and everyone else in this sad sad city.

by Andre Jackson on September 10th, 2007

YES!!! I can't believe I'm actually performing here in Memphis, Tennessee! Even though I'm from Arkansas (Go Hogs!), Memphis is like my second home. My hometown is only about 30 minutes from Memphis so I grew up making very frequent trips into "the city" to visit family, shop, or simply for a change of atmosphere. While here, I hope to visit a lot of my friends and family that I haven't had a chance to see for a while. In some cases it's been years since I last saw them. Being an actor means I spend the vast majority of my time either in New York or Los Angeles. Cherita and I have our home in LA which may as well be on the other side of the planet from this area where I grew up. I've been suffering from homesickness for the last five years. I miss the pace of this place, the sounds, the warmth, the charm, the quietness, the familiarity. I've been to cities all over the world but nothing can ever take the place of home. This is my center. This place is written indelibly into my DNA. Best of all, my favorite uncle and aunt live here. They're more like surrogate parents and I love them dearly. Usually I only get to see them during the Thanksgiving holiday so I feel so blessed to be able to have this additional time to spend with them. While here, Cherita and I are going to look for property where we can build our dream home. What an exciting time! Life is beautiful.

by Andre Jackson on August 22nd, 2007

After almost seven months off, I've returned to The Lion King-Gazelle Tour. The show is in Charlotte, North Carolina right now (nice town) and it's good seeing all the familiar and many not-so-familiar faces. Since I left this cast, which was in October of '06, a lot of folks have left and were replaced by fresh young actors. One of the biggest losses was one of my best friends, L. Steven Taylor, who used to perform the role of Mufasa. Not only is he an awesome actor; a great Mufasa, but he was my road partner out here on tour. I've been here less than a week and I'm already missing his presence here. Another of my good friends, Erica Ash, is now performing the lead role of Nala now. She and I began in the ensemble cast together to it's terrific seeing her as a principal character now. I know how hard she worked to get the role and she absolutely deserves it! Audiences are really in for a treat! I'm in rehearsals now so it'll probably be a while before I write again. But, I'll be back...

by Andre Jackson on April 2nd, 2007

The studio decided to pass on Suspect. I guess they've already reached their cop-show drama quota for the season... Back to work!

by Andre Jackson on March 5th, 2007

I booked a role on a new pilot called, Suspect. The show features Charles Dutton, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Michael Ealy. I play a young cop named Officer Dwayne Braga. I'm hoping the show gets picked up since this role would be recurring.

by Andre Jackson on February 20th, 2007

Joe Turner's Come & Gone won "Best Ensemble Cast" last night at the 17th Annual NAACP Theater Awards!! With winning the LA Weekly Awards last month this makes our second major theater award so far. I'm so proud of our cast!! It was the first time I'd seen everybody since I left to re-join The Lion King. My cast was lookin' GOOD!

The ceremony was a star-studded event hosted at the Director's Guild on Sunset Blvd. It was my first time actually walking the red carpet. My friend and co-star Edwin Morrow showed me the ropes since he's had some experience in the limelight while promoting his performance in We Were Soldiers.

Usher was presented with the "Image Award". He gave a speech and mentioned his "fiance"/stylist Tameka Foster. He was very gracious and humble in accepting his award. Some of the presenters were Raquel Robinson, Tia Mowry, Andre Royo, Valerie Pettiford (who showed up with Brian White!), Vanessa Williams, Thelma Hopkins, Nia Long, Henry Simmons, Sharon Leal, Camille Winbush, and a host of others.

The whole thing was First Class!

When we went on stage to accept the award, no one knew what to say. Edwin finally walked up to the podium and proceeded to ramble on about WHO KNOWS WHAT in front of a huge audience of Who's Who in Black Hollywood. I tell you this though, he was passionate about whatever the heck he was talking about! Too bad he was the only one who understood it. Oh well, that's what I get for not taking the mic.

Funny story:
  • Before the show started, all the guests and presenters were mingling in the front lobby area. Edwin, Nambi Kelly, and I decided to stroll into a separate area that appeared to have hors d' oeuvres and drinks. "Not so fast there!" The guard standing by the door asked us to show our invitations. We proudly whipped them out. After glancing at our invitations for half a second, he politely informed us that this area was for "VIP's only". We quietly took the walk of shame back to the "Nobody Section" of the lobby. However, after we won and Edwin delivered his gibberish acceptance speech, we were escorted off the stage by a woman who guided us through the corridor filled with more photographers and into the glorious VIP section. Apparently, the difference between "nobody" and VIP is receivng a little crystal statue!

by Andre Jackson on May 7th, 2006

My show at The Fountain, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, is a huge hit! Our entire cast is incredibly talented and I love working with them. We got rave reviews in all the trades and standing ovations nearly every night. After each show, the cast hangs out together in the cafe above the theater for late night drinks and laughs. I'm gonna miss them all so much. I'll only be with the show for another month before I leave to re-join TLK so those of you who wanna see me work my magic better hurry up before it's too late! :)

After I leave, my role will be given to a very talented actor and a good friend of mine, Edwin Morrow. I have no doubt that he's gonna be great.

You don't want to miss this show. Joe Turner's Come and Gone. The Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Ave., Hollywood CA 90029 (323) 663-1525. Th-Sat @ 7pm, Sun @ 2pm.

by Andre Jackson on February 2nd, 2006

I have this technique... Every few weeks, I send a photo postcard to about 75 people that I have on my mailing list. Potential agents, casting directors, directors & actors I've worked with, etc. I also send a headshot and resume to shows that I KNOW I'm right for and all the soaps. I send HS&R to the soaps because I need to book an AFTRA job this year so that I'll be SAG eligible next year. The process works like this:
  • AFTRA, unlike SAG, has no eligibility requirement. All you have to do is pay the $1300 membership fee and you're in. After you've been a paid-up member in AFTRA for a least one year and have worked at least once as a principle performer in AFTRA's jurisdiction, you're automatically SAG eligible. Presto!
Now, that's all easier said than done. The hard part is finding work as an AFTRA principle performer. Here's where soap opera work comes in handy. I've got a "soap look". I'm frequently cast as the romantic lead and Cherita has helped me step up my sappy-side over the past few years. The material is often intensely dramatic and that has always been one of my strengths as an actor.

Well, those submissions have finally paid off. I had an audition this week for a guest starring role on The Bold & The Beautiful. I got the call today that I BOOKED IT!! Yeah baby! '06 is going pretty good so far :)

by Andre Jackson on January 23rd, 2006

Last week, I auditioned for Joe Turner's Come and Gone at The Foutain Theatre in Hollywood. The whole audition process was a wonderful experience. After my audition, the director (Ben Bradley) asked if I would fill in as a reader for other actors auditioning that day. "Um...YES!!!" Aside from having the opportunity to perform as various other characters, I got a first hand learning experience in what to do and not to do in an audition. I saw actors who were completely unprepared and those who were over-prepared; rendering them incapable of making adjustments to their performances. There were some actors who delivered great performances but just weren't right for the part or didn't pair well with actors already cast. I was so grateful to be asked to participate in the casting process.

Today, I received a call from Ben offering me the role I auditioned for. I'll be performing the role of "Jeremy", a freespirited young man who's very popular with the ladies. For the part, I'll be learning to play the guitar (something I've always wanted to do). I'm so excited about the opportunity to not only be part of another production at The Foutain Theatre but also to perform in play written by August Wilson; one of America's most brilliant playwrights. The first cast meeting is next week.

by Andre Jackson on January 21st, 2006

After nearly 8 mos. away with The Lion King, I'm finally back home. What was supposed to be a 5 month temporary replacement ended up being 8. I had a blast!! I made some wonderful new friends; some that I know I'll have for the rest of my life.

I'll be rejoining the cast later in the year, but for now I'm hitting the ground running here in Los Angeles. Before I left NY, I sent my headshot, resume, and cover letters to several agents in LA. Right now, I have no representation and we're in the middle of pilot season. (Not good.) So, after about 30 submissions, I have 3 interviews. For those of you who aren't in the industry, that's actually pretty good! I'm sure my new BROADWAY CREDIT helped! :)

by Andre Jackson on January 14th, 2006

I got a call today from the director of a play I was in a while ago. He wanted to know if I'd be interested in a lead role in August Wilson's award winning play, "Joe Turner's Come and Gone". Um, OF COURSE I'M INTERESTED! The play is scheduled to go up at The Foutain Theatre (in Hollywood @ Foutain & Normandie), sometime in February. I went picked up the script and read it today. Its a great play. The director told me that he couldn't promise anything but, so far, the producers were very interested in giving me the role. I won several L.A. Theater Awards for them in the past so I'm sure that's working in my favor. I'll keep everyone posted. Until I know more; fingers crossed!

by Andre Jackson on May 30th, 2005

Well, I leave for Philadelphia tomorrow. Before I go, I want to thank everyone who has sent me emails and posted messages of congratulations and well-wishes as I start this wonderful new part of my life. I appreciate your love and support and I want you to know how much it means to me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I don't know how often I'll be able to post messages while I'm on the road. I'll be subletting apartments and living in hotels while I'm away. Also, I plan on devoting as much time as I can to my performance in the show. I promise, when I get some time, we'll all catch up.

In the meantime, email me! My address is andre@andrejackson.com. I wish all of you the very best.

Faith. Love. Hope.

-André

by Andre Jackson on April 29th, 2005

I got my Lion King contract in the mail today. I'll be leaving at the end of May to join the cast in Philadelphia, PA. From there, we'll be going to Raleigh and Nashville. After Nashville, I'll be leaving to join the New York cast on Broadway! I'm just livin' the dream!

by Andre Jackson on February 22nd, 2005

Today I received a call that I've been waiting on for the last four years. I was offered a role in THE LION KING!!!!! I'm so happy right now that I don't have words that would adequately describe how I feel!

I first auditioned for The Lion King during Spring Break while attending The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2002. Over the last few years, I've auditioned several other times with seemingly little or no results. Sometimes, I told myself (or whoever would listen) that it was my last time trying. God, I'm glad I didn't quit. I guess that's one more task I can check off my to-do list.

I'm gonna take Cherita out this weekend to our favorite restaurant and surprise her with the good news. Wow...The Lion King...Thank you, God.