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THEATER BUFF: John Carroll of “Follies”

September 21st, 2011

Every third Wednesday, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer currently on Broadway will fill out my nosey little questionnaire and offer a glimpse of what they look like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. For September, people always talk about a Follies girl, but we’ve got a real, live Follies boy…

Photo by Kevin McDermott.

Name: John Carroll

Hometown: Long Island, New York

Current Show/Role: Follies/proud member of the ensemble

The best part of the show I’m in is: I play Elaine Paige’s “boy toy” in Follies. To think I was this unpopular gay boy from Long Island with no friends and now I’m walking arm in arm all through Act One on Broadway with the Icon Elaine Paige! When we enter together at the top of the show the audience goes wild, I pretend they are applauding for me. It’s the little things! She not only happens to be a musical theater legend, but she is the warmest, most generous person, with a razor sharp wit and great sense of humor.

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was: It’s between two jobs. The first I would say was being in a concert dance company. I was in the Parsons Dance Company for two years. I was worked like a dog, paid like a dog and treated like a dog. The upside is that I traveled the world, became 1,000 times a better dancer and made life long friends. There’s always the good with the bad. The second was dancing at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I was about to enter my senior year at Juilliard and was poor as dirt. Not only did I need money to pay for school, but I also needed my Equity card so that I could audition for shows to have a job after graduation. While the other Juilliard students went off to prestigious summer intensive dance programs, I danced in Beauty and the Beast at the MGM theme park. I wore candy stripped tights, an ENORMOUS chefs hat and twirled a 5 foot spoon as I danced around Mrs. Potts in fire retardant costumes. All in 100+ degree heat.

If I wasn’t an actor, I would be: A presenter on QVC. They talk endlessly for hours and hours about b.s. which, according to the word on the street, is what I’ve been known to do.

Photo by Kevin McDermott.

Pick a Harry: Potter, Prince of Wales or Debbie of “Blondie”? Hands down, the winner is…Debbie Harry. She’ got the voice, the looks and my personal favorite is whenever you hear her speak in an interview, she opens her mouth and the Lincoln Tunnel falls out. I love a good, trashy sounding Jersey girl!

The best post-show cocktail in town is at: the men’s ensemble dressing room…but don’t tell anybody.

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be: I was born and raised in New York. This is where my family and friends live. This city is in my blood. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Cape, Mask, or Spandex Tights. Mask. How could you go wrong? The touching story of Rocky Dennis and his big head, the map with all those pins in it and Cher as the tough as nails, yet caring biker chick mom. Heart breaking.

My workout secret is: Well, I have many, but they wouldn’t be a secret if I told you, now would they?

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than: Since I married my partner of over 6 years on July 24th (please send wedding gifts to the address below), it’s been a while since I’ve been on a date. I will say that when I was on my first date with my husband, what got me hook, line and sinker was how smart he was. Yes, he’s gorgeous, but more so, he’s courteous, kind and the most smartest (lol) person I ever met.

When I’m web surfing, the site I’m most likely to be on is: QVC. Don’t judge.

People would be surprised to learn that I: am hearing impaired. I had Spinal Meningitis as a child and as a result wear a hearing aid. I don’t wear it on stage or at the gym because I sweat too much, so when people actually see me wear it they ask if it’s a blue tooth headset. Real classy.

Ten years from now, I’d like to be: A lady who lunches. I married a lawyer. My momma didn’t raise a fool!

New York City Blizzard, Earthquake or Hurricane? Definitely blizzard. Being snowed in with my hubby was truly one of the most magical experiences of my life!

Keep up with John at his website and check out more photos by Kevin McDermott.

Photo by Kevin McDermott.

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