Jimmy Brooks (Photo: Jordan Matter via The Broadway Blog.)
By Matthew Wexler
One our favorite features is back now that the 2017-18 theater season is underway. Who better to kick off an insider’s look at the sexiest men on and off Broadway than the sultry Jimmy Brooks? Currently appearing in the dystopian and highly homoerotic A Clockwork Orange, Jimmy is all smiles when he’s not ganging up with his cohorts in this stylized work adapted from Anthony Burgess’s novella.
Providence, Rhode Island
What was your audition like for A Clockwork Orange?
It was pretty straightforward. They wanted us to prepare scenes from the play with a Manchester/Yorkshire accent as well as a Shakespeare monologue for the audition. I did all the tedious actor “process” stuff, went in, read for casting director Duncan Stewart, left, and forgot about it. Two weeks later, I found myself going in for a callback to meet the director Alexandra Spencer Jones and our lead, Jonno Davies.
The final callback though was pretty intense; it was about six hours long. We started off with a 30-minute, high-intensity P90x type warm-up that left the entire studio floor covered in a pool of sweat; people were slipping on the floor. We then had a dance call where we learned part of “Billy Boy” choreography from the massive opening number. We switched gears during the afternoon into more ensemble-based improv work and theatre games that were really focused on trying to get to know the actors and how we played with others. They were looking for strong actors that could work well in an ensemble and also move well.
By this point, I’d seen/read everything I could find out about this production. I was excited, I was more invested in this process than ever, I could really see myself in the world of this story, and I suddenly started getting really nervous. And then it was over, and a week later my life completely changed.
What is most challenging about performing in the show?
This is a very stylized piece of physical theater and the amount of discipline that comes with it can be quite challenging. The show in itself is a workout and you need a lot of self-care before and after each performance. Things like sleep, warming up, icing, stretching, and food become life or death. Sometimes when you’re done with the show, you’re wired and you want to go out and celebrate, but you just can’t, you have to be an adult.
Do you think there’s anything hopeful about Anthony Burgess’s dystopian future or director Alexandra Spencer-Jones’s adaptation?
Absolutely. Growth. Growth is hopeful. Both Burgess’ and the brilliant ASJ’s adaptation peek into a dystopian future where there’s a disaffected band of youth that wreaks havoc and leave a trail of destruction in their path; because that’s the only way they know to channel their energy and their anger. Without giving away the ending, our hero Alexander DeLarge survives his encounter with his inner darkness and learns to channel his energy towards creation rather than destruction; Alex like “groweth up”. The hope is that if one can survive their darkest hour, they come out stronger, wiser, and better than they were before.
We live in an age today of anger, disillusionment, open hatred and hyper-sensitivity (you can’t speak a paragraph without offending someone); everyone’s twisting words left and right to fuel their agenda, based on some truth. It’s ugly out there. It’s hopeful because out of this chaotic place where we find ourselves, growth is inevitable.
If I weren’t a performer, I would be:
An architect, or designing a clothing line; something creative.
Places, Intermission or Curtain Call?
Places. I live for that moment right before you go on.
The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
SpoonFed is a new spot on 51st Street between 8th and 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. They’ve got great margaritas and excellent southern dishes.
After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
SPiN, Susan Sarandon’s Ping Pong bar on 23rd Street. It’s also nice to sit in Hudson River Park by the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on the west side and watch the boats go by on the Hudson.
If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be:
On one of those islands somewhere in Croatia.
My workout “secret” is:
Cardio, Cardio, Cardio. Still figuring it out here myself, but I usually start out with 30-40 minutes of cardio to get the endorphins kicking in, and then switch up to lifting and core from there. Let’s be honest, genetics helps too.
When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
A bit of a dreamer, loves adventure, and is willing to take a wrong turn just to get lost. Playfulness is key.
My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
Umm… jimmybrooksjr.com ?
People would be surprised to learn that I . . .
I have a degree in Math…. Another life.
When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
Ten years from now I’d like to be:
Healthy, on top of my game, working consistently.
A Clockwork Orange plays at New World Stages through January 6, 2018.
Matthew Wexler is The Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on social media at @wexlerwrites.