On the Couch with Todd Jacobsson

Todd Jacobsson AAR On the CouchWho is Todd Jacobsson?
An Australian Musical Theatre Performer from Ballarat, currently calling Melbourne home, and a wannabe fitness junkie, about to embark on the journey of a lifetime playing Tony in Opera Australia’s/GWB Productions/BB Group’s International tour of West Side Story. From a 10 year old with one dream, getting to see the world doing what I love and ticking off bucket list goals like performing in The Book of Mormon is just an exciting beginning to what I hope to be an amazing journey through life.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
When you love something so much, its really hard to imagine doing anything else, but I think if not Theatre, I’d be working in the Fitness industry in some way shape or form, as its another passion of mine that’s forever growing.

Who inspires you and why?
Several people, First and foremost my Mother, Sharon, Although not a performer, she and my Dad have been the most supportive parents anyone could ask for, she has overcome so much herself, and yet will always put others first, I seriously don’t know anyone who has met her that doesn’t love her.

As a performer, there are many who I look up to in our industry and beyond, the leading men of Musical Theatre, Corey Cott, Aaron Tveit, Andrew Rannells and Gavin Creel are all performers I aspire to be like on grand scale, then there are those closer to home, people who are my friends and consummate professionals, like Daniel Assetta & Eddie Grey – true friends who are both as talented and driven as performers as they are kind human beings, perfect examples for the rest of us.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Provide arts education to schools and people who its unavailable to – more than just a hobby for lots. Performing Arts in schools helps kids with confidence and creativity, encouraging them to be who they want to be.

Favorite holiday destination and why?
Easy question, with out a doubt New York City, I’ve only been twice now, but it is the most exciting, vibrant and thriving place I’ve ever been, It’s the Musical Theatre hub of the world, and the energy there is just on another level. Every time I’m there I feel like it’s exactly where I am meant be.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Melbourne is full of what I consider, the best cafes in the world, and I’m definitely a brunch fanatic, (working theatre hours, it’s the most convenient meal time). We have so many hidden laneways where you’ll find coffee to die for, so I could definitely make a day out it.

What are you currently reading?
Unfortunately I’m really not that much of a reader, I just don’t have the patience. At the moment my head is deep within the West Side Story script, and a great accompanying research book called Something’s Coming, Something Good, West Side Story and the American imagination by Misha Benson – that’s keeping me pretty busy. I have pre-ordered Andrew Rannells’ biography Too Much Is Not Enough – which I’m excited to sink my teeth into when I get the chance.

What are you currently listening to?
As a Musical Theatre fanatic, I’m forever jumping on the newest cast recording; my latest obsession is the New York City Centre recording of Songs For A New World, and the new musical The Prom. My favorite consistent podcasts are Living the Dream with Rory O’Malley, and Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine.

Happiness is?
Exactly what ever you want it to be. At the moment for me, that’s living my dream job, surrounded by a loving group of friends and family, which I wouldn’t change for the world.

What does the future hold for you?
Well for the next year West Side Story will keep me pretty busy. Just to keep working in Musical Theatre is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I can’t quite believe where I am at the moment, and to not know exactly what the future holds is exciting. To keep climbing the ladder that I’m on is the number one goal. There are lots of roles I’d love to play and shows I’d love to do. I would really love to live and work overseas, London is a destination I could see myself living in within the next couple of years, and hopefully one day, if possible, New York, but as long as I’m doing what I love with people I love, I’ll be a happy boy.

Todd stars as Tony in Opera Australia / GWB Entertainment’s presentation of BB Group’s production of West Side Story in the State Theatre – Arts Centre Melbourne (6 – 28 April); before playing the Sydney Opera House (16 August – 6 October); Canberra Theatre Centre (10 – 27 October); and the Adelaide Festival Centre (28 November – 15 December). For more information, visit: www.westsidestory.com.au for details.

Image: Todd Jacobsson