Behind the Scenes with THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF COMEDY (ABRIDGED)’s Director Jerry Kernion

What is your name and your current occupation?

Jerry Kernion – Actor/Director/Writer

What is your role on the show?

Director

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into

design/writing/directing/etc?

I did the usual bartending/waiting tables deal for a while but one of the craziest jobs was driving peoples’ cars for them around New York City.  They would hire me and I would go pick up their personal car from the garage, go and pick them up and then drive them around wherever they wanted to go.  It was like being a limo driver but in ultra-close proximity.  I learned way more about some of those people than I wanted to.

Where are you from and how did you get into theatre?

I’m originally from New Orleans, LA.  I always had an affinity for performing and gravitated toward the theatre from a very early age.  There wasn’t much of it in New Orleans at the time but I would get involved wherever I could.

Tell me about your favorite project.

It changes on a daily basis but I’ve been involved in a show for the last couple of years that’s, slowly but surely, making it’s way towards Broadway.  It’s the prequel to Million Dollar Quartet and it’s called Heartbreak Hotel.  It’s about the early days of Elvis Presley and his relationship with his manager, Col. Tom Parker.  I play the Colonel and it’s been fascinating learning all that I can about this guy and the nature of their relationship.

What’s your favorite part of theatre?

Being able to hear an immediate response.  I love working in film and television but it’s hard to replace the joy that live laughter creates.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?

I would say it’s that I need to live away from my family.  I love Los Angeles, and now consider it my home, but if I could have access to the same jobs and live near my family, I would always choose that.

What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis, and how has the technology changed in the last few years?

As a director, I would say that technology as a whole has influenced the way I do research.  With a few clicks, I can gather all kinds of images and inspiration that inform how I choose to tell the story.

How has that impacted your in your job?

It’s broadened my scope of influence.

Is there any advise you can give to aspiring designers/writers/directors/actors trying to break into the business?

Try to learn as quick as you can that it’s called a business for a reason.  And, just because you are a creative person by nature, doesn’t mean you don’t have to cultivate a business attitude and business habits to help you succeed.  Work ethic is everything.

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