Jeb Brown is no stranger to the Broadway stage, but last Sunday he debuted what might be his most exciting role yet. In Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Brown plays Don Kirshner – the energetic mover and shaker that catapulted a young Carole King to stardom in 1960s New York. In the past, Brown has appeared in multiple hit Broadway shows, including Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, Time Stands Still and Grease. In addition to his work in New York, he has performed with the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, the Old Globe in San Diego as well as many others theater companies around the United States. This week, we are honored to have him On the Couch.
What do you consider to be your best asset?
My, uh…my command of…you know, my way with words?
What was your proudest moment?
I produced a huge benefit for John Kerry here in NYC when he ran for president, and that felt so good at the time. Hmmmm…oh well.
What is your favorite drink?
I have a healthy appetite for fine Bourbon (Taylor is my latest discovery), but I'll take a fizzy seltzer when my thirsty's really raging.
What is your favorite food?
Corn on the cob. Summertime. Sheesh.
What is your favorite condiment?
I'm a Ketchup man from way back. Friends used to marvel at my Ketchup pools, but I've learned to moderate. And you know, Heinz is solid but their market dominance regularized the fun out of ketchup. I'm excited that original Ketchup recipes are returning here and there.
What is your current obsession?
I've discovered that the old Dick Van Dyke Show is available in its entirety on Netflix. It's smart, surprising, non-formulaic…pretty satisfying.
If you could give up one of your vices, what would it be?
The late night slice…or three.
What is the one professional accomplishment you long for most?
This year I'm aiming to realize it…it's a television project that I've been developing for a while. Producer shoes…nothing on-camera for me, thanks.
What is the one thing you waste too much money on?
Expensive coffees. There are many days when I feel I'm living my life from coffee to coffee.
What is the one activity you waste too much time doing?
My metabolic curve arcs towards the late night hours. I love the privacy and the vibe of the after hours zone, especially in a place like NYC, but as a family man I now have to pick and choose more carefully those wee hour excursions.
What do you consider to be the single greatest threat to your health?
Other people's anxiety.
What is the single best trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
The ability to recognize, appreciate and celebrate a good moment.
What is the single worst trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
A disinterest in planning for the future.
What in the world most thrills you?
Live theatre, when I'm in the audience and I find that I've lost track of myself.
What current trend in popular culture most irritates you?
Texting at social gatherings. I believe in a dinner party where cell phones are confiscated, if necessary.
What was the single most embarrassing moment you've ever experienced on the job?
Meet Me in St Louis, the tour. Split my tuxedo pants during the “Banjos” number…no underwear. Plinkity plunk, indeed.
What is your favorite place in the world?
I have a deep fondness for Hudson, NY. It has to do with the river-front history and the bygone beauty of that town and it's creative cultural resurgence. It's an authentically funky spot, and I love to be there with my family or by myself.
What is the most important trait you seek in a romantic partner?
Lively mind, focused conversationalist.
Do you prefer the company of dogs or cats?
Cats are my allies. I'm a Leo, and we had something like 30 cats over the course of my childhood. It was feline immersion.
What would have to happen to make today the best day of your life?
I would have to find out that these industrious times are going to continue, and that when the end comes it is guaranteed to be peaceful.
What is your personal motto?
“Whatever you do, do it with juice, boogie and soul.” Liz Ashley wrote that to me as an inscription on a Christmas gift when I was 10. I often go back to it.