#149 – Eric Anthony Johnson – BEETLEJUICE

In This Episode

From Eric / @ericanthonyjohnson:

I was born in Essexville, Michigan. Almost instantly, I had the power to destroy everything that came into my path; carpets, rugs, bottles of milk, you name it, I had somehow found a way to make it my own, or change it into something that meant more. Now I use the word destroy because that is exactly what I did, something that was once a simple coffee table meant more, to my 3 year old self, having my name carved into. Mother was not pleased with this “process.” So, I was enrolled in gymnastics, then dance, then the community theater. For as we all know, play practice and rehearsal are cheaper than daycare.

It is then that my addiction started. I was obsessed with everything that happened on a stage–dance, drama, singing, the occasional rollerblading/acrobatic routine… I simply could not get enough. In fact, my father built me a stage in our basement (which still exists). So, this was my life until I was 18 and carried my obsession to Boston, where I attended The Boston Conservatory to get my BFA in Musical Theatre performance. It was during my time at The Boston Conservatory where I realized that these hobbies I had growing up would become my livelihood. It’s pretty great when you actually get to do what you love for a living.

So, 4 years of college later, I set off to New York City, to try and make “The Dream” happen. It was in my first month of being in the city that I got an audition for the the revival of West Side Story that was already out on tour. I auditioned, had a callback, then another, and made it to the last day. Two weeks went by and I got a call that changed my life–I would be going on tour for the next year playing one of the Sharks and understudying some of the Jets!

Cut to a few… uhhhh, several years later, and I’ve completed 5 Broadway tours, and will do a 6th later this year, countless regional gigs, I’ve worked with TONY winners, EMMY winners, been around the world, danced for hundreds of thousands of people, and somehow turned my experiences into an ever-changing teaching and choreography career. Now, I’m not done, and I don’t intend to ever be done, but that’s where I come from, and where I’m at now. I cannot speak for the future, but I think it will be the same thing that has been true the whole time–I will do awesome shit.



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