The laws of nature, specifically those of physics and probability, often have a way of bending around Jason Cavallone. Perhaps that’s why he has spent the majority of his life surrounding himself with fictional worlds. For him, the worlds of fiction and nonfiction have a tendency to blur their lines, to make it so that sometimes fiction seems more likely than fact.
FICTION OR NONFICTION?
- Taking the SATs in 6th grade?
- Finding his long lost brother in a diner while in the search for America’s greatest fried pickle?
- Having a casket collapse on his head while hunting vampires?
- Having a screaming match with God because that imbecile Mozart is a better composer than he?
- Being mandated to see a school therapist and threatened with expulsion after portraying a school shooter in a play?
- Being pulled over by the police on the highway and having his car searched for dead bodies or body parts while it was instead filled with board games?
- Being bought in a mop shop as a young child for $5.
Fiction, but was led to believe it was non.
WRITING AND ACTING
Due to the universe often playing with his own personal reality, Jason has long since found his home in the world of fiction. He began writing stories at a very young age, completing many pages over the minimum length of creative writing assignments. He wrote his first novel Green, The Color of Murder, while in junior high. It received rave reviews from the school lunch ladies. He didn’t begin his love affair with the world of acting until he was 15 and performed in a night of one acts at his high school (although in first grade he starred in the fourth grade production of The Wizard of Oz as Munchkin #3—the cute one). After that, Jason’s happiness and sense of self has often ironically been defined by portraying other people.
A Chicago native, Jason grew up bouncing around the city as well as a number of suburbs. Though he briefly attended college in central Illinois, double majoring in theatre and creative writing, he found that particular school wasn’t for him. For the next few years he jumped around a few different jobs before he finally moved out of Illinois and began studying at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. He shifted his creative writing major to psychology, but maintained his major in theatre: his one true love.
During his time at WWU, he was fortunate enough to experience a wide variety of roles (both on stage and as a character within the theatre department itself). His senior year, he embarked on an independent study in playwriting with his professor, Melissa Alpers-Springer. This led over the next few years to penning (or more appropriately, typing) over twenty plays, including Bean Sidhe – an 1800s Irish murder mystery and Coming In – a story about a young man coming out as straight to his two fathers. A number of his shows premiered on the William Woods stage, including his first relative success: A Pickle Between Brothers, in which he starred as Aaron O’Ryan. This show was later restaged at a local Columbia theatre, giving him his first crack at being a producer (a title he’s still not overly comfortable donning).
It wasn’t long after that, with his co-producer Melissa, his show The List debuted in Columbia at Talking Horse Theatre under the banner of their new company Original Oddities Productions (OOPs). Jason once again took to the stage in his own work, not being able to chose between being the actor or the playwright. The show was widely applauded by audiences for its fast-paced humor tempered with strong, heartfelt moments.
Jason has performed in well over fifty shows and numerous other productions, many of which he did not write. Some of these include: Antonio Salieri (Amadeus), Man-in-Chair (The Drowsy Chaperone), Stage Manager (Our Town), Uncle Peck (How I Learned to Drive), Roat (Wait Until Dark), Hunter Bell ([title of show]), Barry Klemper (The Boys Next Door), Limping Man (Fuddy Meers), Mr. Marmalade (Mr. Marmalade), Roger Hopewell (The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940), Ferris Layman (The Diviners), and Renfield (Dracula).
The world of fiction often beckons Jason to join it, but he tries to remain as grounded as he can in this world of dreary fact. His often-colorful life has led him to seek graduate schools in the near future. Though the world of the written word always sings its siren song for him, the stage will forever be his home.