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The Son Also Rises, Part Two: My Follow-Up Interview With Jason Gould

The Son Also Rises, Part Two: My Follow-Up Interview With Jason Gould

Music

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A version of this follow-up interview appears in the new issue of the U.K. magazine All About Barbra.

I had first interviewed Jason Gould for Stargayzing just before the tour began.  When I was asked to share something special for All About Barbra readers, Jason and I spoke again, this time with a specific focus on the experience of singing live on tour with his mom, where he performed Irving Berlin’s How Deep Is The Ocean in a touching duet with Barbra, followed by a solo version of Leon Russell’s This Masquerade, while his mom watched lovingly a few away.   The emotional result was at once truly authentic and wonderfully theatrical, and will remain for lucky viewers as one of the real highlights of the Back To Brooklyn show.

Here is what the singer/songwriter had to say just a day before his amazing sold-out show at the Hollywood Bowl:

 

Stargayzing:  Now that the tour is almost over, what are your thoughts or impressions about these chances you’ve taken?

Jason Gould:  I’m still processing the experience.  The thing that surprised me most was how at ease I was on stage.  I didn’t know what to expect initially—I was prepared for the worst—I thought my knees might buckle or I wouldn’t be able to go out on the stage at all, but I was surprisingly at ease.  Writing songs and singing them live is more about my spiritual life and continuing to grow—to trust myself and starting to accept myself.  I’m keeping everything in perspective—there’s no pretense about what I’m doing.

Stargayzing:  Did you watch any of the footage of your performances on YouTube?

JG:  I haven’t yet.  (Laughing) I’m not sure if I want to!

Stargayzing:  I was struck by how self-assured you were on stage and I wondered how you managed the anxiety?  It’s a tremendous challenge I would think to make your singing debut in front of 20,000 people!

JG:  Thank you.  You know, I did a lot of breathing exercises and meditating and that helped.  Also, I noticed that the nervous energy I felt was actually a positive thing that helped me on stage.

Stargayzing:  How aware of the audiences were you?

JG:  I felt a lot of support from the audience—very accepted and seen—it was lovely, but I didn’t get off on it the way some people probably do.   I appreciated the warmth and the acceptance I got but it doesn’t make me high, like I imagine it does for some performers.  For me, part of the excitement and challenge of doing this is to be present—in the moment—and not know what I’m going to do vocally.  As the show went on I used This Masquerade as political commentary.  I would say different things before the song—sometimes talking about the political division in the country—and made it more about that than about a personal relationship.

Stargayzing:  Are you excited about the Hollywood Bowl gig?  Los Angeles is your home town.

JG:  It’s not exactly that for me.   To tell you the truth, I actually feel dread the day I have to perform.

Stargayzing:  Did Barbra give you any advice or tips when you were working together?

JG:  Yeah, she helped me with my mic technique!

Stargayzing:  Well she would know!  Did you and your mom grow closer through this experience?

JG:  I think so.  Though it may seem like a paradox, singing together in front of thousands of people, well, there’s an intimacy.

Stargayzing:  When we initially spoke about your music and particularly the peformance aspect of this, you were very clear about this being a sort of experiment; a way of challenging yourself and growing personally and creatively.  I’m wondering where your thoughts are now that the tour is almost over.

JG:  Well, this was a challenge for me.  I felt really good about the EP, but as far as live performance, I was really unsure what would happen.  I would say I’m actively considering my options!

Stargayzing:  Has there been any talk about possibly continuing the tour—perhaps traveling abroad?

JG:  Well, I think it may be a possibility, but no one has said anything to me directly.

Stargayzing:  Are you excited to be home?

JG:  It’s great to be home!

 

You may also enjoy:

The Son Also Rises: Jason Gould Finds His Own Voice.  A Stargayzing Exclusive Interview

In Honor of Barbra Streisand’s 70th Birthday: How America’s Greatest Voice Helped Me Find My Own

A Gay Man Comes of Age:  Stargayzing Guest Columnist John Richkus Remembers November 1, 1970: The Night Barbra Streisand Sang For Bella Abzug

 

 

10 Comments

  1. Amy Erickson
    January 1, 2013 at 3:59 am
    Reply

    Wonderful interview! I would have LOVED to see them sing live but alas, they didn’t come to Minneapolis 🙁
    However, the performances on YouTube were AMAZING! I had to show my sister over Christmas and even she cried hearing Jason’s voice! (and she never cries) 🙂
    Fabulous!!! I hope Jason comes to Mpls on tour someday and I hope to be in the front row <3

  2. Amy Erickson
    January 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm
    Reply

    PS: LOVED the banter between mom and son! Jason was adorable!(Philadelphia, he sounded like a young boy- so cute!) Asking Barbra where she was going and telling her not to go too far- he’s my age but I get that whole mom/child thing 🙂
    He gained confidence by the time they performed at the Hollywood Bowl; very funny 🙂

    • David Munk
      January 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Amy. Thank you for reading and checking in. Happy New Year!

  3. Amy Erickson
    January 7, 2013 at 12:29 am
    Reply

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you as well David!!! May it be nothing but fabulous for all!

  4. Dena
    April 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm
    Reply

    Dear David,
    Thank you for a wonderful follow up article. Having only just discovered Jason’s beautiful voice (I haven’t stopped listening to Morning Prayer since I bought the E.P. – I am truly savoring it, and find it hard to move on. The lyrics make me think of my beloved sister, and best friend who died suddenly in her sleep in Nov. 2011. I know this song has such a universal and yet personal spiritual meaning for every listener … but if you listen as someone who has lost a loved one, it is so moving it is hard to stop listening to (as I am evidence of …) it feels so beautiful, and personal, and special in a way that only Jason’s voice could make it sound! Please encourage him to continue to perform, or at least write and record! Maybe by the time he makes his next recording I will have been able to soak in this entire E.P.! Thank you for sharing your friend with your readers, and for helping us to see what a gentle and grace filled spirit he has, something that is a rare find in such a multi-talented individual. He is a well rounded, beautiful person, and it comes through in both his music, his humor,, and your friendship. I feel privileged to have read this and to have better insight into such kind and sensitive artists as Jason and yourself. I wish you both continued success, and selfishly look forward to it with great anticipation! Fondly, Dena

    • David Munk
      April 28, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      Hi Dena,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful words which I will pass along. There is a song on Jason’s EP called “Hello” that has a very unique perspective on the kind of personal loss you describe and which I think you will find tremendously comforting.

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment and for signing up for the newsletter!

      Warmly,

      David

  5. Rick
    August 10, 2013 at 10:10 am
    Reply

    Thank you so much for the interviews David. I’ve been swooning over Jason for years, so I feel my taste thoroughly vindicated to learn he’s worth knowing and has some depth. If I admitted I ran a Mr Right list I’d also have to admit he checks too many “yes!” boxes to be true lol

    From that perspective, his voice and his music certainly hit a home run with me. I really don’t have to hit myself on the head to know I want to be that man he sings “Morning Prayer” to. I get the sensual, I get the spiritual. It’s a frustratingly beautiful one-way communication.

    Haha yeah I know I got it real bad…where do the JG groupies line up?

    • David Munk
      August 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Rick. Sorry for the belated reply. I’ve been on hiatus for a week or two but wanted to get back to you. I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview. I hope you’ll stay in touch and continue reading Stargayzing. If you want to sign up for the letter on the home page it is a really easy way to get a monthly stargayzing fix! Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Oh yeah, I passed your thoughts along to Jason!

  6. Rick
    August 18, 2013 at 1:31 am
    Reply

    No problem – hope you enjoyed the break. Yes I’ve just subscribed – I’ve read a few of your pieces and I really like the way you write. It’s very intelligent and insightful and makes enjoyable reading. It must be good because I don’t have much of an attachment to all things celebrity!

    Thanks for passing my comments on to Jason…I think…haha. Let’s just hope that the rest of his life and career aren’t defined by lurid fandomania and highly subjective reviews like mine!

  7. Dianne
    May 29, 2014 at 8:32 pm
    Reply

    Hi David,
    Many years ago I was in an acting class with Jason. What a kind special soul. I am so happy that he has shared his talented gift with us all. Seeing him onstage is a delight. His honesty, warmth, and kindness shines on stage…It is his time and the right time for us all to enjoy who he is..
    Regards,
    Dianne Kay

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