SKII: What motivated you to start acting?
*Jerry: When I was younger, I used to do “Puppet Shows.” I was able to talk with a Jerry Mahoney Puppet and a Danny O’Day puppet. I remembered how I employed another kid who already had a Danny O’Day puppet to do little skits with the puppet shows. I was only 6 years old then, and it was very exciting to me. I realized then that I am able to take people to another level and allow them to forget their problems.
*Michelle: The work that I do with Jerry is what motivated me to do acting. He got me involved with The Scrooge cast and then it flourished from there.
SKII: When did you know acting was your calling?
*Jerry: Around 1978 is when I began to become more involved with acting. In 1979, I was in a Dracula stage play. I starred as Renfield. I knew I could do it, and believe I was good at it. Because of the Dracula play I met my first wife. I could still remember it. I was on stage and she was in the audience. Someone kicked a foot light and it shined directly into the audience. I looked into the audience and that is when I first saw her.
I immediately became smitten by her. As I continue to look at her from the stage, I said to myself “That’s My Wife”. After the play was over, I was looking for her. I saw her as she was leaving the building and it was pouring rain. I ran and found myself directly under her umbrella. While I was under her umbrella, I started reciting lines to her from the play in the Pouring Rain. I asked her if she would like a cup of coffee. She agreed to have that cup of coffee with me. From that moment on, we started dating and then we became engaged in 1981. In 1982 we were married.
*Michelle: It was never my calling until I became involved with Jerry. We worked on a lot of projects together. I started doing some acting with Jerry and then other things. That’s how I became involved with acting.
SKII: How did you meet Michelle Jerry:
*Jerry: I went online to meet someone. I’ve noticed that the many people whom I met, eventually become my business buddy instead of my girlfriend. I wanted a place to find someone who wasn’t attached to the acting and the movie world. So, I went on a dating site. I went out with several girls from there, besides my normal rotation. One day, I received an alert on the phone. The alert on the phone said; “A Diamond in The Rough” wants to meet you. I looked at the picture and we then agreed to meet.
We took a stroll on a beach called Sunken Meadow Park in Long Island. Mind you, that beach we were walking on was not a nude beach. The beaches I loved going to were on the south shore and taking my clothes off was for me the greatest thing since sliced bread. So, on her clothed beach, as we strolled, it was hard for me to keep my clothes on. Especially for a first date.
She was wonderful. We walked on that beach for about four hours. At that time, afterwards, Michelle only wanted a cup of coffee. She is the type of women who doesn’t want a man to spend a lot of money on her. I suppose that if she didn’t like the guy, she wouldn’t feel bad for a large expense. After the coffee, we departed and began texting each other. I remembered her going to Boston and she started sending me pictures of a glass exhibit she went to. As she was sending those pictures, something struck me and I said, she likes you. We went on some interesting dates. I knew I had a future with her the moment I looked into her eyes. I started asking her to go shopping with me at supermarkets. What turned out to be dates to the market turned out to be a strong bond between us.
SKII: I asked jerry this question and now I’m asking you. How did the two of you meet Michelle?
*Michelle: We met on a dating site, and I saw he played Ebenezer Scrooge in a Dickens Town Festival on Long Island. I also have a Christmas Village in my house for the holidays. Going out with him and getting in the festival made me feel like I was living a fantasy.
SKII: Jerry. You’ve also mentioned a lady that once said that you were going to be famous. Can you tell me a little something about her?
*Jerry: Your talking about a woman by the name of Ann Calderone. After I wasn’t able to go to my nude beach anymore because of Hurricane Sandy, I found a simple fill the time job working for a senior center as a bus driver. I actually have a full CDL License to drive a bus, and I got that to have one more thing on my acting resume.
Anyway, I would pick up people from the senior center by a bus on Sundays, and take them to church and then back to the senior center, where I did stand up comedy and to this day Scrooges Dream. Ann was a lady that I have met while working there who have always believed in Saint Joseph the Worker. She felt that she could vision the future. Now, there were times when I would listen to her more than others, and there were times when I tried to avoid her because she would say the same things over and over again. But the times I would listen to her she would always say, June 6 is Saint Joseph Day. You have to go to Saint Joseph and light a candle. Now Saint Joseph’s church is right behind the Atria, the Senior Center.
So do you remember when I told you she used to think that she can vision the future. Well when she used to speak to me, she would say; “I see you behind a TV desk”. “I see you interviewing people”. I used to say yeah. “I’m not that kind of actor. I’m the type of actor that want to be in movies” but, she kept insisting that she see me behind a TV reporters desk. I see you interviewing people. I said to her, I’m not a newscaster. She then said ok but that’s the dream I got from Saint Joseph.
One day in May, she suffered a severe heart attack and she went into a hospital and later a nursing home. I didn’t see her anymore, but I wanted to. One day I decided that I wanted to see her. I had just missed the lighting of the candle on June 6 – because of an audition I had in the city.
I found out the following Sunday from someone who said, did you hear what had happened to her? I said no. They told me that she died on June 6. So apparently, she was predicting her own death. They said she died at 12:01 AM on Saint Josephs day.
However The Feast of St Joseph, The Worker was on March 19th, I later found that out. All along, she was seeing and predicting her own death day. And, Low and behold, she was right about me being behind a desk interviewing people because I did get a job with MadHouseTV doing that.
SKII: Where were you born and raised?
*Jerry: Ridgewood Queens New York is where I was born and raised.
*Michelle: Plainview Long island.
SKII: What schools have you attended?
*Jerry: I went to St Matthias, Roman Catholic school, and for High School, The High School of Art & Design for advertising. For college, I went to The School of Visual Arts, and later still, onto Hoffstra, and Briarcliff, where I also taught classes. I also took some classes in Farmingdale College as well. So I do have a lot of college behind me.
Beyond my associates, I’m not sure what other degrees I accrued but thats because I went to so many colleges for courses alone. What I realized early on back then, is in this business, you don’t need the degrees. You need to have the skills, the foresight and the conceptual mind set.
*Michelle: Long island college is where I received my Bachelor in Education. Adelphi University is where I got my Masters in Special Education (Special ED).
SKII: Do you have any siblings in the Acting industry?
*Jerry: I have three brothers and one sister and they are not in the acting business. My sister Judy and brother Ronny both live in South Carolina, and they have more of a sedate life. I have a brother Bobby who is a caregiver to my mother. My youngest brother Richard is somewhat funny. But, he would not get up in front of a crowd to do comedy, or wouldn’t take off his clothes in public like I can and did. He gets scared in front of an audience.
*Michelle: No. Not at all. I have a brother who lives in Boston and another brother who lives in California. Neither of whom are associated with the acting industry.
SKII: What did you do before MadHouseTV? Are you still employed by your company before them?
*Jerry: Well with MadHouseTV, I produce four TV shows for Long Island cable vision Channel 20. “The Bridge to Health”, “Legal Straight talk”, “The Long Island View” and “The Filmmakers Show”. I am told, that those are the best four tv shows from MadHouseTV on channel 20 in Long Island. I’m proud of that however, I am still working in advertising and marketing. I’ve been doing advertising all my life. I worked for the largest agencies in the world. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Foote Cone and Belding, The Omnicom agencies, Young and Rubicam’s Chapman Direct Mail Division. When I left the city, I worked at Publishers Clearing House as a senior Art Director and was on the famous Prize Patrol, giving out big checks to unsuspecting winners.
After I left Publishing Clearance House in 2000 I went to work at Sleepy’s. The mattress Professionals in their art department. I have done a lot of advertising for Sleepy’s. You may see some of my artwork on their walls in stores today. I worked for them for four years. Once I left Sleepy’s, I started my own advertising agency called AdCount Marketing Solutions, Inc. I’ve been on my own ever since. It’s my bread and butter which carries me through with my acting world.
*Michelle: I do consulting. I do everything from working with a child in the house to parent training to consulting with children with Autism. So basically I run my own business.
SKII: What’s you expectations/aspirations in life?
*Jerry: If I could have one dream come true in life, It would be to use the biggest vessel known to most people. That is the movie screen. I go by one set of rules. I am not religious and I want to highlight that fact, but I believe you don’t say thank you to GOD, You show thank you. No matter what I do, church, no church, this that and/or another, the truth to the reality is… A person should show how much they thank GOD by his or her actions, for what he’s done. Don’t only say it because talk is cheap. When I say I am going to come out to help people, for example when I said I was coming out there to put you guys in stuff, it was done. So don’t say it, just do it.
*Michelle: I have one son Joshua and he is a sophomore in college at Cornell University. His major is Mechanical Engineer. He’s working with a team whom are building airplanes that flies without a person. My aspirations is to see him succeed in life. I want him to get on his feet and to become successful. I want to continue to help families with kids who have learning disabilities. And last but not least is to continue to help Jerry build his empire.
SKII: If you can go back into time, What would you tell a younger you?
*Jerry: To Keep doing what your doing because it’s working.
*Michelle: Stay focused in what you believe in and be positive about it.
SKII: Tell me about your acting/roles experiences?
*Jerry: I have had a collection of independent films that I’ve starred in since 1976. I’ve done the Scrooge Group and the Scrooges Dream. A full episode of Caught Red Handed, I am in billboards and bus shelters, as well as 2 covers from the Long Island Newspaper Newsday I can be seen in The Americans, Inside Amy Schumer, Gotham, Person Of Interest, Two sets of Woody Allen scenes, The new Morgan Freeman film “Going in Style” ABC’s The Family (which airs in January) where I play the principal with a speaking role, and several more.
Everything together not including MadHouseTV is a total of 16 TV and movie shows that I have done last year. 2015 was very good to me.
SKII: Michelle have you ever been on television before MadHouseTV? If so, can you tell me a little about your experiences?
*Michelle: The Scrooge with Jerry is what started me with acting and it grew from there. Prior to that, no acting roles or anything at all.
SKII: Did you have any children before Michelle and are you guys planning to have any?
*Jerry: I have three beautiful children of my own. Daniel who is married to Laura and they have twin girls – Amber and Abby. Danny graduated from St. Josephs college. A son named Michael – who is an entrepreneur. He is a musician who lives with us in the house. He graduated from Stony Brook College. I also have a daughter Alissa who has 3 children. She also has a set of twins herself with her fiancé Dominck. Kendall is the oldest of her three children. Kendall proudly gave me the name Grandpa. Her two younger twin brothers name are Dominic and Cameron.
My daughter continuously goes to night college but raising a family of three is hard for her. Joshua who is Michelle’s son lives with us. He is very brilliant. He goes to Cornell University. As for the two of us possibly having children, that’s not in the works. We might adopt a child one day. It doesn’t matter about the skin tone or nationality. That doesn’t matter to us.
*Michelle: I have my one son Joshua and Jerry have his three children – Daniel, Michael and Alissa
SKII: What’s next for you Jerry & Michelle?
*Jerry: To continue with the movie career. Getting more clients and possibly getting rid of some of the smaller clients that I have. Advertising is a progression. You can do the same thing for a bigger client as well as a smaller client. In truth, they keep me going and feed my love which is the acting field.
*Michelle: To continue doing what we, myself and Jerry are doing to build ourselves and also to continue to enrich the families life while they are dealing with children with Autism.
SKII: Dynamic Duo is what I call them. You don’t see one without the other. From The MadHouse to The PlayHouse is where their ventures end but, their lives before those two are just as much fulfilling. Like Catwoman to Batman or Alice to Ralph – They always get their man and/or woman whether they are serious or being comedic. Jerry & Michelle Parisi – They Are “Dynamic Duo’s” On The Rise!