Meet “Catch Me If You Can’s” Tapping D.A. – Isaac Jackson!
Most of the talented and accomplished cast of all San Diego Musical Theatre’s productions have day jobs that span the gamut from Doctors, Accountants, Photographers, etc. In “Catch Me If You Can”, we again have, who is fondly referred to as the Tapping DA, San Diego Deputy District Attorney – Isaac Jackson. “Catch Me If You Can” is Isaac’s third SDMT show previously seen in 2019 production of “All Shook Up” and “Crazy For You”.
Isaac Jackson is a Deputy District Attorney with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. A San Diego native, Isaac received his BA from UC Berkeley in 2012 and his JD cum laude from UC Hastings College of the Law in 2016. Outside the office, Isaac serves on the Board of Directors for UC Berkeley’s Bowles Hall Foundation, mentors elementary school students in connection with the DA’s Power League program, coaches mock trial for the UC Hastings Trial Team, and is an active member of the South East San Diego Rotary Club.
We caught up with Isaac to learn more about him and his more creative side!
When did your interest in Musical Theatre originate?
It’s hard to say exactly when I became interested in musical theater. I recall watching movies like The Lion King and Aladdin and always singing along. In elementary school, my parents allowed me to join the San Diego Youth Master Chorale which is where I first learned about performing on the stage and musicals.
What was the first Musical Theatre production you were in?
The first musical I ever did was Annie with San Diego Youth Master Chorale. I was around 12 years old and we performed the show at O’Farrell Middle School here in San Diego. I played Rooster and I distinctly remember gluing on my mustache for every show.
What inspired you to pursue a career that landed you as a deputy district attorney?
In the 3rd grade, I told my parents that I wanted to be a lawyer. At the time, I think I just wanted to stand in a courtroom and yell “Objection!” but over time I realized I had a desire to have a positive impact in my community. I learned in college at UC Berkeley how the Law can shape our world. After college, I was an investigations intern at the Public Defender’s Office. During Law school at UC Hastings I interned at several local District Attorney’s Offices. I realized it was Prosecutors that make critical decisions about which crimes get charged. They are also often responsible for representing and protecting the most vulnerable people in our society. After interning at a DA’s office, I knew it was the right place for me.
How do you balance your musical theatre roles with your Deputy District Attorney responsibilities?
Time management is always difficult, but the truth is musical theater makes me a better prosecutor. Not only in presentation skills, but because it gives me an outlet for creative expression and a way to escape from some of the heavy issues I have to deal with on a day to day basis as a prosecutor. I sought out musical theater roles in 2018 because I knew my life needed balance. Having free time is useless if you spend that time being unhappy.
With your DA background, what parts of CMIYC do you connect with?
I connect with the rehabilitative aspect of the musical. People don’t often realize this play is about someone who commits crime, takes advantage of people, and has to pay the consequences. 7 years in prison is no light sentence! One good thing the show does is portray to audiences that having a past that you aren’t proud of does not preclude you from have an amazing future. Frank Abagnale Jr. is an example of how we can’t judge people by their past, but by their potential.
What do your co-workers think about your musical theatre escapades?
My co-workers are often shocked to find out that I am a lawyer by day, performer by night. When they find out they are always very excited to come see me in these shows. I’m very privileged to have co-workers that are so supportive of the arts.
What is your dream role?
I suppose my dream role is Pippin. I relate to his journey of trying to find his place in this world and I would love to sing “Corner of the Sky”
Who is your tap dancing inspiration?
As a child, I always wanted to be Fred Astaire. I would drive my parents crazy as I would “tap dance” in my church shoes anytime we went to the grocery store after Sunday morning service. After I actually started to learn tap, I was inspired by Gregory Hines. It was important for me to see someone who looked more like me who was pursuing his passion in tap.
What will audiences love most Catch Me If You Can?
Audiences will love the sheer exuberance that comes with this show. The cast is so talented and again, I feel so privileged to be counted among them. There are several show stopping numbers where the costumes, lights, and choreography are simply spectacular. On top of that, the creative team made new choices that bring more heart and modern touches to this story. It really is a show that people should catch, if they can!
SDMT Presents “Catch Me If You Can” | February 11 – March 13, 2022
Director: Allison Spratt Pearce
Choreographer: Xavier J. Bush
Music Director: Richard Dueñez Morrison
Click HERE to purchase tickets!