How being cast in the show “HAIR” changed my life

Jessica (Kluger) Marciel

Jessica (Kluger) Marciel – HAIR 1969

 

I had been a recording artist at 12, with Capitol Records ‘World Pacific Jazz’    I then moved to Las Vegas and was in three rock bands, opening act for ‘Santana’, ‘Sweetwater’, ‘Cream’, ‘Iron Butterfly’, ‘Three Dog night’, ‘Steppenwolf’, and many others.  My graduation from High school, found me in a new direction,,Musical Theater.

My first adult venture, was flying off to Los Angeles after high school, living in a motel in Hollywood, and really going for it on my own for the first time since recording as a solo artist. I lived at a  motel alone, at 18, back in my home town, but far away from the San Fernando Valley, where I grew up.

I was so lonely, and the agent that flew me out there was giving me the creeps…But, finally, I had an audition,,

I had never really heard any of the music from the Broadway show, HAIR, wasn’t familiar with it. But unless you lived in a cave, you knew it was innovative and very popular.

I got a funky tie dye thin fabric Indian blanket, and sewed arms in it, and got blue velvet slinky pants from a thrift shop. I looked the part, for the audition.

Because I was so young, just 18, I was cast “because I would be a good Chrissy”, eventually,  the ingenue in the cast. Good timing!! I was a tribe member for a long time, but loved the family that we all became, so much that we are all still in touch some 40 plus years later.  The producer Michael Butler left his home up in the hills open to us, to swim, and just hang out. We also would go to Santa Barbara to watch him  play Polo..

The show is one of a world with Peace and Love and understanding. No hate and no homophobia. Sadly, the world is  far from that even now. We sang of Pollution, and climate change,,,Yes,, we tried, and were aware of all that is going on still !…      We sang of accidental pregnancy,  The role I was the understudy for, and got to do once,,’Jeanne’,, the actress Teda Bracci was so amazing in it,, I was intimidated to fill her fat suit even once!

My  first big show was the show of the decade, and here I was , just the lucky one, right out of school, jumping in with both feet,, Bare feet, we wore no shoes.   We started before the show did, out in the audience handing out flowers and sitting on peoples laps to shock them, then the chimes rang and we  Froze!!  After we froze, we in slow motion made our way to the stage. The people who had never seen it had no idea we were the cast. They must have thought we were audience flower people or something.

The show was so moving, and it gave you chills every night. When we are acting out a show on these very touchy  yet very important issues, you can’t help but get involved.  Very few of the cast became conservative.  We were actors, yes, but doing this show helped form our views.  Well, most of us.

 

The show made me  a caring and sensitive person, and this would last my entire life.

Every night, watching the character, “Claude,” die from the war in Vietnam. I still feel it. I have voted ever since, and will always keep my eye on the ball. I care about this country, I thank Ragni and Rado for writing this masterpiece, and I thank Teddy Neeley, Yes,, Jesus Christ Superstar himself, for hiring me. I auditioned for him and Armond Coulet. Also, a very lovely man. Kay Cole for blocking me in the show, helping me Jump in fast, and get going.. So, Let the sun shine, and pray for peace.  One day???

Jessica Marciel
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