9 months ago

HHr-PJM 2017-FINAL2 -Publishing Version

Pure Jazz Magazine covers the music called Jazz from a very unique perspective not seen in most publications. WANTED: Writers/ Social Media Reps For a Jazz-tastic Magazine Contact: Page 30 - Pure Jazz Magazine Chuck: Yes – you keep pressing ‘til you have to keep running, and keep pressing. So – and I remember my mother taught me that, and when I told her that I wanted to go to OU, she was like, “Oh, well – that’s going to be a challenge, I’m not quite sure how we’re going to be able to make that happen, but hold on to that thought, and we’ll go to prayer, and ask God to lead us and direct us, and guide us.” And I was performing in the Tulsa Little Theater in a production called, “South Pacific” – just hired as a dancer, singer with the show, and doing my thing, being “little Chucky”, and there was a guy sitting in the audience and his representative came back and said, “There is a man who is interested and wants to know what you’re going to do for college? They know that you’re – in your last year at OU – I mean at Booker T, so you’re going to college?” I said, “Yes sir, OU – I’ve been accepted. I want to go there.” And so he said, “Well he would like to meet with you and your parents, and his name is Julius C. Livingston, and you can go downtown Tulsa and I’ll give you the information.” I did, and we went and he was sitting in a big chair with his back to us, and when we sat down he wheeled around and he said, “I’m Julius Livingston and I tell you I think you’re just a spark of energy, and you have talent and charisma, and you’re just a delight on stage, and I want to help you with your education. We’ve already paid for your housing, and your tuition at OU. Aduni: Wow. Chuck: You know literally – I just… Aduni: Wow. Chuck: I couldn’t even speak. I had no control – tears just ran down my face. And my mother was like, “Thank you so much.” And he did that for four years. It’s walking by faith. And that showed me God will open the door… Aduni: Yeah. Chuck: If you believe – you just got to – Because I had somebody that I didn’t even know, who believed in me. Let alone my mother and my daddy. Aduni: Right. Chuck: And when we did productions they would say, “There’s a gentleman here, Rome Neal’s BANANA PUDDIN’ JAZZ with Featured Artists followed by Jazz Jam & Open Mic 9:00 P.M EVERY FIRST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH *COMPLIMENTARY BANANA PUDDING FOR ALL* At the world famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe 236 East 3rd Street, (bet B & C Aves.) For more Info: 718-288-8048 or Farmers insurance online

and he said don’t worry about trying to see them after the show, but they wanted to let you know that they just saw you, and they really enjoyed your performance.” Aduni: Tell me little bit about – because you were one of the first African Americans on Broadway – tell me a little bit about what you remember about first going in there, I mean you mentioned briefly that you had all the haters you know, so what else happened? Chuck: Well because I wasn’t part of the fabric, at the time, there was a certain little small group of black singers, dancers, actors and when I came into New York, in 1970, they were like, “And who is this?” Because “Hello Dolly” with Pearl Bailey was the first big African American show; well I ended up being in that show, and I met all of the “old diva’s” who had been around New York City, bumping around for years trying to get a role here, and a role here, and they might have a black person in like “Promises, Promises”, or a black person in some show, but none where black people were featured. And so when I came along, it was like a little test for some of them, because I was infringing upon their territory and – “So are you a singer, dancer – a dancer, singer – what are you?” They would walk up you know with their attitudes, so – “Where are you from?” And some were like - I mean real kind of bitchy quality and aggressive…. like the Summer Stock experience, what I’m saying – it prepared me for the people – I met those people before. In Summer Stock, so I was ready. I said, “I’m neither. I’m not a singer or a dancer, and I’m not a dancer or a singer”, I’m a singer, I’m a dancer, and I’m an actor – and you can toss it up and let it fall anyway you want to, but that is what I am.” Aduni: Triple threat. (Laughs) a couple of them, “And get out of my d**** face.” But those experiences in Summer Stock, those little racist people, and the hard-core older people who are threatened by young talent – I had to learn how to deal with them. And so when I got to New York, I was fairly ready for them. And these are black people. And they came for me, I mean they really came for me. “Who do you think you are coming…?” “Did you go to PA?”, “OU? – what’s OU?” “Cowboys and Indians?” I mean I got, like they called you tumbleweeds, I got that whole – OK –Oklahoma here, and they would address me as Oklahoma. It’s like – “No my name is actually Chuck – Cissel.” Aduni: (Giggles) Chuck: “That’s what it is – now you can call me OK – but you’ll get it- you’ll get it soon”. Because when I went into “Purlie”, after “Hello Dolly”, and I went into “Purlie” – Joyce Brown and Louis Johnson cast me in the role that Al Perryman had created, and Al Perryman was one of the true, outstanding dancers in New York City, and when I took on that role that’s when they all went… “Okay”… Now we see – he’s got something. And me and Debbie Allen was sister and brother, and she was new too, but see she freaked them out. Because I can remember in an audition she was sitting in a Chinese split with her legs sitting out here (he widens his hands from his palms outward) saying, “I am just not warmed up today, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” Aduni: (Laughing) Chuck: And they were looking at her like… Aduni: What the… right. Chuck: She freaked them out, and then she would get up and bring her leg up here (he raises one arm perpendicular to his ear and moves it back and forth) “I’m so tight.” Chuck Cissel and writer Rese Anderson-Aduni 646.492.2904 Sololist to Choir Info@ Chuck: And I had a little attitude with it. And like you know – and then I had to tell Adni: Yeah (Laughing) Pure Jazz Magazine - Page 31