Jackson Gillman

Welcome. Allow me to introduce myself...

Jackson Gillman here, a.k.a. The Stand-Up Chameleon. Energy, wit, music, and wisdom are my stock-in-trade. More than 25 years in the business of speaking and performing have given me an enormous amount of material on which to draw as I customize an engaging program of comedy, music, and oratory for your event.

Humor can enliven and enlighten any group, meeting, or gathering, and mine is based on a foundation of beneficence, hope, and a belief in the enduring power of the human spirit.

With performances for groups large or small, of all age ranges, Jackson incorporates comedy, drama, music, dance, mime, and sign language into his own intimate style of theatre. Jackson believes that humor can enliven and enlighten any group, meeting, or gathering, and his is based on a foundation of beneficence, hope, and a belief in the enduring power of the human spirit. Whether for a professional group meeting or school assembly, nightclub audience or small group, Jackson's performances are always delightful, magical, inspiring, spellbinding, and thoroughly enjoyable. Talk to Jackson, and together you can develop a performance program that will be perfect for your next conference, meeting, banquet, or special event.


Programs for Professional/Adult Audiences

Disorderly Conduct
In his rollicking revue of song parodies, no musical form is safe or sacred with the Stand-Up Chameleon's disorderly conduct. In fact, it's all folked up, not to mention blues'd, country western'd, heavy metal'd, and rocked out! Special guests include the Lounge Lizard, the Plain White Rapper, Slimmer Pickins, Maestro, and Jackson's other altered egos in this inspired evening of foolishness and finesse.
"Almost impromptu in format, Gillman's program encouraged and received a great deal of willing participation. His charming and informal style makes the performance lively and fun."
Portland Press Herald

A Dad's Eye View - from twinkle-in-the-eye stage, to the baby's first steps…
For anyone who has helped raise a child, Jackson will have you laughing and sighing in recognition of the challenges and delights of baby-rearing in this endearing comedy/music revue.
"In his casual, extemporaneous-seeming style, Jackson captivated his audience with his new act… Interspersed throughout his engaging patter are songs Jackson has either written or collected to sing to his daughter or illuminate the parental condition…very sweet…funny stuff…not to be missed."
Bar Harbor Times

Jackson musically trips along the rutty road to enlightenment with many an insightful detour to view the spills along the way. SwamiRamaYogiBoobooSuchaWindbag and Jackson's other altered egos promise to warm the chakras of your heart and rattle your funnybone.
"Gillman's sharp-edged satire has audience howling... With all the jibing and poking fun, one quickly realizes that it takes one to know one. Gillman is able to affectively land his gentle punches right where it feels good because he knows his topic."
Portland Press Herald

Fool for Love
Jackson careens along the roller-coaster ride of love -- from the dizzying heights, to the plummeting dips, and all the derailments along the way to happily ever after.
"Gillman is no fool on love and he leaves no romance unsung. From schoolboy puppy love to downeast adulation, his approach is quick-witted, intelligent, and tasteful.
Bar Harbor Times

An Evening of Maine Humor
Come hear the Lobster Trap Rap and other wicked good downeast stories. Original, interactive, and in good taste, drawn from a decade of summer comedy performances.
"Gillman is funny, he's genuine, and he's got the tact of a tightrope walker. Who else sings comedy about the silly antics of tourists to a packed room of tourists?...he's a hell of a showman."
The Bar Harbor Times

Programs for Educational & Family Audiences

Riot in the Garden
Fun-filled science theatre, awarded Most Educational at the MOFGA Common Ground Fair.
"Not only was 'Riot in the Garden' educational, it was a delightful mix of comedy, music, and stories that delighted people of all ages."
Susan Pierce, Special Events Director, Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association

Doodlebugs, spiders, ants and other crawlies are featured in this low-life revue.
"Jackson's skills as a musician and teacher highlight the program from beginning to end! His mixture of humor, sensitivity, and educational content made him a perfect addition here at the Children's Museum."
Marilyn Solvay, Director of Education and Public Programs, Children's Museum of Maine

Wild Things
Nature in action, story and song.
"The presentation is a delight for all ages, but is so especially for children. Jackson's presentation is gentle, accurate in wildlife information, and nicely varied with a mixture of songs and stories with some audience participation."
- Ruth Grierson, Nature author, and columnist for The Bar Harbor Times

Autumn Wonders
A rich tapestry of the colors, sounds, and smells in a heartwarming, story and song-filled celebration of the season. "His sense of creative dramatics makes him the best storyteller I've ever had the pleasure to listen to... He creates an air of enthusiasm and energy."
Deborah Freitas, reviewing for the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario

The Man Who Planted Hope
An inspiring account of reforestation in Provence, adapted from the story by Jean Giono.
"Your poignant piece would be an ideal addition to any Earth Day celebration or classroom discussion of the fragile nature of the environment."
Andrea Shotkin, Director of Communications, North American Association of Environmental Education

Tall tales and songs from Maine's woods and waters.
"Here is powerful description and adventure, whimsy an inch thick, and a foggy aura of mystery and ancient sea lore. Together they make for an engrossing experience."
John Stansfield, reviewing for the National Storytelling Journal

Levity in Motion
Mime and stories for the family, airborne exploits and other childhood flights of fancy.
"Jackson is truly a very unique performer...one who is as adept and engaging with a group of children as he is with adults. Further, he can turn a broom into more things and dreams than you can, well...shake a broomstick at!"
Ed Rice, reviewing for Maine Public Broadcast Network

The Magic of Rudyard Kipling: Just So
The classic Just So Stories are brought to life through Jackson's intimate theatrical style and a score of lively characterizations.
"Jackson's enthusiasm and delight infuses these stories from beginning to end. He is very entertaining while remaining true to the stories as Kipling wrote them -- further testimony to the timeless quality of these tales."
Cynthia Ortiz, reviewing for the national School Library Journal

The Dancing Man
Lively, interactive songs and stories to move and groove with, featuring the title story by Ruth Lercher Bornstein. Program performed with sign language.
"Jackson IS the Dancing Man."
author Ruth Lercher Bornstein
"The use of sign language is integral to the show's presentation...a lovely aspect of the performance that lends to the sense of dance."
Laurie Schrieber, reviewing for the Bar Harbor Times

Harlequin and the Gift of Many Colors
Stories of friendship performed with sign language.
"Jackson is a versatile and personable artist with enlightening messages told in unique and upbeat ways. All of the children and their parents were enthralled by the quiet elegance of his stories. I was truly amazed with the fluidity of his communication - spoken, signed and portrayed through his movement."
Carol Stevens, National Registry of Interpreters with the Deaf
"Excellent presentation! Kept everyone's attention with his wonderful stories. His use of sign language is a highlight!
Chris Rosinski, sign interpreter for Charlestown NH schools

Holiday Revels
Heartwarming celebrations of the seasons, holidays and the human spirit.
Program performed with sign language.
"Jackson's talent as a mime creates a spell that will keep you and your children laughing and deeply moved at the same time. His use of sign language adds another dimension to the action. We presented the show last year, and it was such a hit we had to repeat it so more people could experience Jackson's amazing talent."
Arnold Greenberg, impresario of the Left Bank Cafe


Hard Knocks!
An intense one-man drama dealing with substance abuse within a family, mixing humor with the realities of life. Targeted for adults, but also appropriate for middle school ages and up. Designed to be easily incorporated into awareness programs.

The Perfect High
A selection of shorter comic sketches dealing with self-esteem, peer pressure, experimentation, and promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Mime, music, and participation, along with Jackson's altered egos, take you for a lighter-side look at the prevention of addiction.


Programs for Speakers & Other Performers

The First 15 Seconds
First impressions count. Hook 'em or lose 'em.
The first few seconds can either intrigue or alienate an audience. There are lots of options for starting a program. Workshop participants will share tried and true methods, and we'll explore new and different ways to engage an audience. Jackson has performed for the whole gamut - blind, deaf, toddling, senile, incarcerated, and drunk. Each group presents its own challenges. Consistently establishing successful rapport with audiences is what makes his job exciting. Take a look at how those First 15 Seconds can help make that happen.

Flak Happens
UCOs, UOs & PAIs
Unidentified Crawling Objects, Under-chaperoned Overexuberants, and PA Interruptions
Technical disasters, stray children, flickering lights, fire drills, you name it. It all happens. Some of these performance curve balls can be prevented, others ignored, and still others simply need to be dealt with. Jackson offers workshop tips and exercises to better prepare you for handling all these Great Unexpectations. Jackson has been pitched many curves in his performing career. He's been hit by some, struck out at others, he's walked, he's fouled, and he's deftly slammed some back -- but he's always learning. Learn along with him.

Being Your Own Critic
In this field, we often serve as our own director. Are you too hard on yourself sometimes? Not hard enough? Jackson will share tips and disciplines that will enable you to hone your craft, strengthen your repertoire, and broaden your performing horizons. Yet you'll proceed gently, so you'll enjoy the challenges and the growing process. By constructively processing inner and outer feedback, Jackson has developed methods for becoming a keener self-critic, and a continually improving performer.

Sign Language & Storytelling
Jackson's introduction to the beauty of sign language in performance. Many performers like to incorporate signing in their presentations, and this can be very effective. Jackson is well respected by the deaf for his several sign-interpreted shows. In this workshop, he'll discuss how to use signing responsibly, and you'll explore this bilingual (verbal and visual) approach to storytelling in a sign-along workshop.

E = mc+ (Event Equals Emcee, Plus)
Being the Host or Hostess with the Most or Mostest
Sometimes you'll find yourself cast as the "glue" that holds a show together. Other times, you simply have to introduce the next performer. Each is an important role that should be approached responsibly. Jackson will share guidelines, tips, and exercises that will enable you to be as supportive and effective as you can be in the roll of emcee. Being a host or hostess is always a challenging role. The better one gets at it, the better for all.

Landscaping/Interior Decorating Your Story
How clearly do your see your own stories' physical settings? How well are you able to create the imaginary "stage set" to help your listeners visualize the supporting landscape and actions? Jackson offers concrete exercises to assist tellers in transferring, by gesture, their internal landscapes to the stage.


What people are saying about Jackson ...

"Gillman is a masterly storyteller" able to "carve out entire street scenes with single gestures and the fewest of words. Everything about him -- his body, his voice, his choice of movements -- has a breathtaking economy that lets the simplicity of the story speak for itself. He has a quietly demanding presence."
Christian Science Monitor

"All in all, the incredible scope of Mr. Gillman's talents, the love of nature and Mt. Desert Island that permeates his routines, and the warmth of his relationship with the audience make an evening with Jackson well worthwhile."
Bar Harbor Times

"No garden variety performer."
Maine Sunday Telegram

"Jackson Gillman is a very funny fellow... a zany kind of comic mutant -- what you'd get if you worked up a mold for an entertainer that was one part mime and actor, one part stand-up comedian, and one part sheer storyteller."
Maine Public Broadcasting

"Your hour-long musical comedy routine was very well received by MADA conventioneers. Audience reaction was great, and you even managed to get some to participate in your routine -- not an easy accomplishment with our group. Your humor was a very good cap to the first day of our convention. Some were even heard to repeat portions of your routine the next day, generating another round of laughter."
Thomas T. Brown, Jr., Executive Vice-President,Maine Automobile Dealers Association, Inc.

"Jackson is a perennial favorite at the Common Ground Country Fair, both he and his material have grown during the fair's 21 year history. His consummate skills and warmth as an emcee ensure that the programs he hosts are a hit. No one has a chance to get tired of Jackson's material because it is fresh every year. Not only was "Riot in the Garden" educational, it was a wonderful participatory mix of comedy, music, and stories that delighted children of all ages. Our participants, who are career farmers, really enjoyed the customized version. Jackson added material about cranberry, potato, and apple farmers, details we've come to expect from him. As 'The Stand-Up Chameleon' Jackson can be relied on to do his part to make any event an unqualified success."
Susan Pierce, Special Events Director, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

"The entertainment that you provided for us was 'right on the mark.' Your many characters, funny stories, quirky skits, and musical spoofs really helped to 'lighten us up' after a long day of work. Engaging the audience was attention getting and quite lively. I especially appreciated the way you customized your program to address our requirements; the final song about the Internet was hysterical. I must say your title of 'The Stand-Up Chameleon' is most appropriate."

Karen K. Keefe, Organization Development & Education Manager, EMC2


Professional Speakers Bureau International

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