A GoPride Interview

Jim Verraros

Jim Verraros interview with ChicagoPride.com

Thu. July 26, 2007  by Jerry Nunn

Jim Verraros
What’s Been Eating Jim?

From American Idol’s first season to television appearances and movies, Jim Verraros is constantly on the move. Jerry Nunn from the Windy CIty Times sat down with and discussed what’s been on the menu for Jim.

JN: You seem like a busy guy. How do you handle everything on your plate?

JV: It is all about balance. I don’t live in LA anymore.

I live in Chicago, so I think for me it works out the best. I have a lot of family and friends here. I tried the whole LA thing and, to be honest, it was not my cup of tea. I fly to LA to work then I come home at the end of the day.

JN: Well, LA is fun to visit.

JV: Totally, but living there left a bitter taste in my mouth.

JN: So you grew up in Chicago?

JV: I was born in Mount Prospect, Illinois. I lived in Crystal Lake pretty much my whole life.

JN: Did you always want to be a singer and what was your training?

JV: I grew with a lot of musical theatre. At seven, I was cast in a high school show. When I went away to college at Columbia in Chicago, I heard about American Idol. I didn’t want to be the next Justin Timberlake, I just wanted to go and see what it was all about. It was the first season so no one knew what it was. When I walked into the hotel there was no one in line. And I was like, “Excuse me, am I in the right place?” And they said, “We are just waiting for more people to show up.”

JN: That’s funny compared to how it is today.

JV: I know because now they have huge arenas filled with people. The rest is history. I was ninth in the country. We got to put out a record on RCA and it went gold. I went on tour in thirty cities. I got to play at the All State Arena and it was the time of my life.

JN: And now they are doing this American Idol Rewind, you have new appearances on there right?

JV: Yeah, it’s cool because it gives more recent fans a chance to see people like Carrie or other winners of the show. Kelly called it “Ghetto Idol” which was totally what it was. I mean, we didn’t have the big sets, it was all cardboard. We had to wear our own clothes and people like “eww, we hate their outfits.” Well, that is because that’s all we had. We didn’t have the money. We were eating Twizzlers and Nutri-Grain bars to get by because that is all they could give us.

JN: It was like let’s get a barn and put on a show!

JV: Pretty much. They were adding things and taking them away. We just had to go with the flow. I was 19 at the time and so excited. Not knowing where it would take me. It was a great time.

JN: You have been on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show, what do you think of him?

JV: He’s kind of arrogant. I am not going to lie. He was cool at the time but that was before everything had taken off. The person that I really cared for was Paula. I just saw her in January and she looked great. I just don’t like the flack she gets.

JN: Maybe the new reality show will help her. So you have your CD Rollercoaster to be proud of.

JV: Yes, I am working on the follow up right now and promoting the movie Eating Out 2.

JN: Tell me about that.

JV: Well, I will be signing copies at Borders with Mink Stole.

JN: I love her!

JV: She is such a gay icon, especially in the gay independent film circuit. To have her play my mother was such an honor. I am looking forward to seeing her again and hanging out.

JN: She comes across as this crazy lady in all these movies.

JV: Yeah, she does it so well. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! She had a tough time yelling the word “faggot.” Because many of her friends are gay and she is such a support for the community. That was really hard, but you have to look at it like it’s a comedy.

JN: Maybe we should have a burial for that word too.

JV: It was meant in a funny way, not derogatory. Mink Stole is very sweet, grounded and down to earth.

JN: Do you think there will be a part three?

JV: Who knows? Someone made a funny comment about calling it Eating Out 3: Menage Twat. My character could go to camp and fall in love with some military dude. We could have a “don’t ask don’t tell” segment.

JN: You could be a writer now. What’s next for you?

JV: I thought about Broadway. It’s just finding the right project. I am currently shooting a darker movie right now in LA and a musical in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next March.

JN: You are one my friends on myspace.com. Is there somewhere people can get more information about what you are up to these days?

JV: At www.jimverraros.com and people can just click on a button to go the myspace site.

JN: Great. We just want to say from Windy City Media Group, that we appreciate you helping us being a judge in the past for our Windy City Idol competition . You were awarded a 30 under 30 Award from our company and we want to continue to support the projects that you do. So everyone should visit the Borders at 2817 North Clark Street on July 28 @ 2 p.m for the signing.

JV: I am so grateful to you guys and look forward to seeing my fans at Borders.

This interview was originally published in the Windy City Times and provided in partnership with www.windycitymediagroup.com.

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.