"I am definitely less green than I was back then. What I meant by that was that I wasn't an actor and really at that point had no intention of continuing to pursue acting. What I did in ‘Rent’ was just very natural. From day one I just connected to the role and the music and I think that's why I was successful in it." Adam Pascal
Singing in various heavy metal and hard rock bands by age 12, Adam Pascal stumbled into musical theater and received rave reviews for his performances as Roger Davis in the rock opera “Rent” and as Radames in the Elton John and Tim Rice rock opera “Aida.” The Tony-nominated actor also portrayed the Emcee on the Broadway musical “Cabaret.” Additionally, he co-produced the hit Off-Broadway play "Fully Committed" (2000) at the Cherry Lane Theatre.
On screen, this 6' tall, handsome blond player has appeared in the films "SLC Punk!" (1998), "The School of Rock" (2003), "Temptation" (2004), the film adaptation of his Broadway play, "Rent" (2005), and "American Primitive" (2008). He also guest starred in an episode of "Cold Case" and will next be seen starring in the upcoming comedy film "Goyband."
"I want to be Russell Crowe! That's my dream role. Not really. I always wanted to play Frank-N-Furter [in The Rocky Horror Show], but I don't think I ever will. I have always been a huge fan of that musical. That's really it. I'm sort of ignorant when it comes to musical theater roles. Oh well, there's another one. This is sort of funny. I always had a desire to play Mark in ‘Rent,’ to get to play all of that from another angle. I know I never will though. Hedwig, too, I actually auditioned for it at a point when Michael Cerveris was supposed to leave, but he decided to stay." Adam Pascal
Now a seasoned Broadway veteran, with a few motion pictures roles under his belt as well, Pascal returned to his roots and released his first solo album in 2000, titled “Model Prisoner,” in which he wrote 10 of the 12 songs. His second solo album, "Civilian," was released on November 2, 2004.
Pascal has been married to cook, writer, and playwright Cybele Chivian since 1998 and has two sons with her.
Childhood and Family:
Born in the Bronx, New York, on October 25, 1970, Adam Jay Pascal was raised in Syosset, Long Island, where he moved when he was 10. The son of Wendy Seaman and Mel Seaman (stepfather), Adam attended the University of Southern Florida, in Tampa, Florida.
Often describing himself as a "total metal head" as a teenager, Adam was a member of the rock band “Mute” from junior high school to three months before he won his role in "Rent." He left “Mute” in September of 1995.
On December 19, 1998, Adam married Cybele Chivian, who is a cook, writer, and playwright. They have two sons, Lennon Jay (born in October 2001) and Montgomery Lovell (born in February 2004), both of whom are huge fans of “The Backyardigans.”
Adam's wife Cybele has written a book titled “The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook: Two Hundred Gourmet & Homestyle Recipes for the Food Allergic Family,” which contains recipes she created for her children, who have certain food allergies.
"It's weird, coming from me, because the way I ended up in this business was so random. All I can really say is if you have the passion to do it, if it's in your heart, all you can do is keep pursuing it and going even if you get knocked down. And be honest with yourself. Is it about the love of the work or being a star? If you want to be a star, go do something else. You'll be miserable. If it's about the work, then you should be happy if you never become a star, ultimately." Adam Pascal (on his best piece of advice for an aspiring artist)
Obsessed with “Queensryche,” “Iron Maiden,” and “Judas Priest,” young Adam Pascal realized that music was his passion and formed a rock band called “Mute,” at age 12. The youngster played his first live performance at his junior high school and would stay in the group until his college years.
"I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without my singing. I think that’s what my gift is. I feel like I’m a good actor, but I wouldn’t call myself a gifted actor. Being in ‘Rent’ changed my life in every single way. I had never done anything like that before and to go and become a major part of this thing that became a cultural phenomenon for a brief period of time was pretty wild. You really don’t realize it until you have a few years distance to look back at it. It was an incredible experience. It introduced me to a love of theater and a love of performing that type of material that I never knew I had. It established a career for me." Adam Pascal
Pascal, who had become drawn to the musical theater by this time, was informed by a friend about “Rent” auditions. He subsequently auditioned for the role of the HIV-infected punk rock guitarist Roger Davis in the production and won the role. For his powerful tenor voice and his brilliant performance in the theatrical debut, Pascal received a 1996 OBIE Award and a Theater World award and nominations at the 1996 Tony and Drama Desk awards for Best Actor in a Musical. Pascal would later reprise his role when “Rent” went to London (1998-1999).
Pascal made his film debut in bit part in the Sundance-screened comedy "SLC Punk!" (1999; starring Matthew Lillard), which was an independent film written and directed by James Merendino. He then co-produced the hit Off-Broadway play "Fully Committed" (2000) at the Cherry Lane Theatre. That same year, he also released his first solo album through Sh-K-Boom Records, "Model Prisoner" (2000), which featured 12 original rock songs.
During this time, Pascal created the role of Radames in the 2000 Original Broadway cast of Elton John and Tim Rice's “Aida” (at one time called "Elaborate Lives: The Story of Aida"). He later returned to reprise the role when the musical ended its triumphant four and a half year run. Pascal also performed on the "Today" show on June 8, 2000, by singing songs from the Broadway musical "Aida." He also appeared in Richard Linklater's musical comedy film "School of Rock" (2003).
Pascal next appeared as Freddie Trumper in a revival concert of "Chess" at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre in 2003 and portrayed the Emcee in the Broadway revival of “Cabaret” from October 2003 to January of 2004. He also played Claude Bukowski in a revival concert of "Hair" at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre and released his second solo album, titled "Civilian," on November 2, 2004.
2005 saw Pascal bring his original Broadway role of the musician Roger to the big screen adaptation of "Rent." His work in the film version earned him a Black Reel Award nomination for Best Ensemble and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award nomination for Critics Choice Award - Best Song (for the song "Seasons of Love"), both of which he shared with the film's cast members that included Rosario Dawson and Taye Diggs.
About film director Chris Columbus casting the original cast of “Rent” for the movie, Pascal commented, “The fact that Chris put us in the movie makes him a genius in my mind. To have the foresight to use the original cast and not a bunch of Hollywood 'it' kids is amazing in and of itself.”
Pascal reprised his role of Roger in “Rent” on Broadway for six weeks that began in July 2007 and later extended his return to the production for an extra four weeks through September. He also toured with piano player Larry Edoff in February 2008 to promote the new CD "Blinding Light.”
Pascal has completed his newest film project, "Goyband," a comedy directed by Christopher Grimm in which Pascal stars Bobby Starr.
"My intention is to try and do more TV and film stuff, so I would imagine the theater stuff is going to take a back seat. The music is always going to be there, but hopefully I can shift into more TV and film stuff and to continue what I’m doing musically. I would love to go back to Broadway, but there’s just nothing that’s right for me, or that I’m right for. There are no projects even on the horizon that are appropriate for me. So, it’s time to try something new." Adam Pascal
Theatre World: Best Actor in a Musical, “Rent,” 1996
Obie: Best Actor in a Musical, “Rent,” 1996