Jackson Brings Home a Freddy!

“I found that acting allowed me to express the emotions that are never talked about in the real world, and these emotions are very prevalent in the shows I have performed in and the characters I have portrayed over the years, “ senior Cody Jackson said. (Photo courtesy of Lors Photography Studio)

“I found that acting allowed me to express the emotions that are never talked about in the real world, and these emotions are very prevalent in the shows I have performed in and the characters I have portrayed over the years, “ senior Cody Jackson said. (Photo courtesy of Lors Photography Studio)

David Zimmermann, A&E Editor

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Lead actor Cody Jackson made history when he was recently awarded Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role at the 2019 Freddy Awards for his performance as Gomez in the Drama Club’s production of the spring musical, The Addams Family, making him the first male winner ever to come from Warren Hills.

The award also made him the school’s first Freddy Award winner since 2007.

Held annually at the State Theatre Center for the Arts in   Easton and broadcast live on WFMZ Channel 69, the Freddy Awards were established in 2003, in order “to recognize and reward exceptional accomplishments in the production and performance of musical theater in high schools in Lehigh and Northampton Counties, Pennsylvania, and Warren County, New Jersey,” according to their website.

Besides Jackson’s nomination, Warren Hills drama and band students received five other nominations as well for all their hard work in trying to bring The Addams Family to life.

These five nominations included Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra, Outstanding Performance by a Male Ensemble Member (Iyan Kariuki as Lurch), Outstanding Performance by a Featured Dancer (Kaileigh Cagnassola as The Moon), Outstanding Chorus, and Outstanding Stage Crew.

Jackson said when he heard his name called, he was so stunned he had to  ask Freddy Awards creator and producer Shelley Brown if she had in fact called his name, and then he asked the audience for confirmation,  too.

“I freaked out,” he said. “I legitimately blacked out and thought that I maybe misheard and I was stealing someone else’s spotlight.”

Jackson thanked his friends, family, teachers, directors, and especially his former theatre teacher and director, Clifford Platt, who died in June 2018 of lymphoma. Remembering Platt for his guidance, Jackson said that he could not have done it without him.

“I think that Mr. Platt would never accept a ‘thank you,’” he said. “He would like to believe his students did all of the work by themselves, but I would make sure he knew that I would never in a million years be able to do any of the work I have done by myself. He receives full credit for my acting knowledge.”

Jackson said although he is honored to have received the prestigious award, he does not intend to pursue acting as a career.

  Instead, he desires to do the same thing his mentor did.

“I see myself in the future on the opposite side of the stage, directing and teaching young students like I am now,” he said. “I believe that I don’t have enough drive to audition for the bigger and brighter roles and would much rather be able to teach those who do.”