Pigeon droppings: Scott Johnson

tsj column writers pigeon droppingsBy Bob Hamill

 

Several years ago I attended a rehearsal at The Black Bear Jamboree which is now the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show. There was one person in the cast who stood out to me. His dancing seemed effortless and his singing was as smooth as Mel Torme. (Yeah I know a lot of you are thinking “Who?”)

I went up to introduce myself to tell him what I thought of his performance. Before I could say anything, he asked me, “Mr. Hamill, do you remember me?”  When I admitted I had not, he said to me, “I’m Scott Johnson. We met on the Carnival Cruise ship, the Holiday. You were the Cruise Director and I was a passenger in the talent show. I was nine years old. You brought me out on stage after my dance and told the audience to keep an eye on me as I had a lot of talent. One day you would see him performing any where he wanted to.”

ZZ Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson

 

Well I can’t take credit for making him a star, but, you know a person has determination when he brings his tap shoes on a cruise. Scott wowed the audience that night and our regular production dancers loved him to death.

Scott got his feet wet in song and dance when he was four, watching Turner Classic movies with his mother. He was impressed by Bojangles Robinson and Shirley Temple. He loved Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire and used to mimic them as they watched the television. His mom seeing what might come to pass, asked him if he wanted to take tap lessons. The rest as they say (Who are they?), is history.

Want to talk about Baptism by fire! Scott’s first professional gig was with a symphony orchestra and it was a playoff. That’s when the orchestra plays something and the dancer has to mimic it with dance. He thought is was going to be a three minute gig and just before he went on, he was informed it would be a ten minute dance solo. Scott prayed and he and the orchestra ended on the same note with Scott doing a backflip at the end.

I’m an old school person. I love the Rat Pack era when there is nothing but a spotlight, a stage. and a microphone. Oh the fancy lights and pyro are cool but the basic, raw talent is what gets my attention. If one person can get the attention of an entire audience, and they are with you, it’s magic.

Scott has that ability to take a huge stage and make it intimate. His “Singing In The Rain” number has people singing, his take on Neil Diamonds “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” brings tears to your eyes. When he does “My Way” you wonder how a man of only 36 years of age can do the song with a feeling seldom seen by his generation.

One of the most important blessings Scott has had, is the support of family and friends. Show business is a very difficult road to travel if you don’t have a cheering section. You never know when your break might happen.

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