Jeremy Jordan is making his cabaret debut this week at Feinstein’s at the Nikko in The City, and he’s a little nervous.
“I’m like, ‘Yeah! …’ Little bit terrified, but now that I have some time, I guess it’s time.”
The time he refers to is an uncharacteristic gap in his calendar after starring in the second season of NBC’s Broadway-themed “Smash” and performing on Broadway in “Rock of Ages,” “West Side Story,” “Bonnie & Clyde” and “Newsies.”
It’s been an impressive start for the 29-year-old Tony nominee who had the inevitable day job as a cater-waiter when he was getting started in New York.
“I’ve paid my dues in that environment for sure,” he laughs ruefully. “It basically destroyed my soul.”
Meanwhile, back in the terror-tory, Jordan owns his phobias. “Every time that I have to do a concert where I have to speak, I just …” he trails off into a frozen, guttural sound. “It’s very strange. I feel very comfortable as a character in a show, but sometimes things within you tell you, like, ‘Oh, you’re not interesting enough for people to listen to what you personally have to say.’”
He decided to face the challenge head on for a few very good reasons. “I’ve had a few months off and you want to start paying off the bills,” he laughs. “Two, as sort of a personal growth experiment to get past that fear of being me out in public and exposing my sort of true self, and then three, a lot of my fans have really been asking for it and you have to repay their loyalty in some way.”
Like any theater-savvy artist, Jordan decided an out-of-town tryout was wise. “I think it’s a bit easier to sort of jump off the ledge, so to speak, in a place where you’re unfamiliar. I’ve never been to San Francisco.”
The concert will have some built-in comfort factor by featuring tunes from shows on his résumé. “I’m also thinking about doing a section about crazy audition experiences that I’ve had because oddly enough those really shape you as an actor.”
He can also talk about “The Last 5 Years,” the upcoming film of Jason Robert Brown’s musical. “I tend to be really critical of my own work,” he deadpans, “and I can say with confidence there are only a few moments in the film where I just winced at myself. That’s like high praise, coming from me,” he laughs.
IF YOU GO
Where: Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. today-Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $45 to $60