Jared Oxborough apologized for being late at morning coffee, but he had news. He’d been offered the role of the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast” at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.
Well, that sort of takes him out of a story about actors who have left the stage.
No, no, no, he said. “Beast” will not stop him from moving to Fort Collins, Colo., this summer with his girlfriend. And it will not derail his new professional goal: selling real estate. Last year, he obtained his Realtor license and then announced on Facebook that he was open for business.
In fact, he said, he should have left for Colorado by now, but he has a listing in East Calhoun in Minneapolis and is not going to leave that commission on the table.
Oxborough will be in Colorado for five years while his girlfriend, Celia Fulco, completes a doctoral program in counseling at Colorado State. He is not licensed to sell in Colorado, so he will check out the arts scene, try to find small gigs for his voice and guitar — something new he’d like to try. And if a role back in the Twin Cities catches his eye, he will pursue it.
That’s sort of how “Beauty and Beast” came about. He didn’t audition but ultimately won the role. “They didn’t have to twist my arm too hard,” he said. And, when he’s back in Minnesota from March to August for that production, he can sell homes all day.
“A lot of actors try it,” he said. “It’s a good fit with our personalities. It’s similar to acting in so many ways.”
Oxborough broke into Twin Cities theater at the same time Zoe Pappas was breaking out. He played Che to her “Evita” in the 2010 Theater Latté Da production. He did “Aida” at the Pantages with Latté Da, and a string of big roles at Chanhassen, including Judas in “Jesus Christ, Superstar.” Incidentally, his friend Ben Bakken, who won an Ivey for playing Jesus, left the business, too, to teach drama at Hill-Murray School in Maplewood.
“We were able to relate,” Oxborough said of a conversation he had with Bakken about stepping away.
He reached a moment of decision during last summer’s production of “My Fair Lady” at the Guthrie. “Here I was, at one of the best theaters in the country, with all this talent, and I felt I was missing something. I was missing summer in Minnesota. I was missing a normal social life.”
There were family events, birthday parties, weekends at the cabin with friends that he had to pass up.
“I want to be able to have a house, kids, support a family,” Oxborough said. “I want to do something substantial, and real estate is substantial.” □