Jacqueline Fisher is only 26, but she is already a show biz veteran. Currently part of the “PAW Patrol Live” national touring company, the Seaford native has been appearing onstage for more than 20 years.
The show is a live version of the popular CGI-animated children’s television show, “PAW Patrol,” which appears in the U.S. on the Nickelodeon network.
The 75-minute show features characters from the show in popular songs and dances. Some of the characters are a hybrid cross between puppets and costumes operated by actors — affectionately dubbed “pups,” since many are canine characters. Others are regular actors in costume.
“The costumes are amazingly designed, so that you hardly notice the humans,” Fisher said. “The pups are pretty big, and after a while the kids in the audience forget that humans are behind them at all.”
Now, after being on the road with the show for the past 10 months, Fisher is back in New York for six performances on April 13 and 14 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
A lifetime of song and dance
Fisher began singing and dancing at age 5, and began training in the education program of the Cultural Arts Playhouse a few years later. Cultural Arts offers Broadway-style performances at its facilities in Syosset and, more recently, in Wantagh, and trains young people for a career on the stage. She continued to take classes at Cultural Arts through her sophomore year at Seaford High School, when she transferred to Long Island High School for the Arts, also in Syosset. After high school, she studied musical theater at SUNY Cortland. “It was great preparation for a career,” she said.
Concerned that she might find supporting herself a challenge, her parents, Peg and Todd, suggested that she consider a dual major. “But I thought if I gave myself a backup,” she said, “I might not take my career as seriously or work as hard.”
Fisher has definitely worked hard. “I’ve been really fortunate to work a lot,” she said. “I’ve done a little bartending, but I’ve never had more than a couple of months between acting jobs.”
After graduating from college, she landed a job doing summer stock at the Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater, Mich. Built in 1882, “it’s a beautiful old theater,” Fisher said. “After that, I did theme park work off and on for about three years.”
She said she would love to work on a cruise ship. But like most stage actors, she has her sights set on Broadway. “The first musical I ever saw was ‘Beauty and the Beast,’” Fisher said. Although she was just a child, she was certain even then of her career choice: “I knew I wanted to be up there doing that.”
While she is back in New York, she said, “I want to spend some time with my family.” She has a brother, Jordan, who, despite being “an insane pianist,” works as an engineer; and a stepsister, Pamela, who performed when she was younger and is now in medical school. And “I want to get a real Long Island bagel, and I want to get a slice from Trallo’s” — a pizzeria in Seaford, near her family’s home.
Fisher said that many of her hometown friends have jobs they don’t enjoy. “People ask me, ‘what’s your job?’ They don’t really have any idea of what I do,” she said.
Working in the theater, “It’s easy for me to forget that I’m an adult, that I’m grown up,” she said. “I get to sing and dance and wear costumes. I’m so lucky — I’m having all this fun!”