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Aaron Jackson

January 26, 1998

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If there's one thing we all hate while surfing the Internet , it's someone who makes up outrageous stories about himself and thinks it makes him "cool". That's why we should all breathe a sigh of relief: every month, on Celebrity Sightings, when Califormia Dreams's Aaron Jackson chats with his fans. (His honesty and openness during our conversation was impressive.) However, when you check out Jackson's chats, be sure not to ask him anything cheesy. "I even have a note up on the site that says 'Don't ask me anything cheesy cuz I won't answer it,'" laughed Jackson. "People ask me questions like 'What's your favorite color'? I prefer answering questions with more depth like 'What makes you so passionate about not smoking?' or 'What inspired your involvement with different charities?'. The message I try to get across is that I'm a human being - just like everyone else," Jackson laughed.

Speaking of charities, Jackson works with a long list of them - DARE, the Special Olympics, the American Cancer Society, among many others. "I want to help people. I feel that since I'm so fortunate, I should try to make other people's lives better," Jackson explained.

While helping people is high on Jackson's list of priorities , he also has more personal reasons for his involvement with certain charities. His grandfather died of muscular dystrophy (Jackson participates in the annual Love Ride for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and donates money every year) and he also had a close friend who died of cancer. "One day this girl came up to me - I could tell she had cancer because her hair was starting to fall out from treatments- and she said 'I've never seen your show , or any of your films and I only read one article about you, but that article made me see that you were a human being.' We remained friends until she died five months ago. Initially she'd said, 'I don't want you to be my friend because you feel sorry for me.' Although I did feel sorry for her , that wasn't why I was her friend - and she's one reason why I do so much work with the American Cancer Society," Jackson remembered.

You may be getting the impression that Jackson is just like his character, Mark Winkle, the talented, sensitive, gifted musician on NBC's musical-comedy series, California Dreams. Not exactly so. Although Jackson is a sensitive musician like Mark, he also differs from Mark quite a lot. "Part of me is like Mark Winkle - and part of me is like Jake Summers. I ride a motorcycle; I wear a leather jacket. As for feeling like I become the character when I act...well, I could lie and say I do, but I don't. Not always," Jackson explained.

Jackson does a great portrayal of Mark Winkle; California Dreams is doing great in the ratings, and airs eighteen times a week in some markets; life is rosy for Jackson.

Check out California Dreams on NBC or WGN-TV, and check out Jackson's chats as well. But more than that, remember that he's not just an actor, but a human being, because that is what he wants his fans to know.

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