Never Not Fabulous: Peek Inside James Whiteside's Offstage Life
Photo by Andrew Werner
James Whiteside sometimes seems larger than life. He knows how to effortlessly command any room he's in, whether he's playing a noble prince onstage or appearing in fashion campaigns for designers like Marc Jacobs and Thom Browne. During a rare day off, Whiteside gave us a glimpse into a quieter side of his personality—which is perhaps most endearing of all.
Whiteside in his Manhattan apartment
The piece of clothing he collects the most: "T-shirts. When they start to wear out as my real clothes, I transition them into dancewear, so it's fun to cycle through.I found thisvintage Reba McEntire shirt from a 1988 tour at an amazing shop in the East Village."
Fashion philosophy:"I want to be comfortable. I like traditional, American clothing—T-shirts, jeans, leather jackets, cowboy boots, Chucks. I like to keep it simple with a James Dean sort of vibe."
Perks of stardom: "My shoes, I actually snagged off the set for the Valentine's Day Macy's shoot that I did with my boyfriend, Dan."
Frugal finds: "The couch issomething a friend was getting rid of, the trunk was $1 at a flea market and everything on the walls, people have given me."
Daily indulgence: "I eat dessert like every night. I'll get a pint of ice cream, or there's a 16 Handles around the corner from my apartment. My order is usually the peanut butter ice cream, and then I put in peanut butter cups, plus Reese's Pieces and Cap'n Crunch cereal."
Pre-show ritual: "Isabella Boylston and I always have lunch at Fiorello's. We get pasta with a side of pizza and really carbo-load."
Post-show ritual:"I go back to Fiorello's and have a Manhattan and maybe some chicken parmigiana."
Coffee order: "Just a small, black coffee."
What His Downtime Looks Like
What he's reading: "Jane Eyre, because ABT is staging it this spring. I read every day. I recently loved The Dispossessed and Oathbringer."
Ideal day off:"My favorite thing to do is wake up slow, have coffee, go to my bagel shop, read, play video games. Maybe I'll meet up with some friends for lunch or see a movie. I usually work on my days off though, and I'll schedule a photo shoot or meetings. I can't do this forever, and I really want to solidify my place in the dance legacy. I want to get better all the time, and I like to make things and choreograph. I think in the future perhaps, you'll see more of that side of me."
Frederic Franklin in Valerie Bettis' A Streetcar Named Desire (1952). Photo courtesy DM Archives
In the June 1974 issue of Dance Magazine, our cover subject was the endlessly charming Frederic Franklin, then 60 years old. After declaring at the age of 4 that he was "going to be in the theater," the Liverpool-born dancer spent a lifetime doing exactly that.