Meet Jay Ben Markson: ‘Go Get the Axe’ Star and One-Time Jeopardy! Contestant

Though he’s just completing his first year in New York, Jay Ben Markson has already accomplish a lot as an actor, including what he calls a “delightful stint” in the most recent New York Shakespeare Exchange ShakesBEER Pub Crawl. Which is far from his only brush with the Bard; in addition to serving as the associate artistic director of MaineStage Shakespeare, an outdoor summer theater based in Kennebunk, Maine, he has also been a regular company member for several years. Plus: He was on Jeopardy! Here are a few things you didn’t know about Jay Ben, in his own words.

1. HE SOMETIMES WRITES SONNETS ON COMMISSION.

While helping run a summer Shakespeare company in Maine, I sometimes wrote custom sonnets for donors. I developed the ability to write a decent one very quickly. Really good ones still take longer.

2. HE WAS A CONTESTANT ON JEOPARDY!

I lost by $1, but it was a hell of a game.

3. HE AND HIS GIRLFRIEND HAVE A RUNNING JOKE WHERE THEY PRETEND TO BE BADGERS.

Also moles, sometimes. It would take a while to explain.

4. HE HAILS FROM THE CRANBERRY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.

Lakeville, Massachusetts is the headquarters of Ocean Spray. And that's pretty much all there is to say about Lakeville.

5. ONE OF HIS GREAT-GRANDPARENTS OWNED THE PATENT ON CRIMPED BOTTLECAPS.

We visited his estate once. It's now a college. Sadly, I think the Great Depression wiped out most of the Bottlecap Inheritance.

6. HE JUMPED ABOARD GO GET THE AXE PRETTY LATE IN THE PROCESS.

I got asked to jump aboard GGTA late in the process. At first I was skeptical—joining a production late is intimidating—but once I read the script, I thought, "Oh, I want to do this." It totally erased any doubts.