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Jacob Laycock, January’s Serrano Entertainer

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 Laycock as Lumiere in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” (Ean Kernan)

Laycock as Lumiere in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” (Ean Kernan)

Laycock as Lumiere in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” (Ean Kernan)

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Laycock as Jack in “Into the Woods.” (Laycock family)

Jacob performing at SHS Choirs 2015 Dinner Show. (Ean Kernan)

Here at Serrano, we have many shining stars in our Performing Arts department. One of the stars that shine the brightest, though, is Jacob Laycock (11). Not only has he been in most of the productions here, Laycock stated he has been performing “since Kindergarten, when [he] attended Discovery School Of The Arts.” Now, elaborating on his very own growth in the performing arts, Jacob Laycock himself!

“I was introduced to the world of theater around third grade when my grandma and mom urged me to try out for the Snowline Players children’s theater production of “Into the Woods Jr.” I was absolutely mortified. It wasn’t my first time being on stage, at School of the Discovery of the Arts in Victorville, all the kindergartners were required to be in the Thanksgiving show and also a small play called ‘Stone Soup.’ Hence I was a turkey, and also a villager that put salt and pepper into the soup, I don’t consider these my first shows nor my introduction to the world of theater because it didn’t catch my interest like ‘Into the Woods Jr.’ did. It was simply a part of the class and I was supposed to do it.

‘Into the Woods Jr.’ was different. I was cast as the Steward, he follows Cinderella’s Prince around and is basically his right-hand man. I was still an extremely shy little boy and got terrible stage fright before every performance. I didn’t know how to project (the nerves didn’t help) and I avoided the audiences stares at all costs! I’m grateful and in a way proud of myself in saying that I have completely and utterly improved since then.

The stage fright finally started wearing off around sixth grade when I was in another Snowline Players production ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.’ A big milestone in my opinion, as small as it seems, was when I felt no nerves at all in seventh grade while I was waiting backstage for the Heritage Drama Club’s production of ‘Beauty and the Beast Jr’ to start. This was the first time I was in this wonderful show, I was the Narrator 1.

Going into high school, I auditioned and made it into Vocal Point and the Musical Theater class. I kept to myself the first half of freshman year but now I’ve grown and become the typical loud stereotypical theater/choir kid and I’m proud to say that. I love my life since I have been a part of choir and theater and I look forward to coming to school not only because of these classes but also the people who fill these classes. I have met some of my best-est friends in choir and theater, and they are the most talented people I know! I have continued with the choir and theater program all three years and now am in Vocal Point, Schitzophonics, Majestics, and Bravo! Performance Ensemble.

In pursuing the performing arts in high school, I have found my passion, my outlet in life. I honestly would consider theater my home! It’s funny how the world works in such mysterious ways. I say this referring to “Into the Woods” and “Beauty and the Beast,” two shows that somewhat played huge roles in my growth to who I have become as a performer. I was able to revisit both of these shows.

I had the pleasure of playing Lumiere in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was my first large part in a musical, my first solo in a musical, and my first sold out audience! Every night magic happened on that stage with the cast, orchestra, and eager audiences. It was exhilarating! I truly miss it.

My second ‘Into the Woods’ experience was quite different, I had always loved the show and after seeing the movie and finding out the Snowline Players was holding auditions for the full version of the show I was very excited to see it. I considered auditioning but the auditions were on a Saturday after a very busy week so I put the thought aside and intended on just watching the show and cheering on my friends in it. That Saturday I changed my mind the moment I woke up, and within two hours I had typed up a resume and learned an audition song. I found the karaoke track for the song on my way to the audition. It went really well and I was very happy with my performance in front of the audition panel, which is rare because I am a perfectionist. I was asked to stay to dance, and then after the dance, asked to stay to read from the script. Something I had barely decided to do that morning, had occupied my entire Saturday as I didn’t get home till around four in the afternoon. That night I got an email stating I was called back to sing for Jack.

That night I was up late learning Sondheim lyrics, which as any musical theater nerd would know, is quite the task. That next night at 5 PM I was in front of the audition panel again singing ‘Giants in the Sky.’ A terrifying yet truly rewarding experience, I got the part! It was amazing and such a learning experience. I got to work with such great performers and bonded with friends. I met phenomenal new people and absolutely loved the show. I’m extremely grateful to have been able to be apart of that show and to have been able to tell that story.

At this point in my life, my entire existence depends on the performing arts. After high school, I plan to continue my studies in the performing arts, musical theater specifically. My dream college is NYU Tisch, but my list of schools I plan on applying to also includes University of Michigan, Syracuse, Elon University, and Carnegie Mellon. I look forward to graduating and embarking on a new adventure, however, I am in no rush.

I am grateful that I go to a school with such an amazing performing arts department and such awesome passionate teachers who truly care about their students. I am also grateful that I have chosen to be apart of the theater community/world because without it I am not sure who I would be,” Jacob Laycock (11).

Laycock is a prime example of personal and performance growth. May his career both in and out of high school be filled with nothing but success. Best wishes, Jacob!

 

 

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Jacob Laycock, January’s Serrano Entertainer