Students gather in the multi-purpose room to for the question and answer portion of the Jasperon’s visit.

Thayne Jasperson visits choir, pit orchestra, and drama

Thayne Jasperson, who played Samuel Seabury in Hamilton, visited choir, pit orchestra and drama students in a Zoom meeting to discuss his experiences of performing on Broadway on Monday, Sept. 20.

This event was organized by choir director Lisa Lopez. At first, it was supposed to be in person with a local artist who worked with the company Broadway Plus. However, two weeks before the visit, the school decided that guest speakers will not be allowed on campus, forcing Lopez to coordinate with Broadway Plus on an alternative: for Jasperson to host a virtual visit. Jasperson first instructed a dance clinic with Rhapsody in Blue during fifth period. He also held a Q&A session with Chamber Singers from 3:15-4:15 p.m., with students from band and drama being invited to attend as well. The Q&A gave students the opportunity to learn how a professional handles his performances. 

“[One question asked was], ‘What do you do before a performance to prepare yourself?’” Treble Singer sophomore Miray Naber said. “His answer was to just mentally prepare. Have a lot of sleep and drink a lot of water.” 

Aside from answering students’ questions, Jasperson also shared his Broadway journey during which he was featured in “High School Musical,” “Newsies,” “Matilda” and “Finding Neverland.” He told students of the first shows that he was in, his audition for Hamilton and how he has been with Hamilton since the beginning. 

“The purpose of the whole event was to get aspiring artists to talk to someone who has been successful as an artist and just talk about the journey to get to such a place as well as inspiring those kinds of people to work towards what they want and giving them some information on how to achieve it,” Men’s Ensemble sophomore Ethan Chow said. 

Because of all his performing experience, Jasperson was able to offer tips to students who would otherwise never hear directly from a professional. One of the biggest challenges for them is learning how to deal with stage fright. 

“He was fantastic. His energy jumped through the screen,” Lopez said. “He was supposed to sing one song for us, and he ended up giving us a mini concert of several songs.”

About 50 students attended the dance clinic and about 100 students attended the Q&A session. During the dance clinic, Jasperosn angled his camera to visibly show the movements he was doing, so the students were able to follow along and imitate him. 

“Something I took from this whole experience was that it takes time and dedication to achieve being in a position like that,” Chow said. “My favorite part of the whole event was when he would randomly burst into song and begin singing for us. It was really cool to see him be spontaneous and just sing.”

Ryan Huang, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of Lisa Lopez