Jake Doctor recently graduated from Forest Hills Eastern and will be studying Biology at Aquinas College with hopes of a future in medicine. But what you might not be able to tell from his career aspirations is that he is one of the area’s best and youngest tenor singers. He’s acted in multiple productions, most recently in FHE’s “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”
“I first became interested in theatre when I saw my friend Maddie, who is now studying musical theatre in New York, starring in the high school’s production of Annie as just a freshman. What really tipped the scales though happened three years later when I saw Wicked on Broadway during an orchestra field trip. Watching Fiyero own the stage with his charm and swagger during “Dancing Through Life” made me want to give theatre a try, so that next week I auditioned for my first show, Music Man.”
What’s your favorite memory of a performance?
“My favorite memory on stage would have to be when I was playing the role of William Barfée in a community production of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. At the end of my big number in that show “Magic Foot,” I could hear twenty of my friends cheering for me in the audience. It was great to see the support of so many of my friends… theatre friends are some of the best friends you can find.”
Dream big, readers! Here are all the productions Jake acted in during his high school years (while being involved in other extracurricular activities such as Varsity tennis and playing cello in the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, we might add):
-Vocal Music Workshop’s production of High School Musical (Part of the brainiac clique)
-Forest Hills Public School Summerstock’s production of Hairspray (Bum on Barroom Stool/Ensemble) (photo right)
-Forest Hills Eastern’s Production of Once on this Island (Daniel Beauxhomme)
-StageGR’s production of Aladdin Jr. (Aladdin)
-Forest Hills Public School Sunmerstock’s production of The Addams Family (conquistador ancestor)
-StageGR’s production of Seussical the Musical (The General, the Grinch, Vlad Vladikoff, and Yertle the Turtle)
-Forest Hills Eastern’s production of Cinderella (Prince Topher)
-StageGR’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (William Barfée)
– Forest Hills Public Schools Summerstock’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Reuben (singer of “Those Canaan Days”))
“The difficulties I’ve faced have always been being too timid. My advice would be to just go for it. Creativity to me is doing something different and maybe unexpected. You can’t find something different if you never step out of the safety of your “comfort zone.”
Music has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I see it as a way to express myself, an escape when life isn’t what I want it to be, and maybe most importantly a way in which to continue to improve myself. For those reasons it’s very important that I keep music involved in my life, which is why I plan to be a take up a minor in music.”
“Involvement in the arts, mostly musical theatre, has changed the way I interact with others and the way I see myself. I used to be the kid who would stay home every weekend and almost never socialize outside of school, but being in theatre and being a part of this community of the most supportive people you’ll ever meet has made me a much more confident and sociable person.”
Thanks, Jake, for interviewing with Hyype! We wish you the best in your college career and life!
Interview edited for grammar and clarity.