Jacob tells us about the many different roles he juggles in the theater, the joys of improv and what it’s really like being InVi Co-AD Angela Razzano’s “Work Husband.”
InViolet: How do you identify in the theater world?
Jacob: I’m a little all over the place these days, and am still trying to figure that out- but I think that’s normal. I am loving the producing side of the theater world right now and I am itching to explore more of it. I also have a passion for casting, something I got to play around with in college and theater back in California but haven’t had much of an opportunity to do here. Directing is what I went to school for and got my degree in, so I love dabbling in that field. And of course, acting is always fun from time to time.
InViolet: You are a brand new InViolet member. Lucky us! Tell us what your journey has been like so far.
Jacob: I’ve been a fan of InViolet for a little while now, Angela invited me to this play called Sommerfugl awhile back, and I was hooked ever since. In fact I don’t think I missed an event after that. I was invited to attend the retreat this last August which blew my mind. I learned so much more about myself as an artist as well as the ability to create new work mainly through InViolet. I’m so excited for my future with this company. I am currently working with Bixby Elliot and JJ Pyle on producing our upcoming One Night Stand in March which I’m so excited for!
InViolet: Do you have a favorite InViolet memory yet that you can share?
Jacob: I’d have to say, InViolet’s last retreat in August would be my favorite memory, the whole trip in general. Being able to watch the creative process happen before my eyes was an amazing experience. From the directing of new plays, working with writers to workshop them, acting in them and then discussing them as a group of artists was such a great experience that I took so much away from. This retreat also encouraged me to attempt writing, which I have grown to love!
InViolet: Tell us about your gig at Culture Project. We hear you have an adorable co-worker by the name of Angela Razzano (aka, InViolet’s co-AD). Have you two decided to become life partners and spend all of your time together?
Jacob: Yes I have the privilege and honor of working alongside and learning from the great and famous Angela Razzano. She has dubbed me as her work husband – which is a huge honor as I’ve never had a work wife- and she’s a perfect one! I actually started off as her intern and she moved me on up to Operations Manager and we’ve had a great time enduring this company together. It’s nice seeing her every day and then getting to see her at InViolet events as well. We have yet to grow tired of one another… I think….
This job has been such a blessing and has opened so many doors for me within the theater community. I’ve got to meet some amazing people, watch and aid in producing new work, and work for a socially conscious theater that is aiming to give a voice to the marginalized which is so incredibly important.
InViolet: You’re a man of many talents! What’s going on with your photography? Your writing?
Jacob: Oh, why thank you! Photography has always just been a side hobby of mine, but it has become my creative outlet these days. So much can be expressed through it, and I wish I had more time and resources to do it. Writing is a newfound discovery for me, thanks to InViolet’s retreat. I’ve yet to complete anything- I’ve started maybe 4 or 5 one acts/10 minute plays and then I hit a wall and don’t know what to do next. It’s definitely a goal of mine to get something finished so I can have it read at a Second Monday Social!
InViolet: You’re a member of an improv company. What can improv do that scripted theater can’t? Where and when can we come see you do your thing?
Jacob: Yay improv! I helped build an improv group back in college and loved every second of it, so when I moved out here I tried multiple times to get on a team, but didn’t get too far. So I just started my own company with my partner in crime Morgan (also from the same college). Our group focuses on studying a variety of improv styles from long form to head to head. We pride ourselves in challenging each other on the stage and educating the city about the art of comedy and try to give chances to upcoming sketch writers to workshop their work with us. We meet every week and have a show every other month!
What I love about improv is that it’s one of those life tools that can help you out anywhere. I don’t know how many times I’ve used that “yes, and…” attitude in interviews, pressing situations, work and even school. It’s taught me to work and act quickly on my feet and how to solve a problem head on.
InViolet: It’s been a crazy time, post-election, yeah? You marched in NYC this past weekend. Thank you for that! What was that day like for you?
Jacob: Crazy is one way to describe it. I did march this past weekend and it was such a wonderful experience. I’ve never done anything like that before! I was surrounded with so much love, acceptance and people who just want to be there for you no matter what. New York has taught me to find a voice of my own. Though this election season didn’t play out the way that some of us hoped… at all, I have learned so much and I believe that we as artists are going to keep each other strong throughout everything.
InViolet: Word on the street is that you are in the thick of some new year’s resolutions of sorts: eating super healthy, focusing on more creative fulfillment etc. Teach us your ways, Jacob! How can we be more like you? (PS – that new headshot of yours is sexy!)
Jacob: Oh boy… yes I (like many) am doing “The Whole 30”, a “lifestyle cleanse” to reteach myself how to eat better, what it feels like to really be full, when you’re stress what types of food should you be turning to, etc. It’s been really rough since I can’t have cheese or alcohol… but, it’s almost over. I’m on day 25 and I truly do feel healthier. I have my own natural energy these days and I only need 1 cup of coffee as opposed to 3 or 4. It just feels good following through with a commitment. As far a creative fulfillment goes, as we all know, work can consume your life and it’s so easy to keep pushing aside your creative outlets, but I am (trying) to schedule specific times within my calendar week to just sit and allow art to happen, in whatever form.
InViolet: What’s next for you?
Jacob: As mentioned, March 20th I am helping produce this awesome event, InViolet’s One Night Stand at Brother Jimmy’s. The Downtowner’s Improv team is having a show on March 27th at 7:30! More information is on its way!