In another first in 5QF history…today we’re talking to twins Ryan and Austin Jacobs!
These super talented brothers can be seen all over St Louis- let’s hear what they have to share!
Ryan Jacobs was born in Long Beach, CA, and grew up in Houston, TX. A proud recent graduate of the BFA Musical Theatre program at Webster University, some of Ryan’s favorite credits include Alice in Wonderland and The Drowsy Chaperone at STAGES St. Louis, Antony & Cleopatra and A Midsummer Nights Dream at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, and Mary Poppins at Grandstreet Theatre and Variety Children’s Theatre.
Austin Glen Jacobs grew up in California, Colorado and Texas, and is a recent graduate of Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts. Austin has appeared in many productions around the St. Louis area, including My Fair Lady, The Addams Family and Beauty and the Beast at the MUNY, Alice in Wonderland and The Drowsy Chaperone at STAGES, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at SFSTL, and Mary Poppins with Variety.
Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
Ryan: When I was nine my family was taking care of both my grandmothers, and to get Austin and I out of the house (we were homeschooled all the way up to college), my mom signed us up for a theatre camp. We played Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee in Through The Looking Glass. Type cast, no?
Austin: The first time I was ever onstage was in a church play when I was 5 or 6. I played the first of the three kings. I had one line. I got nervous just before I had to step up to the mic and recite it, and I ended up switching a word. It still made plenty of sense, but I was upset about my mistake for at least a week.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?
Ryan: This is tough. I’ve been given a plethora of amazing advice over the years. One phrase that has stuck with me for many years is “someone else’s success is not your failure”. It’s such an easy trap to fall into – “he got his equity card before me, so he must be better than me”, or “she got a big break and I didn’t, so clearly I’m not talented”. Your path is yours and yours alone. Plain and simple.
Austin: It’s hard to narrow it down to a single piece of advice. “You are enough” comes to mind (which was drilled into my head in college). Another great piece of advice (or perhaps a simple reminder) comes from Alexandra Silber, who said that if you can book one job, you are obviously good enough to book another. And finally, I was reading an article recently on Jeff Daniel’s process, and he said he finds anything that makes him uncomfortable, that’s not natural for him, then he works hard as hell to perfect that thing. I think that’s a great way to grow.
Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
Ryan: I did a show at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) my junior year of high school, and we did several local “preview” performances in Houston, TX (where I grew up). During our last preview two of our chorus members bumped heads during a particularly athletic dance number and suffered concussions. During the Act 1 finale they were on the floor offstage right, with about eight people crowded around them. For some odd reason no one stopped the show, so we sang the entire number while paramedics tended to these two poor dancers. Absolutely crazy. They finally called it before Act 2.
Austin: My most recent onstage mishap happened during a matinee of The Drowsy Chaperone at STAGES. I do a quick change into a costume with a fake Foo Manchu mustache. Long story short, I must have sweated more than usual that day, because half the mustache came off in the middle of a freeze. Of course I was looking right at my scene partner at the time, and we both cracked up. I was physically shaking from the effort to stifle my laughter. Thankfully, that’s only happened once.
Q: What is your dream role?
Ryan: I would love to play Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet one of these days. I’d also love a shot at Motel in Fiddler.
Austin: I would leap at the chance to play Tommy in The Who’s Tommy.
Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?
Ryan: Funny enough, I don’t watch much TV. Which is bad – actors, watch TV! Knowledge of shows and various actors is imperative in this business. When I do watch TV, I watch a lot of Parks & Rec. Sherlock is also great. Phenomenal casting and writing.
Austin: I’ll admit, I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I recently watched a bunch of Grey’s Anatomy. Damn, that’s a well crafted dramedy.
Thank you so much guys- great advice!!!! See you next Friday for another installment of Five Question Friday!!
Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator.
See her work at gracemaustin.com