Jacob January

Dramatic Arts

Favorite Roles: Sam Kaplan in “Street Scene;” Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald in “Assassins”
2012: Grant to attend dance classes in New York City and create promotional materials

My mother’s theatre albums played in the background of my entire childhood, so I grew up surrounded by exceptional music. Yet, my interest in making this craft my own didn’t begin until high school when a friend convinced me to audition with her for Music Theater for Young People’s production of “West Side Story.”

During that show, I fell head over heels for music as an art. The brilliance of storytelling through words, music and dance — I was in love with it all. As performers, our conversations were 90 percent about musical theatre, but none of us minded one bit. This network of people and ideas came at just the right time in my life and really changed me as a person.

My heart eventually called for me to begin a career in New York City, and I made it happen — with the help of a grant from the Koch Cultural Trust. The grant deflected some of the cost of moving to New York so I could keep my mind focused on my art rather than on money. My most recent role was in the touring production of “Elf The Musical.” It’s a true honor and a thrill to be included on the list of those who have received this grant!