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A Gleeful Song

Western New York native Jacob Artist talks about his new role on Glee

Although he already has a few acting credits under his belt (How to Rock, Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, and Melissa & Joey, amongst others) Buffalo native Jacob Artist is poised for a career upstart since he landed a role on the Fox musical comedy-drama television series Glee. Artist will play the part of Jake Puckerman, the younger half-brother of resident troublemaker Noah “Puck” Puckerman, who will have a similar stir-the-pot attitude.

Artist recently took a break from filming Glee and tweeting (“@jacobartist: Another evening on set roaming the halls of McKinley High. Oh boy, what’s this Puckerman up to… #Hmmm”) to talk to Artvoice about his path from Williamsville to Los Angeles.

AV: Where in Buffalo are you from? What spurred your interest in acting?

Artist: I was born in Buffalo but I grew up in Williamsville, where I went to Williamsville South High School. I grew up as a dancer. I was a competition kid and I did summer intensives at Chautauqua Lake and Saratoga Springs, so I really was dancing all over New York State.

Towards the end of high school I started dancing with Infinity Dance Project Inc. led by Rebecca Guile-Wind and Tracy Navarro, who really introduced me to the dance company lifestyle. I caught the acting bug when I was about 15 years old and the idea of acting remained in the back of my head.

After high school I was accepted to the Juilliard School for dance, but I was passionate about acting. so I was at a place where I was figuring my life out. I decided to move to LA and really try acting. If I didn’t, I always would have wondered, “What would have happened if I went to LA?+

AV: How did you land a role on Glee?

Artist: At first my manager called me about just another audition, except it was for Glee. For the first audition everyone just sang. Then I got a callback audition where we were asked to act. Finally I tested in front of Ryan Murphy, Glee’s creator and executive producer and all of the Fox executives, and that was the final audition.

AV: How has the filming process been for you? What is it like to perform in addition to acting?

Artist: The process has been amazing. I was a fan of Glee beforehand, so stepping onto the high school sets and into the choir room was surreal. Performing is where I have made my home, so being able to sing, dance, and act has been pretty incredible. Shooting on this scale has been amazing.

AV: How has social media, such as Twitter and Instagram, helped you connect to Glee fans?

Artist: The fans of the show are very passionate. Social media provides a direct connection to the fans, who have been supportive and very sweet. They have been commenting and saying how excited they are to see the character when the show premiers.

AV: What are your plans for the future?

Artist: I’m taking it day by day, which is what my parents always told me. The best way to do it is to not plan too intricately. I know that my character is a series regular but beyond that I’m just taking things as they come.

The fourth season of Glee premieres on Thursday, September 13 at 9pm, on Fox.

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