Pomp and Circumstance! Teenage Newsies Celebrate High School Graduation on Broadway

By Michael Gioia
20 Jun 2013

Jacob Guzman
Photo by Monica Simoes
Jacob Guzman
Age: 18
Hometown: Brockton, MA

What high school did you attend? I went to Brockton High School.
Favorite subject? My favorite subject was probably math. My parents had a lot of influence on me because they were both math teachers, so I really got into it. They helped me out a lot. Everyone always says, "You cheated because your parents are math teachers." But, [that wasn't the case]… It made sense — there were formulas. [With] English, it was your own personal [views], and I wasn't really creative, I guess, and I just liked how [math] had all these formulas. It just made sense, so math was my favorite. I always enjoyed doing it.
Least favorite subject? Probably English, just because I feel that I'm not the most creative person, and when it comes to writing and writing an essay, it's just not my thing — I don't feel like I'm a good writer, so I'm not a huge fan of English. It's still fun sometimes, but just not my thing.
Did you ever think you'd be graduating high school on Broadway? No. I always [wanted] to be on Broadway… I didn't think about it too much because I was solely a dancer, but I wouldn't say no! [Laughs.] I never thought it would ever be this quick. I just got a call one day to audition [for Newsies], and I [said], "Yeah, sure. I'm coming up to senior year. I need to start auditioning [and get the hang of] the audition process for dance. Why not? It's going to help me out." And, I ended up getting it, and I was kind of beside myself. It was so cool. I never thought in a million years I would be on Broadway before I graduated high school.
Favorite high school memory? I did a talent show with two of my friends, and it was a lot of fun. One year, it was me, [my brother] David and my friend Jules, and another time it was me, David and my friend Kyle. It was a lot of fun bringing in our dance world — because we were all from the same studio — to our school.
What are your plans for after high school? I'm going to stay with the show for a little longer. I'm going to try and go with the flow, like if auditions come up. I really love the show, so I don't want to go anywhere. I definitely want to go to college eventually, but not next year because I need to spend some time just focusing on the show. It was hard last year trying to balance school and the show, so it would be nice to get a little break.
Dream schools? When I was in high school, I always wanted to go to Fordham [University] or a big school like that. But, as I'm on Broadway, I don't know if I want to major in dance anymore, so now it's all flipped upside down, and I don't really know what I want to do anymore. But Fordham was always one of the schools I would love to go to or Juilliard or SUNY Purchase…
What other career path would you choose if you weren't on Broadway? I would definitely want to be a dancer. I've trained my whole life to be a dancer, and it's what I love to do. I always had this dream of being a "Dancing Doctor." I would dance, and as I would get older, and my body can't handle it anymore, I would have my medical degree from college and use that to become a doctor. I was always fascinated when I went to the doctor's [office], and it would be really cool to be in the medical field. I always said I wanted to be a "Dancing Doctor!" [Laughs.]