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“And then I wanted to be a rabbi.”That stops the conversation dead and not just because he’s halfway through a rack of pork ribs at the time.“I was very spiritual as a kid. It just keeps moving in different directions.”Epstein amassed a lot of impressive theatre credits as a kid without even trying, appearing in Soulpepper’s original production of Our Town at the Royal Alex and playing The Artful Dodger in the Sam Mendes’ staged version of Oliver! Everything I had done up to that point, the musicals, the TV, they were all looked down upon.”You think about him sitting there alone during those cold Montreal nights, feeling battered and lost, having turned his back on certain stardom and you start to see where some of that emptiness he channels so well in American Idiot came from.
I think I felt and thought about things a lot more deeply than most of the other kids my age. At the height of his Degrassi fame, he took time off to go to Kenya and build houses for the homeless there and to this day, if the conversation gets just a bit too shallow for too long, you can sense Epstein zoning out and going to another place.“When did I leave the rabbi track? that Cameron Mackintosh and the Mirvishes brought to the Princess of Wales Theatre in 1999, when he was only 12. But you never keep an Epstein down for long.“They kept pushing me to be versatile and so I wrote a show called A Minor Celebrity about the whole Degrassi business.
But despite all this success and a supportive family that anyone would envy, life hasn’t always been a series of Epstein’s Greatest Hits.
Watching him in the rehearsal hall as he goes through the private hell of his character, Will, his eyes are hollow sockets as he sings the hurting lyrics of “Give Me Novocaine”: “Take away the sensation inside, bittersweet migraine in my head …
The first time in my life that nothing worked for me. And I celebrate all the rest of my life as well.”FIVE FAVE MUSICAL INFLUENCES OF JAKE EPSTEINRED HOT CHILI PEPPERS — They were the band we all worshipped as kids. HAWKSLEY WORKMAN — My favourite Canadian singer-songwriter.
Kippel and Epstein, 28, played dreamy Gavin "Spinner" Mason and Craig Manning, respectively.
”They changed their mind a few months later and he found himself out on the road, wallowing in teen angst and loving it. “It built up and I had a lot of rage with nowhere to put it.