When Miles Jacoby ’07 stepped out onto the stage on October 11, the lights that greeted him were just a tad brighter than those found in Haffenreffer’s Black Box. The Rivers alumnus instead found himself stepping onto a Broadway stage for his debut in the role of Elder Price in the critically acclaimed musical, The Book of Mormon.
The events that led to Miles taking the stage in a lead role began nearly two years ago. After making it through several rounds of callbacks while auditioning for the show, the producers told Miles that they wanted to him to continue to grow and would consider him again down the road.
“I auditioned for that casting director a few more times on different projects, continued to take voice lessons and acting classes, until I finally booked Jersey Boys,” Miles said. “I learned a ton on that show and to this day am still so glad I got cast in that before Book of Mormon. I am able to apply the lessons learned on that show to this one and I am very grateful for that knowledge.”
After Jersey Boys wrapped, Miles continued to audition for shows around New York for almost a year before his agent sent him an email saying Book of Mormon wanted to see him again. He reviewed all of his notes from the last round of auditions and went back to show the creative team how much he had grown as an actor.
Two rounds of auditions later, Miles was told they wanted him to learn a few scenes and musical numbers while working with the creative team one-on-one before putting all of that work on a tape to send to the show’s creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
“I auditioned for a few other exciting projects and got pretty far but didn’t book them. And thank goodness I didn’t because one day about a month later I got an email from my agent saying that not only did I book the show, but that they were starting me in a standby role on Broadway,” Miles said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that that was even a possibility. I was thrilled, to say the least. I was finally a Mormon.”
After three months with the show, the stage manager informed Miles that he would be filling in for the main actor for a pair of matinee shows a month later while the lead took some personal days. During that time, Miles reviewed his part and watched the show as often as possible until the only thing he could think about was that night still weeks away.
It wasn’t until that Saturday that the enormity of the opportunity finally struck him.
“The morning of, I woke up and headed to the theater like I had done every Saturday for the last few months. It didn’t quite hit me until I walked into the principal dressing room and thought to myself, ‘I don’t believe it, I’m here,’ ” Miles said. “Those two shows were truly indescribable. My memory of each kind of goes in waves as adrenaline certainly overtook most of the performance.
“But what made them even more special, was to have my family, friends, and even Ms. Bailey – who directed me in my first ever play – all in attendance, cheering me on. Their love and support took the whole experience to the next level.”