Degrassi and Spiderman alum Jake Epstein visits Barrie to talk Broadway dreams and broken bones

Tells the tale in his musical "Boy Falls From The Sky," now playing in Barrie

Jake Epstein knows about not having your dreams turn out as expected.

The Toronto native and former star of Degrassi: The Next Generation ( yes, he knows Drake) grew up with a singular dream: to be a Broadway performer.

It’s a goal he eventually achieved when he landed the top spot as Spiderman in the Broadway musical “Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark” and “Beautiful.”

However, sometimes the road is harsher when you reach your destination.

For Epstein, he chose to write his experience in a musical, “Boy Falls From The Sky,” which makes its Barrie debut at Talk is Free Theatre this weekend.

Barrie 360 caught up with him to discuss his show and what the audience can expect.

“My show is about me going after my childhood dream and the realities of show business, which are gruelling. It asks, what do you do when your dreams don’t turn out how you want them to, and how do you move on from there?”

Using humour and his musical background, Epstein talks about his challenges with debilitating stage fright, getting booed at a curtain call, bad reviews, embarrassment in front of his heroes, and physical injury.

He explains he sustained several injuries while working on Spiderman.

“Suddenly, I was starring in the $40 million show, wearing the Spiderman spandex on stage. However, underneath my costume, I was bandaged and probably took too much Advil. It’s ironic that underneath this image of Spiderman, I was really hurt.” he explains.

Epstein says performing “Boy Falls From The Sky” has been a therapeutic experience and says it’s “one of the highlights of my life to get to do.”

“When I first wrote the show, I’d never told my family or some of my closest friends these stories. I discovered they were funny, and everyone I knew had stories of disappointment. It’s so relieving to laugh at the absurdity of life sometimes,” he explains

After a great run at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre last year, Epstein says he is happy to bring the play to other cities across the county, including Barrie, this weekend.

It runs at Barrie’s Talk Is Free theatre from Friday, October 13- October 20.

 You can get your tickets at tift.ca.

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