Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tampa Bay teen actor soaring Off Broadway

BY ALEXANDRA PASSAUR

Durant High

News from the pretty big deal department: Jon Corpuz, who left Blake High and his studies at the Patel Conservatory in Tampa after his freshman year when he was accepted into the prestigious Professional Performing Arts School in New York City, is currently on stage in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the acclaimed off-Broadway Theater for a New Audience.

It's directed by Tony Award winner Julie Taymor, the director of Broadway's The Lion King and Spiderman: Turn off the Dark and the Academy Award winning film Frida.

"I love watching her work," Corpuz said while taking time from rehearsal recently. "I'm so inspired by everything she is as a person. I want to be her when I grow up. Everything that she does is genius."

Just two short years ago, Corpuz and his family moved from Tampa to New York, as soon as he got his acceptance into the performing arts school. He is now a junior there.

"I love New York," Corpuz said. "It's weird, because I never really felt at home in Tampa and, this sounds cliché, but when I came up here, it felt right. Like it was meant to be, and I was supposed to be here right now."

Since being in New York, Corpuz has been in four plays including A Midsummer Night's Dream, which continues through Jan. 12. In addition to the arts high school, he takes a class at New York University. On days he has full rehearsals and has to miss school, he studies with an on-location tutor at the theater.

Talent runs in the family. Kristin Corpuz, a former American Idol contestant, is Jon's sister. She attends Berklee College of Music in Boston.

After two years at the center of theater in New York City, Jon Corpuz said he hopes to go to college in the city, where he can be close to auditions.

From a career standpoint, he said, Ariana Grande is his favorite actor.

"I feel like her career is exactly what I want as an artist … she's been on Broadway, she's done TV and now she's really big in pop music … in an ideal world, I would want her career," he said.

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