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From Buffalo to Glee: Meet Jacob Artist

Fox’s hit musical show Glee will have some new faces this fall. One such recruit is Jacob Artist, a Buffalo native and rising star who landed the highly coveted role of Jake Puckerman, the younger half-brother of longtime cast member, Puck (Mark Salling).

Artist moved to Los Angeles a year and a half ago, but he still feels a tie to his home town roots. Originally set on a dance career, the triple threat has performed all over New York, from competitions through David DeMarie Dance Studios to summer intensive programs in Chautauqua and Saratoga Springs. After he moved out west, Artist landed parts in shows such as Lifetime’s Blue Lagoon and Nickelodean’s How to Rock, but hadn’t found a breakout role . . . until now.

So be on the lookout for Artist during season four of Glee, premiering tonight on Fox. You’ll be sure to be seeing more of him soon.


How did you land this role? Describe the process.

I kind of went into it just like another audition. I got a call from my manager saying that I was going in for Glee, so I went in and sang for the casting director—it was just singing, that was all they were having anybody do initially—and I found out that I had a callback where I was acting and singing. And then, a few days after that, I heard that I was going to be testing for Ryan Murphy, the executive producer and creator of the show, on top of all the Fox executives. And then I found out that I got the part.


Glee is heading into its fourth season and sixty-seventh episode. What’s it like to be a newcomer in an already established ensemble cast?

Initially, I was really nervous because I was totally stepping into this worldwide phenomenon, this big family, but the cast and the crew and Ryan [Murphy] and everybody has been so welcoming and so friendly. They’ve definitely made the process so much more fun and so much easier. They’re all great.


Are you ready for the fame this show will bring once the new season airs on September 13th?

Yeah, it’s definitely going to be a ride. I’m looking forward to it for sure. I think Glee has become so much more than just a TV show—it’s become a pop culture phenomenon. Getting to be a part of that is just going to be amazing.


You put your dance scholarship to Juilliard on hold a year and a half ago when you moved to L.A. Are you planning on returning anytime soon?

Probably not, honestly. I’m so out of shape that I don’t think I would even be able to keep up with them anymore. I’d love to go back to New York and visit though because I have so many friends there and I’d love to see how they’re doing. But as far as going back as an actual dancer, I don’t think so.


What’s next for you? Any new projects in the works?

Glee, right now, is definitely taking up all my time. I mean, with the singing and the rehearsals, on top of the fact that you’re shooting a TV show, it’s a lot of work. But it’s a so much fun too.


You’ve been in L.A. for a while now. Do you miss Buffalo?

I do! I always say I miss the seasonal changes of Buffalo. In L.A. it’s sunny all the time. I was a skier growing up, so I miss the snow, the leaves falling off the trees in the fall, and all that stuff.


What factors in your life do you think have contributed to your success?

My family—my parents, my grandparents, and my sister—have all been so incredibly supportive from day one with anything that I’ve ever done. I think that’s a big factor as to why I had the guts to move out to L.A. and really pursue this career. And also, having grown up as a dancer, the discipline that you learn from that carries over into anything. That’s contributed to my success for sure.


Photo courtesy of Rogers&Cowan.

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