By Alec Harvey
The way Jordan Fisher sees it, his career is just about right on schedule.
“They say it takes 10 years to be an overnight success, and I’ve been at all of this for about 10 years now,” says Fisher, who is 22.
Trained in Birmingham at Red Mountain Theatre Company and other theaters, Fisher’s success has come steadily. Since a move to California, his music career has progressed with the release of an EP and several popular videos and singles, including “By Your Side” and “Never Dance Alone.”
But it’s the acting part of his career that has brought him to a pinnacle, first with roles on TV series and movies such as “Teen Beach Movie” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” and more recently with a standout turn in last year’s “Grease Live!” and a short run (which ends Sunday) in the blockbuster Broadway musical “Hamilton.”
“I would venture to say there’s a project or two that most people have that sent them to the next level, and ‘Grease Live!’ happened to be that for me,” says Fisher, the son of Rodney and Pat Fisher. “It was a great experience for me. It happened to be a moment for me that nobody expected. I played a guy named Doody.”
For many, that “guy named Doody” was the highlight of the show, as he strummed his guitar and sang “Those Magic Changes.”
“Grease Live!” was directed by Thomas Kail, who also directed “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s rap-filled look at a pivotal moment in American history. When Anthony Ramos, the originator of the roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton on Broadway, left the show, Kail came calling and asked Fisher to step in.
“I think I can manage to do that,” Fisher, with a laugh, recalls thinking. “I was doing a show in Nashville one night with the Commodores and LeAnn Rimes, the next day I was back in LA packing, and the next night I was in New York. It has been so wonderful to fulfill this dream and to be a part of something so special.”
Since his bow in “Hamilton,” much as been written about Fisher, including an interview with Miranda in which he suggested Fisher might be the one to play the leading role of Benny in the movie version of “In the Heights,” the Tony-winning musical he wrote before “Hamilton.”
Fisher also collaborated with Miranda on the “Moana” soundtrack.
Fisher continues to balance both careers, acting and music, to great success, and “Hamilton” was the fulfillment of part of his dream – to make his Broadway debut.
“My start was in theater, so Broadway has been the longest, biggest and oldest dream,” he says. “I would say that I’m very grateful that my Broadway debut was this. It could have been anything, and it happened to be ‘Hamilton: An American Musical.’”
After “Hamilton,” it’s back to the music side of things for Fisher, and one of his first post-Broadway appearances will be in Birmingham, as part of Red Mountain Theatre Company’s Gala on April 8.
“I’m so thrilled to have Jordan back on stage in Birmingham for this year’s Gala,” RMTC Executive Director Keith Cromwell says in a press release. “He truly exemplifies the heart of RMTC, to make the impossible possible in the lives of young people. He is walking inspiration for our Conservatory students.”