HAMILTON's Isaiah Johnson discusses Puerto Rico and not beating yourself up between performing jobs!

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  • Kevin Ray Johnson

I would like you to meet the amazing Isaiah Johnson. Isaiah just finished up playing the role for George Washington (a role he originated in the 1st National Tour) in Hamilton in Puerto Rico which has Lin Manuel-Miranda reprising his role of Alexander Hamilton. Isaiah has performed on Broadway in The Merchant of Venice (w/ Al Pacino), Peter and the Starcatcher, Side Show (2014 Revival), The Color Purple (2015 Revival). Isaiah will be starring in the upcoming original series for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) titled David Makes Man, which is from Academy Award Winner Alvin McCraney (Moonlight) and Warner Horizon Scripted Television.

The first time I saw him perform was in D.C. and he has been someone I have admired ever since. So to have the chance to interview this amazing artist is an honor and a privilege.     

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a performer?

I knew I wanted to perform from the time I used to kick open the saloon doors of my parents old kitchen, climb up atop the counter, pull down their shot glass from the cabinet, pour myself some apple juice and slide it across the kitchen table to myself as if it were warm whiskey from a western movie.

Did you have any mentors growing up who helped you become the performer you are today?

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I have so many mentors both friends, parental figures, and strangers.

How has your time been performing Hamilton in Puerto Rico and what does it mean to you to be a part of this production?

The ancestors are shaking the ground to reclaim their land and discover a new purpose. Doing Hamilton in Puerto Rico has been one of the single most purposeful journeys I've had the pleasure to be invited to do. There is so much purpose and potential on the island, and the Hamilton production was a major catalyst for growth and productivity.

Do you have any favorite moments in the show?

I love the choreography in the show, specifically in "Yorktown" when the female soldiers slide straight into the face of danger and take the lead.

What are some shows in your career that you have done that will always be near and dear to your heart?

So far, all of them in one way or another. Ragtime, Bootycandy, The Merchant of Venice, The Color Purple, to name a few

What advice do you have for any young performers wanting a career in theatre?

Find some other service oriented work in life you like to do well (preferably a trade skill) and become really proficient at it. You shouldn't have to beat yourself up between performing jobs for not being able to provide for yourself; rejection is hard enough as it is.

Click here for a behind the scenes look at Hamilton in Puerto Rico – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VG26e_rNnnk

Check out the ‘First Look’ of David Makes Man –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ppja8cCTKY