From Blair Blvd to Hollywood Blvd

Oct. 11, 2001, midnight | By Julia Druhan | 17 years, 10 months ago

Senior Jesse McIntosh takes the spotlight in film, on television, and in Blair productions

For most kids, the childhood dream of performing in front of a camera is just that, a dream. Something about the lights, the attention and the potential for fame attracts many children to this common fantasy. But for senior Jesse McIntosh, acting has become more than a childhood dream. It is now his reality.

Whether by playing the lead in the school play or an extra on The West Wing, McIntosh has made it clear that acting is his passion. His resume ranges from Blair productions to History Channel specials and more recently includes a role in a yet-to-be-released independent film.

Lights, camera, action

As a child, McIntosh's biggest aspiration wasn't to act but rather to fly away to Never Never Land. "I saw the Mary Martin version of Peter Pan 100 times," he says. "Eventually I just memorized it and would perform it for my family. I guess you could say that was the beginning of my acting career."

More recently, McIntosh has taken the stage in every fall production done by his school since sixth grade, beginning with an understudy role as Tom Sawyer in a musical production of Tom Sawyer. McIntosh has since stayed away from roles in musicals because he feels his voice isn't strong enough.

Since his debut as Tom Sawyer, McIntosh has performed in middle school productions Number the Stars and Don't Drink the Water and acted in the Blair performances of Les Miserables, Much Ado About Nothing and A Tale of Two Cities. He will also star as Oberon in the upcoming fall play, A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Outside of school, McIntosh's biggest acting accomplishment is his role in an independent film called Natural Causes, which was filmed last summer.

McIntosh describes Natural Causes as a movie about fallen angels trying to return to the land of the living by collecting people at their time to die. "I play a disgruntled teenager who is actually the boss of the fallen angels. My character makes sure that everyone else sticks to their morals," he says.

Despite his excitement to be in a movie, McIntosh says that the performance was an incredibly humbling experience. "This movie was definitely the most impressive thing that I've done, but most of the other actors wouldn't even put it on their resume because it was so small. It taught me that I have nowhere to go but up," he says.

McIntosh feels similarly about his work on The West Wing and on a Richard Dreyfuss special about Washington, D.C., that aired on the History Channel. "Being on The West Wing and the History Channel special was awesome, but being around all of those other actors was kind of intimidating. Richard Dreyfuss wasn't even there for my scenes on the History Channel, but it was still exciting to be in the environment," he says.

The one-man show

In the future, McIntosh hopes to pursue acting as a career. He does, however, realize the difficulties that come along with that dream. "I don't want to become the kind of actor who has to work as a waiter on the side," he says. "Right now, I'm young and naïve enough that I have complete confidence I can become a huge star."

Drama teacher Kelly Newman feels that McIntosh's talent will carry him far. "He's immensely talented and a lot of fun to have in the cast. Jesse has a professional attitude, and he's a great example to new drama students," she says.

McIntosh's friends and castmates share Newman's sentiments. "Jesse is probably the most hard-working and serious actor in Blair drama," says senior Ben Woo, a close friend of McIntosh. "He inspires others to work as hard as he does."

Senior Carl Lostritto agrees. "Jesse's wit and charisma show through in all of his roles," he says.

Just as McIntosh has demonstrated his talent for drama in school plays, he has also exhibited his knack for comedy in events such as Magnet Arts Night. For the past two years, McIntosh has performed Jerry Seinfeld stand-up routines at the annual event that have left the audience in hysterics. "Jesse is definitely one of the funniest guys I know. He always leaves us laughing," says senior Will Fassett.
Even in the big leagues which he hopes one day to reach, McIntosh says that he will always remember why he is so passionate about acting. "It gets boring to be the same person all the time. Acting is an outlet for me to experience different personalities," he says.

McIntosh hopes that one day he can share his talents with a larger audience. "It's enjoyable to watch someone perform. [I'd] like to be the reason that people enjoy themselves," he says.

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Julia Druhan. Julia Druhan is enjoying her second year on newspaper as Chips' Health editor. She has been looking forward to the Silver Chips experience since her sister, a recent Blair graduate, was on staff for two years. Julia won second place in the Montgomery Blair Science ... More »

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