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Investing in Arts Education

Actor Jordan Fisher on Persevering, His Love of Broadway, and the Importance of Finding Your Why

Photos: Courtesy of Andrew Rose

Theater, film, and television actor Jordan Fisher discovered the arts when he was in the fifth grade, after a girl he liked at school asked him to join the drama club.

“I fell in love with art. I fell in love with acting and music and dance,” says Fisher, who had acted in some church plays and a school play.

That childhood inspiration launched a career for Fisher, who’s preparing to resume the lead role in the Broadway show “Dear Evan Hansen” when the musical reopens in December. Fisher was playing the role when the show shut down due to the pandemic in March 2020.

Mastering his art

Fisher’s career had a quick ascent. At age 13, he did his first community show and later joined a Birmingham theater conservatory, Red Mountain Theatre Company. That’s where he met a girl, Ellie, who would eventually become his wife. The couple married in November 2020. 

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Six months after he started acting, he was in an audition process for Simba in The Lion King on Broadway. He made all the way to the final two but didn’t get the role. That didn’t matter though, because the young actor was fascinated by the craft.

Photos: Courtesy of Andrew Rose

“I have an obsessive personality. When I find something that I like a lot, and it’s new and it’s fresh, I obsess over it until I master it,” says Fisher.

Early in his career, Fisher, who also was a gymnast as a kid, traveled between his home in Birmingham and Los Angeles. He was homeschooled from eighth grade through high school. He moved to Los Angeles full-time when he was 16.

Keep going

One of his early acting roles as Holden in nine episodes of the Disney Channel show “Liv and Maddie” is still a fan favorite. He also starred on stage as Philip Hamilton in “Hamilton,” and in TV musicals including “Rent: Live,” “Grease: Live!,” and “Teen Beach Movie.” His latest films for Netflix include “Work It” and “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.” He is also starring in and executive producing two films, “Field Notes on Love” and “Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between.”

Fisher wouldn’t change anything about his path. He struggled to find work in his late teens, but he says all his experiences made him who he is today.

“I think that the advice that I would give myself at 10 would be to just, no matter what, keep going, keep doing it,” he says.

Fisher has diversified his career to include gaming, music, acting on stage and screen, and producing. He loves the business side of the industry, having just sold a film. He’s currently pitching a television show pilot.


Throughout the pandemic, he avoided the mentality that 2020 was a lost year. Instead, he hunkered down with his wife at their L.A. home and used it as a transformational year.

Now, as he’s preparing to head back to New York, he’s reflecting on what it will mean to be back on stage.


“It means quite literally everything,” he says. “The heart and soul of New York is Broadway. That is the pulse of the city.”

He’s already thinking about what it’ll be like to play Evan Hansen again.

“You can’t really calculate what that’s going to feel like, but you can have some daydreams about the idea of putting the polo on and getting the cast on,” he says.

Find your why

When Fisher was 13, actor Christopher Jackson praised him and said they would work together someday. Sure enough, the two worked together in “Hamilton” on Broadway. Whenever Fisher is speaking to students, he tells them he can’t wait to work with them one day. Three times in his career, that has come to fruition.

When people ask him for advice about becoming an actor, Fisher asks them why they want to act.  “Your ‘why’ is because it’s stimulating for you,” he says. “It’s because all you want to do is work in this industry, because it’s a beautiful industry.”

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