On April 12, 2016, North Springs got a famous visitor: Usher. Well, Jessie Usher that is. Jessie Usher is a rising Hollywood star, famous for his role as Cam Calloway in the critically-acclaimed Starz TV series Survivor’s Remorse. Usher came to North Springs to speak to students involved in the Visual and Performing Arts program, especially the theater students, about himself and his life as a Hollywood star.
North Springs Chorus teacher James Landreau led an interview with Usher that focused on his early life and how he was able to find a balance between acting and other aspects of his life. Usher began by surprising the audience, saying that in school he focused mostly on science and biology. “I thought it was more important to gain a foundation of knowledge in high school,” said Usher, who took his acting classes on the side. “I actually graduated as salutatorian of my class when I was only 15.”
After beginning with easy questions, Landreau began asking Usher more intensive questions. He asked how Usher was able to find a balance between his professional work and his personal life. Usher responded, “At any given time you have to focus on one or the other…if you really want to do your best work, it has to be your everything.” Usher then explained the demands of playing a major part on a television show, with the long hours and constant changes to script and location.
Usher focused on emphasizing the differences between acting in multiple forms of media. He characterized films as a slow process, in which one might only get through a half-page of script a day, comparable to the seven or eight one might get through when working in television. Though one might say half a page is unbearable slow, Usher insists he enjoys the balance. “I could never do just one (type of production),” said Usher.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the interview was when Usher addressed his favorite roles. “I like to have fun,” he said. “I especially enjoyed working on my Cartoon Network show, Level Up, because it was just so fun to work on. You can’t do dark sets in the pouring rain all the time.”
Another audience-favorite part of the interview was when Usher elaborated on his role in the upcoming sequel to the hit Independence Day. Usher will be playing Dylan Hiller, a “dope” fighter pilot, in the movie. Independence Day: Resurgence, which is scheduled to come out this June.