In the Room Where It Happens: Rachel Juozapaitis
In this new exclusive series for The Magazine, members of the company of HAMILTON reflect on what’s it’s like to be a part of the show and performing in San Francisco. HAMILTON continues its smash run at the Orpheum Theatre. Tickets start at $75. Click here for tickets.
Rachel Jouzapaitis is the Lead Follow Spot Operator for HAMILTON. Her perch at the very top of the Orpheum Theatre allows her a special perspective on the show and how it continues to thrill audiences of all ages.
Tell us about your position/role with HAMILTON. What does a typical day on the job look like for you?
I’m the assistant electrician/ lead follow spot operator for the show. My job is to assist the head electricians in making sure we have every light fully operational for every show, as well as to direct two local follow spot operators, while operating my own follow spot.
What inspires you most about HAMILTON? Which of the show’s themes have resonated in your life?
…That’s a hard question to answer. There’s inspiration in every single note and lyric. I think right now what resonates is the ability to make a change; to essentially cause a revolution. As for the themes, I think the humanity of the show is vital. It’s important to see that the heroes were real people, and those people were human. I think we lose sight of that ourselves in everyday life…
What HAMILTON lyric would you use as your life motto?
“I’m past patiently waiting- I’m passionately smashing every expectation.”
Are there specific moment(s) that stand out and make you proud of the work the company is doing?
I was fortunate enough to go to Puerto Rico with this company and be a part of that. I lost count- everywhere I went, locals would tell me how important the show is to them and how it’s helping them, via revenue from tourists and such, recover from the storm.
Another thing that makes me swell with pride is the Eduham’s (the curriculum developed for High Schoolers.) I can’t express how proud I am to bring this show to those kids. There really is nothing like it.
What do you enjoy about working/performing in San Francisco?
I just really love San Francisco. The local guys are great, the city is so diverse, and the people here are amazing. I really love the community throughout the city. There aren’t a lot of places like it. Rachel and other crew members worked with students from Larkin Street Youth Services.
What’s an item on your San Francisco bucket list?
I really want to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. I also want to go to Alcatraz.
Have you discovered any great neighborhoods?
I like something about almost every neighborhood I visit, but probably my favorite is the Castro, with the Mission as a close second.
Hazel’s and Mozzeria
Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, North Beach, Japan Town
Flying trapeze (there are 2 schools in the bay area!) And since being here, I’ve started running races! Tons of fun!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter your field?
Don’t let discouragement stop you. Don’t give up because you don’t get that “one” job. Don’t stop because you didn’t get the big show you wanted. It will come. The universe will open the door for you when it’s ready. Your job is to be ready and standing at the right door when it does.
What’s one thing audiences would be surprised to know about you?
Because of what my job entails, I am literally paid to watch the show every night. 😁