A Natural Flair for Drama

isaiah-estes-1If they had a Newcomer of the Year award in the West Jessamine High theater program, Isaiah Estes would have won it.

As a freshman four years ago, Isaiah auditioned for a part in the Broadway classic “South Pacific.”

Even though he had never had a lesson, he won a speaking role and sang in the ensemble.

School theater director Hallie Brinkerhoff instantly recognized Isaiah’s comedic gifts and uninhibited zest for drama.

He had developed his singing voice at his church, Southland Christian, and with The Lexington Singers Children’s Choir.

He started singing and performing with the Children’s Choir as young as 6 and traces his musical ability to his father, Phil, a postal worker, who plays guitar and writes songs.

Since Isaiah’s success in “South Pacific,” he has become a fixture in West Jessamine school plays.

As a sophomore, he played Roy, one of Felix and Oscar’s poker-playing buddies in “The Odd Couple,” and Skip Snip in the musical, “The Little Shop of Horrors.”

As a junior, Isaiah played Jonathan Harker in the fall production of “Dracula.”

In the spring show at the school, he played his favorite role, Prince Dauntless, in the musical, “Once Upon a Mattress.”

“I liked that part because I played somebody not like me,” Isaiah said. “The Prince is naive and a momma’s boy.”

It was during “The Odd Couple” that Isaiah found another talent – costume making.

His mother, Marilyn, is an accomplished seamstress and taught Isaiah to sew. Between the two of them, they have made many of the costumes for most of the school productions, and Isaiah has sewn his own costumes.

He made the bright red coat he wore as Adolfo Pirelli in “Sweeney Todd,” the school’s show this fall.

Spotlight-1Isaiah was made to order for Pirelli, a part that called for an over-the-top comedic performance, Isaiah’s forte.

“I like the attention and the laughs. I know that’s a shallow reason,” he said about acting.

“But I really like losing myself in a show.

“When all of us come together to put on a show, we become like a family.”

Isaiah is a member of the school’s Show Choir and Concert Choir. As a junior and senior he made the All-State Choir, which performs once a year in Louisville.

Despite that busy schedule, Isaiah is an excellent student with a 3.9 GPA. He has taken eight A.P. classes and scored 33 on his ACT.

In college, he hopes to study film at UCLA, USC or NYU.

“Isaiah will really throw himself into a performance,” Marilyn said.

“I’m proud that he has made this his own and it has all come from him.”

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