Student Profile: Keaton Jones


If you went to see the fall play this year, you witnessed senior Keaton Jones playing the infamous Jay Gatsby. His first time having a major role, Jones laid it all out on the line through emotion and character.

“I had to learn the experience of Gatsby. Not just the character, but I had to focus in on the story. For example, why he is in love with Daisy and why is he so rich.” Jones said. “So I relied on the history and reading about the story. I felt the emotions of the play when I played the part.”

He says that being African-American made his role even more important because he was able to make this character his own. Also, not being known for theatre and more for his athleticism made it impactful for others to see a different side of him.

“When people see me they think of athletic Keaton, but then they see me acting. Nobody knows that side of me. It was a lot of fun and I surprised a lot of people. My track teammates first laughed but then they got really into it. They all came to my plays and supported me.”

But Keaton has support from more than just his track teammates, he also has bonded and created relationships with his cast mates.

“The people who were cast worked really hard. And it’s cool to get to know people I wouldn’t usually surround myself with but I spent six hours everyday with these people.” Jones said.”I got to bond with Matt Schank who is the coolest person I worked with. I figured we would’ve have had tension because he is Nick and he is the main character. But everything we did, we connected over it. It was like a bromance and we bonded.”

He also is inspired by his family whom he is very close with. His late grandfather who encouraged him to pursue acting, is his most influential supporter of all.

“My grandpa inspired me to be an actor. Before my first film got released, he told me me ‘For him who believes, anything is possible’. It made me believe I could make this movie real and good and I was only ten years old. When I saw myself on TV, I fell in love with acting.”

Keaton has his eyes set on the future and is already planning on what is to come for him.  He was recently accepted to Azusa Pacific University in California but is also looking into colleges in New York, Northern Colorado and Penn State.

“I quit basketball this year because I wanted to be in the fall play. I mostly run track because it is a fun, healthy way for me to stay in shape. It is a hobby I won’t take with me to college, but still something I thoroughly enjoy. Mostly because I am going to major in theatre in college.”