As kids all over America head back to school, Broadway.com decided to ask our favorite Broadway stars to look back at their own years in the classroom—and share a school picture! Nic Rouleau, who plays the picture-perfect mormon Elder Price in the hit musical The Book of Mormon, recalls his time as an unathletic math nerd who refused to swear.
What song sums up your school experience and why?
I think I'm going to go with "Calculus" by MTV's semi-fictional boy band Together—mostly because I was a huge math nerd!
What class did you dread and why?
Definitely P.E. I was a very "husky" kid in middle school and high school (my mom's polite way of calling me fat). So any sort of strenuous athletic activity was never fun. But I will say that in high school, anyone playing an extracurricular sport was exempt from P.E., leaving all of us "athletically challenged" folk to band together. I actually won a special P.E. award my junior year and had to receive it in front of the entire student body. My mom was very proud of her husky boy that day!
What is your most embarrassing school moment?
I was a bit of a square growing up and refused to use any profane language, even throughout high school. Elder Price would have been VERY proud! I remember having to read aloud a passage from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass in my sophomore English Lit class. I got to a sentence referring to a donkey as an "ass." I took a long pause, looked up to the teacher and said, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Beltramo, but I can't continue. I don't swear." The entire class erupted in laughter. People still make fun of me for that moment to this day...and when I say people, I mean my mom.
In which extracurricular activities did you participate?
My parents realized I loved singing from a very early age, so I was always participating in the school choir, local children's theater shows, etc. But coming from an athletic family, I also felt a lot of pressure to participate in school sports. All throughout grade school, I attempted to play basketball, soccer, even flag football, with little success. I remember one football practice in particular where, for the first time ever, I actually caught a ball that was thrown to me. The entire team stopped dead in their tracks and applauded. It was at that moment that I knew my time with organized sports was over. From then on, it was all theater, all the time.
Describe your school-age self in three words.
Honest, smiley, perfectionist. (Clearly, I was typecast as a Mormon.)