Small screen big break

BC grad makes surprise appearance on hit TV show ‘Glee’

Jacob Bartifeld playing bass at a family friend's wedding.

Jacob Bartifeld playing bass at a family friend's wedding.

— Jacob Bartfield never imagined a call from his brother about a gig would lead to an appearance on national television.

The 2002 Bethlehem Central graduate moved to Los Angeles six months ago for a change of pace after playing bass in the Boston-based band “The Pulse of Boston” for four years.

“I know a few people who live out here and my brother lives here, so it seemed like I’d have more opportunities,” said the 27-year-old.

When Jacob’s brother asked him if he would be interested in filling-in one time as bass player for a friend’s band, he was excited for the opportunity to connect with new musicians. Bartfield soon received a text asking if he could send them back a picture right away. He took the picture with his phone and texted it back.

“They told me when and where to show up and right away I called my brother asking what I was doing,” said Barfield, whose brother knew the saxophone player. “Then he told me, ‘Oh, you’re going to be on Glee.’ I said, ‘OK, that’s cool.’ I didn’t even know what I was doing at first, so that was kind of crazy.”

Bartfield was to appear in episode 12 of the Fox television show Glee’s third season, which featured the Latin singer Ricky Martin. The shoot with his scenes took place over three days, but first he had to learn the music.

According to Bartfield, all of the show’s music is prerecorded, so he really didn’t have to play anything. His role was to know the music well enough to make it look like he was playing correctly during his scenes.

“It’s still important to learn the music as close to note for note as we can, and look like we’re having a good time,” he said. “For one song I played electric bass, and the cord was plugged in but nothing was happening. I don’t even know if it was real.

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