Jake this is us

The Lyrics To Jack’s Song “Memorized” On ‘This Is Us’ Are So Powerful

Music has always been a big part of This is Us. Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore), the matriarch of the Pearson clan, has struggled to build a music career throughout much of the show, and her daughter Kate (Chrissy Metz) is also a singer who has occasionally performed. So when the show introduced another singer-songwriter named Jack in the Season 4 premiere, he fit right in. He performed an original song at the end of the episode, and now fans can’t stop listening, especially because it has a special meaning. The lyrics to Jack’s song “Memorized” on This is Us are really powerful. Warning: Spoilers from the This Is Us Season 4 premiere episode follow.

You can’t talk about Jack’s song without first talking about Jack’s identity. The Season 4 premiere of This is Us introduced audiences to three new characters who appeared to be strangers at the start of the episode. However, by the end of the hour, it was clear each of the new characters has a major connection to the series’ main characters. When Jack’s full name — Jack Damon — was announced before his performance, it became clear he’s the son of Kate and Toby (Chris Sullivan) about 25 years in the future. Jack’s mother and grandmother never quite reached the level of success in their music careers that either of them hoped, but it’s clear from the enthusiasm of the crowd during his performance that Jack (Blake Stadnik) garnered plenty of fans in his endeavors.

According to The Wrap, Jack’s song “Memorized” is co-written by This Is Us composer Siddhartha Khosla and Taylor Goldsmith, the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist from the band Dawes. Stadnik’s performance of the song is already charting on the U.S. iTunes Top 20 list.

The song’s lyrics touch on a lot of themes that are present throughout all of This is Us, like the idea that fate plays a role in people’s lives. For instance, if Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) didn’t run into a bar one night, he would have never met Rebecca and their family would have never existed. If Jack and Rebecca hadn’t lost a baby, they never would have adopted Randall (Sterling K. Brown). And if Jack Damon hadn’t dropped his plate one morning, he would have never gone to the diner where he met his future wife Lucy (Auden Thornton). This is Us is all about how chance encounters can change your life in the most beautiful ways, and that’s also what Jack’s song is about.

Verse 1

Can one wrong turn give me new direction?

Can one false move bring you one true friend?

Could a stranger ever end up being you?

Verse 2

We took it back in all directions

Reaching out towards the door

Is there a message, a pathway, of something more?

Pre-Chorus

Oh, in the quiet way you caught my eye

Oh, got enough to get you memorized

Chorus

I found my way, I found my way to you

I found my way, I found my way to you

I found my way, I found my way to you

I found my way, I found my way to you

Verse 3

I told a story before I knew the ending

I got an answer before I heard the question

How did a stranger ever end up being you?

Pre-Chorus

Oh, in the quiet way you caught my eye

Oh, got enough to get you memorized

Chorus

I found my way, I found my way to you

I found my way, I found my way to you

I found my way, I found my way to you

I found my way, I found my way to you

Chorus

I found my way, I found my way to you

I found my way, I found my way to you

I found my way, I found my way to you

I found my way, I found my way to you

The meaning behind the powerful lyrics becomes even more emotional when they’re paired with the heartfelt montage of the whole Pearson family at the end of the episode.

Gian on YouTube

Season 4 of This is Us continues Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

How Mandy Moore and fiancé Taylor Goldsmith teamed up for This Is Us song that broke Jack

Fall TV type

  • TV Show

Network

  • NBC

Genre

It’s called “Invisible Ink,” but it will forever be known as The Song That Broke Jack.

Viewers have heard singer-turned-actress Mandy Moore show off her impressive vocal chops on a variety of cover songs over the years on This Is Us (“Moonshadow” “Willin’”), but Tuesday’s episode of NBC’s hit family drama featured Moore singing not only an original song, but a poignant one co-written by her fiancé, Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith.

In the episode, titled “Sometimes,” then-aspiring singer Rebecca (Moore) takes a road trip to Los Angeles with then-new boyfriend Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), where she meets with some record executives. She plays them a demo of “Invisible Ink,” a Joni Mitchell-inspired tune with lyrics like “When the world goes on without me / Will I feel it take its toll?” and “Turns out all my mistakes were forgivable / And the time I spent lost was a sign that all the ink is invisible / If you give it, give it enough time.” She ultimately receives rather positive but not gushing feedback, and when she presses one exec, he tells her that she’s “Pittsburgh good.” (Ouch.) After Jack has an emotional meeting with the parents of a deceased solider, he asks her to sing the song, which ultimately reduces him to tears.

NBC has released a behind-the-scenes video of the making of “Invisible Ink,” which you can exclusively preview here. It was This Is Us composer Siddhartha Khosla who approached Goldsmith about the possibility of a collaboration, as he was “dying” to work with him, being a “huge fan” of the singer-songwriter. “I was thrilled to get that call,” says Goldsmith, who co-wrote the song with Khosla. “Sid had a whole plan of attack, how to emotionally kind of guide us with what’s going with Rebecca, and he gave me all the tools to help contribute what I could.”

As Moore tells EW, she wasn’t the one who brought Goldsmith into the mix. “Sid approached Taylor outside of me — they did it on their own. It was such a surprise.… That my own soon-to-be-husband got to write from my character’s perspective was pretty meta and weird, but it was so cool. The song is really beautiful.”

This Is Us executive producer Isaac Aptaker tells EW that the producers had been talking about working with Goldsmith for a while. “e wanted to bring him in for something,” he says, noting that Moore “was so excited from the beginning. They collaborate on stuff outside the show, and he’s part of the This is Us extended family, so she was all in.” Adds This Is Us exec producer Elizabeth Berger: “They just absolutely love working together, and they find a lot of joy from it, so we were just looking for the perfect fit.”

Check out the video to see Moore and Goldsmith recording the song, and then click here to see what the This Is Us producers revealed about the big moments in the rest of the episode.

Related content:

  • This Is Us producer on Randall’s campaign shake-up and Beth’s blow-up
  • This Is Us producer talks Jack’s mystery woman: ‘It’s a really complex story’
  • This Is Us star Chrissy Metz reveals twist to Kate and Toby’s parenting situation

Episode Recaps

NBC’s beloved era-hopping drama tells the story of the Pearson family through the years.

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 4
Genre
  • Drama
Airs
  • Tuesdays at 9:00pm
Premiere
  • 09/20/16
creator
  • Dan Fogelman
Performers
  • Milo Ventimiglia,
  • Mandy Moore,
  • Justin Hartley,
  • Sterling K. Brown
Network
  • NBC
Complete Coverage
  • This Is Us
Available For Streaming On

Who Plays Adult Jack On ‘This Is Us’? Blake Stadnik Is Making His TV History

Spoilers ahead for This Is Us Season 4, Episode 1. One of the most interesting aspects about This Is Us is the show’s ability to transport its viewers to various points in the past, present, and future without any of us entirely knowing which of the three timelines we’re experiencing. So when the grown up version of Kate and Toby’s son was initially introduced, no one knew who he was. But who plays adult Jack on This Is Us is actually even more important than the character himself, particularly because the role is allowing him to make television history.

The actor’s name is Blake Stadnik, who is legally blind in real life, making him the one of first visually-impaired actors to play a major character on a network television show like NBC, according to Entertainment Tonight. But while he may have seemed like a natural on-camera, his role on This Is Us serves as Stadnik’s first ever on-screen credit.

Series creator Dan Fogelman knew that finding the perfect person to play such an important member of the Pearson clan would be tricky, but Stadnik checked every box he was looking for and instantly blew him away in regards to his undeniable talent as an actor and performer.

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

“He’s exceptionally talented,” Fogelamn told Entertainment Weekly during a recent interview. “It was important to us to not cast a sighted actor here. It was also very important to us that we have somebody who can hold the screen and sing, and Blake just checked a tremendous amount of boxes.”

Throughout the episode, viewers watched as Toby and Kate’s son broke a plate, fell in love, got married, and realized he was going to be a father. In the final few moments, he also performed at a huge concert venue — indicating that he was able to live out Rebecca and Kate’s dream of becoming a professional musician. Carrying such a significant portion of the show’s plot would be stressful for anyone, yet Fogelman was impressed by how composed Stadnik remained throughout the whole thing.

“He was being asked to do a tremendous amount of high-degree-of-difficulty stuff very quickly on a very, very high scale of season premiere of a very popular show and carrying a lot of weight,” Fogelman explained to EW. “And he was one of those guys that was just never flustered by it. Never overwhelmed by the moment.”

This includes when they had to shoot the entire concert scene during an intermission at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. “We got the audience to stay in their seats. had to go out there on his own, and he got one and a half takes through the song,” Fogelman recalled. “We were supposed to have 10 minutes and we realized we buy some goodwill with the band and the crowd if we just cut off after five because Blake nailed it and we just pulled him off.”

Prior to this, Stadnik’s theatrical credits include starring in productions of Newsies, Sweeney Todd, 42nd Street, and a Colorado-based showing of Guys and Dolls. (Though Fogelman admitted to ET that they pulled him from that local production in order to start filming.) Fogelman also confirmed to the outlet that another appearance of Adult Jack “will be returned to” this season. So fear not — Stadnik’s This Is Us journey is only just getting started.

This Is Us Soundtrack

Listen the Songs / Music from serie episodes:

  • SEASON 4 SOUNDTRACK – SONGS LIST HERE

  • Episode 18 – S03E18 – Her

  • Friday I’m In Love – Yo La Tengo
  • Friday I’m In Love – The Cure
  • Lay You Down – Lava Beds
  • Hold Your Head Up High – Darlingside
  • Episode 17 – S03E17 – R&B

  • Let’s Get Married – Jagged Edge
  • Thousand (feat. Lisa Hannigan) – Rosie Carney
  • Shadows on the Wall – Goldspot
  • Episode 16 – S03E16 – Don’t Take My Sunshine Away

  • Howl – Jake Houlsby
  • More Than Words – Extreme
  • The Power – Snap!
  • Don’t Let Love Pass You By – Frankie Avalon
  • Howl – Jake Houlsby
  • Episode 15 – S03E15 – The Waiting Room

  • Episode 14 – S03E14 – The Graduates

  • Episode 13 – S03E13 – Our Little Island Girl

  • Say a Little Prayer – Lianne La Havas
  • Episode 12 – S03E12 – Songbird Road: Part Two

  • (Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection – Nelson
  • We Belong – Old Sea Brigade
  • Episode 11 – S03E11 – Songbird Road: Part One

  • Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right – Craig Cardiff
  • Episode 10 – S03E10 – The Last Seven Weeks

  • Sense Of Home – Harrison Storm
  • Episode 09 – S03E09 – The Beginning Is the End of the Beginning

  • Angel From Montgomery – John Prine
  • Crying Shame – The Teskey Brothers
  • Episode 08 – S03E08 – 18,615

  • (You) Got What I Need – Freddie Scott
  • Catch The Wind – Donovan
  • Touch Of Red – Bent Wind
  • 42 – Mumford & Sons
  • Episode 07 – S03E07 – Sometimes

  • California – Joni Mitchell
  • Lonely Comin’ Down – Dolly Parton
  • Stay With Me – Faces
  • It’s Not Too Late – Christopher Blue
  • Invisible Ink (Rebecca’s Demo) – Mandy Moore
  • Episode 06 – S03E06 – Kamsahamnida

  • O’ Be Joyful – Shovels & Rope
  • He’s Got the Whole World – Ms Cheryl Renee Lynch
  • When My Mind’s Gone – Mott the Hoople
  • Episode 05 – S03E05 – Toby

  • Don’t Let Me Down – Dillard & Clark
  • Darling Remember – Slim & His Heartbreakers
  • When We Were Young – Adele
  • All Through the Night – Cyndi Lauper
  • The Way It Will Be – Gillian Welch
  • Episode 04 – S03E04 – Born Lucky

  • Fortunate Son – Catey Shaw
    This Is Us 3×4 Promo “Vietnam” Song
  • Darkness, Darkness – The Youngbloods
  • Child’s Song – Tom Rush
  • No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature – The Guess Who
  • The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil – Jefferson Airplane
  • Train Ride – GWB
  • Darkness, Darkness – Escondido
  • Episode 03 – S03E03 – Katie Girls

  • Poor Little Fool – Ricky Nelson
  • William’s Flashback (Number Three) – Siddhartha Khosla
  • Never Break – Langhorne Slim
  • So What – Miles Davis
  • Release Me – Inara George
  • Episode 02 – S03E02 – A Philadelphia Story

  • Argentina – Thelonious Monk & Clark Terry Quartet
  • What Did I Do Wrong – William Bell
  • The Mural (Clooney) – Siddhartha Khosla
  • Older Chests – Damien Rice
  • Episode 01 – S03E01 – Ave Maria

  • Treetop Flyer – Stephen Stills
  • Moonshadow – Mandy Moore
  • Little Bit of Rain – Fred Neil
  • About the Show THIS IS US: Everyone has a family. And every family has a story. “This Is Us” chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as young parents in the 1980s to their 37-year-old kids Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) searching for love and fulfillment in the present day. This grounded, life-affirming dramedy reveals how the tiniest events in our lives impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death. From the writer and directors of “Crazy, Stupid, Love” comes a smart, modern show that will welcome you into a family you feel you’ve known for years.

    Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Chris Sullivan, Susan Kelechi Watson and Ron Cephas Jones also star.
    IMDB
    This Is Us Soundtrack Season 3 Songs – Tracklist – Listen to the playlist of all of the songs played in the tv show, who sings them, including end credits and scene descriptions.

    Jack’s Song On ‘This Is Us’ Season 4 Will Give You All The Feels

    This Is Us is known for its “end of the episode twists.” These surprises began with the Season 1 premiere when the show revealed that Jack, Randall, Kevin, and Kate were not four strangers who shared the same birthday, but a family. Since then, the show’s most significant episodes end with a shocking reveal, including the introduction of Uncle Nicky, the first flash-forward of Old Randall, and Jack’s death. This season’s premiere was no exception, ending with a brand new Jack. Moreover, Jack’s song on This Is Us Season 4’s premiere episode was precisely the sort of tearjerker moment fans tune in for every week. Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 4 follow.

    The big OMFG moment of the season premiere wasn’t the reveal that Cassidy, the army vet, would become important in the story of Uncle Nicky’s return to the Pearson fold. Nor was it the sparks that flew between Deja and Malik when they met-cute at the end-of-summer bbq. It was the revelation that the heretofore nameless blind character, the musician who fell in love with a waitress named Lucy, was none other than Jack Damon, son of Kate and Toby.

    Fans learned that’s who he was as he took center stage at the arena, having gone from struggling songwriter to rock star. And it was all thanks to a song Jack started writing after he first met his future wife.

    NBC

    “Could a stranger ever end up being you/In the quiet way you caught my eye/Got enough to get you memorized.” Those are the lyrics Jack sits down and writes after his chance meeting with Lucy leads to a potential first date. “Could one wrong turn give me a new direction? I found my way to you.”

    Though the show never gives the song a name, the title of the episode is “Strangers,” which fits with the lyrics of the tune. When viewers finally hear the song performed at the end of the hour, it feels like it sums up the episode perfectly.

    TV Promos on YouTube

    Here are the song’s lyrics, as performed in the episode. “Memorized” is by This Is Us composer Siddhartha Khosla, who co-wrote it with Taylor Goldsmith.

    Can one wrong turn give me new direction?

    Can one false move bring me one true friend?

    Could a stranger ever end up being you?

    We took it back in all directions

    Reaching out towards the dark

    Is there a message, a pathway to something more?

    In the quiet way you caught my eye

    I’ve got enough to get you memorized

    I found my way, I found my way to you

    I found my way, I found my way to you

    I found my way, I found my way to you

    I told a story before I knew the ending

    I got an answer before I heard the question

    How did a stranger ever end up being you?

    In the quiet way you caught my eye

    I’ve got enough to get you memorized

    I found my way, I found my way to you

    I found my way, I found my way to you

    I found my way, I found my way to you

    Way back in February, This Is Us show creator Dan Fogelman told GoodHousekeeping.com that he had a “big plan of expansion” for season 4 of the NBC series. A week after the season 4 premiere, we now know that this plan includes Blake Stadnik, a.k.a. the actor who plays grown-up Jack Damon in the show.

    In the first episode of season 4, Jack Damon is introduced as a visually impaired musician who quickly falls for a waitress named Lucy (Auden Thornton). While we don’t yet know what storylines Dan has in mind for Jack’s character, we have gathered some interesting tidbits about the actor who plays him.

    Blake Stadnik is a theater actor.

    The 27-year-old Pittsburgh native quickly made a name for himself on stage after graduating from Penn State’s musical theater program. Theatergoers may recognize Blake from a number of different productions, including Newsies, 42nd street, and Sweeney Todd.

    Fun fact: When Blake was performing in the Colorado company of Guys and Dolls, Dan told reporters that they had to “try and get him out of in order to shoot the show.”

    Playing Jack Damon is especially meaningful to Blake.

    According to the Los Angeles Times, Blake is legally blind and has Stargardt disease, which is defined by the National Eye Institute (NEI) as the “degeneration of the macula, a small area in the center of the retina.” As a result, Blake’s vision is blurry and he has blind spots and difficulty seeing colors.

    As Blake made clear on Instagram after the season 4 premiere, getting to play Jack, who is also visually impaired, means a lot to him.

    View this post on Instagram

    Thank you to everyone who has shown me so much love after last night’s episode! It is a dream come true to be on screen with the incredible cast of This Is Us,and it’s an enormous honor to represent a low-vision character who is so powerful and nuanced. #thisisus #jackdamon

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 25, 2019 at 4:51pm PDT

    “It is a dream come true to be on screen with the incredible cast of This Is Us, and it’s an enormous honor to represent a low-vision character who is so powerful and nuanced,” he said.

    This Is Us is Blake’s first on-screen credit.

    Apparently, on his very first day of shooting, Dan said that Blake had to “lie completely naked in bed, then have a six-hour makeout scene with a young woman who was lovely opposite him.” After all of that, the show’s producers filmed Blake’s episode-ending performance of the song “Memorized” during intermission of a Chicago concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Sounds like he had quite the first day!

    You can buy Blake’s single “Memorized” from the This Is Us season 4 premiere.

    If you’re still singing to yourself “I found my way, I found my way to you,” the catchy song is now available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and more. As it turns out, Taylor Goldsmith (a.k.a. Mandy Moore’s husband) co-wrote the powerful ballad alongside series composer Siddartha Khosla.

    For can’t-miss news, expert beauty advice, genius home solutions, delicious recipes, and lots more, sign up for the Good Housekeeping newsletter.

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    Related Story Kayla Keegan News and Entertainment Editor Kayla Keegan covers all things in the entertainment, pop culture, and celebrity space for Good Housekeeping.

    Jack Pearson

    Milo Ventimiglia stars as Jack Pearson in the hit NBC drama “This Is Us,” which was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series.

    For his role during the first season of “This Is Us,” Ventimiglia was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He was also nominated for a People’s Choice Award and won a MTV Movie Award for his work in the show.

    Ventimiglia has built an impressive resume of television and film credits, and has also embraced the power of the Internet and new media with numerous projects.

    One of Ventimiglia’s early signature television roles was as Jess Mariano on the hit series “The Gilmore Girls,” which he will reprise this winter with new installments on Netflix. Other notable television stints include “Heroes,” “American Dreams,” “The Bedford Diaries” and “Boston Public.” He also has had guest-starring roles on series including “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “CSI,” “Promised Land” and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.”

    In new media, Ventimiglia produced and stars in the dramedy “Relationship Status” on the Verizon Go90 app and in the web series “Chosen” on Crackle. He also produces the digital series “The Paranormal and Extraterrestrial Squad.”

    With his production company, DiVide Pictures, Ventimiglia is working on an indie film adaptation of Marc Spitz’s autobiographical novel “How Soon Is Never?” Also under the DiVide banner, he launched two comic book titles with Top Cow Productions.

    In 2008, Ventimiglia visited the Middle East on a 10-day, three-country USO tour and spent time meeting with the servicemen and women of the armed forces; he followed that up in 2009 with a second USO trip to Germany and Turkey. He is actively involved with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America organization (IAVA), which supports veterans who need help when they return home from war.

    Ventimiglia currently resides in Los Angeles.

    ‘This Is Us’: Who Plays Jack Damon? The Actor Has One Big Thing In Common With His Character

    This Is Usreturned for season 4 with a plethora of new characters. The premiere, both ambitious and chaotic, left fans with a huge reveal in the end. If you missed the episode, consider this your spoiler alert and go watch it now.

    Who plays Jack Damon on ‘This Is Us’?

    Blake Stadnik on This Is Us | Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

    This Is Us premiered with “Strangers.” The Pearsons took a back seat while viewers met new characters that eventually tie into the beloved family.

    Among them was a visually-impaired musician, “Jay,” who falls in love with a waitress named Lucy (Auden Thornton).

    Jay and Lucy marry, and Lucy reveals she’s pregnant. The end scenes reveal this man is actually Jack Damon — Kate and Toby’s son, all grown up.

    The actor who plays Jack is a 27-year-old theater actor from Beaver County, Pittsburgh, Blake Stadnik. Stadnik graduated from Penn State. His production credits include Newsies, 42nd street, Guys and Dolls, and Sweeney Todd.

    What else has Blake Stadnik done, other than ‘This Is Us’?

    View this post on Instagram

    This was a truly surreal day recording “Memorized” at the legendary Sunset Sound. @siddkhoslamusic and @taylordawesgoldsmith , it’s such a privilege and a blast to sing your music! #thisisus #memorizedsong

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 26, 2019 at 6:21am PDT

    Theater credits aside, This Is Us is Stadnik’s first on-screen acting credit. If you followed Jack “Jay” Damon’s journey, you may have the episode-ending song, “Memorized” in your head.

    You can thank castmember Mandy Moore’s husband, Taylor Goldsmith, for that. He co-wrote the song with series composer Siddartha Khosla. The song is now available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, and more.

    Stadnik performed the song at the famed Greek Theater in Los Angeles while the Chicago show was on intermission. This Is Us is Stadnik’s biggest role to date. No pressure, though.

    In an interview with TV Line, creator, Dan Fogelman, spoke about Stadnik’s first-day shooting. Stadnik had to “lie completely naked in bed, then have a six-hour makeout scene with a young woman.” Yikes.

    What ‘big’ thing does Blake Stadnik have in common with his character, Jack Damon?

    View this post on Instagram

    A little family photo♥️ Endless thanks to these two wonderful people and everyone at @nbcthisisus who welcomed me to the family! #thisisus #jackdamon

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 24, 2019 at 7:43pm PDT

    Stadnik is legally blind, like Jack. He received his diagnosis of Stargardt disease at 6 years old. According to the National Eye Institute stated the disease is a form of macular degeneration, causing damage to the center of the retina.

    In 2015, Stadnik told the Los Angeles Times that the disease manifests for him through blurred vision, blind spots, and difficulty distinguishing colors.

    View this post on Instagram

    Checking out The Greek before the big concert in ep401! #thisisus #jackdamon

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 27, 2019 at 9:30am PDT

    In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fogelman said, “It was important to us to not cast a sighted actor here. It was also very important to us that we have somebody who can hold the screen and sing, and Blake just checked a tremendous amount of boxes.”

    He added, “I found myself increasingly proud of him. He’s a young man who was put into an atmosphere—regardless of vision, just in terms of acting experience—that was pretty new to him.”

    Stadnik’s Instagram bio says he’s an “Advocate for Disabled Artists.” Upon the premiere’s end, Stadnik took to Instagram to thank Fogelman, executive producer, Ken Olin, and cast, and crew for allowing him the chance to represent this disability on TV.

    View this post on Instagram

    Thank you to everyone who has shown me so much love after last night’s episode! It is a dream come true to be on screen with the incredible cast of This Is Us,and it’s an enormous honor to represent a low-vision character who is so powerful and nuanced. #thisisus #jackdamon

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 25, 2019 at 4:51pm PDT

    “It is a dream come true to be on screen with the incredible cast of This Is Us, and it’s an enormous honor to represent a low-vision character who is so powerful and nuanced,” he captioned.

    In another photo, he thanked Fogelman and executive producer, Ken Olin.

    “I am so grateful for these two individuals. Not only did they profoundly change my life by trusting me with such a beautiful story, but they also know how important it is to tell stories using proper representation.”

    The caption continued: “When I was young, it would have been so special to see some on television with whom I could relate telling a story like Jack’s. To any child or adult with a disability who might read this, you are not alone.”

    If Stadnik hasn’t made you cry with his acting, singing, or adorable Instagram posts, wait for it. We have a feeling his role in season 4 of This Is Us will get you there.

    • This Is Us season 4 premiered on Tuesday, September 24, and introduced a number of major new characters.
    • One of the most prominent was a blind musician played by actor Blake Stadnik, who is revealed to be Jack Damon, the adult son of Kate and Toby.
    • Here are a few key facts to know about Stadnik.

    This Is Us never fails to leave us with plenty of questions, but fans tuning in to the season 4 premiere were left with one major query after the credits rolled: Who is Blake Stadnik? Unlike most of the season’s new cast members—who include Jennifer Morrison, Omar Epps, and Asante Blackk—Stadnik’s casting was not announced ahead of time, which surely led viewers to plenty of frantic Googling since this mysterious, handsome blonde man turned out to be central to the episode.

    It becomes clear soon enough why NBC kept Stadnik’s role a secret. Introduced as a blind, struggling musician who falls in love with a waitress (Auden Thornton), the character is ultimately revealed to be Jack Damon, the adult son of Kate and Toby, who was born prematurely during season 3.

    Below, a few key facts about Stadnik, the newest addition to the Pearson family.

    View this post on Instagram

    Tonight’s the night of my television debut! Check out my story later this evening to see which network to watch. Thanks😊

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 24, 2019 at 12:36pm PDT

    Stadnik is blind in real life.

    In the final moments of the season premiere, Kate and Toby are told that their son, Jack, will be permanently blind, but able to see some light and possibly some shapes. In searching for the right actor to play the role, showrunner Dan Fogelman and his team prioritized finding someone who was also blind.

    Related Stories

    “It was an interesting casting process because we wanted to cast a blind actor,” Fogelman told Entertainment Tonight. “We had started our casting process very early, even in our off-season. I was looking for a leading man who was without sight and who could be funny, charming, accessible, and sweet. One of the wonderful things about our casting department was it wasn’t like they only found Blake. There were a bunch of really viable, wonderful casting choices that came through our casting department. Blake, when he came to us, was clearly the guy.”

    View this post on Instagram

    One of the most giving scene partners with whom I’ve had the privilege of working. Thank you @audenthorn ; you’re the best! #thisisus #jackdamon

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 25, 2019 at 6:45am PDT

    In another interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fogelman explained that “it was important to us to not cast a sighted actor here. It was also very important to us that we have somebody who can hold the screen and sing, and Blake just checked a tremendous amount of boxes. I found myself increasingly proud of him. He’s a young man who was put into an atmosphere—regardless of vision, just in terms of acting experience—that was pretty new to him.” In fact, the role marks Stadnik’s first onscreen acting credit.

    He started out as a theater actor.

    Before booking This Is Us, Stadnik had already established himself on the stage. Per The Los Angeles Times, he graduated from Penn State’s musical theater program, and starred in a number of theater productions across the country. Despite being legally blind, Stadnik was able to navigate the stage by “remembering directions, practicing the movements and keeping it all in his head,” the Times reported. “He can’t recognize faces, but he can see shapes. So he can detect where the other actors are and pick up somewhat on their body language, which helps serve as his stage cues.” Stadnik has starred in productions of Newsies, Sweeney Todd, 42nd Street and Guys and Dolls.

    He’s already bonded with his on-screen family.

    Joining the fourth season of one of the biggest shows on television has to be intimidating, especially given how tight-knit the This Is Us cast seems to be. But judging by Stadnik’s social media posts, he’s been instantly welcomed into the Pearson family. After the episode aired, he posted this adorable shot with his on-screen parents, Chrissy Metz and Chris Sullivan:

    View this post on Instagram

    A little family photo♥️ Endless thanks to these two wonderful people and everyone at @nbcthisisus who welcomed me to the family! #thisisus #jackdamon

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 24, 2019 at 7:43pm PDT

    And more importantly, he’s bonded with the dogs who play Jack’s perfect canine companion, Sam.

    View this post on Instagram

    The most adorable scene partners🐾🥰 Sorry @audenthornton …😜 #thisisus ##sammy

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 26, 2019 at 1:17pm PDT

    For more stories like this, sign up for our newsletter.

    ‘This Is Us’ returns, and we have a bunch of new characters to worry about

    Chrissy Metz as Kate and Chris Sullivan as Toby in “This Is Us.” (Ron Batzdorff/NBC)By Elahe IzadiElahe Izadi Pop culture writer September 24, 2019

    This post contains spoilers for the Season 4 premiere of “This Is Us.”

    If you had difficulty so far keeping tracking of the Pearson family on “This Is Us,” it’s time to make that flow chart: the NBC weepy kicked off its fourth season Tuesday night by introducing a rack of new characters and story lines.

    “This Is Us” is a show about mysteries, but it’s also engineered to generate tears and warm fuzzies, which it does by getting us to care about (most) of the show’s characters. But the more we care, the more we worry over their fates, marriages, health and happiness. Now we get to fret over at least three more protagonists, in addition to several of their relations.

    NBC renewed “This Is Us” for two additional seasons, and the show is expected to wrap at Season 6. Creator Dan Fogelman has said we’re now at a midway point where the characters are “opening up” to new ventures, telling Entertainment Weekly that it’s “a very exciting period for almost all of the characters, and for some of them, maybe a very scary period in terms of how fraught their story lines are.” Scary? Fraught? Oh, goody.

    But Fogelman insists he knows where it’s all going. “I have script pages I have written and I’m writing that really are deep, deep, deep into the future,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “Like, we have a plan for what we’re going to do and I know what the plan is.”

    That plan includes some new complicated and lovable people. Let’s break down what we learned in this episode, how these additions fit into the Pearson story and the new questions we have:

    Big Three check-in, please

    Just as the previous season premieres, this one also falls on the Big Three’s birthday, but we see very little of them in this episode. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) are unpacking in their new Philadelphia home. Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) have moved into a house, probably in Los Angeles, where Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel (Jon Huertas) are also helping. Kevin (Justin Hartley) is also in Los Angeles, having moved back west post-break.

    Instead, most the episode focuses on the new people and, according to Fogelman, feels in “some ways almost like a version of Season 1 in the middle of our series,” in which we didn’t learn how all of the characters were connected until the very end.


    A scene from the “This Is Us” season premiere. (Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

    Miguel

    We are in dire need of more Miguel backstory (specifically, how did he and Rebecca go from friends to spouses?). But now we know when he first met Jack: by helping him woo Rebecca. Jack goes to a men’s clothing store to get a suit jacket for his first meeting with Rebecca’s parents, and Miguel is the salesman. Jack can’t afford the jacket, so Miguel, moved by this love story, tells him to just take it and return it in a week. Of course you did, Miguel.

    Malik

    Oh, look, here comes another wonderful teen whom I want to protect from the darkness of the world. Malik (Asante Blackk) so far seems great: He’s a rising junior in high school, has a summer job and he’s the single father to a baby girl he adores who, like baby Jack, had to be in the newborn intensive-care unit. Malik lives with his parents, Kelly (Marsha Stephanie Blake) and Darnell (Omar Epps), who are exhibiting Jack-Rebecca/Randall-Beth levels of affection. Oh, and Malik loves to cook! Then just when you couldn’t be rooting for him any more, he makes Deja smile like we’ve never seen.

    At a cookout before the first day of school in Philadelphia, Deja tells Malik she’s heard he makes a great burger. He then busts out the same line his dad used on his mom the day before (you know, the one Malik mocked as corny): “For you, I’ll give it everything I got.” Well done, Malik. Way to take notes from your loving dad.

    And so it all starts to make a little sense… #ThisIsUs pic.twitter.com/Q1aLy90Ivv

    — This Is Us (@NBCThisisUs) September 25, 2019

    It’s clear how Malik would easily become a part of the central story, but we still have many questions: Where is his baby’s mother, and what’s that backstory? Will Malik stay on the straight and narrow or get mixed up with the criminal elements around him? Will Malik realize that a $10,000 preschool is unnecessary for his baby? (I believe you when you say she’s amazing, but save that money for her college fund, son.) And how will Randall and Beth receive him when Deja brings him home for the first time? Hopefully more warmly than Rebecca’s parents welcomed Jack.

    Cassidy

    We meet Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) as a soldier stationed in the Middle East running high-wire negotiations that have devastating consequences. Those wartime experiences have understandably taken a toll on her and, by extension, her family once she returns to Pennsylvania. Cassidy has trouble finding work, drinks a lot and is closed off from her husband. Then, to her own horror, she hits her young son.

    Cassidy ends up separated from her husband and seeks help. The Pearsons enter the scene during what appears to be either a group counseling or Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at a Veterans Affairs center: As Cassidy tells a heart-wrenching story, Nicky Pearson throws a chair through the window and gets arrested.

    Questions: How, exactly, will Cassidy get roped into the Pearson world going forward? Kevin is called to post bail; will he and Cassidy connect?

    Jack Damon

    We don’t know this guy’s name until the end of the episode, but over the course of the hour, we find out a lot: He is little Jack, offspring of Kate and Toby, and he grows up to have a great life.

    He has Toby’s sense of humor and, per Toby’s wishes, not his hairline. He is blind (the actor who plays him, Blake Stadnik, has Stargardt disease and is visually impaired). He has a dismal music career, yet, like his parents before him, somehow maintains a nice apartment.

    And then everything changes for him, thanks to a shattered plate. After spending a night wallowing in self-pity and alcohol when he fails to write a good song (writing is really, really hard and painful!), he wakes up hung over. So he makes breakfast, which his puppy promptly knocks out of his hand, shattering the plate. He then goes to a diner and meets a waitress, where it’s instant sparks. Inspired, he writes a song about strangers; they date, get married, then get pregnant. He goes on to play the stranger-song in arenas.

    That’s my nephew!!🤯🤯🤯 #ThisIsUs pic.twitter.com/szo9GgQRpw

    — Sterling K Brown (@SterlingKBrown) September 25, 2019

    So of course the shattered plate is now framed. Must everyone on this show have an unbelievable meet-cute that forever alters the course of their entire lives? Apparently no one in the “This Is Us” television universe uses dating apps.

    Men are crying on TV as never before

    ‘This Is Us’ finally reveals how Jack Pearson died

    Instagram

    During the season premiere of This Is Us, viewers were introduced to a new character, Jack Damon, played by actor Blake Stadnik.

    While spoilers stood in the way of NBC revealing Stadnik’s casting earlier, fans are now itching to learn more about the actor and his background. What do we know about Stadnik? How long has he been in the business, and where will his character’s journey take him on this season of This Is Us?

    Read on.

    1. Stadnik Is Legally Blind in Real Life

    View this post on Instagram

    Me being a serious actor, and… me not knowing we were still taking photos🙃 Have a nice Monday everyone! 📷: @mengley #ThisIsUs #JackDamon #behindthescenes

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 30, 2019 at 7:02am PDT

    When he was 6, according to The LA Times, Stadnik was diagnosed with a form of juvenile macular degeneration.

    The article writes, “Stadnik has Stargardt disease, meaning the light-sensitive cells in his retina have deteriorated, particularly in the area of the macula, where fine focusing occurs. His vision, he said, is blurry and he has blind spots and trouble seeing colors.”

    The actor hails from Pittsburgh and graduated from Penn State’s musical theater program. He tells the LA Times of entertaining, “It just clicked… I don’t know if I’d be doing this without my condition. It’s actually been a blessing in disguise.”

    According to his Instagram bio, Stadnik is an Advocate for Disabled Artists.

    2. Stadnik Is Namely a Theater Actor

    View this post on Instagram

    One of the most giving scene partners with whom I’ve had the privilege of working. Thank you @audenthorn ; you’re the best! #thisisus #jackdamon

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 25, 2019 at 6:45am PDT

    Casting the role of Jack Damon was “laborious”, in the words of ET. However, the producers knew from the get-go they wanted to cast a blind actor in the role of Jack Damon.

    Series creator Dan Fogelman shared in an interview with ET, “It was an interesting casting process because we wanted to cast a blind actor. We had started our casting process very early, even in our off-season. I was looking for a leading man who was without sight and who could be funny, charming, accessible and sweet… One of the wonderful things about our casting department was it wasn’t like they only found Blake. There were a bunch of really viable, wonderful casting choices that came through our casting department. Blake, when he came to us, was clearly the guy.”

    Up until his role in This Is Us, Stadnik was mainly involved in local theater productions. Fogelman tells ET, “He was actually in a local production in Colorado that we had to get him out of in order to shoot the order, but he had never acted on camera before… We wanted to find an actor who could be a leading man and very handsome and very funny and looked great with his bare abs on national television, but also be able to stand in the Greek in front of a live audience and actually perform and sing a song. There were a lot of boxes to check.”

    A musical theater actor at heart, Stadnik has been involved in productions like Newsies, Sweeney Todd, 42nd Street, and Guys and Dolls.

    3. He Is the Adult Son of Toby & Kate

    View this post on Instagram

    I met a new friend🐾

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Jul 18, 2019 at 11:57am PDT

    As fans of the show know now after the premiere, Stadnik’s character of Jack Damon is the son of Kate and Doby on the show.

    His addition to the cast brings the timeline forward several years in the future. As ET points out, viewers have seen a “bed-ridden” Rebecca, and Jack’s existence moves the timeline forward “about 10-plus years after that.”

    Fogelman tells ET, “When we talk about the endgame of that storyline that’s already been established with ‘her,’ it’s kind of where this story for our Pearson family — the immediate family of the Big 3 — and the family heads toward… but it doesn’t mean it’s the endgame in terms of timelines.”

    4. ‘This Is Us’ Marks His Television Debut

    View this post on Instagram

    Tonight’s the night of my television debut! Check out my story later this evening to see which network to watch. Thanks😊

    A post shared by BLAKE STADNIK (@blakestadnik) on Sep 24, 2019 at 12:36pm PDT

    During the season 4 premiere of This Is Us, Stadnik posted the above selfie to Instagram, commenting, “Tonight’s the night of my television debut! Check out my story later this evening to see which network to watch. Thanks.”

    In fact, according to ET Online, This Is Us marks his first on-screen credit ever. Check out the actor’s IMDB and you’ll see This Is Us as the only project listed.

    5. He Is Not the Only New Cast Member to Join the Show This Season

    They All Found Their Way to Each Other – This Is Us (Episode Highlight)From Malik (Asante Blackk) and Deja (Lyric Ross) to Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison) and Nicky (Griffin Dunne), the Pearsons’ paths are crossing with people who will change their journeys forever. ” Subscribe for More: http://bit.ly/NBCThisisUs ” Watch This Is Us Tuesdays 9/8c on NBC! ” Stream Anytime: http://www.nbc.com/this-is-us/episodes THIS IS US ON SOCIAL: Like This Is Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NBCThisisUs/ Follow This Is Us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NBCThisisUs Follow This Is Us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/NBCThisisUs/ “This Is Us” chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as young parents in the 1980s to their 37-year-old kids Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) searching for love and fulfillment in the present day. Find This Is Us trailers, full episode highlights, previews, promos, clips, and digital exclusives here. NBC ON SOCIAL: NBC YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/nbc Like NBC: http://Facebook.com/NBC Follow NBC: http://Twitter.com/NBC NBC Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/NBCtv/ NBC Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NBC NBC Instagram: http://instagram.com/nbc ABOUT THIS IS US Everyone has a family. And every family has a story. “This Is Us” chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as young parents in the 1980s to their 37-year-old kids Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) searching for love and fulfillment in the present day. This grounded, life-affirming dramedy reveals how the tiniest events in our lives impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death. From the writer and directors of “Crazy, Stupid, Love” comes a smart, modern show that will welcome you into a family you feel you’ve known for years. They All Found Their Way to Each Other – This Is Us (Episode Highlight) https://youtu.be/ctDhS4r_jiA This Is Us https://www.youtube.com/NBCThisIsUs 2019-09-29T13:00:10.000Z

    Along with Stadnik, other new faces have joined the Season 4 cast. And some of those faces are quite familiar. Malik is played by When They See Us’ Asante Blackk, while Cassidy is played by Jennifer Morrison. And Stadnik’s love interest on the show is played by Auden Thonton.

    Fans may recognize Jennifer Morrison from the show House, where she played Dr. Allison Cameron. She also played Emma Swan in ABC’s Once Upon a Time. In the words of TVLine, “The Once Upon a Time alum was simply stunning in her This Is Us debut, crafting a complex, wrenching study of a woman dangerously close to the end of her rope.”

    Blackk, meanwhile, plays Malik, a young father and the potential new love interest of Déjà. Recently, Blackk, who is just 17, was nominated for an Emmy for his role as Kevin Richardson on When They See Us.

    This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

    READ NEXT: ‘This Is Us’ Season 4: Cast Spoilers

    • The season 4 premiere of This Is Us revealed that Kate and Toby’s son, Jack Damon, was born with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an eye condition that will leave him nearly blind for the rest of his life.
    • ROP is an eye disorder that primarily affects premature infants. While the condition will not reverse for Jack, “he will be able to see some light, maybe some shapes.”
    • Flash-forward scenes in episode 1 have already introduced Jack’s adult role, played by Blake Stadnik, as a blind musician.

    Season 3 of This Is Us left newfound parents Kate and Toby Damon with a very premature baby boy. Kate was only 28 weeks pregnant when she delivered him, and because they had such difficulty conceiving, they feared the worst. Finally, after three months in the hospital, the season 4 premiere revealed that Jack Damon—named after his late grandfather—was born with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an eye condition that will leave him nearly blind for the rest of his life.

    According to the National Eye Institute, ROP is “a potentially blinding eye disorder that primarily affects premature infants weighing about 2¾ pounds or less that are born before 31 weeks of gestation.” The smaller and more premature a baby is, the more likely they are to experience ROP.

    It occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow and spread throughout the retina. They’re often fragile and bleed, scarring the retina and sometimes pulling it out of place, which is also known as retinal detachment. The eye develops rapidly in the final trimester of pregnancy, per the National Eye Institute, and, due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients, that development can be stunted or completely ceased by premature birth. In its early stages, infants can grow out of ROP and their vision may develop normally, but Jack’s, unfortunately, does not.

    So, is Jack completely blind?

    “Jack’s retinopathy will not reverse,” the doctor told Toby and Kate in the season 4 premiere. “His eyesight will not return. The good news is, it’s not total stage five. He will be able to see some light, maybe some shapes.” The doctor didn’t say exactly what stage of ROP Jack experiences, but according to the Eye Institute, stage five is described as a completely detached retina that can result in severe visual impairment and even blindness.

    If Jack’s vision loss isn’t at stage five and he still has significant blindness, his condition is likely at either a stage three, where his retina experienced severely abnormal blood vessel growth, or stage four, where his retina is partially detached from the wall of the eye.

    “We’ve known for a while now that Kate’s son was going to be born prematurely and blindness retinopathy is a common thing that would come from that,” This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman told Vulture the day following the season 4 premiere. According to the Eye Institute, approximately 14 to 16,000 of the average 28,000 premature infants born annually in the U.S. (weighing 2¾ pounds or less) are affected by some degree of ROP, and most babies who develop ROP will be diagnosed with stages one or two.

    NBC

    Do we know anything else about Jack?

    Jack’s character and his vision loss are already shaping up to be another highly layered storyline in the spiderweb narrative that is This Is Us. Flash-forward scenes have introduced his adult role, played by Blake Stadnik, who is a charming and talented musician, just like his grandmother Rebecca. “He was clearly the guy,” Fogelman told Vulture of Stadnik.

    As the season progresses, fans will hopefully learn if Jack inherited the one attribute Toby prayed for while they anxiously awaited his ROP diagnosis, or, if he acquired the one Toby cursed. “Maybe his dad will give him his sense of humor,” Toby nervously quipped. “But please God, please please please, not his hairline.”

    Like what you just read? You’ll love our magazine! Go here to subscribe. Don’t miss a thing by downloading Apple News here and following Prevention. Oh, and we’re on Instagram too.

    Kayla Blanton Kayla Blanton is a freelance writer who reports on all things health and nutrition for Men’s Health, Women’s Health, and Prevention.