Starbucks has become a very important social institution for many people. It isn’t just a place to get their coffee. It’s the first place they go in the morning. The employees are the first people they see and interact with. You have probably heard people say something like, “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my Starbucks.”
A big draw for people to go to Starbucks is more than just the strong coffee. It is the employees behind the counter. They might misspell your name sometimes, but if you are a regular, they will remember your name and greet you like you are family. Who wouldn’t want that?
Every once in a while there will be a negative story surrounding Starbucks, but this isn’t one of those stories. This is a story about how one barista became a viral sensation for his talents beyond making a delicious cup of joe. Jason Berger is a barista and also an incredible singer.
There are some little ticks we all have that are unique to us. No matter what we try to do, we can’t help but let these little quirks out. For Jason Berger, a barista at Starbucks, his little tick is that he loves to sing, which means it could come out at any moment, especially when he is at work behind the counter of Starbucks serving up coffee.
It’s not as if Jason Berger sings all the time at work, but recently during one of his shifts, a customer visiting from Italy asked him to sing. It’s not as if that is a request that happens every day, so Jason happily agreed to sing, breaking out into an operatic song that blew the coffee shop away. Unbeknownst to Jason, the Italian’s wife, Kaylan Wetzel, filmed the entire thing.
Wetzel shared the video (because how could you not?) and it ended up going viral, amassing over 45 thousand views. Wetzel herself is an actress with experience in musical theater, so she was in complete awe of the singing surprise. “I know a good voice when I hear it and his is stellar! I did not expect it at all.”
You might be wondering how the singing even got started. This isn’t the first time Jason had sung for Wetzel’s husband. Jason had met her husband before and they had spoken about how Jason had studied opera in Italy and was fluent in Italian. Her husband was so impressed with Jason’s Italian that he asked him to sing. The rest is history. Jason has a diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University.
Aside from working several part time jobs, Berger is pursuing being a professional singer. "My dream is to be a soloist at major opera houses across the globe, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and as musical theater is a passion of mine as well, I would love to be in a Broadway show.”
As stated before, Jason Berger doesn’t always sing while working his non-singing related jobs. "I (and many other opera singers) don't love just singing on the spot like that. Because we have trained so hard for so many years, we believe that if we just sing on the spot without doing the proper warm-ups and without properly preparing that it doesn't necessarily do justice to our work." Jason is passionate about the arts and hopes his viral fame teaches people to appreciate artists.