The Long Island lacrosse-playing college student who burst into Broadway history as the first, social media-documented idiot to barge onto a stage to charge his precious cellphone faced the press today. Nick Silvestri, 19, read a statement before a group of reporters admitting, "I don’t go to plays very much, and I didn’t realize that the stage is considered off limits. I’ve learned a lot about the theater in the past few days—theater people are really passionate and have been very willing to educate me. I can assure you that I won’t be setting foot on a stage ever again, unless I decide to become an actor."

Publicists for Hand to God, the "hilarious and disturbing" play that transferred from off-Broadway and earned numerous Tony nominations, had initially said the press conference would start at 2 p.m., but Silvestri, who attends Nassau Community College, didn't surface until 2:30. He then gamely read a statement (see text below) but he stumbled over the word "theatergoer" and was immediately bombarded with questions from the skeptical press.


For instance, were he and Hand to God producers in cahoots to draw attention for the play? Especially considering that it's struggling at the box office? Silvestri seemed confused, and insisted that he wasn't part of a viral marketing stunt, telling reporters, "Take it as it is. It's fun. It's a joke."

And even though he said in his statement that he had been drinking, reporters pointed out that he's underage. He then became vague about the drinking, denying drinking in NYC, and a publicist for the show kept Silvestri from answering our probing questions, such as "Do you have the phone?"

It seems possible that a drunken Silvestri was dared to go charge his phone onstage by a friend who then filmed him. When reports of the "Juice Jackal" surfaced the next day, his friend proceeded to post the video on YouTube. Virality was instantly achieved, and Silvestri is clearly relishing the attention:

If you watch the video, you'll see Silvestri's friend snickering in the background throughout the press conference. Here is the statement.

“The past few days have been really crazy, and I wanted to have the opportunity to try to explain what happened and also offer an apology.

Ultimately, before coming to see Hand to God I downed a few drinks and I think that clearly impaired my judgement. Before the show started, I noticed that my phone’s battery was low, and the only power outlet I saw was on stage. I think you all know what happened next, and I don’t have a very good answer for the question that many of you are probably wondering: What was I thinking? I guess I wasn’t really thinking.

I don’t go to plays very much, and I didn’t realize that the stage is considered off limits. I’ve learned a lot about the theater in the past few days - theater people are really passionate and have been very willing to educate me. I can assure you that I won’t be setting foot on a stage ever again, unless I decide to become an actor.

I would like to sincerely apologize to the Broadway community, all the other people in the audience that night, and most importantly the cast and crew of Hand to God. I am on my college lacrosse team, and I know just how bad it feels when you are out there working your ass off, and it feels like the crowd isn’t on your side or isn’t paying attention. I feel terrible if any of the amazing actors in this show felt at all disrespected by my actions.

Going to see a Broadway show is one of the most special things you can do in New York City, and if I want to give one message to folks out there it’s that you should give your complete attention to the actors on stage. You can make phone calls and send text messages all day long, so when you’re in the theater for a couple hours, just put the phones away and enjoy the show. Once again, I’m sorry for my actions, and I hope that I can become an example of a great theatergoer in the future. Thank you so much for listening.”