The Theatre Collective at Richardson High School had a special guest on their Zoom call last week.

Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf from “Frozen,” joined Erik Archilla’s sophomore magnet theatre class. Gad, who also starred in “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway, offered on Twitter to surprise some classes with a visit, and Archilla jumped at the chance to bring some joy to his students.

The RHS students peppered Gad with questions about his career and acting in general. Gad explained the importance of being kind and professional. He said acting for the stage is the most difficult but also the most rewarding. Gad implored the students, especially the Class of 2020, to keep working on acting and to not allow the coronavirus to define them.

“You know, it is a crazy time, and I have two kids of my own who are Zooming with their teachers right now in the house behind me,” Gad said. “There’s no denying that not being able to be with your friends and do things like prom and walk down the aisle for graduation and getting your diploma is a bummer. But it won’t define your life, and it certainly is going to be a memory that you look back on vividly because of the circumstances surrounding it. And the truth is, this will one day all be behind us and a distant memory that we all look back on and go ‘OMG, that was insane.’ But for now, we are all in it together, and as long as you have amazing teachers like Mr. Archilla leading you guys, you’re in good hands.”

Archilla’s students and Richardson ISD are extremely grateful for the time Gad graciously devoted to encouraging our kids in this troubling time. Thanks so much, @joshgad.

He Likes Warm Hugs was originally published in Richardson ISD Newsdesk on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.