Upon arriving to LA, I didn’t know anyone or have a place to stay. I had no acting credits, and no connections. I just cruised around in my truck, living by Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina Del Rey. Months went by without booking anything. The only work I got was either from doing personal training or catering. I questioned many times in my head if I made the right decision to come here. That I was already 24 years old and just starting, and people had been working at this since they were kids. How was I supposed to beat out years and years of experience for roles?
A few more months went by before I finally booked a few roles in some indie projects. I knew I had to be more proactive in order to book bigger roles so I decided to make a short film and showcase myself in a way that I wanted to be seen. So I wrote, produced, and starred in this short film called Face Off where I played a boxer. I was an athlete growing up so it was easy for me to write what I knew, play a close to the vest role, and most importantly it was something that I was really excited about doing. With tons of favors, we got it done, and it won several awards.
I then started to go around town and show different producers, casting directors and directors the little film I made. This led me to my first TV show. Not only did I show I could act but I showed I could produce. I became an Actor and producer on an Amazon Prime show The Bay. That show then got nominated for an Emmy and won. Then I wanted to create something on my own.
I came together with a buddy of mine named Ben McDonnell who I met early on in my journey here in LA, and we decided to make our own show called Class Act. The show was about struggling actors in LA and since we were struggling actors in LA we thought we could tell a pretty interesting an honest story about it. We cast Eric Roberts as an acting teacher, and we all played students in his class. The show then got picked up by Amazon Prime, we shot in August of 2018, and it is now out. We are now being considered for an Emmy nomination in the Short Form category. It stars myself, Eric, Ben, Mandalynn Carlson, Rachele Brooke Smith, Meredith Jackson, Nikki Soohoo and Ronnel R. Parham. Directed by Marcus Perry, and produced by James Ganiere and Brooke Rupe and the actors,
I think my journey is a good example about how you can dream big, start from scratch, and make things happen. I’m excited to continue creating and to see what happens with Class Act and future projects!
Written by Jake Hunter. Check out Class Act on on Amazon Prime!