Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back To Work

A couple of months have passed since my last update and there have been some interesting developments. The time has come to talk of many things... 

Last I wrote, I had finally gotten much sorted out personally and professionally – immigration, taxes, SAG-AFTRA, a new agent, etc. which allowed me to begin pursuing acting work once again. My first audition was for a very tiny role in the film “By Way Of Helena”, starring Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth (check out this article for recent photos of these fine gentlemen on the set). I read to video with the casting director, who was pleased with my reading but thought it a shame– due to the timing of only recently signing with my agent – I had missed the auditions the prior week for a slightly larger role in the same film which was specifically for a British character. I joked how funny it would be if the producers in Los Angeles saw my tape and asked me to read for that part instead.
Curiously enough, the following week, that was precisely what happened, and I read for the Brit part. 
Sometimes life just works.

In the meantime, I was encouraged by my wife to apply to work at The Mortuary “haunted house” in New Orleans. It seemed like a fun way to make some extra money, so I decided to go for it. I was told at the casting call that they loved my look, and there was talk of me doing something special. I informed them that I may or may not have a movie job, to which they said they were totally flexible. A week later, I went to the Orientation Meeting and was about to shake hands with the owner, Jeff, when suddenly I hear, “Oh, hey! Jason?!” It was special effects make-up artist Brian Demski, of Demski Creations, who I had worked with in Ohio a few years ago on “The Dead Matter”. He had done a lot of the special effects and set construction on the film, and it turns out that he's been coming down to New Orleans to be the head of makeup and design at The Mortuary every Halloween season for the last four years.

So, I started working there on the weekends in September, donning red contacts, fangs, and vampire makeup to portray Master Ravencroft, the “owner” of The Mortuary who greets each group of new “victims” right inside the front doors. Eventually, some of the staff at the house caught on to my previous work experience, and I even got a “Nice job, B5” one night. Ha.

I'd like to make a special note here before I go on. Should you or your friends visit The Mortuary and recognize me there, I sincerely request that you please play along with the character. I'm working here to portray a part, and we don't want to ruin the show and atmosphere now, do we? 
That said, should you wish to stick around after closing for a little chit-chat with me as myself about what-have-you, that is perfectly fine, C];-D>

After a couple of weekends working at The Mortuary, I got the call from my agent that I had been cast in the British part for “By Way of Helena”! Wow. First audition = first job. I would be working two days in September and three in October. I informed the haunted house management, who congratulated me and told me that it would be no problem. So, I've currently already done some of my scenes and I'll be shooting the rest of them this coming weekend (so no Mortuary work again for me until the following weekend).

September and October have been rather eventful, but the excitement doesn't end there - Contra 26 is coming up in a few weeks! November 7-9, you will find my wife and I as Guests of Honor at this sci-fi and fantasy themed “relaxacon” for ages 21+ located in Independence, Missouri.

Hope to see you there!


  1. I'm glad its all working out for you Jason, thats great news. Any chance your agent can contact JMS's casting director? Would be great to see you in sense8 or the b5 reboot

  2. Great news, sounds like it's all falling into place for you.

  3. Thank you both for the kind words.
    As for your suggestion, Dohmar, please know it is not in my nature to volunteer myself for roles, and furthermore that behavior is generally frowned upon by the industry as unprofessional. Nearly every role I have played has been through the audition process, which starts via an agent accessing a breakdown service and finding what their actors are well suited for and submitting them. The production later contacts those actors that it is interested in out of the many auditions received. Productions have occasionally bypassed the audition process and contacted me or my agent directly when they are definitely initially interested in me for a role, and those avenues are currently public and available C];-D>
    However, and more importantly, the demand for an actor truly lies with the public. If B5 fans would like to see me in the reboot, then they will need to make that known. A production's interest in casting an actor is very strongly affected by the potential audience's interest in seeing that actor onscreen.

  4. Dear Sir, congrats on all the stars aligning for you! Sounds like you're enjoying your new endeavors. I so wish I could trek over to New Orleans to see you in that role for Halloween. Sounds like it's something with which you can really have fun. After having seen "Demon Under Glass," I believe you are doing just that. Looks like we fans should be appealing to the production studio to have you make a guest appearance (at the very least) on the B5 reboot. You can count on it. I wish you continuted success.

  5. Congratulations Jason! Oh how I wish I could have made it to The Mortuary and say Hi after the show. I IMDB'd the film and it is a great cast (William Hurt and Alice Braga in addition to Harrelson and L. Hemsworth). I love a good thriller film. I'll help spread the word to petition for the B5 Reboot (there is also a video game coming according to IMDB). Look forward to seeing you in many more projects!

  6. Great to hear that you are a working actor again, Jason!! Congratulations! I will -- alas - be unable to see you in character at The Mortuary (though I would not spoil it for the world!) As I am waaaaaaaaay up here in Canada (along with the intense beauty of the changing Fall colours - thanks to the yo-yo weather we've had this year)...however, please break a leg and keep us posted here on how it all went.

    I will look for you alongside Woody Harrelson, William Hurt, Alice Braga and Liam Hemsworth in your newest venture. Here's to many more!!! Cheers! :D