I never wanted to be an actor. If you had told me 5 years ago I would become one I would have laughed and said, “No, thanks!”
After spending my whole life in the 3-stoplight town of Chelsea, Michigan, I moved to New York City hoping to further my career in book publishing. One day I met a guy on a train who invited me to come to an audition just to watch. I thought it would be interesting to see behind the scenes, so I took him up on it—still with no interest in acting. After auditioning people for 3 hours they still couldn’t fill one role, so the director turned to me and said, “Jonny, why don’t you try it?” Startled, I replied, “You’re joking right, I’m not an actor!” But he insisted, so I tried, and I got the part, which was for a play reading. I had fun with it, did some more auditions, and about a month later I was cast in the male lead in an original production at the 13th Street Repertory in Manhattan. Right after our 3-month run ended I did my first film, again the lead role, for which I won “Best Actor in a Short Film” at the Denver Film Festival [when the film was screened there in 2004]. In the 4 years since then I’ve had leads or supporting roles in more than 20 Indie films and 30 student films, some in New York but most here in Los Angeles.
I enjoy the process of working with the director, cast, and crew toward the common goal of producing the best film possible. Often it becomes like family. I even went to the wedding of a husband and wife director/producer team in December.
I love becoming another person for my roles, playing everything from a compassionate priest or therapist to a psychotic killer. I also enjoy comedy, and would love to do more of it. In my off time I enjoy keeping fit and browsing the Iliad bookstore for all types of books, but especially those about various types of spiritual pursuits.
My question to you: The legend is that Al Pacino did 50 student films before he got noticed. I have done more then that in just four. What’s a guy gotta do to get to the big time?