We have been following J Kristopher as he tries to follow his dream of becoming an actor in Hollywood. Since our initial interview, J Kristopher has added several films and commercials under his belt, and won a battle with Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) to keep his stage name because it was phonetically similar to another actor. Well J Kristopher recently sat down with On The Rise Magazine in Houston where he offered some great advice to those of you trying to break into the entertainment business. Enjoy!
OTR: What makes you stand out from all the other actors?
J. Kristopher: Ouch. Because I have a lot of peers in this business, I hope they don’t take this the wrong way. I’m just willing to do what it takes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard excuses from people. “I don’t do theater because it doesn’t translate to film.” “I don’t do unpaid work.” “It’s an audition but it’s raining.” “I don’t feel like driving.” For me, actors act. When I came to LA, the only question I had was, “where’s the camera?” Now I have the resume to show for it.
OTR: What are some things that people do not know about you?
J. Kristopher: I’m a beast. I’m very thankful for where I am and what I’m doing. At the same time, I’ve come from an athletic background. When the buzzer sounds, game on. I’m going to bring it, each and every time. I’m the scrappy guy. Might not be the guy who scores 50 a game but I’m going to try to out hustle you, dive for every loose ball, go for every rebound and take as many elbows as I can until it’s over.
OTR: What is your advice for budding actors?
J. Kristopher: Have Faith. Go the extra mile. If you choose to make this a career, it is a sacrifice. It takes up a lot of time. I don’t even have time for dating and I love women! (ha ha) Believe in yourself. You’re going to be faced with many challenges. Finances: every thing costs money. Headshots, auditions (gas), meters, classes, workshops, PR, clothes (for appearances), agent fees, manager fees etc.
People: There are going to be some who belittle you. They will try to throw their own insecurities on you. “I just don’t want to see you hurt.” “There’s just not enough roles out there for US.” All of a sudden, you find yourself complaining. You’re not dealing with HR either. You’ll have people tell you, “You’re too big.” “You’re too small.” Or my personal favorite, “Can you show me how they act in the ghetto because I have no idea. If you want to make anything up, go for it!” There will be people who will stick around and bleed you for information. Once they know all there is to know about you and your contacts they split.
Then you’ve got life. “Wow, I’m getting up in age, do I want a family?” “My car just broke down.” “My grandmother passed.” My first year here, I was dead broke, my stepfather, my aunt, my grandmother and my uncle all died in the same year. I got into a four car accidents on the freeway. So many things BUT, take heart. For God is with you always. Concentrate on what He says about you. Not the casting directors, not your family, don’t even trust yourself (you’re going to have rainy days).
Focus on Him and He will lead you where you need to be.
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