Jordan Gavaris [jgavaris]
How did you begin acting?
My family would probably agree I was dramatic from birth, but my first experience acting was on-stage, in a community theatre production of 'Charlotte's Web'.
At what stage in your career did you realise that acting could be something you do professionally?
Even with a film and a series under my belt, I'm still skeptical that I'll be able to turn the craft into a career. I think I realized it was a possibility during the launch of "Unnatural History". I wasn't doing an art-house film in rural Canada; it was a major series for a major studio that seemed to churn out stars faster than Beatrice churns butter. I got a taste of what it feels like to have a project feel less like a hobby and more like a job.
Please list an Internet address where one can see something about you.
Please list the most important or defining jobs of your career.
It's really the only defining job I've had thus far; my role as Jasper on Cartoon Network's "Unnatural History".
Please list three actors and three actresses that you like.
(The fact that they're all red-heads is a coincidence, I assure you).
What type of communication do you normally establish with directors?
The process of filmmaking changes from project to project, but I try to establish a collaborative line of communication. When a director allows the process to be shared, the actor feels less like a puppet and more like a hand of the creator. Paul Shapiro, a notable television director (and friend), was the first director I'd worked with who would allow his actors room to breathe and explore (figuratively speaking), and that's the kind of experience I aspire to moving forward.
Do you see yourself working in this field in twenty years?
Absolutely! I don't know in what capacity I'll remain in the film industry (I've always liked to write), but I plan on sticking around for awhile if they'll have me!
What do you do to kill time during waiting periods at casting calls?
Try to relax! I've been auditioning regularly for over four years but I still get nervous!
Are you continuing to educate yourself through acting classes, seminars, or other courses? Do you combine this with your normal job?
One of the favorite introductory lines you'll find at a "young-actors" party is: "So, where do you train?" Every time I'm asked I feel my stomach turn in embarrassment; "I don't", I whisper meekly, staring at my shoes. While not entirely true, it's more truth than the alternative.
Out of high school, I signed up for a couple of audition workshops at a local studio and was introduced to the Method; an acting technique born out of Stanislavski's work and developed by Lee Strasberg. Unfortunately, I never made it past the sensory exercise level, but what I learned were the basics of something called "sense memory", which I apply to most all my work. I've come to realize the value of sensory appreciation; stopping and smelling the roses, (I prefer Lilacs) so to speak? I try to find moments in my day-to-day where I can do just that.
Is there any scene or role that you would never interpret due to personal morals, principles, or taboos?
I try to never say "never", but none than I can think of, off the top of my head. I've always romanced the idea of legitimacy in film or film as art. Film has changed considerably in the last decade, but I still feel it has roots firmly planted in artistry; not just commercialism. Just because movies aren't hanging in a gallery somewhere in Chelsea doesn't mean they're not art.
I see film as the broadest art form known to man, broadcast on a medium reaching just about everybody in North America (probably the world). I argue that, because of its ability to reach people en-mass, it can have the greatest moral impact (both positive and negative) on our population. If that's not art, I don't know what is!
Which director would you like to read this interview? What type of role would you like for him/her to offer you?
Terrance Malick, hands down! I'd take a background part in his next film if it meant I'd be within a hundred feet of his genius.
Have you ever thought of giving up on the profession? If yes, when and why?
Absolutely! When I'm not working and auditioning, I talk myself in and out of quitting routinely; almost daily! I think most people have a loosely formed vision of what their life will look in 5, 10, or 15 years. When you're spinning your wheels and it feels like you're not moving forward, the sudden want to throw in the towel is overwhelming, but that's Hollywood's disease.
One personal reason why to keep doing this work
It's what I know. It's what I've always known, and right now, I can't see myself doing much else.
How do you feel when people recognise you on the street?
I've only been recognized once. I think I was more excited than she was.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in acting?
It may sound trite, but be sure you're acting for the right reasons. You can have a wonderful career as an actor and make a handsome living doing it, but you may never reach the level notoriety or fame as some of your peers or idols. So long as you feel comfortable with that possibility, be free, and don't be discouraged or ashamed if at times you feel yourself falling out of love with the job; you're not alone! Auditioning is a hard knock and there are times you'll feel like you're circling the drain, and that's where hobbies come in handy.