Its 1:38 pm
Welcome to another edition of “8 Questions with…..”.
In my last interview Reanna Madson,I shared how I was invited to join a actor’s support group by my friend Stephen Foster. I asked if anyone wanted to be interviewed here and only two actresses raised their hands. You met Reanna already and you’ll meet the other one shortly.
Stephen and I were talking online after the wonderful reception to Reanna’s interview and we were perplexed why more folks didn’t jump on a great chance to get some free publicity merely by talking about themselves and their careers. I know a interview on a blog may not be “The View” or “Conan O’Brien” but any chance you get to promote yourself,you take. (well,as long as its not for Fox News anyways).
I asked Stephen,”Find me four hungry talented people who would jump at this chance.”
By the end of the day,I had met Jerry,a very kind and talented performer. When I looked at his background and saw he had done a film for The Asylum,I knew I really wanted to chat with him and when I asked him if he cared to chat,he said “Yes I do!!”.
I am so glad I did because his story is quite remarkable,his “can do” drive is a fine example of one can do,no matter at what stage of life you are at.
And now come and meet Jerry Beasley as he answers 8 Questions……
My name is Jerry Beasley, and my background is actually in graphic design….I was always a creative person…no matter what the medium. But from a young age I had always like to watch movie musicals. I remember when I was 8 years old my parents and 2 brothers and I were going to see the Indianapolis Indians play and I saw a commercial that The Music Man was going to be on tv, so I stayed home by myself and watched The Music Man….I was pretty much hooked. The first musical I ever saw live was “MAME” at Footlite Musicals. I was 12 years old, and after seeing that….I knew that is what I wanted to do. However, I was a very quiet, shy kid, and really didn’t have anyone that could or would “push” me in that direction.
I really didn’t pursue any acting until I was ………48 years old. When I was 46 I joined The Indianapolis Men’s Chorus (I always did like to sing), and sang with them for 2 seasons. I saw that Footlite Musicals was doing a production of “Big River, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”….and on a whim I went and auditioned.
I was cast in “Big River’ in the ensemble, but also as a character called The Young Fool….now keep in mind that I’ve never been on stage in this way, and now I had a character I was playing that not only had dialog, but had his own song. I was really excited, but come opening night, I was a nervous wreck…and every night after that I would pace back and fourth before my entrance and the stage manager would have to make sure that I was ok…but after that show, It was pretty much set in my mind that I found my home.
That’s really a tough question….since I’ve had no formal training, and I’m continually learning. But if I had to describe my acting style, it would be trying to create as real and convincing characters as possible. I know that really doesn’t say much, but like I said, that’s a tough one.
I really do believe that the Acting and Arts scene in Indianapolis is thriving and still growing. I like that there are several different types of theaters around that offer a varied spectrum of types of shows they are producing. The film industry is starting to take off in Indy (and the surrounding areas), these are mostly short films (a few feature films in which I am involved in)….but it’s getting bigger. And I like that there are SO many very talented people in Indianapolis…people really doesn’t give the Midwest a lot of credit. Something that I dislike about working in Indy…..film wise, most are really only shot on the weekends, and therefore causes REALLY long shoot days, and shooting over several months. Don’t get me wrong…I’m happy to be working when I can.
It’s kind of a funny Cinderella story of sorts. My vocal coach (I take weekly vocal lessons), Karen Mayo…she says shes my part time agent…*lol* sent me a casting announcement for a feature film being shot and she thought I should apply….I thought about it and figured they wouldn’t want me. So after a couple days, I went ahead and sent in a Head Shot and Resume. (Up until this film, the only thing on my resume was Musical Theater). I really didn’t expect anything to come of it. I work part time for a PIP Printing and on a Wednesday I was at work and my cell phone rang, I didn’t recognize the number, so I didn’t answer it. Then whomever called left a voicemail and It was the producer of the film, his name is Bill Dever. He called and said the director, Nick Lyon, saw my head shot and wanted me on set. I was a little shocked but said “Ok” and asked when. He said as soon as I could get there….I didn’t even know where ‘THERE” was…it turned out to be in Franklin,Indiana. The Asylum is a production company in Hollywood, California, they outsourced the production of “Operation Dunkirk” to Bill Dever to produce. I left work at 11 am and drove straight to Franklin,Indiana to the outdoor set, was promptly put in a Nazi Soldier uniform and taken to the first shoot location. Later that day, I found out it was a one day shoot…..mind you that I had never done anything like this before…no agent, had no idea what questions to ask….but our producer Bill, came up to me and told me that the directer liked my look and I am now going to be playing the right hand man of the movie’s villain. What was supposed to be a one day shoot, has now turned into a ten day shoot. I suddenly found myself falling in love with film. Yes, there is a LOT of sitting and waiting for the next shot to be set up, or shooting the same scene twenty times, which results in throwing yourself to the ground twenty time (i definitely needed a massage after that shoot). but I learned so much on that film shoot, and I have since done a few projects with Bill Dever and still keep in contact with a few of the actors from the film (some are on the other side of the country). The film was initially released on DVD and sold at Walmart (70,000 units sold the first day) I have five copies myself, and now it is streaming on HULU…Imagine the feeling when it’s 11 pm and you are flipping through HULU trying to find something to watch and you see your film streaming….”I am STREAMING”!!
Yes, I think we all as actors have had a failed audition. I do have to say, I have some really great friends that have taught me to cope. One really good friend of mine, he is a Broadway performer and his name is Arbender Robinson,he taught me a wonderful lesson. After an audition I had, I was feeling kind of down…ok, really down and I was talking to him on the phone and he asked me how my audition went. I told him I thought it went well. He asked me if I would change anything and I said “Not really” and then he asked me a really great question….”Why are you worrying about it, you need to move on to the next thing, keep grinding away”….after I hung up the phone, I thought for a minute….and he was ABSOLUTELY right, so now as soon as I leave the audition room, I’m back on the grind and working toward the next project/gig.
1: Relax, only when you relax, the true YOU comes out. 2: It’s ok to say NO. At one point in my life I felt that I had to do EVERYTHING, but now, I know it’s ok to say NO 3: Don’t be afraid to try new things
I think social media has been a HUGE help to the Theater/Film/TV industry. I have made LOTS of connections with casting directors, directors and other actors that have shared information from workshops, to audition notices. I have actually booked a couple acting gigs through social media as well as a few church singing gigs. I don’t see the end to social media anytime soon, so in the meantime, I’m going to try my best at using this medium to continue to grow.