Artist’s passions, dreams continue to evolve

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Jordan Jones

JASPER — Jordan Jones is still pursuing his artistic dreams in Los Angeles.

But the 33-year-old artist from Jasper said his reasons for the pursuit have changed some. And his pursuit has broadened.

“When I started my career, the image of who I was was extremely important. And then I realized that I’m creating a facade,” he said. “I’m trying to make it appear that things are great, things are fantastic, amazing. That’s not life.”

Jordan graduated from Jasper High School in 2003 with the goal of becoming an actor. He then made his way to Los Angeles.

He currently works three different jobs — driving for Uber, working as a barista part time and teaching acting martial arts to children — to keep fulfilling his need and desire to create art. He is showing more of his authentic self through the music he makes with his friends in a band called Pervade. And he does acting roles when he gets them.

A short film he was in called “Widow” is currently being shown at different film festivals. The film tackles the themes of love, murder and deception in the setting of the Wild West.

For his role as Blake in the film, Jordan won the Best Actor Award from California Women’s Film Festival; “Widow” was also named Best Short Film by the festival. He and Rachel Econ, who wrote and directed the film, picked up the awards during the festival last week.

“I didn’t know I actually won. I saw that I was nominated, and I thought that was really cool,” Jordan said. “Then my boy said, ‘No dude. You won.’ I thought I was just selected. But I was selected as the winner. That blew my mind.”

While he appreciates the accolade, that is not the focus of his artistic drive.

“When I was a kid and I gravitated to the arts, it was to escape the pain of feeling different, feeling misunderstood,” he said. “Performing gave me a great freedom. In a performance, I was able to hold that ground, where I was in control of my environment of what was going on.

“My drive was that I’m going to become successful, and you were going to wish that you were nicer to me, instead of ignoring me or making fun of me. Now, I don’t even go there,” Jordan said. “Now it’s that I really love what I do. It doesn’t matter the character or the project. It’s about going back and telling the story about how the film was made. It’s the little things that people don’t know about.”

Jordan Jones won the Best Actor Award from California Women’s Film Festival for his role as Blake in "Widow."

For instance, “Widow” was shot on the same Arizona studio lot as the early 1990s television show, “The Young Riders” and many spaghetti westerns of the past. “If people look close enough, they will see things that look a little familiar,” he said. “It’s those smaller stories that drive me, the stories that bring us together.”

He admits that Hollywood is a tough place for actors. “There’s a lot of shady stuff that goes on in Hollywood, and that’s in all the arts,” Jordan said. “A lot of people are out for No. 1.“

And social media has added to the challenge. “Cellphones have tainted the game, as it were,” he said. “It’s oversaturated content, and made the pot that much bigger. It’s helped to give more people opportunities, like all the YouTube jobs. And more power to them. They found a niche market, and they’re making a living with it.”

But as for the traditional actors, “there’s not as much work for actors anymore. The industry has changed,” Jordan said. “They will cast specifically now, stating that they want a real doctor, for instance. There’s no acting anymore.”

With all the challenges and changes he has faced over the years, Jordan’s focus and motivation has evolved.

“What I’ve learned in the last three or four years is that it’s not about the timeline,” he said. “You don’t have to compare and despair.”

So Jordan strives to be authentic, real and personable with the people he meets and the art he creates. “I make sure I’m coming from a very pure, very positive, very loving place,” he said. “I believe in that aerial energy and that ability to influence society by what you put out.”

His current outlet for authenticity is music. Pervade currently has an EP out on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play and CD Baby. Jordan and his bandmates — Dylan and Tor Cronin, Matthew Plueger and Lee Piatelli — are completing the full LP and have been performing in the Los Angeles area.

“It’s been most freeing thing I’ve done in a long time,” Jordan said. “And it’s helped fill the gap of the lack of stable acting work. It’s been the mortar that’s kept me going. It’s like I can still express myself; I’m not censored.”

Music and acting are both artistic expressions, but each gives Jordan a little something different.

“I can’t hide behind my music,” he said. “I can hide behind a character.”

He stressed the importance of his family’s encouragement, especially the support of his parents, Mike and Caroline Jones. He also got a lot of encouragement from his maternal grandmother, Elsie Hutcherson. She died earlier this month.

“She was one of my biggest supporters,” he said.

He also strives to support and encourage others. He always wants to know of young aspiring artists who move to the Los Angeles area from his hometown. He wants to support them as much as possible, he said.

“I wake up every day wanting to breathe this inspiration into people,” he said. “Yeah, I’ve got tons of jobs, and I have bills and I’ve got debt. But I’m still standing. I’m still breathing. And I’m still able to help somebody.”

He works to remind people of how blessed they are.

“You can’t take any of the stuff with you,” Jordan said. “But you can leave a lasting emotion in somebody’s soul that either gives them great strength in themselves or great strengths in humanity. And those things change the world.”

Pervade can be found on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram at Pervade Music. Jordan is also on Instagram under JordanJonesactor, and Facebook. His catalog of work can be seen on the IMDb website, www.imdb.com.




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