I Am Los Angeles: Hollywoodland

I Am Los Angeles is a video portrait series created by journalist and filmmaker Joris Debeij, showcasing the unique people and their ideas that make L.A. what it is. KCET Departures will be featuring these videos as part of our continuing coverage of the shifting cultures of Los Angeles.

It goes without saying that there are a lot of people striving to become actors in Hollywood. But for every bright young talent that arrives in Los Angeles aiming to work hard at honing his or her acting skills in the hopes of one day becoming an actor, there are few more aspiring actors of a different variety that showed up on the same day.

This second type really just wants to be able to tell folks back home that they're here -- and for as long as they manage to stay, they've made it. Gradually they become part of the landscape, and will continue to put in minimal effort for years, content to say the world missed out on their acting genius before they head home. That still leaves Los Angeles with a lot of people working really hard toward their dream, and they conjure a certain stereotype: the struggling actor, bussing tables and standing in line at auditions.

But generalizations about aspiring actors don't accurately represent how Jason H. Christopher sees himself or the road he's traveling. He's carrying out a carefully calculated plan, and to some extent he's at the mercy of others for their attention. But he isn't helpless and struggling. He is creating and using the inertia that will help him in his pursuit to become a successful working actor. Jason grew up in Redlands, California, and he always enjoyed acting and showing off for a crowd. After a brief career in real estate, he took the money he made and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for acting. Here he is the man with a plan, and so far that plan has brought him relative success -- the actor has played in numerous national commercial campaigns and several web series. Day in and day out, he works relentlessly on every aspect of himself and his craft, including exercising his mind and his fitness level. Jason tells us what it takes to stay at the top of your game in Hollywood despite the pressure.


Originally published on I Am Los Angeles, 2012.

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