Doug Jones (Actor/Contortionist/Mime) Interview


Our company has a magazine. Every three months we post new interviews. Here is one of those interviews. Enjoy, and this month we’ll be posting on our website the updated interviews from newer people.

Doug Jones (Actor/Contortionist/Mime)

I met Doug Jones in person at an interesting festival. There I noticed something, Doug cared about the people coming over to him. It was there I realized his success was a mixture of talent and networking in a beautiful harmonious way. each person got his time. He understood what it meant to have people care enough to spend their hard earned money, and time, to a person bringing entertainment through media art.

Over the year since we have met, he was more than willing to allow me an opportunity to interview him. Being both a fan, and now a friend, I learned more than what I saw him as on screen. I had a moment to see who this man was in real life. A hugging, loving, soul who would never hurt a fly. In one word, I can say this man is “Spectacular”!

BBR • If I had to start off, and I am, with these questions. I must first add; Wow, you are truly one busy human being, and sometimes creature, in entertainment. A total of 15 movies in post! A great mixture of independent and larger budget productions. How do you find the time? Wait, that’s not our first question to you, that was rhetorical! Let us begin with – It’s great seeing someone of your caliber constantly working. At this point in your career are you still auditioning for roles, or do you just get asked to perform?

Doug Jones (DJ) • Thankfully, I’ve been auditioning less in recent years. If it’s a monster role that requires prosthetic make-up, productions have been trusting what they’ll get with me based on my entire career. But I still do read for roles if it’s for a director who isn’t as familiar with me, or for a part that is outside what people have seen me play before.

BBR • Surely one of your biggest questions from people is “how you began working with Guillermo Del Toro”. You’ve been working with him since Mimic. Obviously you two have become friends, and networking is a big part of finding success in any line of work. How does one keep in contact with friends in a business where both people are always so active in their career?

DJ • You’d be surprised to hear how little Guillermo and I interact when we aren’t working with each other. That’s in large part due to the schedules you just mentioned. He is the most sought-after person I’ve ever had in my life, and with my own commitments that take me flying all over the globe, we just don’t talk much. It’s kind of an understood thing among all of us in this crazy business of show, that no one has time, and we’ll just pick up where we left off, whenever that can be.

BBR • Obviously “Abe Sapien” placed you in the spot light, even though before that you were busy straight through 20 years in this business. You clearly are talented at what you have done, and will do in your career. For most people the hardest part about becoming successful is persevering through the frustration of being in a place different than what might be in their head. It’s nice to see your motivation forward as inspiration to a great deal of people. Everything you’ve done has been executed with passion, professionalism, and career growth. What has been your personal mantra for motivation throughout the years, and what kind of goals were set to lead to your success?

DJ • I wish I could take credit for all this motivation you speak of, but the truth is, my career has happened because of the calls that I’ve answered, not the ones I’ve made. The personal motivation part has been honing my craft to be the best that I can be, so when those calls do come in, I’m ready to meet the challenge. That old saying that luck is simply when opportunity meets preparation. The other part of the equation is paying attention to the scripts I’m offered. If it’s a story I would watch, be entertained by, moved by, educated by, in a role that challenges me or makes me want to be friends with him, and is directed by someone whose artistic vision I trust, it’s a good career bet, and I’ll do my best to make it work out schedule-wise. I’m not opposed to horror, you can see that by my resume, but what I will pass on is the typical, mindless slasher with the formula number of naked breasts in it. I’m so grateful to any audience who has followed my career, and I feel I owe them more than that.

BBR • Books… You seem to do it all Doug! Medallion Press had approached you asking if you would return to your roots as a mime for a nice coffee table photo book. Working alongside Scott Allen Perry and Adam Mock on conceptual ideas the group decided to include photographer Eric Curtis. Together, you created “MIME VERY OWN BOOK” to life. Love the play on words. You took up Mime in college, and joined a troupe during your youth. What inspired you to take a jump at Mime, and how often to you stay in touch with your fellow mime troupe from the days of old?

DJ • Yes, my start with mime was in college when Reed K. Steele, the leader of a student mime performance troupe called “Mime Over Matter,” saw how I talked with my hands, coming from my tall, skinny frame, and he invited me to see one of their shows. That was all it took. I sat there watching this wonderful world of imagination created on stage by nothing but performers in black jumpers, creating props and sets that weren’t really there, and telling hilarious or heartfelt stories without one word of verbal dialogue. I knew this was a good fit for me immediately. Reed and I are still great friends to this day, but like so many friends from college, it’s hard to talk every day when I’m in California and he’s in Ohio now. I still regard him as one of the best entertainers I’ve ever known.

BBR • So, Charlie the Cardinal… even in high school you’ve been placed behind masks, makeup and more. It seems the bug for performing has always been in you. Through most of your career audience members have seen you place some amazing characters up on the screen. Some are even happily surprised when they find out it was you under that make-up. Over the last few years have you tried to focus on jobs that allowed you to be seen more for you and less with make-up?

DJ • Yes, I’ve been very interested in playing roles with my own face, while still happily doing creature roles that sing to me. Those non-make-up offers have been coming with wild abandon from young indie directors and larger productions, alike. I can currently be seen with my own face while wearing simple golf shirts as a recurring character, ‘Dominique Wilkins’ in ABC’s “The Neighbors.” I’ve certainly played bigger roles than this, but having my own face on a network show, and being trusted with many silly gags, has been well worth it for me. I also just did a feature film with Zoe Bell and Sherilyn Fenn called “Raze” where I had a rare opportunity to play the quirky patriarch of a secret elite society in this very dark tale. I love stretching my comfort zone to go outside my usual “type.”

BBR • There is a web series you’ve been working on over the years, “Universal Dead”, and in 2010 there was some whispers about a movie being made. You play Dr. Henry Vataber, who’s wife has been turned. On June 4, their WordPress page announced “It rises!” writing; “Our zombie horror web series, “Universal Dead”, is live once again for your viewing pleasure. We put it back up in preparation for our next big announcement. Enjoy!” Does this mean the fans of this series will get some more episodes or even a full scale theatrical release of this movie that has been hinted at?

DJ • Plans were in motion with a big studio to make the feature, but as will often happen in the development stage, they parted ways. I wasn’t in this process, so I don’t know the reasons but I’m told there has been interest elsewhere since then. All I know is that our writer/producer Kelly Parks fashioned a unique take on zombies that I was happy to play the wacky discovering doctor in!

BBR • Everyone needs an agent to help them get more auditions. You’ve been working with Omnipop for some time now. For actors trying to find an agent that fits it takes time to understand who they are as performers, and what an agency can do for them. Is there a key factor that came down to you signing with Omnipop? And did you go to them, or they came to you with interest?

DJ • I have been with Omnipop Talent Group for 19 years, and it all started because my good friend Jillian Bennett-Sterkin worked in the office, and I’d often drop by, talking and joking with the head agent there, Bruce Smith. Omnipop is known for its roster of stand-up and sketch comedians. At the time, I was doing a lot of commercials and a few episodes of the sketch comedy TV hit show “In Living Color” with Jim Carrey. Bruce called out of the blue one day and asked me to lunch to discuss my career. I already had theatrical and commercial agents, but Bruce was seeking me to join his roster of funny people at Omnipop. This was the first time an agent had ever reached out for me, and he even picked up the lunch tab. Omnipop was a boutique agency, smaller than where I already was, but it was Bruce’s sincere promise to take better care of my career than anyone else had which was enough for me to make the switch.

BBR • You sir, are very active on Facebook and completely active on Twitter. Some people in entertainment forget the value of Networking, Marketing and Practicing their craft to find success in any given field. Twitter, used correctly, is a great tool to keep in touch with individuals all over the world. It also gives you a chance to keep things short and simple. A lot can come from these two sites if utilized properly. Do you dedicate time each day to Facebook, and Twitter, or you just randomly jump on these sites when you have a moment?

DJ • Social media sites are the great kidnapper of free time. But they are, indeed, a terrific way to stay in touch with the world, and for the world to have safe access to people like me. With a couple clicks, I can tell tens of thousands of people when to watch for me on TV, DVD, or in theaters. So yes, each day I carve out time to answer as many comments in these platforms as I can. I’ve also been surprised at how much business comes through these portals now, too. Many journalists use them to acquire interviews, and a lot of scripts have been sent to me with initial contact starting on Twitter, Facebook, or Linked-In. That’s how Felicia Day made contact to ask me aboard her web series “Dragon Age: Redemption” and “The Guild” Season 5.

BBR • You are most likely one of the kindest people I have ever met in show business, with your hugs and joyful approach to everyone that meets you, and it shows in a genuine way. Many younger people, or those just starting out, have these huge egos and that attitude “I have to get ahead, so I will trip this person”. The point of this magazine is to help individuals understand success, and their area of interest from the minds of those who have continuously broke through their personal goals and beyond. How have you found yourself handling certain individuals in your career who fit this bill, and what advice would you give to people just starting out who are reading this interview?

DJ • I believe we make our choices in this world based on love or fear. The unfortunate young people who think they need to step on each other or use others to get ahead are doing so out of fear — fear of not reaching their goals, fear of perceived failure when one of their peers meet success, maybe even a fear that an abusive voice from their past was right in telling them they’d never amount to anything. A healthier choice would be to pursue this career out of love — a love for entertaining others, making their lives that much better with the art we create.

BBR • As you can tell, BBR Productions Inc, created BBR Magazine because we truly enjoy helping people bring reality to their dreams. Following individuals, such as yourself, to help our readers understand the working minds of career successful people. So, here is a question we ask everyone; If you could go back to the beginning of your career and tell your younger self any advice, what would it be?

DJ • I would love to go back and tell the younger, even skinnier Dougie to never lose sight of his career dreams, but more importantly, to never lose sight of his real life priorities. I would reinforce a respect for his faith and his family that would never be compromised by a quest for fame. I’d tell him to be so good at what he does that the film industry would recognize those talents if he makes them available. And if fame ever does come, I’d tell him to enjoy the ride but never to rely on it. A celebrity can fade, but a true artist can leave a permanent, immortal mark on the world.

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About BBR Productions Inc,

Our mission is to bring reality to your dreams by being an affordable all inclusive production company for every type of venture and those who wish to find success in their possibilities. In 1996 BBR Productions Inc., began which was strictly an illustration company working with local illustrators and comic book company’s. In 1997 BBR Productions Inc., expanded adding audio recordings, graphic and web design, photography and mass marketing. BBR Productions Inc., first major client was TENEbRAE although other bands were signed on to the company roster for marketing and graphic design layouts. During 2000 BBR Productions Inc., began setting up small local shows and organizing large musical events featuring national acts throughout the Tri-state area. Working with musical acts, comedians and actors BBR Productions Inc., expanded yet again to more of an all inclusive entertainment company. In 2007 Began doing more with direct consultation, helping others create opportunities as well as managing more acts. 2008 marked the 1st annual Laughter is the cure show, helping raise money for foundations such as "Multiple Sclerosis Foundation" and various "Cancer Foundations". Soon to be on its 5th year. In 2013 BBR Productions Inc., opened its offices on Long Island NY allowing space to do in house seminars helping others realize their dreams with the help of people who have already been there. On October 3rd, BBR Productions Inc., will open their second office in Holbrook growing from 1,000 square feet to 3,800 square feet.
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17 Responses to Doug Jones (Actor/Contortionist/Mime) Interview

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  11. Ric says:

    Doug – I’ve lost touch with reed from ball state. Any chance you could help us reconnect? We are at the same place on franklin road and on Facebook. T and I have been thinking of him and unsuccessfully reaching him. Just giving this a try through you. Thx for any help!! Ric

    Like

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