Actor on the Rise!
Photo by: Ashley Nguyen
He first caught my eye at one of his performances in one of the longest running plays in LA, Eavesdropper. Then as I’m watching one of my favorites, cutest shows on TV right now Baby Daddy on ABC Family I spot him once again playing a bartender. Up and coming actor/dancer/model Jase Whitaker is certainly on the rise. This Washington D.C. import has certainly worked hard for what he’s achieved. It is no easy task being a triple threat people. Plus looking good while doing it. #hesgotabs. And now as a regular on ABC Family’s Baby Daddy all his hard work has paid of and there is more to come for this talented young man. Let me introduce you to Mr. Jase Whitaker who will no longer be needing his tap shoes, thank you very much! Lol
Samara: How was it that you decided to make a move to Hollywood?
Jase: To be honest, I originally had never thought of moving to anywhere but New York City until several professors at my school suggested I take acting more seriously. When I later enrolled in Studio Theater Conservatory in DC, my teachers said the same thing, so eventually I figured, “Why Not?”
Samara: Did you start out as a dancer and model in the business?
Jase: I originally began as a dancer, mainly because I was thin, athletic and could keep a beat. Lols. I also didn’t know a thing about singing. Funny story: my first professional dance audition was for the tap musical, 42nd Street… my mom was like, “I’ll only buy you tap shoes if you get the part. If you can really dance, it doesn’t matter if you have taps or socks!” Needless to say, I auditioned in my socks, got cast and that little part led to dance auditions with The Washington Opera and later, American Ballet Theater, where I performed in my first major ballet, the classic, Giselle. Because of my body type and proximity to the fashion world through dance, I was able to get a few modeling things going here and there, but it wasn’t until recently that the pieces began to come together as a whole.
Samara: How was your experience on getting an agent and manager?
Jase: Oh, Lord. Lols. It was funny, to say the least. When I first moved here, to LA, I actually slept in the guest room of senior theatrical agent, Mark Scroggs, who is at David Shapira & Associates now. It was originally supposed to be a weekend, but turned into two months–I’m so sorry, Mark. Lols. That said, I learned most of my basic Hollywood business sense from watching him at work and at home–everything from reading the trades daily to being thorough and watching all the moves that actors and execs make to get things done (it was also through Mark that I saw, then an up and coming talent, Kevin Hart perform live). I then moved on to working for two of the top publicists in Hollywood: Liza Anderson and the late Ronni Chasen. Through all that, I learned how to navigate the business of “the business” on the talent side pretty well.
Samara: Baby Daddy on ABC Family. Tell us about that?
Jase: This is so funny, because with this show, all the pieces just happened to fall in place like magic. I was originally booked as a featured extra because the lead got recast and then they kept bringing me back so often I became close with the acting coach, Eva and crew. Later, I was brought in to read for an official part and got cast in that role. It was such a blessing and I did well, so we’ll see what the future holds on that front.
Samara: Are you in this for the passion, fame, money or what drives you?
Jase: I’d be lying if I said I don’t think of that sort of stuff. Right now, I’m just grateful to be in the position to generate more opportunities. What actually drives me is to really be able to look back one day and proudly be able to say that I made a decision, got up off my butt and took action… and excelled. Just to be an inspiration to people who come from normal backgrounds and have a dream, I guess. To have platform to make a difference.
Samara: Have the recent deaths of all these young Hollywood actors affected you in some way?
Jase: If anything, it reminds me how fragile everything is and how a support system is very important, not just in this industry, but in life. As far as LA and entertainment, I lost my best friend from age 6 a few years ago–he was my rock for the longest time, so I know it can shake you to the core. I send my blessings to all the families and friends of the ones that passed on this year.
Samara: What advice can you give to someone considering a move to Hollywood to work in the entertainment industry?
Jase: Gee. So much I’ve learned… and I’m just beginning so my input is way different from, say James Franco or Micheal B. Jordan. lols.
Probably to just believe in your journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and it’s really more of the quality of the people that know you, not who you know. If you just aim to be great at what yoy came to LA for, stay gracious and proactive, things will fall into place. And, also, for the people who just moved to LA: it does get better, trust me, it does get better.
Samara: How do you keep grounded? Are you spiritual or religious?
Jase: I stay grounded mainly by surrounding myself with like-minded people and stay in the loop with people I grew up with, but making decisions that give me, myself, peace. I create visions of what I aim to achieve and set a course. To put things in perspective, I take time each day and night to say thank you to God and or specific people who have helped me. If I’m down, I try to do something nice for someone else to just get rid of the negatives. Simple things like, that: Ya gotta keep moving!
Samara: Any other projects?
Jase: 2014 has been a great year, and I have a great team behind me, led by my manager, Gabby (at Serendipity Entertainment) and Agent, Lynne (at BMG). I’m certain there is a ton in store for myself and all those who have supported me to look forward to acting-wise and on the modeling front as well.
Samara: Where can your fans find you online?
Jase: I don’t really Tweet. Literally, I think I’ve Tweeted, like 5 times.
My instagram is @thatboyjase And my Facebook is: jcdubya