"Give me a place to stand...
and I can move the world."
Born in London, Ontario, Canada to Italian parents, I identified a passion for performance at an early age. My childhood memories are filled with cozying up with family watching black & white films with stars from yesteryear. I remember my mother being smitten with the charisma of Omar Sharif and my dad liking the strength of Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson. These screen influences somehow led to a proclivity to entertain, and a precocious boy who still believes laughter is the warmest sound around, developed a penchant for it. Eventually comedy led to a respect for drama and performance.
What's that saying - be careful of dubious stage performers with two first names :) - well, in Italian families, mothers rule the roost, and my mom was always insistent on two things: naming me Jordan and keeping me well fed, which led to the birth of a hungry stage persona. Early stage work took shape with elementary theatre performances when I was cast as Matthew Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables while only twelve years old, playing the elder father of the protagonist Anne (who was played by my talented sister).
In high school, my dramatic arts teacher and others strongly encouraged further pursuit in drama, acting, and writing at a college theatre program. So I naturally went to law school. Nothing stunts artistic talent more than practicality. But prior professional experiences with people of various cultures and vocations also allowed first hand observation and access to so many walks of life. I've been in various degrees and to different people, an actor, advisor, teacher, agent, personal trainer, business owner, employer, board member, novelist, tutor, volunteer, mentor, son, and brother. These vast, unique experiences have collectively amounted to an uncommon understanding and relatability to others that informs my character development and acting choices during film work.
The bug has always been there. Artists heed to a personal call, and mine kept me going back to small, independent film and theatre productions while writing screenplays on the side. I always relish opportunities to play against type, and was gracious to be awarded the lead serial killer role in Friend (2009), an independent short feature directed by Curt Thackery which generated local acclaim and film festival consideration. Every actor will tell you that morally complicated characters are fascinating to play because you get to manifest varied range and emotion in the portrayal. This was the case when I performed the title role in Makua Charley (2013), which follows a character with complex dualities in a thriller centered on Hawaiian mythology. The feature received notable acclaim at various film festivals. Other unique role challenges have since taken shape, including The Gunman (2016), which allowed the opportunity to perform two different villains in two separate timelines. The respect for the craft remains high, including weekly Meisner training and performance study at the respected Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio in Santa Monica, CA, from which I completed the two-year intensive acting program. I've also established Annabill Artist Productions, a production company that creates original content for my acting and producing efforts.
I've long believed the major benefit of the arts is their capacity to reach others through different forms of expression. Film remains an important medium for social commentary and elicits strong emotions from viewers. This is largely because we see ourselves in characters - all our humility, our vulnerability, our hopes - and the viewing experience vividly reflects our values and our very lives. In that reflection, the actor becomes the window for the emotional journey to travel through, so that an audience can look right back and see some of themselves and the truth of their condition. Performance should always be devoted to seeking that truth in the frame.
An acting teacher once told me that you can lead people to great things with your art and work, and I treat that privilege and obligation with great care. With a great team in tow, our production company, Annabill Artist Productions (www.annabillentertainment.com), has provided the means for development opportunities to write, act, and create films, develop literary and artistic content, and draw audiences and viewers to material that matters. It is hard work I regard preciously, and I hope the content we're devoted to meets the ideals of our mission.
There have been other opportunities to give back as an artist for which I'm most proud. As a Screen Actors Guild member, I thoroughly enjoy volunteering with SAG Foundation programs. Through the SAG BookPALS program, I'm able to read and perform for schoolchildren to encourage reluctant readers to read and inspire creative thinking and positive values among young students. I've also authored a nonfiction book called The Little Book For Big Dreams that's scheduled to be published in early 2019. It offers a unique approach to identify one's truth through lessons and tasks that instill commitment towards dreams and desires. I hope it can make a difference for those who seek their own explorations and passions.
With long-standing encouragement by many I've worked with over the years, and with Los Angeles and its creative community becoming more a staple of my life and career, I graciously look forward to working on still greater projects with great people. Be it as an actor, writer, producer, or collaborator, my passion for the creative process will always be bound by an artist's duty to further the narrative and story until the fade to black...