Wed, 10/13 10:44AM • 36:25
actor, people, imagine, bit, audition, jason, job, opportunity, watch, big, folks, agent, peer group, gave, play, power rangers, acting, little bit, representation, unc asheville
Jason Faunt, David Earnhardt
David Earnhardt 00:00
Hi, I’m David, and I’m the host of The Cool Jobs Podcast, a conversation where we dive deep into some of the coolest jobs on the planet. This is the home for jobs you’ve never heard of, or ones you’ve never thought about before. This podcast is for students, learners, dreamers, or anyone who’s interested in finding out about the coolest jobs around. I’ll be speaking with experts across a wide spectrum of career possibilities with the hope that you’ll find inspiration for your own career. Thanks for joining in. Hi, I’m your host, David Earnhardt, and joining me today is Jason Faunt, Professional Actor. Jason, thanks so much for joining us today.
Jason Faunt 00:36
Thanks for having me.
David Earnhardt 00:37
This is such a cool thing. I have to say, I have the red Power Ranger with me today. In the podcast studio, thank you so much for joining us and just, just, have to, you know, kind of start off the questions with like, tell us a little bit about yourself. And a little bit about your background.
Jason Faunt 00:54
Well, you know, I went to college, I grew up outside of Chicago. And fortunately for me, I got a baseball scholarship to come down here to UNC Asheville, so I’d never been in the south. And I was very excited to get an offer to come down here because the weather’s better as a baseball player, right? You always want to be where the weather’s nicer. Although here, it’s 30 degrees today. So I don’t know what happened to that, but came down to Asheville, and really enjoyed my time down here enjoyed the beauty of this, this world. And it gave me a chance to live in the south, which was really cool coming from Chicago. And then two weeks after graduation, I got my business degree. And I had come to an epiphany, maybe a year or two earlier that I kind of hid from my parents, but I graduated, I came home and I said, Mom, I’m moving to LA to be an actor. And she said, Are you out of your mind? I said, Yep, I’m going. She said, No, you’re not, you’re not going to do it. And I packed up my stuff. And I left No kidding. Yeah, two weeks after college.
David Earnhardt 01:52
Oh, that’s, that’s amazing. I want to dig into that decision there for a minute. But I also want to say as a baseball player, I can imagine living in Chicago, if you have an out blowing wind that actually could probably help you a little bit.
Jason Faunt 02:04
That is true unless it’s cold. And of course then it kind of equals out but, but yeah. I mean yeah, you’re inside playing baseball in Chicago, you’re stuck indoors for so long. And as a guy from up there you always dream of this world where you can play baseball year round outside and, and that’s definitely what North Carolina is. It gave me more of an opportunity to do that. And it was, it was really fun.
David Earnhardt 02:27
I guess that there’s a reason why spring training is down in Florida and Texas and Southern California for exactly that reason. But some of these northern teams fall out a little bit. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. That’s awesome. So Alright, so you were talking about coming down here and playing baseball and being a part of the Asheville community for a little while, and, and then you said Mom and, Dad, I’m moving to California. And I’m sure that it evokes this, this thought of the broke actor who is waiting tables and, you know, potentially having real financial struggles. So talk about that dynamic with your parents a little bit you might have, might have had to have a little convincing with them.
Jason Faunt 03:10
You know what, it’s funny because my parents were divorced since I was three. So I had my mom that thought it was just very impractical, you know. I had my best friend who went to USC. USC, the Southern Cal one, right? So I had a free place to live for three months in his fraternity house during the summertime. So he got me a job waiting tables. So the proverbial broke actor waiting tables was me. That was definitely me. My dad was all about it. He was like, you know, go for it. I mean, you know, at that point, there was no kids, you know, I had no real connections from a relationship standpoint. So I headed out there, and, and he was all about going for it. And it was every bit of a struggle. I mean, I was dead. I moved out there, I joke with probably about $1500 to my name, I had a pickup truck with 200,000 miles with no air conditioning that I drove across the country. So I definitely was a part of that, that, group that did that and, and what a cool learning experience. And obviously, I look back now fondly, at those times, from where I am now. And it was definitely a character building moment.
David Earnhardt 04:16
Absolutely. And I can imagine too, like, there’s a little bit of a leap of faith. Like, you know what, I’m doing this, I have to know, for myself, if this is actually going to be something that works, that I can do, because if I don’t I’m going to be kicking myself the whole time.
Jason Faunt 04:30
Yeah. And that was in me, you know, baseball, was something I’d done my whole life. I was, you know, really, really good High School player, you know, great college player, but I kind of hit my end with it. You know, I knew that I was to the point where, okay, I’m gone as far as I could. I had to see that goal out. And then it was time to try something else and there was just, I was going for it. You know.
David Earnhardt 04:54
That’s awesome. And I could imagine being on on a team and having that kind of backing from a From teammates and things like that probably if some folks probably thought oh you’re crazy you’re going out there you’re never gonna make it and then there were other people who were, who had your back and were like look do it and you have this time in your life to do it. And so, but you’re probably used to being a little bit on stage anyway being you know, being on deck and also playing your position on the team, so talk about that a little bit, were you comfortable kind of being on stage as a result of your athletic career?
Jason Faunt 05:28
Yeah, I got to think there’s a certain amount because I, you know, I played football basketball and baseball through high school and we were a very successful football program so I guess yeah, it’s a good way to put it. I’ve never actually thought of that, but you are on stage, you are performing. There are nerves. There was a crowd. So I’m sure that definitely lent itself you know, from an athletic standpoint, where you’re taught especially when I came up, it was to never show emotion. You know, wipe it off, you’re fine. If it’s not broken, you’re good. Get back in the game,
David Earnhardt 05:56
Rub some dirt on it.
Rub some dirt on it, Yeah! So you know, that standpoint, you got to break those walls down a bit to have a little bit in terms of tapping into certain emotions with being an actor, because you’ve spent your whole life suppressing that, right? But being on stage, you’re right, it definitely helped. In terms of, you know, achieving goals, hard work, discipline, you know, athletics comes into all that stuff. Which you, you have to have as an actor, and I think it definitely lended itself to me today,
David Earnhardt 06:24
That’s awesome. So you’re in Southern California, it’s beach by day, and are going on calls by day or acting classes, working in the restaurant at night being the waiter. And so I think a lot of folks kind of have a misconception around being an actor and how you know, how people get found, you know. Because there are folks who are, you know, they were literally walking in a mall one day, and a scouting agent just happened to see them and bring them in. And then there are a hundred stories of folks who, who were in all of the right acting classes and had done all of the preparation work and went on 1000 auditions and never got a call. So kind of talk to us a little bit about that experience for you. Of how you got an agent, how you started going on auditions, like talk a little bit about that process?
Jason Faunt 07:21
Well, you know, the smartest thing I did when I went to Los Angeles, is I knew that I had no formal training as an actor. Um, and you know, what’s funny about Los Angeles is, they joke about every prom king and queen move out there because they think they’re good looking, and they’re gonna become stars. And it couldn’t be farther from the truth. So the smartest thing I did is I went out there and I got involved in the best acting classes I could afford. And I just pinned my ears back, I humbled myself, I kept my mouth shut, and I learned. I had no expectations early on, I wanted to just go in and learn, get on set, even as an extra. Find a way to be on set to watch the professionals. You know, even if I were here, you know, obviously, you’ve been doing this, you know, your way around. I could watch you know, if I was a beginner, I wouldn’t know where the mic goes, and I can’t yell in the mic. All those little things. So I just listened and learned and watched and waited until I felt I was comfortable enough to go in the room. So I didn’t just go out there and fail miserably. And then, you know, once I felt comfortable, the group of people, my acting class became my peer group, where together we were helping to get agents helping to get representation that can get us these auditions. And that’s kind of where it all started.
David Earnhardt 08:31
So tell us a little bit about that agent process. Because I mean, I think we’ve all seen maybe the poor representation of what an agent might look like.
Jason Faunt 08:42
David Earnhardt 08:43
And then potentially there are I mean, the Britney Spears documentary came out and talked about how you know how poor representation really, really changed her life and so I’m just kind of curious for you like how did you get into that working relationship with someone that you could trust and build that rapport?
Jason Faunt 09:05
Well, it’s tough because there’s some pretty murky waters out there you know. And everybody, especially when I moved out there in 97 it was a different world. Before 911 reality shows didn’t exist so it was a whole different world for those four years and you know, you’re going around everybody’s trying to be a star .The agent has the power to get you in the rooms so everyone’s just trying to be the Yes man getting on there and so it’s hard .You just hope that I mean, the reason I got the manager I got is because my acting coach who I was paying money to every month right at certain point I said “hey, you know, how would I go? you know, who would be good representation that you know could help me out? And you know, he’s gonna put you in the hands of someone that’s good. That’s not seedy, all those other things. And then that worked for me, you know, so it’s all about that referral process out there like it is in most of life. I was lucky to get out with a good Rep. And that got me opportunities, Power Rangers ultimate being one of them .And then over time you just start getting, like anything else you start gaining experience, you get more clout and you have a little bit more choice as you further your way out in the city
David Earnhardt 10:13
yeah because I can imagine there, every agent that you ever talk to is going to promise you the world right? they’re going to promise to make you a star and they’re going to promise that the world will be eating out of your hand, and I can imagine that you probably have to have a pretty strong BS-meter. And so tell us a little bit about that process a little bit of like determining how do you know if someone is being genuine?
Jason Faunt 10:39
Well, I guess ultimately, it just comes down to you know, you hear those things all the time. And it just comes down to experience of just kind of knowing and ultimately they’re gonna have to get you in the rooms. It still happens to me now you’ll get representation. Most of the jobs I get now are just through my relationships, ironically, where I don’t even need my agent .But you know, over time you kind of see like, Hey, you know, we’ve been together for six months, there’s only been two opportunities, what’s going on? you already know their excuses, let’s reshoot headshots. Let’s do this. And you just kind of eventually feel out based on their performance. If they can’t get you in the room to even audition then they’re not worth anything. And I’ve gone through many many representatives during the years of just guys who say they can do things and they don’t and you move on.
David Earnhardt 11:29
Right, now, and I would imagine you probably have to be pretty willing to walk away and have that kind of fortitude in yourself to say “you know this person isn’t working out and I need to I need to move forward”
Jason Faunt 11:40
Well, it’s scary because yeah, the agents are the ones that get you into the rooms, and especially as a younger actor you have to have the ability to say “you’re not getting the job opportunities”. And then I remember once early on in my career, I’m like “hey, what’s the opportunity what’s going on this week?” And they’re like “hey, you’re bugging us too much. We’re gonna let you go” and that really set me that really took me back for a bit because I’m like wow, you got a guy who’s like what’s next? What are we doing there’s been no opportunities so I need you to get me in these rooms and they let me go so you know it’s a give and take with that you’ve got to feel it out. But Hollywood like most things is a perseverance game .You gotta just keep doing the work you gotta stay involved you gotta be on time you gotta be a good person and hopefully the opportunities start to you know present themselves
David Earnhardt 12:29
Jason Faunt 12:30
David Earnhardt 12:31
And I would imagine too, that as much glitz and kind of glamour as you see on television with around Hollywood there are there are these folks who have one have one face for it for television, for the for the camera, and then they have a different reputation behind the camera or after they’re not on screen. And so I can imagine that that wears thin pretty quickly. In an industry where it’s referral based and where folks need to like you.
Jason Faunt 13:01
It’s amazing and I can tell a zillion stories of like. I remember one time, here’s one good story I’ll tell, when we were, I’ll use Power Rangers because everybody knows that show because I’ve done other projects, but we were in the room and they wanted, there was down to like two of us there was two guys left that were going to be the Red Ranger to girls left that we’re going to be the pink and we all knew because we we were all in this waiting room. And they were letting people go and the audition for power rangers lasted like five months.
David Earnhardt 13:26
Jason Faunt 13:27
It was like they’d call you in and you’d read and then three four weeks later “Okay, callbacks” three four weeks later callbacks and I couldn’t, like it just went on for months got down to the end and you just knew that there was these two guys are the Red Ranger these two girls are the pink these two girls are the yellow and they were bringing us in in different groupings Like “Jason we want to see you with Deborah and Aaron” and guys get against the wall, like a police line!” But they want to see how tall we were compared to each other, how we would look on screen and “guys take your shoes off and stand against the wall” we just want to see the height differences .Like if I’m like 6’8’’ and she’s 5’2’’ well that maybe looks weird
David Earnhardt 14:03
Jason Faunt 14:04
The girl who was reading for the Yellow Ranger goes “I’m not taking my shoes off in public” and they say well “we just want to see us that your real height you got some like kind of like heels on. If you can just get, you know, we’re in a carpeted room, it’s clean, it’s not, right, just take your shoes off. And we just wanna see the height” “I don’t take my shoes off in public” and I’m thinking to myself sitting next to her “Girl what are you doing?” Take it, even there’s hot coals on the ground, this is an opportunity .And you see those, and of course she didn’t get it.
David Earnhardt 14:32
Yeah no kidding
Jason Faunt 14:34
Yeah, so you hear, you see these stories you think “wow it’s amazing how people shoot themselves in the foot” I imagine, other jobs are the same. But yeah, you got to be likable you gotta be you know fun on set and people do notice
David Earnhardt 14:45
No kidding. Yeah, it’s hard to shoot yourself in the foot if you don’t take your shoes off.
Jason Faunt 14:50
David Earnhardt 14:51
That’s kind of amazing, something small, right? I mean, like it’s something that was a personal choice for her and she wanted to represent herself in a specific way. And It was a very small thing, but that ended up being the determining factor.
Jason Faunt 15:03
Why not? You got two people who are equal level, equal Look, they were the same gender, same ethnicity. And one just like, “I’m not taking my shoes off”. They’re like, well, if she’s gonna be like that. What’s she gonna be like on set?
David Earnhardt 15:16
Jason Faunt 15:18
And I wonder now I don’t remember who the girl was. But I wonder if she looks back because it was, you know, Power Rangers has grown immensely. I’ve gotten so many jobs from it. And I just wonder, if she ,whoever this girl is, if she remembers that moment still.
David Earnhardt 15:29
Huh? Well, that’s, that’s
Jason Faunt 15:31
David Earnhardt 15:32
Yeah, it’s crazy. Oh, alright, so you talked about a five month process of auditioning for Power Rangers. And I can imagine that because you’re an actor. And because you kind of have to access different emotional, different emotional points. And they’re going to ask you to, you know, to, to laugh a bunch of times, they’re going to ask you to cry a couple of times, and they’re going to ask you to be angry or excited. I can imagine that there is kind of an emotional exhaustion that hits almost every time you do an audition. Is there some kind of internal well that you dip into at the end of each day saying, yep, I still want to do this. This is still what I want to be doing.
Jason Faunt 16:18
Yeah, definitely is. I mean, the good thing now, well the last year, auditions aren’t the same because people aren’t in person. I did have an in person audition for the first time, because a lot of the last five or six projects have been just offers when they call and say “Hey, what’s your rate? We’d like to book you”. And it’s, it’s been lucky because you don’t have to actually, you know, compete for it. But I did have one the other day, and I don’t know, I’ve enjoyed the audition process. You know, you’re in a room like this. You’re there. You got the camera. I’m just here with a chair. And that’s it. Right? And I don’t know, somehow I think I’ve psyched myself into wanting that challenge. And I think you have to do that you have to enjoy the process of doing that. So on set. Yeah, emotional scenes, certain scenes, angry scenes. It definitely takes it out of you, right? Yeah, it definitely is, you know, but, uh, but I’ve always just seemingly enjoyed the process.
David Earnhardt 17:10
That’s cool. And I can imagine that there is, almost, when you actually get the part, there’s probably like a little bit of like, a, I don’t know, a joyous, like, pat on the shoulder. Like, alright, I did it, I was able to do the thing.
Jason Faunt 17:22
David Earnhardt 17:24
That’s awesome. That’s excellent. So talk a little bit about your support structure, you know, because no one I don’t think anybody is, is good alone. And so, you know, especially in a world like Hollywood, so talk a little bit about like, you know, did you have mentors coming up through as an actor? Do you have a support system that you’re working with now? Like, talk a little bit about that process for you?
Jason Faunt 17:49
Well, it’s evolved, it’s naturally evolved .In the beginning. Yeah, you are very alone out there. You’re an acting class with a bunch of actors who are rooting for you, but not. You know.
David Earnhardt 17:57
Yeah, because you’re in competition a bit. Right?
Jason Faunt 18:01
You are but it’s weird. I’ve always been supportive of, I think you can harbor a little jealousy if a guy that kind of looks like you gets fame, not fame, success. That’s such a weird word. But um, I’ve always rooted for my fellow actors who are the girls or you know, not like me. but you do get a lot of weird jealousy there. So the peers in the beginning were my acting coach. You know, and then ultimately, over time, you start to create relationships with, especially as I became more successful with other celebrities, that kind of understand what you’ve gone through, who you are, you don’t really want anything from each other because you’ve been successful. So now my peer group, ironically, my peers are a group of people that I used to watch on TV, you know, some of these guys like Lou Ferrigno, you know, the Hulk and Flash Gordon who played you know, Sam Jones plays Flash Gordon. So it’s kind of cool traveling and being with some of these guys that I watched his kids. And now these guys are, you know, my peer group?
David Earnhardt 18:58
Yeah. So Alright, so I have to ask you the question, right? I mean, like you watched these folks on television growing up, did you have like a weird, like, fan geek moment where you’re like, it’s the Hulk! I, Ah, I have to go talk to him!
Jason Faunt 19:11
There. There was a couple. I mean, I’ve, I’ve, hung out and signed autographs with Jason momoa. Who’s Aqua man. I spent time with him, which is interesting, cuz he’s a big character,
David Earnhardt 19:23
And a big guy.
Jason Faunt 19:25
And a big guy. He’s a big, a big guy. He’s kind of refreshing. But he’s like a big lumberjack. He’s there drinking beer and a normal guy. Tom Holland, Spider Man. It’s kind of interesting. You do some of these Comic Cons and you’re with some people that are at this time really, really, really big celebrities. And it’s interesting still, from my standpoint, who’s not that guy to watch some of these guys .How they work and what they do, how they carry themselves. I’m always a student in the game. I’m breaking things down all the time. I watch the way people sit the way they act, the way they, you know, so it’s pretty cool to spend time with these people. And then again, That would be more of a peer group but who was big? Who was I really excited for? I can’t. It’ll come to me. It’ll come to me. Yeah, maybe Sam Jones. Okay. Because Flash Gordon, I grew up with, and that was a big thing watching that in the movie theaters.
David Earnhardt 20:12
Absolutely. A lot of special effects in that movie too.
Jason Faunt 20:13
Yeah, and him and I talk all the time now.
David Earnhardt 20:15
That’s got to feel really cool to look up to someone and then also be able to be in the same peer group as them. Yeah. So you mentioned like Tom Holland, and Jason Momoa, and things, and I’m just curious, like, do you? Do you see them and and think, you know, I’m kind of happy at my, in my level of fame and, and celebrity? Or do you find yourself saying, You know what, I could take another step I could find, I would really be interested in finding a role that puts me at a similar level of of fame and notoriety as some of those folks.
Jason Faunt 20:58
For sure. Yeah, I’m always ready for that.
David Earnhardt 21:02
Jason Faunt 21:03
For me, what’s cool about it, though, is I’ve been very good at measuring my success, you know, and I always say to people, if I compare myself to Brad Pitt, I failed miserably. But if I compare myself to other actors that I’ve seen come and go over 20 years, I’ve been a vast success. So I choose to, to create my success, my happiness based on that metric of I’m able to work, I do well in life. You know, you could say all that fame causes so many problems. Sure. I mean, you know, I’m sure it can at their level. But for me, it’s like, I’m on this journey, I’m gonna try the best I can. And you just gotta let the universe take over. And I’ve been really good at accepting that. So if I’m there, I always think I can handle that no problem, right? But if I’m not, I’m like, Okay, then this is what the universe has in store for me, and I’m okay with that.
David Earnhardt 21:45
That’s awesome. And I can imagine it, it takes a lot of the pressure off to have, like, you know, looking for the perfect script and looking for the perfect, you know, opportunity to get you to a certain level like it, it kind of removes some of that pressure to have a little bit more of a grounded approach.
Jason Faunt 22:02
Yeah, and those guys, I mean, you know, with the mask on, I don’t get recognized, you know, as much as I used to, but um, with the mask off it’s like you do, you have to be aware you’ll go places and and, you know, I was just traveling back from Vegas the other day, and we stopped in Barstow for food, and, you know, fans recognize you and they want a picture. So you have to be ready for that. Their level is crazy. Because with cell phones now like oh, my gosh, I mean, you can’t do anything, say anything. And it’s got to be incredibly pressure to just every second just act a certain way. So I don’t know how those guys do it now. Because that would be very tough. But yeah, immense pressure. Yeah. But then you get guys like Jason Momoa, he just, I mean, he just doesn’t care. It’s kind of funny. He’s just like, it’s kind of surprising. You’re like, wow, you know?
David Earnhardt 22:54
Well, you know if you’re Khal Drogo nobody’s gonna really mess with you.
Jason Faunt 22:58
Yeah, we’ll be at Comic Cons and he’s just like drinking beers. And he’s like “Come on, get a beer”. And I’m like, you know, I’m not drinking here like I’m working. “Come on, get a Guinness, get one in ya!” you know, sorry, Jay. I can’t not not now, you know. So anyway, it’s, it’s, it’s cool, because it’s a lot of great stories. And I never thought that I would have all these experiences. And you know, and here I am. And it’s hard to explain how or why but here I am.
David Earnhardt 23:24
That’s awesome. Well, I think you’ve kind of highlighted a couple of things, which is you know, the perseverance and willingness to work and study and be a student of the game I think was the word that you used. So I think it, you know, I can pull out several little threads that you’ve talked about having that helps you be successful. So um, so I always like to kind of ask in this in this context of, you know, what, if you were giving advice to someone who is who was at UNC Asheville, and you know, kind of interested in finding out, you know, how they maybe they’re in a drama course, or maybe they’re, you know, they’re a dance major, or, you know, there’s performance in them, they’re a musician? What advice would you give to someone who is, you know, just kind of looking at this as an option? And, and how would you suggest they go forward?
Jason Faunt 24:15
Well, it’s funny, I just spent an hour at the theater department talking to drama class over there. And we touched on a lot of this, which was really cool. And it and I always tell people that you know, obviously perseverance, hard work, being on time, all those things that should be Givens but sometimes aren’t. But it’s really a matter of again, like we touched on earlier. How do you define happiness? How do you set your metric for success? And I tell them all the time, get involved in that community. Don’t think because it’s regional theater, you’re too good for it. Don’t think because you’re an extra on set, you’re too good for it. If they’re filming something in Asheville, get on set, get on set, watch and learn, be involved. And I think that’s a big takeaway in the entertainment business is that the people think they’re too big for certain parts. I won’t do that. Not at all. I mean, you have to be willing to get in there, get dirty, start from the beginning, be involved. And that’s how you create your community. That’s how you meet a lot of people. Because I think a lot of people again, they lose opportunities by saying, Well, I’m not going to go be Indian number five in The Last of The Mohicans, right? I’m too good for that. You’re like, No, you’re not. You’re on set. You’re learning. You’re watching the main actors. And that’s just what I did. I mean, I just got on set anyway, I could so I could just sit there watch everything people did. I do. But to me, that’s a big thing in that world, because, again, if you’re like, Oh my god, I’m not Brad Pitt. Well, then I would have petered out, I would have flamed out, but I would have missed all these amazing opportunities I’ve had being me. So make sure that you just if you’re working, and you’re involved, you’re succeeding. That’s it, and you have to enjoy those wins.
David Earnhardt 25:51
And I can imagine if you can watch Daniel Day Lewis do his job, then I think you’ve probably won.
Jason Faunt 25:55
Exactly, there you go. I forgot. Yeah. He was in The Last of The Mohicans.
David Earnhardt 25:59
He was Yeah. So it was a masterclass I would imagine. That’s excellent. So as you know, as a graduate of UNC Asheville, we are the public Liberal Arts and Sciences University for the University of North Carolina system. And one of the things that I always like to talk to our guests about on the podcast is how you would say that you’ve used your degree, I mean, you mentioned having a business degree and and that being your your, one of your last touch points with UNC Asheville as a student and now as an alum. Coming back as an actor it’s a little bit of a shift but I’m just kind of curious how you’d say you’ve used your degree.
Jason Faunt 26:43
Well you know, the other thing that people don’t realize as an actor. you know, you’re your own Corporation, your own retirement plan, your own everything. So I think it gave me a practical sense of how to manage my life, my money that a lot of very straight up creative actors don’t have you know. They go out there without much college education, they’re just kind of flying and they’re extremely creative people but you can’t get them focused on what am I doing with my money? What does my retirement plan look like? Am I doing IRAs? Am I putting dollars away? So I think it gave me somewhat of a practical sense in a very creative world in terms of structuring my time. Just how I handle everything from time management to running my business, which is myself .So I think it helped me on that end which you have to have out there you know, people don’t realize they see this big stories of the the A-list actors which are few and far between and they just think we have all you know, millions and millions of dollars and in my experience, for the vast majority of us. That’s just not the case out there. It’s not the case
David Earnhardt 27:48
Jason Faunt 27:49
Social media will tell you that but it’s not the case. So it’s, I think it gave me a lot of ways to structure my time in my life besides the creative side.
David Earnhardt 27:55
Yeah, and I can imagine too, that, you know, having the ability to professionally kind of scratch the edge of being creative and having that focus, and then having some professional training on the things that will keep you afloat long term.
Jason Faunt 28:08
David Earnhardt 28:10
Sounds, Sounds like it was super useful. That’s awesome. Yeah. So describe that being your own Corporation thing. That’s a neat phrase that I’m interested in kind of digging in a little bit on, because I think we you mentioned the A-list actors who you know are multimillionaires and the actors on friends all got a million dollars in episode and now just about everybody gets a million dollars an episode like but it was a big deal at the time
Jason Faunt 28:38
David Earnhardt 28:39
So you know kind of talk to me about like you’re maybe you’re working for scale, or you’re on a set for a limited window of time and so you know, you’re having to try to try to balance the financial piece, and also staying in the game staying in as an actor and keeping your your sag membership alive and those types of things for health insurance and that kind of stuff. Like talk to me about the balance of that and how do you decide what’s important?
Jason Faunt 29:07
Well, I think as a young actor you’ve got to keep your overhead low. You can’t get too into I booked a job, let me buy a nice car, let me do this .So you’ve got to keep your overhead low so you can still be creative. You know now you know I own a home in LA the car that I drive two kids, I have to make certain decisions because I can’t just do things the same as I could when I was 22 so i think is a young actor Yeah, you know keep your overhead low so you can just go be free and work. Because Yeah, once you have bills to pay and obligations, it changes your decision making. Right now I have a mix of doing Comic Cons and appearances where it’s really financially good for me where I can go do those, and I can have a little more freedom to do certain projects. But you do have to balance it out. I mean, you have to Make money and the crazy thing now with social media I mean you have to be equally on your toes with posting things right. I mean getting on set and you even when I walked in here the first thing you did was took a picture, right? and as crazy as that seems it you know when you build up your brand it tells people what you’re doing “okay I’m here at my alma mater they’re having me speak about careers and they’re having me you know do this” and people start to go “wow he’s important” “he’s doing things” “he’s wanted” and all that in Hollywood works, you know, once they start seeing he’s doing this he doing that we want him now. So you have to be up on your social media as well. Which is another crazy you know, avenue of all this stuff.
David Earnhardt 30:40
And also it can blow up in your face, too. I mean, there’s plenty of examples of folks who have tweeted something or…
Jason Faunt 30:48
Yeah, stay away from that.
David Earnhardt 30:50
Posted something on Instagram. That’s like, yep, that was a mistake. Yeah, that moves me back a stage of space are two on the board.
Jason Faunt 30:58
That’s awesome. I would be so bad at social media. I’m so bad with social media anyway, that I would, if I was ever a professional actor, I would be in real trouble.
Jason Faunt 31:07
Well, it’s, what’s funny is that, you know, that’s the vision now, people have an insight into your world. So good or bad, right or wrong. You’re giving people insight into who you are. So yeah, I mean, you can almost create I mean, you’ve seen it now people have created fame off of nothing, right? It’s crazy.
David Earnhardt 31:28
Jason Faunt 31:30
So yeah,it’s a whole new world and reality shows. You know, Hollywood is very different from what it was in 97.
David Earnhardt 31:36
Absolutely. Very different. Yeah. And I can imagine it probably felt a little bit like you drinking from the firehose, like you came in, and you’re expecting one thing, and then it’s totally different 20 years from now.
Jason Faunt 31:45
Yeah, that’s all. Absolutely.
David Earnhardt 31:48
Well, I always like to take this opportunity in the podcast to ask the guest a question where they can kind of pay it forward a little bit, kind of ask who you think has a cool job and why.
Jason Faunt 32:04
Who? out of the entertainment Industry? I assume
David Earnhardt 32:07
Or it can be someone who wants to walk on the moon. I mean, it could be anybody that you think that has a cool job?
Jason Faunt 32:13
Gosh, you know, I you know, I’ve kind of been on the Elon Musk train lately. Just because I think it’s pretty cool what he’s been doing. He’s trying to create these 700 mile high speed rail lines. And so I don’t know it seems pretty cool that he’s on the forefront of such technology. So I think he’s got a pretty cool job. I think that’s an easy answer. You know, someone that I really really love their career and their path is Jason Bateman. He was in Ozark recently. He’s done a lot of movies. He’s been out for a long time. Never Too big. Never too little. And it just allows him to keep working right? So you know I kind of think that his career model has been fantastic. And I enjoy watching him as a fellow actor a lot you know, Game Night if you haven’t seen it, Horrible Bosses, hilarious movies yeah but he and then he’s doing Ozark which is a more serious role so yeah, I think right now that that’s someone I really envy because he just he just methodically had probably four decades going in Hollywood and that’s the goal for me
David Earnhardt 33:14
That’s awesome. Yeah, yeah, he was, he played the fox in Zootopia and really did some voice acting and that kind of thing
Jason Faunt 33:23
David Earnhardt 33:24
Yeah. Awesome. Well, thanks for that. I always like seeing, kind of in the world that you’re in, kind of who do you think has a cool job? Yeah.
Jason Faunt 33:30
Tom Brady might be another one, right?
David Earnhardt 33:31
You know what seven Super Bowls. And I would. He is a year older than me!
Jason Faunt 33:40
David Earnhardt 33:41
How am I not? It’s really hard not to compare yourself
Jason Faunt 33:43
Yeah, it’s crazy. He’s an anomaly.
David Earnhardt 33:47
That’s it? Well, I want to thank you so much for your time and, you know sharing your space with us, and sharing a little bit about your history and about your job How can folks find out more about you, and about what you’re, what you’ve got going on?
Jason Faunt 34:02
Social media is the best way Instagram is jasonfaunt it’s just the one. There’s sometimes fakes that come up but the jasonfaunt with a little blue checkmark. Twitter is thejasonfaunt and Facebook is thejasonfauntfansite. And then also jasonfaunt.com where we put up a lot of stuff, but Instagram is what I see, I actually will go on, and I try and respond back to fans. You know, comment back to people. I do look at those things. So Instagram is where I’ll announce every appearance, every new project. And that’s where I mostly am.
David Earnhardt 34:32
That’s awesome. Well, what’s uh, can you give us a little teaser about a project that you’re that you’ve got coming up that you’re really excited about that you want to talk about?
Jason Faunt 34:39
Yeah, yeah, there’s two of them. One is a mafia crime series called For Nothing based on the book For Nothing. That was a lot of fun. We filmed in Buffalo. I starred with Michael Madsen, Daniel Baldwin, and myself. Had a really great cast and they’re trying to create, I hate to say that we’re the new Sopranos, right, but it’s based on a Buffalo crime family and their relationship with the New York mafia. So I’m hoping that that goes to series. That’s a big thing For Nothing. And then I got a chance to play a bad guy on a new series they’re trying to get called Star Trek Ominara Renegade. So that goes to the prequel of Nichelle Nichols’ character. And so I got to, again, got to play a bad guy in that so those are two shows, the Star Trek one and for nothing that have recently been filmed that hopefully get picked up and then you know, and then we’re off and running. If not, I’m looking for the next job
David Earnhardt 35:37
For the next one.
Jason Faunt 35:38
Yeah, that’s awesome.
Jason Faunt 35:40
Yeah, never ends.
David Earnhardt 35:42
Well, we’ll be looking forward to both of those, the Star Trek and also the For Nothing. Looking forward to seeing those and seeing you on the both small and big screen at some point here moving forward. Well, Jason, thanks so much for spending your time with us and sharing such a cool job. I really appreciate it.
Jason Faunt 35:55
I have, Thank you for having me. It’s been fun. Thanks so much.
David Earnhardt 35:57
Thanks for listening to The Cool Jobs Podcast, a service of the Career Center at UNC Asheville. Like what you heard? Give us a like, share with your friends and subscribe. Next week we’ll be talking to Kimmy Hunter, Tiny Home Builder, so make sure to check it out. See you next time.