Meet the Cast of The Jog

Nothing sells the way a film comes out better than how the characters are portrayed. And in The Jog (facebook.com/thejogfilm) the acting becomes even more important. We have 7 speaking roles, but only 2 actors. Casting became an extremely pivotal piece of making The Jog come out great. We hired Casey Vickers (caseyvickers.com) as our casting director, and she brought us some awesome candidates.

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Brett Houdek:
Marty

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Brett’s Bio: I was born, raised, and still live in Racine, Wisconsin. It’s a nice, quiet area to grow up in. I have performed in churches, schools, city-wide programs, and at an amateur theatre (Racine Theatre Guild). After performing in “West Side Story” at the Racine Theatre Guild in spring 2001, I took a long 11-year hiatus from acting. Just last year (2012), a friend convinced me to audition for a Christian talent organization, “Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ (AMTC).” After learning so much about the film industry, in which I already had a long-lasting passion for, I decided to act in films.

What do you hope to bring to your role in The Jog?
I play a very crucial role, not only in the film, but in representing a large part of the American population, as well. I will try my absolute best to portray “Marty” in the most sincere, caring, authentic, and realistic manner possible. Obesity is a major situation in this country and it can cause so many problems in a person’s life. This film deals with one of those problematic areas: relationships. Every viewer will be able to relate to parts of the film and identify with “Marty” somehow, whether they are obese themselves or know someone who is.

How do you see the film coming out?
A weird question deserves a weird answer: I hope the film sucks and doesn’t go anywhere. Seriously?!?! Naturally, I hope the proper time and attention is given to the making of this film. I can honestly see this film being hilarious when it’s supposed to be, yet extremely touching and inspiring in other parts. The script, over all, is great! The cast and crew are amazing! I haven’t personally seen any other projects that the crew members have created, but I’m impressed with what I see so far. The Jog will be awesome! (I also hope that the film comes out on DVD (with special behind-the-scenes features), so that everyone can see it.

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What drew you to the project? Favorite part of the project?
When I first heard about the audition and read the synopsis of the film, I thought that it would be kind of an interesting experience. However, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to travel from Wisconsin to Chicago for just another “student film.” Then I found out how professional this film would be and how it would be made for a senior’s thesis (versus a freshman’s first film). I became a little more interested. Finally, I found out that the main character would be doing a ton of voice-over work. SOLD!!! Performing voice-overs is a specialty of mine and I’ve been looking for a project that wanted someone to do character voices.There have been many good moments while shooting this film. Of course, I loved performing the voice-overs. I have also enjoyed working with the crew; they’ve been a lot of fun to work with. However, my top moment was probably working with my “wife,” Megan Farris (“Karen”). We had instant chemistry together, which made it much easier to perform naturally and realistically as an on-screen couple. We just clicked right away. Both of our personalities and improv skills really added to the authenticity of the roles and film.

What experience do you have?
As a young kid, I grew up acting in theatre. After switching gears to learn more about film, I have now studied at the infamous Second City Theatre in Chicago, IL. Additionally, I have studied with a professional acting coach, Maureen Cashin Bolog of Actor’s Craft, over the last year. Fortunately, she’s only in Kenosha, Wisconsin, about 30 mins away from my home, and I still study with her whenever I get the chance. (Thanks, Maureen, for the friendship, knowledge, and dedication you offer your students!) Just within the past 5 months, I have been involved with 6 film projects.

What excites you about the film?
I’m just excited to see the final product. I hope I don’t look too much like a dork. 😉 I’m thankful for the opportunity to be in another film, especially as another lead role. It’s awesome!

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Favorite movie(s)?
I’m a movie buff and watching movies is my ultimate pastime. It’s impossible to list all of my favorites, especially since I’m so eclectic in my taste. Some of my favorites include Titanic, Avatar, The Lion King, Aladdin, Moulin Rouge (2001), The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Wizard of Oz, and the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Career goals?
I plan to be a working film/TV actor, being famous enough to have financial security. I compare myself to the acting likes of Johnny Depp. He’s my favorite actor, and I want to be a character actor just like him.

Favorite non-film activity?
Music is another passion of mine. Once again, I love all types of music. The music I listen to each day depends on my mood and the kind of day it is. I’m also a singer, so I love listening to musicals and singing right along. “Do you hear the people sing . . .?”

Favorite beverage?
During film shoots and right before, I usually only drink water. Water is best for your body, especially when you’re going to need energy to last long shooting days. Sugar easily drains my body and makes me feel horrible. However, at home and on the go, I drink whatever suits me at the time.

Anything else you want to say about the film?
Thank you, God, for always being there for me, even when I don’t realize that you’re there. I want to give a huge ‘thanks’ to my support system (friends, family, Facebook “friends,” etc.). Thank you, cast and crew of The Jog. It’s been a blast! I believe this film is going to move hearts and lives.

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Megan Farris:
Karen

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Megan’s Bio: I grew up near St. Louis, MO about 15 minutes from downtown and 15 minutes from the middle of a cornfield.  I had the most nurturing childhood imaginable, filled with rock roads to explore, musical instruments to play, loving parents, and a supportive community.  I earned a BFA in Theater Performance from Millikin University, studied theater in London, England through IES, and am a graduate of The Second City Conservatory.

What do you hope to bring to your role in The Jog?
I hope to create a believable, relatable character that strongly supports the story.

How do you see the film coming out?
Very solid.  The team has a lot of collective talent.

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What drew you to the project?
I love working on short films because they are intense projects that can get accomplished quickly.

Favorite part of the project?
My favorite part of the project was getting to work with Brett who is a very kind person and a talented actor.

What experience do you have?
I began acting at age six and have loved it ever since.  It affords me the to opportunity to be every single person I’ve ever wanted to be and every single person I’ve never wanted to be!  Most important, it enables me to tell the story of someone’s life and see things from another’s perspective.  I have been in a number of plays, musicals, and short and feature films since I moved to Chicago in 2004 as well as TV and radio commercials and in print ads.  My experience has lead me to teach Theater and Film Acting, Film Production, along with Improv at Harper College through the InZone program.  I enjoy long-form improv immensely and have performed with a number of groups including Theater Momentum, Trying Too Hard, The Shelter Comedy and currently perform with International Stinger and Such Good Friends.

What excites you about the film?
I can’t wait to see the final product. The script has unique stylistic elements to it and I can’t wait to see the product of the collective creativity and talent from the entire cast and crew.

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Favorite movie(s)?
Singing in the Rain, The Princess Bride, The Big Lebowski, The Muppet Movie, Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Career goals?
To continue performing and practicing long-form improv.  Over the past couple years, I have begun leading improv and character-building workshops for actors and theater companies throughout the Chicago area.  I really enjoy sharing my insight and love of the craft with others so I plan to do a lot more of that in the future.

Favorite non-film activity?
One of my favorite hobbies is riding horses (Hunter Jumper).  I also enjoy writing and traveling and writing about traveling.  My dog is pretty great and I like spending time with her.

Favorite beverage?
Wine  (Now you’re wondering, “Red or white?”  My response is, “Yes.”)

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We’re almost done shooting (just one more day to go!) And even though we’ve had our ups and downs along the way, we’re getting some great material. I know that Kevin and Aaron can’t wait to get into the editing room. So, stay tuned for more updates on the project. And be sure to check out our past posts for more information on The Jog (http://widenmedia.com/category/the-jog/); also follow us on twitter with the hash tag #TheJogFilm and “Like” us on facebook (facebook.com/thejogfilm) to show your support!

 

Meet the Cast of The Jog

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