We had the good fortune of connecting with Don Jeanes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Don, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Attrition. To become a full-time working actor, supporting yourself solely from acting income, you have to maintain a steady pursuit of work not for days, weeks, months, or even years but decades. Showing up and turning in consistent work over multiple decades is the way to succeed in this industry.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m very grateful to be a working actor. Of course, I started out like many actors believing that I would land strait on a tv series. That is true for a very minute few but not so much for the large majority of people who set out on a professional acting career. Coming from a small Texas town the first time I booked a job and found out what the pay was I was naturally elated. But like all of life on the hedonic treadmill I started wanting more. The feeling of being lucky soon turned into ambition and it worked. I became a full time actor in 2013 after booking the first of 3 Budwizer Clydesdale Super Bowl commercials. But after a few years I started feeling slighted by the industry. Passed up and looked over. It took the fun out off the craft, out of the “doing” because I was to focused on the end result. Then life happened. I had to do some things, take care of things that adults sometimes have to take care of and it brought my perspective back to how lucky I actually was. I am back to appreciating the “doing” of my craft because I am no longer looking for the accolades but just appreciating the life it provides me. Auditions where a stress and a choir. The energy surrounding them was immense. Then two things happened. 1) I experience those responsibilities and 2) I read Brian Cranston’s book “My life in Parts”. He talked about doing it for himself. Turning in the performance he wanted to. That’s what I do now. I have fun, I do it for me and I let it go. I release it into the ether and let it go. This new way of looking at my craft has not only brought me allot of peace but much more success. I currently have 4 TV commercials running, several print campaigns in circulation, 3 feature films in post production and audition almost every day.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in The Woodlands. We have a great waterway here. There is a boat rental where you can rent paddle boards. I love renting on the waterway and paddling to Hughes Landing for brunch then paddling back. It’s a good time during the warmer months.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Since this is a shout out I’ll go a little further back because I wouldn’t be who I am.
Obviously my mother, Lovelyn Jeanes, and brother, Guy Jeanes, were and remain major influence in my life. My mom, was a teacher and coach she thought me to work and be humble. My brother is my best friend and believe it or not is funnier than me.
I have a beautiful wife, Maria Jeanes, who puts up with an actor for a husband and has infinite love to give. She makes anywhere we are feel like home.
And what would an actor be without their agent. Addie Eckert at Page Parkes Talent keeps me very busy. She’s warm, personable and has been the epitome calm cool and collected since day one.. I literally couldn’t do this without her.
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