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Article | Sun September 17, 2017, 10:28 AM EST

  • Michael Jansen

    Michael Jansen

September 17, 2017 -- Michael Jansen has been acting since he was sixteen years old and doing musicals with the local  children’s theater. The day before his college orientation, he told his dad that he wanted to go to college for acting and his father, although supportive, replied that he needed to get a scholarship because the family wouldn't be able to pay for it. Being the resourceful and driven young man that he was, Jansen was able to get an audition at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, and the school offered him a scholarship on the spot. He was able to get his Equity card before he finished his senior year of college. Jansen went on to obtain a scholarship and a Graduate Certificate from the Masters Program at Villanova University.

In between studies, Michael lived in Philadelphia and New York City, living the Broadway life, and acting in numerous Equity stage productions, including the Off-Broadway American premiere of the stage adaptation of "Cool Hand Luke," where he played the role of Dragline (the role made famous by Academy Award Winner George Kennedy) with the Drama Desk award-winning Godlight Theater Company. Many theater critics have noted Jansen as “robustly appealing.” He has also appeared in a handful of local commercials around the Philadelphia area as well as several independent films and TV pilots. Nationally, he appeared on a spot with the Food Network as part of the opening credits for "Next Food Network Star.”

These days, not only is he starting to expand his on-camera career, he is also making the transition to more mature roles. “It was very easy for me to be the larger than life character when I was an undergrad. It was my bread and butter. But now, I’m getting to play the heartfelt dad who is trying to figure out his daughter. It’s opened up a whole new world for me,” Jansen says. Although he was cast theatrically in roles that used his brawn and tough exterior, he can also play against his self-described “big rough guy” type and become more vulnerable and emotional - an asset in the more intimate film and TV world.

“I’m ready to start driving harder than I did in my mid-twenties. I’m ready to hit the ground running and finish what I started.” He attributes a lot of success to the support of his father who told him early on: “I don’t care if you are a garbage man, as long as you are happy.” 



Where are you from originally?

Delaware County, a suburb of Philadelphia.


When did you come to Philly?

The day I was born.


What inspired you to be in the industry?

Singing was my first love. It brought me to the stages of my high school musicals and beyond. Some of my early influences in both singing and acting include: Elvis, Frank Sinatra, John Belushi and Chris Farley.


What are some projects you have worked on? 

I've worked on stages all across America, spanning 37 states. I've shot local commercials and spots for Ashley Furniture, The Food Network as well as a handful of independent pilots as well as a miniseries shown on YouTube.


What are you working on currently?

Last year, I toured the northeast as the lead singer in a coverband called, “Up Next!” We played the tri-state area, Atlantic City and the Jersey shore. We went as far west as Putin Bay, Ohio. Now, I'm building an acoustic duo with a good friend of mine.


Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully happy. In this business of never knowing for sure where you'll end up, I just hope I'm still keeping the dream alive and not giving in to the status quo.


How do you feel the industry is changing?

Obviously, the incredible advances in social media have changed the landscape and the way you have to attack this industry. I feel it's a change for the better now with the reliance on self-taping. The audition world just got smaller. 


How does it benefit you?

The advances in technology makes word of marketing yourself so much easier. With that being said, it's easier for everyone. But I say the true benefit is: with self-taping and social media, I can audition for projects in any city without having to fly there. 


Interview by: Giovannie Espiritu

Article | Sun September 17, 2017, 10:28 AM EST

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