by William Jeon
Read Part 1 of Will’s journey at Yomyomf.com.
Santa Monica, California. Old white and yellow walls close in around me as the freeway roars. My little studio apartment shudders as I hunch over a bowl of cereal—my breakfast, lunch, and dinner—scanning the computer for auditions. My schedule’s crazy and my brain’s buzzing, buzzing, buzzing with the passing cars, the honking, day and night, the budget calculations…no more sushi and teriyaki for me, it’s PB&J all week long. The “no, no, no” weighs on my shoulders—this role’s perfect for me, but they won’t even audition someone without an agent. Here’s another dream opportunity!—And, it’s barred, shut, out of my reach. I’ve got no agent, and no one knows my name.
“The right one will come along,” I used to say to myself. Enjoy the journey. Don’t force anything.
When I began my acting career, I didn’t know much. I was trying to break into one of the hardest career fields out there, with no connections and no training, but in my head I remembered that someone somewhere said something about the fundamental foundation of acting: “the Meisner technique.” So, Google to the rescue, I found a studio and started my two year course, exploring feelings about myself I’d never knew I had and opening myself up more as a person. I waited tables and scrounged dollars, trying to keep myself alive while I hunted that big break.
Cut that freeway noise and jump to the scene where my first casting call comes back yes. Joy’s drowning out the taste of peanut butter in my mouth—a surreal dream begins, taking me from my tiny old studio apartment, out to the television studio, where I’m mingling with professional poker players I’ve seen on TV. Is this even real? Full Tilt Poker wants me in their commercial, and here I am, under the heat of the lights, with the set behind me, and celebrities within arm’s reach.
Commercials and short films can’t pay the bills, though, and soon I found myself spending more and more time trying to survive and less and less actually acting. This wasn’t living the dream. It wasn’t even reaching towards the dream—I didn’t have time to improve my craft, and with the hunger and the crazy and the pressure gnawing at my brain, I wasn’t being what I could be. I leaned back in my chair, hands behind my head—yeah, yeah I definitely needed a job that would pay the bills while giving me time and energy to focus on acting.
So I became a pharmacist, and crazily enough, my plan worked. I had time to live again—to walk my dog Brixton, to practice my craft, to show up for auditions and classes—and then I found a project where the character described me as a person almost to the tee. Like me, he liked to go with the flow, but he had a passion for his art, and wow, a romantic comedy—my favorite movie genre! I threw my application into the pool, and got called back for an audition. And you know what, that auditioning process—something that’s often hard and stressful for most actors—felt so easy, fun, and natural for me.
The two weeks waiting for the callback literally felt like months. When they scheduled the call with me, part of me just wanted them to hurry up and reject me by e-mail. You don’t need to call me to tell me I’m not it! I was about ready to just cry when we got on the call, but contrary to my beliefs, I was cast as Sung-min in I’m Having an Affair With My Wife!
The rest is history. I’m so excited to start filming, and I love the script. And I can’t wait for you to become a part of this history with me over the next few years.
What’s your dream?
William Jeon is an athlete, pharmacist, and the lead actor in “I’m Having an Affair With My Wife!”, a romcom about a married couple who become fed up with each other, seek out affairs, and accidentally cheat ON each other WITH each other. You can support the film on SeedandSpark, and you can follow him, and his dog Brixton,@thewilljeon on Instagram.