The Working Actor EDITOR'S INTRO
This is the thirty seventh in a continuing feature at IndustryCentral profiling "The Working Actor". (See Archives below)
William Shakespeare said "There are no small parts--.". William Shatner may have said it too, but the longhair with the tights was first, or so the reports go. In this feature we will explore what it really means to be an actor working in Motion Pictures and Television.
Broad public acknowledgment may have eluded some who find their way to these pages, or perhaps they may have brushed against what is referred to as stardom by virtue of one or more remarkable performances. However for many, the rewards of plying their craft in a field which has allowed them to earn a living may exceed the burdens of public acclaim. Given the chance, some in this clan might prefer the longevity offered by anonymity over the potential for short lived fame.
These individuals, either by design or fate, have managed to sustain a career by crafting performances which rendered them a good casting choice. They are usually thought of as a face you recognize, but you just can't get the name past the tip of your tongue.
Most of these folks have spent countless hours on stage in theaters ranging from 20 seats to 2000, building characters from the works of Ibsen, to Eliot, to Williams, to yes even Shakespeare, and so many of the modern Playwrights. They have rounded their skills doing drama, comedy, & musicals. Their work is a serious venture.
These people have given us screen performances which quite often were the catalyst that brought an Oscar or Emmy to another and yet they continue to work as "Characters" or "Co-Stars" without the trophies and plaques adorning their mantle.
Peter Jason
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Peter Jason was born on the 22nd of July in Hollywood, California. He spent the next 18 years on the beaches of southern cal mostly in front of his family home on the ocean in Balboa, Calif. Growing up at the beach helped form his easygoing love of life, people, and his pursuit of happiness. He attended Newport Beach Elementary School, Horace Ensign Junior High, and Newport Harbor High School where he performed in his first play, "The Man Who Came To Dinner" playing the lead Sheridan Whiteside.

Immediately following his curtain call he was "bit" and has not been able to shake the acting bug since. Orange Coast College followed with many parts in many plays his favorite being Harold Hill in the "Music Man". Always active in sports he found he could now bring his physical talents to the stage. From O.C.C. Peter hitched-hiked to Peterborough, N. H. for a season of summer stock at the Peterborough Playhouse. Using his thumb once again he found himself in Pittsburgh, Pa.. Where he entered the drama dept. at Carnegie Institute of Technology He feels that this is where he was given the technique to develop the talents he was born with. After Pittsburgh it was back to Calif.

To help start the South Coast Rep. in his hometown of Newport with roles in "Sergeant Musgraves Dance", "Moon for The Misbegotten", "Playboy of the Western World", "3 Penny Opera", then off to Hollywood with "Red Magic". When the SCR went back to Newport Peter decided to stay on and give Hollywood a try. Finding work immediately on "The Red Skelton Show" he joined AFTRA. Then roles in " Cimmeron Strip", "Gunsmoke", "Judd for the Defense" he landed his first movie "Rio Lobo" starring John Wayne directed by Howard Hawks. And the rest is history. TV shows, movies, plays, 7 years in New York doing mostly commercials (over 300), then back to Hollywood to fill in the last 25 years with 80 plus films and hundreds of television shows, commercials and voiceovers. But what he really does for a living is "change clothes and look for parking" Jason credits his success in the business to the help of 5 very dear friends: Stacy Keach, Walter Hill, John and Sandy Carpenter, and Frank Marshall.

Representation:
Theatrical Agency:
Suzanne & Tom Harrison
Diverse Talent Group
1925 Century Park East, Suite 750
Los Angeles, Ca. 90067
310-556-4343 * Fax 310-556-4633

Commercials (On-Camera) Agency
Abrams Artists Agency, Inc.
9200 Sunset Blvd, Suite 1130,
Los Angeles, CA 90069
310-859-0625

Commercials (Voice Over) Agency
Sutton, Barth & Vennari Inc.
145 S Fairfax Avenue, Suite 310
Los Angeles, CA 90036
323-938-6000

Peter Jason's advice to the aspiring actor:

"If you want to be an auto mechanic... What you do is work on as many cars as you can until you know what makes them tick... If you want to be an actor... you get in as many plays as you can until you find out what makes you tick... there is a technique that must be learned... otherwise you will never be able to repeat it... you have to learn how to listen... otherwise you will never know how to hear... and you have to be have more fun than anyone else...because nobody wants to watch you work... "


Peter Jason's Credits (partial)
FILM
GHOSTS OF MARS Dir: John Carpenter
DANTE'S PEAK. Dir: Roger Donaldson
THE GLIMMER MAN. Dir: John Gray
ESCAPE FROM L, A. Dir: John Carpenter
WILD BILL Dir: Walter Hill
THE VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED Dir: John Carpenter
MORTAL KOMBAT Dir: Paul Anderson
IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS Dir: John Carpenter
CONGO Dir: Frank Marshall
ARACHNOPHOBZA Dir: Frank Marshall
THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER Dir: John McTiernan
JOHNNY HANDSOME Dir: Walter Hill
THEY LIVE Dir: John Carpenter
RED HEAT Dir: Walter Hill
ALIEN NATION Dir: Graham Baker
SUNSET Dir: Blake Edwards
PRINCE OF DARKNESS Dir: John Carpenter
DECONSTRUCTING SARA Dir: Craig Baxley
HEARTBREAK RIDGE Dir: Clint Eastwood
BREWSTER'S MILLIONS Dir: Walter Hill
THE KARATE KID Dir: John Avildsen
DREAMSCAPE Dir: Joe Ruben
48 HOURS Dir: Walter Hill
NICE DREAMS Dir: Tommy Chong
RIO LOBO Dir: Howard Hawks
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND Dir: Orson Welles

TELEVISION
MURDER IN THE MIRROR MOW CBS
NASH BRIDGES Recurring Role CBS
MIKE HAMMER P.I. Series Regular  
FIVE HOUSES Pilot - Series Regular FOX
THE GAME Pilot - Guest Star ABC
MURDER SHE WROTE Guest Star CBS
DR. QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN Guest Star CBS
CARLOS Pilot FOX
TOM Guest Star CBS
COACH Guest Star ABC
ROSEANNE Guest Star ABC
THE JACKIE THOMAS SHOW Guest Star ABC
A DIFFERENT WORLD Guest Star ABC
AFTERBURN Guest Star HBO Movie
QUANTUM LEAP Guest Star CBS
KNIGHTS OF THE KITCHEN TABLE Pilot CBS
BILLIONAIRE'S BOYS CLUB Mini Series NBC
GOLDEN GIRLS Witt/Thomas ABC

For more info and credits see IMDb

-- End ---

WORKING ACTOR ARCHIVE
John Moskoff [June 2002]
John Moskoff
June 2002
James Reynolds [May 2002]
James Reynolds
May 2002
Mindy Sterling [April 2002]
Mindy Sterling
April 2002
Chelcie Ross [March 2002]
Chelcie Ross
March 2002
Barry Jenner [February 2002]
Barry Jenner
February 2002
John Aylward [January 2002]
John Aylward
January 2002
Denis Arndt [December 2001]
Denis Arndt
December 2001
Bill Smitrovich [November 2001]
Bill Smitrovich
November 2001
Alice Hirson [October 2001]
Alice Hirson
Octobber 2001
Warren Stevens [September 2001]
Warren Stevens
September 2001
Stephen Elliott [August 2001]
Stephen Elliott
August 2001
Eugene Roche [July 2001]
Eugene Roche
July 2001
Jon Polito [June 2001]
Jon Polito
June 2001
Peter Riegert [May 2001]
Peter Riegert
May 2001
Bonnie Bartlett [April 2001]
Bonnie Bartlett
April 2001
William Daniels [March 2001]
William Daniels
March 2001
Dick Whittinghill [February 2001]
Dick Whittinghill
February 2001
Chris Ellis [January 2001]
Chris Ellis
January 2001
James Whitmore Jr. [December 2000]
James Whitmore Jr.
December 2000
Vince Grant [November 2000]
Vince Grant
November 2000
Judith Hoag [October 2000]
Judith Hoag
October 2000
Madison Mason [September 2000]
Madison Mason
September 2000
Jay Acovone [August 2000]
Jay Acovone
August 2000
Richard Riehle [July 2000]
Richard Riehle
July 2000
Charlie Brill [June 2000]
Charlie Brill
June 2000
Edie McClurg [May 2000]
Edie McClurg
May 2000
Miguel Sandoval [April 2000]
Miguel Sandoval
April 2000
Tom Bower [March 2000]
Tom Bower
March 2000
Amy Aquino [February 2000]
Amy Aquino
February 2000
Danny Chambers [January 2000]
Danny Chambers
January 2000
Eve Gordon [December 1999]
Eve Gordon
December 1999
Barbara Niven [November 1999]
Barbara Niven
November 1999
Bill Lucking [October 1999]
Bill Lucking
October 1999
Richard Roundtree [September 1999]
Richard Roundtree
September 1999
Pat Harrington [August 1999]
Pat Harrington
August 1999
Robert Donner [July 1999]
Robert Donner
July 1999

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