Meet Jerome Andries: actor, lawyer, parent and husband extraordinaire who also happens to own a pretty cool production company here in the USA. If you’re interested in learning all about how this busy man balances everything, his advice for those pursuing a career in acting while also having to hold down other jobs, all about his upcoming production featuring Peyton Wich and how gaffer tape has played a role in his life, keep on reading!
How do you balance being an actor, lawyer, parent and husband all at once?!
“It’s tough, but I’ve learned that as long as family is first on my list of priorities, the rest falls into place naturally! Having a strong support system is the only way that I can successfully have dual careers in law and entertainment. My wife and I had our first child the day I entered law school so we have been in the trenches and were able to overcome some tough obstacles. I’m able to use that period of time in our lives as inspiration to push myself harder. I started acting in film during my second year of law school to help provide for our growing family and discovered my passion by accident. I also quickly learned that I wanted to have more involvement in the films that I was working on other than just acting. Roman Empire Films was created to fill those creative needs and to provide a flexible filming schedule so that I could successfully be a great dad, husband, filmmaker and attorney.”
What is your advice to those who may be pursuing a similar career in acting while also having to hold down other jobs in the meantime?
“Do some soul searching and figure out what is most important to you. If acting is your passion, learn everything that you can about your craft and be the absolute best that you can. Take acting classes and find a mentor. Remember, networking is key to having a successful career in the film industry. If you must have a job while pursuing a career as a filmmaker, try your best to find one that has a flexible schedule and will allow you time off to train and audition. Build your resume and try to get as prepared as you can to go full time if that is your goal. If you are like me and have a full time career in another industry, you can work in the entertainment industry part time to gain experience and make contacts. Many people work full time jobs that they take time off from when they nail an audition and get a role they really wanted.”
What can you tell us about your upcoming production, Digger?
“Digger is a film that I have put my heart and soul into. It’s my baby, my first production and I loved every second of it! It began as a concept piece by the talented writer John L. Davis IV, whom I met through social media. He wrote a short story called “Man and Dog” and I saw potential in the story and adapted it into a film.
Digger is a post apocalypse story with a martial arts element. It tells the story of “Man” who lost everything when the world ended. At the brink of him ending it all, he discovers a young boy (played by Peyton Wich) who is silent and wild in nature due to the emotional turmoil of this kill or be killed post-apocalyptic reality. Man teaches the boy how to survive in this new world and trains him to take care of himself.
Chris Brooks stepped up and took over the costume design and props and created some amazing pieces that really made our characters look and feel as if they were living in the end of days and pieced together their outfits from what they could scavenge. Each character has their own individual style and look. Chris was also my AD, Camera and Editor.
Digger was originally intended to be a short film, but as the storyline progressed, I saw enormous potential in making it into a series. You can check it out on IMDb here.
How has gaffer tape played a roll in your life?
“I have probably used gaffer tape on more things than duct tape! Besides the obvious uses of gaffer tape I’ve used it to hold together wardrobe, props and add grip to shoes. I’ve even used it as first aid more than once! Gaffer tape is one of the most versatile tools you can have on your movie set and you can never have enough!”
What’s your favorite part of now belonging to the entertainment industry?
“My favorite part of belonging to the entertainment industry is the community. I love the people I work with! There is nothing better than creative minds coming together to collaborate. I enjoy throwing ideas around with other creatives, everyone has had different life experiences and it’s great to get a different perspective. Also, it’s great to have a career that is different each day. Most careers paths are comprised of jobs that continue into perpetuity and you do the same tasks over and over. A filmmaker’s career path is oftentimes made up of individual projects that have a beginning and end and the work you put into it has a noticeable effect on the outcome.”
Jerome Andries is a Louisiana actor, producer, writer and director and can be reached at RomanEmpireFilms@aol.com.