Actor Jere Shea, Don't Call it a Comeback
Jere Shea is a Tony Nominated actor who worked like a bandit right out of NYU's Acting Program. But when he realized touring on stage throughout the country was going to prevent him from raising his kids in the manner he desired, he walked away from it all to put his family first. After two decades, spent working in politics in Boston, Showtime came knocking on his door and, in a flash, he found himself acting across from Kevin Bacon on one of their hit shows.
Being out of the business for 2 decades, and returning to the stage with the musical, The Secret Garden, (5:55). “They said, ‘Are you going to stay over tonight daddy?’ They thought I was visiting. They didn’t know that I was living with them anymore. They assumed as preschoolers that I just no longer lived with them. I was gone too long.”, (6:57). Making the decision of wanting to help raise his children, (9:15). Gaining interest in ‘City on a Hill’, (11:30). Taking up offers of script readings whenever he was around, (13:46). Finding out about the death of his character on ‘City on a Hill’, (15:45). Returning back to acting after 14 years of working in fundraising, (19:05). “I’m really reintroducing myself in the business, and that is why it was so great to play Hank in ‘City on a Hill’.”, (21:16). Growing up in Hyde Park, Boston, (22:03). “It wasn’t always an easy place to grow up to, and at times, it felt like it was a good place to get out of.”, (22:29). Watching people running around and having fun on television at a young age, (24:39). “Ironically, I spent a lot of the time alone as a kid in a big family of kids.”, (25:46). Growing up during desegregation of schools, (27:50). Starting college on behavioral probation, (30:40). “Having taken 20 years out of acting, I never felt that I left the mindset behind.”, (33:25). Honing in on his acting career with attending NYU Tisch for his MBA, (36:55). Understudying with several well-known actors and actresses in Shakespeare in the Park during college, (41:02). Knowing his family was always his priority despite being nominated for a Tony Award, (45:00). “I was getting hired or offers to sign for a year in Canada. But you sign your life away and you just go. I knew enough not to sign a year to go out the country.”, (46:05). "The pressure to work to support them is intense for any person with a family. I wanted to stay busy, but I didn’t want to miss out on seeing them grow.”, (46:38). Feeling stability from his family and knowing there was a place he could return to, (48:57). “The notion an artist has to starve or suffer is bullsh*t to me. I tried that route and I did plenty of it. I starved. I had no money.”, (49:21). Finding common ground in the Protestant faith with his wife, (51:37). Maintaining a mindset of service from the Jesuit values of BC, (53:38). Defining ‘No’ as a ‘Not yet’, (57:20). “Finally realizing, ‘I have to let go some of my fears about this world and allow myself to be hurt.’ I don’t have to be such a hard guy anymore.”, (1:01:40).
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