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Check out Jason Dirden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Dirden.

Jason, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in a household of artists. My mother has always been a creative person and lover of art. My father is an actor and acting coach, developing his own principles of the craft. And I think my older brother came out the womb reciting “To be or not to be.” Meanwhile, I tried my best to run from the arts… literally. As a kid, I was heavy into sports. If there was a ball and physical exertion involved, I was a part of it. Football, basketball, baseball and even gymnastics.

Then, an epic event happened in my life which caused a shift in me. The premiere of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” I fell in love with that show instantly. But there was a problem… it aired at the same time I was at football practice. Welp, I had a decision to make. Play football or watch Will Smith every Monday night. So I traded my touchdown dance for the Carlton dance.

Shortly after, is when I found my love for storytelling. I found myself studying Drama at Morehouse College, then attaining my Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois. Since my entrance into “the business” I’ve been on Broadway twice with Denzel Washington, performed at countless regional theaters and am currently on two of the most critically acclaimed dramas on television, Greenleaf and American Soul. Who knew as a 12-year-old footballer I’d find myself tackling Hollywood 20 years later. Thanks, Will Smith.

We’d love to hear more about your work. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am a storyteller and a lover of humanity. I am a believer that my purpose should affect the progression of culture and society in a positive way. As an actor, I do my best to be a part of projects that fall under that ultimate intention. And as a writer, I create projects with that same energy.

The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
I’ll share some of the best advice I received when I entered the world of professional artistry. Live below your means, no matter how financially successful you think you are. Because this is such a subjective business, economic success for the artist comes in peaks and valleys, even for the millionaire celebrities. Living below your means allows for the lean times… and there will be a ton of lean times. It’s in those times when an artist’s integrity is put to test. Keep your overhead low, so you never have to sell your artistic soul to pay the rent.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I am currently on BET’s incredible new series, American Soul. It’s a drama inspired by the evolution of Don Cornelius and his landmark show Soul Train. If you haven’t watched it, you can binge it On Demand and catch up before season two begins airs.

You can also follow me on all social media platforms @jasondirden.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Justin Sarno
Andrew Thomas Clifton
Jace Downs
Luke Fontana
Craig Schwartz

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