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Conversations with Dylan Jones

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dylan Jones.

Hi Dylan, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
The first time I performed on stage, I was six years old and I accidentally started a fire. Who gives a six years old matches? I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and a fire extinguisher showed up. In that chaotic blissful moment of improvisation and adrenaline – I became hooked. That’s how it is for me. I believe in doing your best, finding the courage to manifest what you want, giving it your all and life will teach you everything you need to know to prepare you for what you will find on the path. I am a theatre junkie and that indestructibility was forged on the boards from that first day forward. I started writing when I couldn’t find the roles I wanted to play. As an actor, I’ve had every kind of job there is and that has trained me in every way I’ve needed to learn about myself and teamwork. But mostly about the nobility of service and being happy with yourself. My journey has been epic-it has taken me around the world touring on stages nationally and internationally doing what I love.

When I returned from my last tour, I cold called a production company around the corner from my house and said “I’m looking for the next place that I can be happy and I have skills. Are you looking for someone with skills?” And they said we need a bookkeeper. Luckily I know how to do that so I started there and three months later became their Operations Manager. Then I booked a recurring spot on the TV show Picard. And something unlocked for me. After all my years in theatre this world of imagination came into focus with high-concept creation and I saw a whole new way I could channel my skill set fully. So I focused on how I could bring all of these parts of myself together as an artist and create opportunities for myself in a new way. Then a LED production studio moved a demo wall onto our stages and I got to work with them. When they moved in their new space, I moved with them. Now I am running their studio – Orbital Virtual Studios. All of it is a dream come true and I feel like I am at the forefront of my own destiny and what is the creation of what is next to come.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I don’t think I’d recognize a smooth road if I met one. There is a proverb: A good captain is not made from a calm sea. I think I innately relate to that as a way of life just because highs and lows are part of the creative process-the natural ouroboros. I feel like that is something that makes sense to me and is probably more of what I seek out anyway. I have always felt that my life is my art-not just my work and when I look back, I hope that it will be representative of my whole being-love, mind, body, soul, evolution. If my wishes had come true at 19 and I instantly was plucked from obscurity to become a superstar, I wouldn’t have any of the tools I needed to navigate that arena. Instead, I was given the opportunity to transform my entitlement, jealousy, talent and work ethic into an ability to be of service as an artist with a mission for something larger than just myself. And every opportunity that I needed presented itself for me for the whole of my life in the right time as I was able to meet it and learn and let go and strengthen my ability to ask for what I really wanted and learn who I truly am and embrace the authentic beauty of my own self.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
If I have a specialty, I guess it would be communicating without saying a word. Through movement and reactions. Being kinetically gifted-whether physical comedy or movement theatre-and fully embodying and communicating wholly with my body everything that cannot be expressed with words.

My mentor the great W. Morgan Sheppard always taught me to be there completely for your scene partner in every scene even when then focus isn’t on you. And I also learned to dance before I learned to act, so the technical repetition of communication and where the thought starts and how that impels the character into action is imperative for me.

I have been touring the world with a modernization of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” for the last eight years playing Masha and she is unlike any other character I’ve played before. Every one of her actions is generated from her sacral chakra, the 2nd chakra so she responds in a very primal and emotional way. I got to do Chekhov in Moscow-definitely a highlight! I’m also very proud of a show I did two years ago called “4.48 Psychosis” by Sarah Kane. It was the 20th anniversary of her death and we did this play as a celebration of her work-this being her final play which has become known as her own suicide note. It was an incredible honor to do this play and speak to the subject of mental illness and suicide awareness. To have the opportunity to share all of me in the deepest way and open doors that had been remained closed in my own life for many years, for a larger purpose having struggled with these issues myself. If there is anything I can say with humility, I believe my job is to speak for those who don’t have a voice so I am drawn to those kinds of characters. And coupling that with the precision of my technical and theatrical training to do anything over and over again and again as many times as needed to find the magic right moment is my sweet spot and there is nowhere else I’d rather be than creating and doing that.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Never give up. What you need, you will find by failing. So don’t be afraid of anything. Leap and fall and get up and laugh at yourself.

Believe in yourself! Nobody else has to.

What did you learn? What can you do differently next time?

Rinse repeat.

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Image Credits:

Brian Parillo Photography Matt Kamimura Photography

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