Today we’d like to introduce you to Jay Eftimoski.
Jay, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
“I was a terra since the public school era..”- Biggie Smalls
To say the least. It all started back in North Jersey. Some dare say that it’s the ONLY Jersey and that the rest is Pennsylvania or Connecticut…. Anyway! Yeah, it all started there. Born in Hackensack. Firstborn son of Macedonian immigrants that came here with their family in search of streets paved in gold…The American Dream!
When I was very young, we all- my parents( Lydia & Steve), myself, my baby sister Sam, grandparents, an uncle, an aunt and two cousins- lived in the same house in Paterson, NJ. Because of that, the first language I picked up was; you guessed it, Macedonian.
I didn’t actually start speaking English until I was about 5. I learned basically the same way my parents learned. TV. Everyone except for my grandmother worked at least two jobs, or in my cousin’s case, went to school, during the day. So I was left to my own devices. Babysitting usually consisted of being sat in front of the TV and watching wrestling and soap operas. By the time we moved out of there, I was fluent in English.
I’ve always been a “ham”, as my mother would put it. Between the TV and being looked after by my Great Grandmother-who didn’t speak a word of English- I had a lot to work with.
I would impersonate people. Do impressions of funny characters. That came in handy in school…
A “husky” kid, I had to find ways to distract the bullies. Yes, they picked on the fat kid. My method of distraction was usually to do or say something funny. Thanks Jim Carrey!
Throughout school, I was always involved in sports and being a big brother towards my sister and now my brother Tyler. Basically torturing them, and setting bad examples… I never really pursued acting until after I graduated high school. It was never something to ever be taken seriously. My parents were HUGE on getting an education, which was something I had enough of, but I obliged. I spent a couple of months at community college. One of the courses available was an acting class. Boom.
College didn’t workout…what can I say. I gave it the Community College try. I spent the next few years job-hopping. Everything from flipping pizzas, to cleaning septic tanks, pumping gas, and fixing lawnmowers. I finally had enough of the misery while reading electric and gas meters. I quit and started taking acting classes in New York City. I got to do a lot of fun TV and film projects. Some include the last episode of the “Sopranos”, and a featured spot on “Boardwalk Empire”. Two of my MANY favorite shows. I met some incredibly talented humans and was blessed enough to work with some of the people I idolized. New York really pushed me out of my comfort zone. And I loved it. NYC. You can’t not love that city..
A few years later, I made an epic road trip with my best friend, Chad, out to LA. Spent some time in Modesto, thanks to another friend of mine, who was out here working as a traveling nurse- Thank you Nurse Jackie!, before finally rooting down in the City of Angels. Where I’ve met and worked with even more phenomenal people. Whether it was through background work, part-time waiting and bartending jobs, all incredible people with fantastic stories. Some good, and some not so good. A few years later, and a little bit of a resume built, here I am. Married to my incomparable wife Caitlin, with our fur babies-as she likes to call them… (dog and cat). Living, as I like to say- “Another day in Paradise”
Has it been a smooth road?
It has been a rocky road. For sure. Financial and emotional tend to be at the top of the list. No one is ever truly prepared and you’ll never meet ANYONE that says it was easy. My family has been incredibly supportive. but as they say; “It’s a long way to the top if you wanna Rock n Roll.” Shakespeare said that..
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into your story. Tell us more about your work.
Well, being an actor; you’re essentially a small business. I have to be a “Jack of all trades”. I love working in comedy, and really intense scenes. I love doing impressions of celebrities as well. I can do a pretty mean Jon Snow, or Christopher Walken. My Peter Griffin drives my wife wild…As an actor I’m most proud of my “Best Supporting Actor”, award I received for my part in, “A Dark Place”- Available on DVD, Blue Ray, and to stream on Amazon Prime, itunes, and Google Play. Also on Reb Box, August 13 😉
A feature film directed and produced by my good friend Christopher Piñero; alongside Jazlyn Yoder, and “Shadow Hunters”, Luke Baines. Nothing more validating for an actor early on in their career, then an award for Acting!
I think what sets me apart is my physicality. I love moving around. Whether it’s in a fight scene or a comedy scene. Or trying to watch something on Netflix…My wife also loves that..
I’m pretty self-aware and have a good ability control of my emotions when it comes to film or stage. My attitude also sets me apart. I’ve been told-in a good way! I LOVE being on set! In a city like Los Angeles, so far from home, it can get lonely at times. But not when I’m on set.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
As far as an “Industry” is concerned; entertainment as a whole is constantly evolving. There’s no way, for sure, on telling where it’s going to go. Streaming services have been EXPLODING with content. It’s just up to me as an actor to try and get a piece of that work. Visibility, for actors, is changing as we speak. I mean that in the way people are seen or audition for projects. It used to be you either lived in New York City, LA, or Chicago if you wanted to be an actor. Atlanta in recent years has had an enormous surge in productions. We’ll have to wait and see where that goes, because unfortunately for humans, politics stuck its curious, crooked face in somewhere it has no business being…. All that aside, being an actor now, you can basically live anywhere and still audition.
A lot of submissions for projects have been going the route of self-taping auditions. It’s challenging, but cost and time effective. Luckily for me I’m, represented by an outstanding team at Bohemia Management- Thank you Susan. Having a rep takes a lot of the pressure off, but it’s still my job as an actor to submit to as many projects as I can, that I believe I’d be a perfect fit for. You really need to get to know yourself, and your skillset if you wanna deliver a truthful performance. Like I said you have to be a sort of Jack of all trades. Get your hands dirty. Expand your horizons, eat weird food, work odd jobs, become your own best friend… and MOST important, Don’t stop believin.
In the next 5-10 years for me, though…WELL….You’ll see me as the next Wolverine 😉 …claws crossed
Massimo Menegaz: @massimomenegas (instagram)
Elevate Photography: @ elevatephotography (instagram)
Behind the Scenes Photos for project in the works:
Film title: “Beneath The Green”, Directed by: Jason Georgiades
Bohemia Management under Susan Ferris