Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Verghies.
Jeff, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa, I guess you could say that I’ve always enjoyed being in the spotlight. Playing sports at a young age was the start for me. Although I participated in almost every sport at some point in time, baseball was my niche and what I wanted to become a professional at from an early age. The pressure of being on the mound, having all eyes on you, and basically controlling the game was something I couldn’t get enough of. I’d practice at home on my own and imagine myself walking out to the mound, with a Pittsburgh Pirates jersey on, and people cheering my name. I’d sign my name on blank pieces of paper over and over again to perfect my signature for the day when it actually came time to sign my name for fans. As I got older, things started to change for me though. My dad was a bass player and lead singer for an incredibly talented cover band. He was putting together a practice studio in our attic for his band, which led him to eventually purchasing a drum set to complete the set up that he was putting together. I was just starting to practice the guitar during this time but when he got the drum set, that set and throne became my mainstay in music for quite a while. Shortly after, the love of baseball was starting to get away from me. I was still performing at a high level for my age, but I was starting to get pushed away from certain things that you start to encounter outside of the game as you get older. I eventually quit and decided to pursue music with a local band. We played all through high school together and was making a ton of progress as a young, fresh, band that was just beginning to approach adulthood. We were playing numerous shows at bars, coffee shops, parties, benefit shows, colleges, and pretty much anywhere where we could get people to watch and listen to us. Our music was getting played by local radio stations and colleges in the surrounding areas. It seemed as if this was my calling. Our plan was to tour across the country and end up in LA to see where our music could take us. Since then, LA has always been a calling to me. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned with the band as we had some fallouts and disagreements along the way. After I spent some of my time kind of just going day to day with life, in a sort of complacent or stagnant nature, I decided to sign up for a local acting workshop that was being taught by a local college professor. I always had a fascination with tv/film, people’s lives, and basically how they got to where they are today. I was always looking up Wikipedia pages on people that I found interesting. I’ve always been interested in many occupations as a teenager. It was one of the reasons why I didn’t attend college, along with finances and some other family issues at the time, because I just couldn’t make up my mind on what I’d want to do for the rest of my life. That’s a lot of pressure to put on someone at such a young age who’s just starting to break their mold to find out who they truly are and what they desire. After I took the acting class, it was like a fire was ignited. I’m the type of person that tends to be all in or all out. I don’t typically have a middle ground with anything. After that workshop, I signed up for another one, which led me to another workshop by another teacher, then another, and so on. Soon enough, I was taking a workshop in Akron, Ohio at Pro Model and Talent Mgmt. After the workshop, PMTM expressed their interest in my look and asked if I had any representation and the rest is history. I then attended IMTA, a national talent convention, in New York City in 2016. I competed in 14 different competitions that covered acting, modeling, and singing. This is where I got to meet, and eventually sign, with my manager. After the convention, I pretty much immediately made the decision to start planning and coordinating my move out to Los Angeles, which ended up happening in February 2017. Since moving out to LA it has been almost a constant “hustle and grind” mentality to not only establish myself in the industry out here in LA, but to also juggle many different side hustles to make ends meet, meet people and network, and maintain a social life with the wonderful friends that I’ve gained out here.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve been very fortunate with how, somewhat, smoothly my ride has been so far with the opportunities that have come my way and the people that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and/or working with, compared to some of the other stories of people that I’ve talked to. It has by no means been easy, but it hasn’t been totally unbearable. Are there tough times? Of course. That’s just life. Anything worth having isn’t easy, and entertaining people, no matter at which level it may be, is something that I’ve come to learn that I cannot live without.
The main struggles that I can think of off the top of my head are the struggles or thoughts that I believe most artists have; Especially when you’re thousands of miles away from family, friends, comfort, and the things that you know best. Battling yourself mentally if you’re good enough, if you’re going to have enough money to pay your bills, comparing yourself to others, and if you’re doing the right things to get to where you need to be are the typical thoughts most of us experience. That’s something that I’ve really come to terms with: there is no exact and right way to pursue this career. There are definitely things you shouldn’t do, haha, but when it comes to being proactive in the industry with classes, networking, or creating art of any kind there really isn’t any blueprint to obtaining the things you want. It’s all about just staying active by working on a piece of your craft every day and realizing that everyone has their own journey and timing in life.
Tell us more about your work.
As cliche as it might be, I’m an artist/creative. I love the arts and anything that really has to do with them. My main focus has been acting, but I haven’t let that cut me off from exploring other forms of art and creativity within me. Music has subsequently come back into my life after a few years hiatus with it. I was fortunate enough to have that part of me sparked again when I was cast as the drum set player/ensemble for The Heart Of Robin Hood that premiered at the Wallis Annenberg Theatre in Beverly Hills at the end of 2017. Since then, music has been finding it’s ways to incorporate itself back into my life without a specific agenda attached to it. It’s a love that I ran away from for quite a while because it became more of an agenda for me than an enjoyment. I’ve also had the pleasure to work on a few shorts so far and make some great contacts, in whom I can trust for their honesty and critique. I highly value their opinion. I think what sets me apart from most is that I don’t really know when to quit. I’m pretty relentless when I’m going after what I want and I’m a hell of a worker.
I think I’m most proud of who I’ve become over the last 2 1/2 short years in LA, and where I’m currently at in my life. Like I said it hasn’t been easy, but when you can look back and realize the things that you have overcome and accomplished in your life and career so far, it’s just a nice reminder of what you’re capable of when you set out to do the things that you want to do when you apply yourself.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I honestly don’t really believe in luck, or coincidence. I believe that luck is when preparation meets timing. I definitely can say that I didn’t come up with that, haha, but I can’t remember where I read it. I just know that when I read it, it resonated more with me than the idea of sheer luck. You can be presented with a huge opportunity in your career, whichever that career maybe, but if you’re not ready for that opportunity, it’s not typical that you’ll just be handed it. Now I also don’t believe that there’s a right time to do anything, or if you’ll actually ever be completely ready for something, but you can do your absolute best with what you have, know, and want to learn to prep yourself as best as possible. I believe that hard work and consistency eventually pays off. A friend of mine once told me that it’s all about the 3 P’s: Practice, Perseverance, and Patience. Three things that can be hard to maintain from time to time, but you also have to know when to let go, do your best to control what you can control, and cut yourself some slack. At the end of the day, I have the privilege of living in one of the best cities in the best country in the entire world. That there in itself is “luck”.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: jeff_verghies
- Facebook: Jeff Verghies
LeAnn Oliver, Tony Moux, David Chandler, Neil Johnson, Dan Weyant