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Meet Jeremy Long in The Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Long.

Jeremy, 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 born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania. So small you could walk from one end of the town to the other. Well, I suppose you could technically walk from one end to the other of any town, but my town was so small that you could do it and still have time to catch the morning news, if you catch my drift. The town was called Palmyra, although I never tell people I am from Palmyra because, when I have, they look at me as if I just told them I was dating Selena Gomez, who I did go to the movies with once, meaning we happened to be in the same theater, sitting in the same row, and I offered her some of my popcorn… but that’s another story for another time. The point is, no one knows where Palmyra is, so instead, I tell them I am from Hershey. Everyone knows Hershey. The chocolate bars, the park, the vacant chocolate factory that they outsourced to China. Mmmm, America.

Anyways, so that was my childhood, growing up in a small town on the east coast. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great childhood, but pretty average. Let’s just say they aren’t going to make a movie about my childhood starring any of the kids from Stranger Things, that’s for sure. However, as normal as my childhood was, I will say those were the years that really shaped me into what I am now and helped me to discover my creative passions. I have always been a cinephile from a very young age. I was always in front of the TV, absorbing anything and everything I possibly could before bedtime. Perhaps, this is because I was an only child and sought the company of the cast of characters on my favorite shows. Or, better yet, perhaps it was because I was a bit of a dreamer, always seeking some sort of fantasy world to escape reality. As I got a bit older, I started making my own little films with friends and family and kids around the neighborhood. They were always the most fun to make, but none of them are going to win an Oscar. Actually, I think they are so bad they wouldn’t even be nominated for a Razzie. But don’t tell young Jeremy that, we always thought we were creating gold each time. I still have them all on VHS tapes that I’ve hid in an undisclosed location never to be seen by human eyes ever again.

It was also around this time in my childhood that I really got into music. Music was always a big part of my formative years as my father was a disc jockey for some time and my grandfather owned and operated a radio station out of central Pennsylvania. By the time, I hit my double digits I was taking lessons on drums, piano, and guitar. I play all these instruments to this day, plus bass and harmonica, and was even in a few bands throughout my high school and college life. Although I never pursued music professionally, it remains a hobby and a huge part of my life.

I performed my very first stand up comedy show as a dare in high school. It was a high school talent show when a friend said: “Hey Jeremy, you’re funny, why don’t you do comedy?” You know, that thing people say to the goofy guy at work, not knowing the amount of crazy work that goes into actually being a stand-up comic. Anyways, I took on the challenge and it went surprisingly well. So well, in fact, that I decided to pursue it as a career. I continued to perform stand-up comedy all throughout high school and college, traveling to Philly, Pittsburgh, New York, and so on to book gigs. Wouldn’t ya know it, ten years later I am still plugging away, only now I am headlining clubs in Los Angeles, performing legendary venues, and opening for comics I have looked up to my whole life. But I am getting ahead of myself.

After high school, I went to college at Penn State University for film. At this point in my life, I was hell bent on being an actor. I had made my dumb little films as a kid, been in some plays in high school, and I thought I was destined to be the next big thing, as most young actors do. After taking several acting and theater classes in college, I quickly realized there was one small monkey wrench in my plan to become the next big comedic actor. I sucked. I just wasn’t a good actor and I had to be honest with myself about that, which was hard. Even harder was deciding where to go from that realization. I had always been a film lover and literally couldn’t imagine doing anything else. As luck would have it, I had a screenwriting course scheduled for next semester and it was there where I found out where my true talent lies and discovered a whole new passion.

Through writing, I discovered that the thing I love most about film and television was never the actors, but rather the storytelling. The creation of these fantasy worlds and fantasy people that allow the viewer to step out of their own reality for a few hours and escape if you will. The writer is really the ultimate creator of all these cinematic adventures. Not that they are more important than anyone else in the industry. Everyone plays a pivotal role in a set from the director right down to the PA going on a coffee run. But writing was my strength and very quickly became my passion. I was writing all the time whether it be feature films, short films, sketches, jokes, songs, poems, anything really. It was also during my college career that I shot, edited and self-distributed my very first feature film. A documentary about my dear friend and comedic mentor Frank Cotolo titled Tenacity and Gratitude: The Frank Cotolo Story. If you don’t know who the legendary Frank Cotolo is then Google him later, this is my interview, not his! The film released to positive reviews and sold quite a few copies due to Cotolo’s fanbase and it is a project that I am still very proud of to this day.

After graduating college, I decided it was finally time to make the big move to California. So, I packed my bags and, along with my best friend Eddie, I drove cross country to my new home in La-La Land. I have to take a moment to say that, luckily, throughout this whole time, I had a huge support system of family and friends. Specifically, my parents who not once, that I can recall, ever doubted me or my dreams. They were supportive of my move to Hollywood and of my career choice, which is an extremely difficult one. It wasn’t too long after moving to Los Angeles that I got a job on the television show The Carbonaro Effect on TruTV. I worked there for two seasons and then left due to personal differences and began working for a VR production company called Here be Dragons. It was fun to learn about this new, emerging medium during my time with the company.

I also started my own production company with friend and fellow filmmaker Meg Dick, daughter of a friend and fellow comedian Andy Dick. The production company is titled Long Dick Films and we are focused on making shorts and sketches, mostly in the comedy genre. They have all gotten tons of positive feedback and out latest short, “Retired Cupid” even won the Award of Excellence at the Global Shorts Film Festival. You can few the shorts on YouTube.

Even with these other endeavors, I never stopped writing and performing comedy; my firs two loves. In fact, I just recorded my very first comedy special filmed in front of a live audience, which will be released later this year. Furthermore, a feature film I wrote titled “Clickbait” got produced and made and will also be released later this year, so stay tuned for those two.

I guess that brings us pretty much up to date then. Sorry for rambling.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I guess it’s never really a smooth road, is it? Everyone has its struggles no matter who you are or what career you choose. But, this career of film is especially hard. No matter what job in film you are trying to pursue, they are all competitive and difficult to get your foot in the door. So, sure, it has certainly been a bumpy road filled with many forks in the road and slippery when wet signs. Wait, what? Oh, I meant filled with many constructions ahead signs. And he road is still bumpy. With each achievement, it gets a little more smooth, but it ain’t perfect yet. There are still daily struggles I go through, some worse than others. But, with enough perseverance and tenacity, things you need a lot of to survive out here, hopefully, one day my road will be smooth. After all, I like my roads he way I like my peanut butter; smooth. That was a joke. But, also, not really because I really love peanut butter.

That’s all I am going to say about that because I need to keep this section short to make up for the short novel I wrote as my answer to the previous section.

Please tell us about Jeremy Long.
I am a 26-year-old writer and comedian living in Los Angeles.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Oh, gee, that’s a tough one. So many fond memories of my childhood honestly that it is hard to pick. I know that is cliché to say, but I honestly had a really great childhood.

I guess, if I had to pick, I would say my favorite memory is being a child. Just being a carefree, imaginative, confident little ball of energy. That’s what I miss the most. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with where I am at in my life and optimistic about where I am headed, but nothing beats being a kid again. We spend most of our childhood times wanted to be an adult so that we can’t be bossed around anymore or be on our own or drink or whatever the silly reason may be, but if I could go back in time I would tell my younger self to chill out and take it slow. Enjoy the time where your biggest worry is what is for lunch in the cafeteria or whether or not you’ll have a pop quiz in the next class or not. Not to mention the unbridled confidence. Gosh, I wish I still had that. I feel like, as children, we are so unafraid to be judged. We have this sense of play and make-believe where we’re gonna do our own thing and be who we are and not give a damn what anyone else thinks about it. Although there are obvious perks to being an adult, and even though I am still a child at heart, there are so many qualities to kids that I wish I still had or could, perhaps, rediscover.

In any case, that’s my answer. My favorite memory from childhood is my child-like sense of wonder and attitude towards the world.

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