About Jef Holbrook
(@jefholbrook on Twitter):
Alright, you asked for it:
• I grow up watching people toss dough in the family pizza kitchen. The restaurant also doubles as a shop that rents VHS tapes. Dinner and a show? What could possibly go wrong? Mostly everything. We lose the business (Thanks, Blockbuster. I was happy when your little blue stores went under).
• Dad buys me a VHS video camera from a pawn shop and I use it to make lots of movies. Yeah, I'm that kid.
• Get my first detention for flipping the bird to a teacher in the lunchroom. Think the other kids had my back. They do not. But detention must have worked because I love teachers now.
• Spend my time as a preteen in Nashville, TN, while my uncle pursues his music career. Late-night sessions in huge recording studios make a big impression on me and I still think about recording on giant 1" tape whenever I am in-studio now recording voice-overs.
• Kicked out of the "smart kid" high school and end up graduating at the "regular kid" high school. Stole an introduction to European languages book from the library of the because I was obsessed with learning Old English (Hwaet!) so that I could read the original text of Beowulf. Extra points for being nerdy *and* pretentious.
• Get my training from the Springer Theatre Academy. It ends up meaning so much to me that I make a video later.
• Go to college for acting but mostly end up studying computers and linguistics. Objective C, C++, Russian, French, Español and Esperanto. Because reasons. The computer stuff helps me earn money when times get lean. I'm still using my 2006 MacBook to do this stuff from time to time.
• Find work in a marketing office and put my self-taught Photoshop skills to use while hoping no one figures out I didn't go to school for design. Success. Drop shadows all over the place because what did I know?
• Quit college to act professionally. Let the money come rolling in! (Update: it doesn't.)
• I book the lead in a national tour with Topher Payne the next year and get to see the country, playing theaters coast to coast. Become obsessed with podcasts and ebooks after being cooped up in the tour bus for hours on end. Also, get quoted in "the paper of record" for a really stupid reason after a nice guy from the Times found me on Twitter. Still don't quite know why.
• Dad dies during the one-week break from tour. I plan the funeral and give the eulogy because I felt that "no one else would do it right." Control issues, much?
• Go away like a good little monk to study improv with the zen master of this stuff, Keith Johnstone, and after he tells me I'm "like a hyper little gerbil" he then proceeds to blow my mind with his knowledge. Forever changed in a positive way.
• I move to Orlando where I get an agent. Soon, I must flee the town of Orlando under cover of darkness. It's a story best told in person, over a beer, and far from Florida. I move to Atlanta.
• Tapped to be the director of a program for business development that blends performing arts with the corporate world. I enjoy being the "Director" of something but learn that I'm not right for the job. My biggest clue that it is time to move on is the need to constantly suppress the desire to eye-punch anyone who uses "return on investment" in a real sentence. So, I move on.
• I help found a theatre school in Athens, GA. It was a great time and I learned a lot from the kids. Also, begin my theatrical directing adventures.
• Begin producing video content for fun and profit. I get more fun than profit.
• I get a new agent in Atlanta. I am a moron at my first movie audition. It was baaaaaad. Then, it gets better! I start booking things. All the things. Very grateful.
• I help develop two world-premiere interactive shows about technology for The Springer Opera House. Very fun.
• I land my first TV show appearance. Then my first national commercial… in the same week. This makes my mom very happy. Life changes a bit. Again, grateful. I have to take a break from theatre for a while to stay open for the TV gigs.
• I become an audiobook narrator for Scientific American magazine. Like I said, life changed. Every week I get to read some cool, world-changing bit of science news for lots of people on Audible. So happy.
• I finally get to return to theatre with the world premiere of Greetings, Friend! Your Kind Assistance is Required! at Georgia Ensemble Theatre and I am just so excited about the whole thing.
• You're reading this and now know way more about me than I know about you, giving you the upper hand should we meet in a deadly knife fight. You win!
Atlanta Models and Talent