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Q & A With Local & Podcast Actor Ian Jones

IN THE April 24 ISSUE

FROM THE 2021 Articles,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andPodcasts,
andTheatre
SECTIONS

by Lorie Lewis Ham

While theatre on stage is still on hold for a little bit longer, with the exception of some virtual shows, we are continuing to feature some local actors who have also been acting on our podcast, Mysteryrat’s Maze. This week we chatted with Fresno actor Ian Jones, who has been the voice of a couple of our episodes. Mysteryrat’s Maze features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors. I first saw Ian on stage in 2015 in Fresno Soap Co.’s production of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Ian played Dorian and he did an amazing job–I have been watching his career ever since. I was excited to get to work with Ian on the podcast!

KRL: Current day job? And other jobs you have had?

Ian: I currently work at Lowe’s part time (but with full time hours). I’ve previously worked at Storyland/Playland in the concessions booth and as a character. I’ve also worked at Fresno State in the lighting shop helping to set up lights and sound for the productions.

KRL: Schools attended?

Ian: I went to Roosevelt School of the Arts for high school and more recently Fresno State for college. I’m all finished now though.

Ian Jones in Selma Arts Center’s production of “Be More Chill”

KRL: When did you first get involved in acting and why?

Ian: In elementary school, the school I went to, Bullard TALENT, had each grade level perform a play every year. It wasn’t much, just everyone singing songs and walking up to the mic to say one line, but I’d say that’s where I was first introduced to theatre.

KRL: What was your first part?

Ian: My first actual part was in 8th grade. I was The Cat in the Hat in Seussical Jr.

KRL: What are some of the shows you have been in, and the parts you have played & with what companies?

Ian: Most of what I’ve done has been with whatever school I was at. So I did a lot of plays at Roosevelt and Fresno State. At Fresno State, I’ve played many roles, such as Pontius/Erik in Passion Play, Arthur de Bourgh in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, and more including understudy roles and ensemble. Outside of those, I was Jeremy in Be More Chill at the Selma Arts Center, which was actually the last show I was in that was performed.

KRL: Do you have a favorite type of show to perform in?

Ian: I actually prefer to be in straight plays over musicals. And of those, I love performing comedy or something deeply emotional most. I like being able to make the audience feel some type of emotion with the work.

KRL: What do you like best about acting and singing?

Ian: I guess I said this a bit in the previous question but mostly I love being able to step into someone else’s shoes for a while and tell a story. And tell it in a way that is impactful or meaningful to someone.

Ian as Pontius/Erik in “Passion Play” at Fresno State

KRL: What is the hardest?

Ian: It’s a bit cliché but the hardest thing for me is memorization. I’ve never really found a good way to memorize on my own so I rely on running the scenes over and over in rehearsal, which isn’t the best way.

KRL: Future goals and dreams?

Ian: My future goal is to become a voice actor for TV shows, video games, movies etc. My real dream is to voice a character that just one person says is their favorite. Once I hear that I’ll truly feel I’ve made it.

Ian in Selma Arts Center’s production of “Be More Chill”

KRL: How fun. Heroes?

Ian: In the professional world, my biggest voice acting “hero” is a man named Matthew Mercer. I saw him in an interview all the way back in 2012 and he did some live examples from a game he had worked on and I knew I wanted to do voice acting. In life though, I’d say my mom. She has put up with a lot over my past 23 years of life and I’m so thankful to her for everything she’s done.

KRL: Family? (including pets)

Ian: My family includes my mom, dad, 3 younger siblings (two of which are a set of twins), My grandparents, our dogs Tali and Mercy, and while she isn’t technically family I have to say, my lovely girlfriend Teya.

KRL: What do you feel has helped you the most in growing as an actor?

Ian: The thing that has helped me the most is just listening. Listening to your fellow actors, to your directors, to your teachers. And while not everything they have to say is useful or helpful, it’s always good to have another perspective on your mind to consider.

Ian as Quasimodo in CMT’s production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

KRL: What advice would you have for someone wanting to get into acting?

Ian: Just go for it, try anything. If it doesn’t work, someone will let you know but you won’t ever know unless you try that weird idea in your head.

KRL: What is your dream role?

Ian: I don’t know that I really have a dream role. Just that desire to voice someone’s favorite character in something. I guess that counts?

KRL: Was your first Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast the first time you ever did any voice acting?

Ian: I had done a workshop before but the podcast was the first time I had actually done something with voice acting.

KRL: Why did you want to audition for the podcast?

Ian: I thought it would be a good way to start trying out some voice over work and I had been told by someone else who had done the podcast that it was fun.

KRL: How has voice acting been different from acting on stage?

Ian: It feels a lot lower stakes in a way. Like yes you need to do it right but you can mess up and start over. You can’t do that live on stage.

KRL: What have you liked best about it and what has been the hardest?

Ian: I’ve liked being able to finally get a start at something I plan to do in the future. Just sitting in my room and talking into the microphone. The hardest part for me (at least recently) has been setting aside the time to focus up and do it.

KRL: Hobbies?

Ian: I play a lot of video games by myself and with my friends, and I watch a lot of movies.

KRL: Anything else you would like to add?

Ian: Just thank you for the opportunity to do these podcasts and this interview. I’m having a great time with them!

KRL: Thank you for doing them, you have done a great job!

You can check out Ian’s podcast episodes by clicking here, and here, or use the players below:

Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section. And don’t miss out on Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast!

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

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