Tuesday Crew Day: Tom Jenkins

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Tuesday Crew Day: Tom Jenkins

Where are you from, where are you located now, and what are your ties to WV?

I was born in South Williamson, KY across the river from Williamson, WV. My parents worked for a small C&P Telephone office in Williamson. We moved to South Charleston when I was two years old. Both of my parents, Gordon and Carolyn, were from Charleston and South Charleston, respectively. I graduated SCHS in 1977 (Go Black Eagles!) and continued to WVU after that. Both my parents have now passed on, but my brother Steve and his children and grandchildren live in Charleston.

What was your first job in film production and what was the experience like?

I started acting around 1989-90. I moved to Orlando, Florida, after WVU and sort of “stumbled” my way into the business as the movie industry made its way into Central Florida with the building of Disney/MGM Studios and Universal Orlando. My very first acting job was a Disney “Muppets” commercial shortly after its creator, Jim Henson, passed away. It was fascinating watching the crew handle the complexity and movement of the puppets as they filmed the action revolving around me. I was hooked! I also did community theatre in the Orlando area and landed at Universal Orlando as a stage actor for 4 years. I moved to Los Angeles in 1995.

What was your last job and what were you responsible for?

I have had a great career so far and have done over 60 commercials and counting. You can presently see me as Sherilyn Fenn’s lawyer in the streaming series “Confess” on Verizon’s streaming network, @go90 and AwesomenessTV. I am currently working on a film biopic of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd and the tragic story of the events leading up to their horrific plane crash in 1977. I play one of the pilots and have met Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle. I am honored to be a part of this story that he and others would still like to tell. I was also a drummer growing up (and saw them in concert), so we had a bit of a “bond.” I am also shooting a co-star spot next week for a high-profile Emmy-winning TV show that I had to sign an Non-Disclosure Agreement for! So, I can't talk just yet … details soon and it airs in 2018!

What advice would you give someone wanting to work in the film industry?

Surround yourself (any way you can) with good people that are doing the work, whether it’s acting or another side of the business. As an actor, you always have to be acting, whether it is in class, theatre, independent films, etc. It’s like any other business or skill in that you must practice and always be learning. When you do get the opportunity to work, show up early, show up prepared, and be kind to all. The more you show kindness and respect to others, the more people will want to work with you. Do this and good things are bound to happen.