Jordan L. Jones – #CallGod

A Q&A By Lucky Smith

Where are you from originally and how did you grow up?
I’m originally from Dallas, Texas but we moved to Los Angeles when I was 5.  I immediately went to a public school in Ladera Heights but my mom wanted a better education for me so she put me in private school shortly after that.  So, we moved around…not too much but it was all for my betterment.  I’ll always thank her for that.

When people attend college, a lot of them are going through things for the first time on their own and they learn a lot about the world.  Name 2 things that you learned while attending college that stuck with you. 
Hmm…this is a hard one.  I learned so much in college, haha! Well, number one is to have fun.  You can’t accomplish anything in life if you’re not having fun doing it that’s just something I’ve both seen and live by.  Yes, you can be great at something but if you’re not having fun, have you accomplished a goal of yours?  You couldn’t have because having a “goal” should make you happy.  The 2nd thing I’ve learned is to try everything. College was where I found my passion.  I’m not saying major in your passion specifically (I majored in communications and I’m an Actor) but you should try everything so you know what you want to do, what you like and what you don’t like.  It’ll make your life so much easier.

For many Americans, student loan debt is crippling.  How do you feel about student loans overall?  Would you advise new students to take them?
I hate student loans, man.  I’m still paying them right now, haha!  Growing up as a child with a single mother, funds were low, especially for attending The University of Southern California.  At the same time, don’t let student loans determine what you want to do.  I couldn’t afford USC at the time but I needed it and I worked hard to be admitted.  I wasn’t going to let money get in the way so I told myself I’d let GOD handle it and it’d all work itself out.  I followed my dreams and now I’m blessed to be able to say I’m glad I made that decision.

How and when did you know acting was what you wanted to do professionally?
I booked my first audition for “NFL Play 60 – Sports Authority” in high school and from that moment I knew that acting or becoming an entertainer was exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Also, a lot of people at the time were telling me that’s what I should do.

What would you consider to be your “big break”?
Humbly, I’m still just beginning.  I’ve only been acting for about a year and a half, officially.  I’ve had a few guest starring roles, a few commercials and I did land REL early this February, which is my first series regular sitcom role.  So, I guess you can call that my “break out” role but like I said, I’m still getting started and everything I’ve done so far has been a blessing from GOD.  I’m just following his footsteps.

Getting REL was unimaginable.  I did it “the old fashioned way” as one would call it, by auditioning.  I went through 4 auditions.  2 involved the director and Lil’ Rel Howery directly.  Working on this show has been ridiculously fun and a hell of an experience and I thank Rel Howery and FOX for the opportunity, for believing in a green actor like myself and for giving a young African American a chance to showcase his talents.  But once again, your boy is just getting started, haha!

Tell us about Fox’s “REL” and your character, Nat. 
REL is about Lil Rel Howery and is loosely based on his life. Each episode is different but you can jump in at any time. In the pilot you find out he’s going through a divorce because his wife had an affair with his barber.  The legendary Sinbad plays our dad, Jessica “Jess Hilarious” Moore plays Rel’s best friend and my character Nat is his brother, who recently was released from jail for selling ecstasy.  The premise of the show is everyone around Rel helping him through his trials and tribulations during his manhood and as his younger brother, not every bit of advice is the best advice but I do have good intentions, aha.

The show touches on violence in Chicago.  How do you feel about it in real life? Do you think it is as bad as they say? 
Violence in Chicago is really a big problem.  The nickname is “Chi-raq” and I think it’s currently the murder capital right now.  Don’t quote me on that, haha!  I’m glad we always touch on real events even though we bring the comedy.

There is a theory out there that police or white supremacists could be causing a lot of this violence in the city. Do you think that is plausible?  
I do believe that there are good cops and bad cops and of course there are white supremacists out there in America.  Yes, I think its plausible but it’s not the only thing going on.  Of course there are race related crimes but there are also a lot of crimes, period.  Being accountable is the first step, especially where there is a lot of violence.  If we are talking specifically about Chicago, a lot of it is gang related but even in that, subconsciously the anger and aggression we carry as African Americans does stem from us being mistreated while living under white supremacy in America.  That could trickle down to aggression towards others and our own.

Who makes you laugh the most on set?
Sinbad, hands down.  He’s a legend man and he’s so quick.  Be careful if you crack a joke on him because somehow he always has one waiting for you and trust me yours won’t be as good. I’ve been a victim of getting jokes cracked on me on several occasions, haha!

Is there anything you’ve learned from Sinbad that you wouldn’t normally get from someone your age?
Working with him has been surreal.  He’s also so down to earth, man.  I’ve learned how to play the crowd and when to and when not to do certain things.  He’s going to hate I put this on him but as a kid growing up with no father, he’s definitely become one of the adult males in my life that I can look up to for advice and I know he’ll be there.  We’ve actually gotten closer throughout the season and it wasn’t even something I was looking for.  It just naturally happened.  I thank God for blessing me with such amazing castmates, overall.

Are you guys doing any improv at all? 
As you know, a lot of sitcom TV is written but after we do a couple of takes we start switching it up and improving.  That’s my favorite part of the show cause you never know what Sinbad, Rel or Jess is going to say.  As standup comedians, they have taught me so much about acting, improv and actually listening instead of just reading lines.  They keep me on my toes.

Name 3 rules to follow that will aid in one’s success as an entertainer.
1.) Listen to understand, not to respond. 2.) Stay open minded and take all the advice you can. 3.) Be yourself.  If you’re a standup comedian, go out there, talk about your life and make your experiences funny.  If you’re an actor, remember they hired you for a reason which is because they like You.  So, be you at all times and you’ll be just fine.  Never change.

I’m going to throw a few names out there. Say whatever comes to mind. 

A) Kevin Gates
My favorite/The best rapper out right now and DON’T @ me!

B) Jess Hilarious
She’s my favorite person, Haha.  She’s the sister I never had. I love you Jess!  She’s been a mentor to me for comedy, life…everything.  I’m so glad I’ve gained this relationship.  That’s my sister for life!

C) Michael B. Jordan
One of my mentors.  I worked with him on a cross branding commercial with Brisk Iced Tea and the film Black Panther.  It was his directorial debut.  Knowing his status, I didn’t expect him to do the things he did but he took me under his wing, gave me certain acting tactics that he uses for himself when acting and he gave me certain tips to become a better actor overall, all in one day.  He also told me he saw greatness in me.  Hearing that from someone of his stature is surreal.

How important has your mother been in your life? Is she your biggest supporter?
My mom is the reason I am who I am.  Growing up without a father, my mother played both the mom and dad role in my life.  My mom Ptosha Storey, is also an actor.  IMDB her, haha! She initially sacrificed her career to work different jobs just to put me through school and have a better life for me.  I am forever indebted to her.  My goal is to pay her back in any and every way I can.  Love you mom…. if you’re reading this, haha!

What are you into when you’re not acting?
Basketball, Basketball and Basketball, lmao!  I play regularly in gyms around Los Angeles so catch me getting buckets in your local gym.  I also play 2K so if anybody wanna get beatdown, my Xbox gamertag is “x DaddyJones x”.  Add me and get smacked!  Lastly, my Los Angeles Lakers are going to the ship! 

Wilder vs. Fury. Who won and why?
Wilder won that fight.  All due respect to Fury and in my opinion, he was actually beating Wilder the whole fight.  But, on American soil you can’t get knocked down 2 times and like literally laid out on the floor and get called a “winner”.  You can’t get that benefit of the doubt over here.  Also, if you go look back at the footage, Fury was actually down for 10 seconds and they started the count late.  He was literally asleep for seconds on the floor!  Wilder won that fight, fair and square, even with Fury tagging him the whole time!  I can’t wait for the rematch and I know neither can he, haha!

In your opinion, what does it mean to be “woke”?
Being “woke” to me just means to be aware of everything that’s going on.  Don’t believe everything you see in front of you. Shady things happen in life, the entertainment industry, the government, etc.  Staying woke is just acknowledging what people can’t see with just an “eye” alone.  Stay woke people.

Tell us something about yourself that most don’t know.
I’m very spiritually grounded, which is one the reasons why I always put “#CallGod” in my Instagram posts.  In real life, I firmly believe in God and that if you follow his path and you believe in him regardless of what you’re going through, you’ll always make it out and even further.  Even at your worst just keep your faith in God and he will work it out. He always does.  Once again, #CallGod.  I even got a necklace made that says #CallGod, haha!  Shoutout to Antonio Brown!

Follow Jordan L. Jones on Instagram @Jordan.L.Jones and on Twitter @Jordan.L.Jones_.

Photos Courtesy of Matthias Clamer/FOX 

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