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article imageJamison Stern talks about 'After Forever' on Amazon Prime Special

By Markos Papadatos     Feb 25, 2020 in Entertainment
Actor Jamison Stern chatted with Digital Journal about starring in the Emmy award-winning digital drama series "After Forever" on Amazon Prime, where he plays the character Paul (No. 1).
"After Forever has been a joy from beginning to…well, to whenever it ends," he said. "We have all become so close. It’s the great thing about filming a series- you spend a few weeks all day or all night together, telling stories, eating meals, laughing your asses off and sometimes crying your eyes out. Then months go by and you show up at a screening or festival and you rekindle those friendships, tell more stories, eat more meals, and do it all over again a year later. You become a family who never has to celebrate the holidays together."
He is drawn to this digital drama series for many reasons. "I love that our creators Michael Slade and Kevin Spirtas, and our producer Allison Vanore, assembled a world of mostly gay people to be storytellers, and yet being gay isn't the story. It's so inspiring to get messages from a diverse, wide range of friends and fans of the show who say After Forever speaks to them each personally. Everyone has their own experience and is affected in a different way."
"Kevin Spirtas and Michael Slade have created a space where we can be totally honest about who we are, what we are and what we want," he said. "There's little to no judgment. We get to play within the boundaries of the script and we have gotten to know our characters so well that they are so open to hearing what we have to say. I know that Michael loves options in the editing room and I delight in giving them to him. If I can ruin a take by getting the crew to laugh, then I will sleep well that night."
On being an actor in the digital age, Stern said, "We are fortunate these days that not only are there so many platforms for material, but self-producing is a prevalent and viable option. After Forever was filmed with the hopes of being a little web series. As one of the actors, I just thought, 'Oh cool, a little something for my reel.' I'm not sure anyone would have dreamed that a little more than a year later, we would all lose our voices screaming for each other at the Daytime Emmys, where we won five. Okay, I was the only one who lost his voice, but it was so worth it."
For young and aspiring actors, he said, "Invest in real estate. But seriously folks….take advantage of every opportunity to be on stage or in front of the camera and closely study the people around you. Watching other actors, directors and producers do their work is basically free college. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you ask for feedback, be prepared to hear the good and the bad. Don't be a snob about watching TV, there are incredible actors doing extraordinary work."
Stern continued, "The best advice I ever got: You’re auditioning for your career, not that one job. Be super prepared, do your best and then walk away and forget all about it. I’m still working on that one."
He shared that he is inspired by other actors. "Great writing inspires me. Brilliant performances inspire me. My friends inspire me. What motivates me is that being an actor is what I was meant to be doing. No doubt. I don't get to act every day, but when I do, I am at my happiest," he said.
On his definition of the word success, he said, "I think the answer changes on a daily basis. Sometimes just walking the dog three times a day and cooking my own meals is a success story. I've been working as an actor since I was 14, so I would definitely call that success. Of course, there's always another hurdle and another challenge and I welcome them all. I say, just keep it coming."
For fans and viewers, Stern concluded about After Forever Season 2, "There's a dance at the gym and then everyone dies in a big rumble. Wait, that's not it. Our leading man is taking a detour on his journey to healing and you might not like all his choices, but life isn't always pretty. Things can get messy on a prince's quest to find his prince."
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