When Evelyn Ferreira’s son, Jose, was three years old, she remembers watching him play around their Brooklyn apartment, often pretending he was acting in a movie or musical.
“He would tell me all the time that he wanted to be inside the TV,” said Ferreira.
So Ferreira began taking him on auditions. At four years old, he landed a small part playing a woman’s son in the short film called, “A Precious Life.”
“His mom in the scene was a bit tough,” said Ferreira. “So when the director said ‘Cut!’ he asked to go to the bathroom, and I knew something was not right … As soon as I walked in, he started crying, telling me she was yelling at him. I told him to remember, she is acting… you’re almost done. Go out there and kill it!”
(She also promised to take him to Toys R Us afterward, Jose added about the story).
So he washed his hands, pulled himself together, and walked back onto set. Ferreira said, as she watched her little boy go back and finish the scene perfectly, without anyone knowing what he had just gone through, she knew acting was his calling.
Today, little Jose Antonio Carrera– who now goes by the moniker, “JAC”– is 15 years old. JAC has acted in 8 short films, three web series and, most recently, just wrapped his latest and greatest project to date: a short film “Away,” where he makes his directorial debut. He also serves as the film’s writer, actor and producer.
“Away” stars JAC as Jason, a high schooler who is being bullied. Through Jason’s story, we see the the mental toll bullying can take on some children and how, without intervention and help, the person being bullied can himself begin to make bad decisions out of desperation. And in the case of “Away,” that decision turned fatal …
BK Reader had a chance to sit down with JAC to learn more about what motivated him to make “Away,” as well as what he has planned next.
BK Reader (BKR): What made you decide you wanted to be an actor? Do you remember the moment when you said, “Yes, this is what I want to do?”
JAC: I would watch tv, watch the fighting sequences… And I thought, this is so cool. I wanna do this. I’d rather be in the TV screen than watching it. I just thought it would be so fun and cool and exciting and I wouldn’t have to worry about school.
BKR: For your first film, why did you choose this topic of bullying?
JAC: During my middle school years, I was bullied, and I thought if I could make a movie on the topic, I could shed some light on how it is serious and people should focus on it more. It can lead to the drastic consequences. I didn’t want to get that kind of revenge, but I just wanted to be heard and for people to understand where my pain was coming from.
BKR: What was the hardest part about making this film for you?
JAC: The hardest part was the murder scene. It was a difficult scene because I had to use a lot of negative energy. Writing it was a lot easier than acting it. I didn’t think it would take so much out of me.
BKR: What do you have planned next?
JAC: I am working on a horror film for this coming Halloween. It’s going to be based off the 90s classic thrasher films. For this film, I might just stay behind the camera and just direct. What I envisioned for the movie is more story-driven. So I’m trying to get examples from the recent Halloween and Joker movies.
Also, in August 2020, I’m launching the Skyline Performer Awards. There will be 50 awards, 9 categories, and it will showcase the young artists in television, film and many other areas.
Submissions for the Skyline Performer Awards begin Nov. 16, 2019. For more information on the awards, you can go to: www.spawardsnyc.com.
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