How do you process the competitive nature of the entertainment industry?
I look at the competitive nature of the entertainment industry and process it as though it were a bar to represent the levels of success. It is merely the barometer of what it takes to be fully proficient and great at what we do. That bar also serves as inspiration and motivation for those really passionate about this business. I am not naive enough to think that most people can’t distort that bar and also become too invested in the nature of competition and be cut-throat and vicious to attain that success, but those people I think forget that the competition isn’t with others but more with yourself. We are all here to challenge and become better versions of ourselves, and put that bar higher for the next generation of talents to follow.
What would be an ideal role for you and why?
An ideal role for me has always been a leading man in a comedy, I remember being really enamored with how talented and funny Eddie Murphy was growing up. He was really instrumental for the roles I wanted to portray on TV and film at a young age. Also coming from a small black theatre company on the South Side of Chicago, The Chicago Theatre Company, I really appreciate the role of the strong Black lead. Just a solid drama with a great story and a good character sounds fantastic. I don’t know what that story is and what that role is quite yet but if you’re out there and you’re reading this, I’m ready!. I want something that really challenges me to stretch, with a character and material that allows me to transform into someone else unrecognizable. Lastly, I see myself drawn to what I’ve seen my Parents and Grandparents watch when I was a Kid; Westerns, Sci-Fi, and Action Movies. I mean I really wanted to be a detective on New York Undercover, let me know if there’s a reboot!
What has been the most valuable lesson that you have learned in the industry?
The most valuable lesson that I’ve learned is not to give up and how not to take this business personally. It’s a business and if you hang in there long enough everyone gets a turn at success but there's no exact recipe for it either, so relax if it doesn't happen right away. In fact success is defined so differently for everybody that when it’s your turn you have to learn to let things go, relinquish any of the animosity stored up getting there and just count your blessings not your problems. For some success can be fleeting, others it can last a lifetime but it’s up to you to decide who you want to be when you get there. Enjoy the ride, clap for your friends genuinely, and enjoy yours wins along the way. Most importantly, be kind to yourself and when it applies don’t take this business too personal, the rejection, oversights, doubting, the missteps, the pitfalls and shortcomings, let it all go and just breathe in this special time you have to create, be an artist and do good work. If it gets too tough, know when to let it go and just be human, reconnect to your source, but if it’s meant to be and God’s willing, Never Give Up!
What has been your favorite role and why?
My favorite role still to this day has to be Troy Maxon, from Fences by August Wilson. I did this play in my senior year of college and It was special. It was my final production at Clark Atlanta University, and I had a full load of classes needed to graduate that semester. I was also currently President of the Gamma Kappa Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc. and had no room for extra curricular. Originally being cast as Bono instead of Troy I felt confident I may be able to pull it off unscathed. Well, in short, the lead quit the week before the show went up and the director pulled the cast aside informing us the play would be canceled because the lead quit… UNLESS I learned all the lines for Troy in a week. I didn’t know how to say no but I didn’t say yes. I just showed up for the next rehearsals and that lasted all the way up through tech and went up the next week as Troy Maxon. Not only was this one of my BEST performances up to this point, I had members of Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre stop me after the show and say my performance was on par with any Alliance Theatre’s major productions and it was better than any college production they’d seen. He thoroughly enjoyed my portrayal of Troy Maxon. That stayed with me just as much as the process it took to learn this immensely dense character in a WEEK, bringing to life one of August Wilson’s most prolific pieces in Fences. It was also my Mother and great Aunts' first and last chance to see me perform in college before I graduated.
What has been the most challenging aspect of the industry?
The most challenging aspect of being in this business is the business itself. You must first learn what the entertainment industry is, and there are many wheels and moving parts in this business that make this thing go round. Being an actor is only a small part of the collaboration process, and the business by far is the most intricate part. The expression time is money is something you don’t fully grasp until you're on a set that takes millions of dollars to pull off, and to imagine the magnitude of time, resources, people, planning and expertise that goes into filmmaking defines how much discipline and research that is required. Learning what it takes to be a part of this industry is crucial and one of the best things a young actor can do.
With all of the auditions, what keeps you motivated?
I think what keeps me motivated the most after all the auditions I’ve done, and I’ve done A LOT, is the possibility of the next one being the, YES, I’ve been waiting for to change my life. We go through this business constantly pummeled in the face with rejection and “NO” after “NO”, until we stumble upon that one, YES. It’s motivating as hell to imagine the day you finally figure it out. All the sweat equity, classes, money spent, poverty, background work, dead end jobs, moving around, roommates, lost sleep, mistakes, tears, self-doubt and flat out disrespect you’ve endured finally ending and one day hearing, YES! Your agent calling to inform you, “you booked the big one”! This is one of the best, and most indescribable feelings an actor can use as motivation with auditions and I do! You’re literally only one yes away from a new life.
About Jason Mimms
Jason Mimms began his career in Atlanta on B.E.T.’s “Hell Date” Season 2 while still a student at Clark Atlanta University, graduating class of 2008 with a B.A. in Theatre Arts. After college and with new commercial success he moved to Los Angeles with that momentum to further his career as a working actor.
Mimms is most known for his appearances in AllBLK Network’s “Stuck With You”, TruTv’s Laff Mobb’s “Laugh Tracks”, B.E.T’s “Boy Bye” and “Her Only Choice” along with several commercials, including a spot during Super Bowl LIII in 2019.
As a proud member of the Gamma Kappa Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. he continues to embody the CAU motto, “Find A Way or Make One,” creating his own comedy series, JU-jU.
How can we follow you?
You can follow at IG: @Jason_Mimms and Facebook: Jason_Mimms