Jamie Mayers – The road to becoming an actor certainly has its challenges. There are auditions to prepare for, many on short notice – followed by triumphs and disappointments. Landing a role is exciting and rewarding, but with it comes long hours of memorizing lines, rehearsals, costume fitting and much more.
It’s not easy to make it in the ‘biz’ – and for young actors, that road could be long. It is a commitment their parents must make as well, becoming micro-managers during the process; taking them to auditions, fittings, balancing their acting gigs with school work – and making sure the rules for minors are followed and their child is well taken care of.
Montreal actor Jamie Mayers has traveled that road. At only 19 years old, he has accomplished what many actors much older then him would consider a very impressive repertoire of roles on TV and in film. And now he has landed his first lead role, co-starring in the feature film Venus, written and directed by the talented, critically acclaimed filmmaker Eisha Marjara, with award-winning Producer Joe Balass of Compass Productions and Executive Producer Kevin Tierney of Bon Cop Bad Cop and The Trotsky fame.
Venus, filmed in Montreal, having just premiered last Friday the Cineplex Odeon and at Cinema du Parc (with French Subtitles), is a story about a South Asian transgender woman named Sid (New York actor Debargo Sanyal), whose life is ‘flipped on its head’ – when not long after beginning to live as a woman, finds out she has a teenage son named Ralph (played by Jamie). It is a touching drama about the hardship of transition and how it affects family, friendships and relationships – with just the right touch of humour, it becomes a story of love and the strength of friends and family.
Jamie’s journey began when he was 10 years old. His list of notable accomplishments are many and there is not enough space to list them here, but just some of his television credits alone include: This Life, Game On, 19-2 and Being Human. (See the full list on IMDB at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4984109)
I had the opportunity to speak with Jamie recently and asked him about Montreal and the Premiere of Venus. What he had to say showed a maturity beyond his years.
What does Montreal mean to you?
“I have lived in Montreal my entire life. It is a city that is rich with culture and art, and one that I am so proud to be an artist in. Montreal’s artistic community is tight knit. Having worked on many projects in Montreal, I have always been impressed by the warmth and professionalism of the people in the industry. The crews are always fun, friendly, and supportive. I have been fortunate enough to become friends with many of the professionals that I have worked with. I have also been lucky enough to learn so much from these people. To be able to do what I love in a city that I love will always be very special to me. Montreal will always have a place in my heart.”
How did your role on Venus come about?
“My journey with Venus began about three and a half years ago. It started with a table read, not a formal audition. I was asked if I could come in to read for the role of Ralph, just so that Eisha Marjara could hear what her written words sounded like out loud. Again, this wasn’t a real audition, it was more for Eisha to see her work in a different way so that she could then make revisions to the script. From the moment I read the story, I loved it. It was heartfelt and genuine. About a year and a half later, I was informed by my agent that Venus was going to be made into a feature film, and that Eisha wanted me to play the role of Ralph… playing this role and being a part of this outstanding ensemble (actors and crew alike) has been an amazing experience. It has been very rewarding to be a part of a project from its very early stages to completion. The ensemble was small, very quickly became like a second family to me. The story is about acceptance. My character, Ralph, sees past the surface of his transitioning biological father, and loves her unconditionally. I think that Venus teaches us all important lessons about how to treat one another.”
Jamie is a delightful young man, modest in nature yet bold in his ambitions. More importantly, he’s a homegrown Montrealer to be proud of – and one to keep an eye on. It is not yet known if the film’s run in Montreal will be extended beyond March 8th for now, but it is presently showing at a film festival in San Jose, California and will be in New York at the end of March and have a run in London UK in May.
For now, you can watch the trailer for Venus at: https://vimeo.com/226099099 or find out more on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Venusfeaturefilm
Feature image: Jamie Mayers with Venus Cast Members
Bonnie Wurst – firstname.lastname@example.org