You have seen him in Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville, The Haves and the Have Nots, Hee Haw, Dr. Quinn, JAG, Touched by an Angel, Nip/Tuck, 90210, Desperate Housewives and many more TV shows and movies. You may have also heard one of his country western singles such as: Country Girls or heard him sing. This good ol’ boy has paved the way into America’s heart and continues to entertain us all on multifaceted levels constantly evolving his crafts to ensure he delivers superior storytelling. He has truly lived and loved, a devoted father, yet with all he does he shares his time and compassion with charities involving children and animals. We can learn a lot from John’s journey and you will have the opportunity to ask him whatever you wish in person. At the end of this article you can learn about how you can spend three days with John on an exciting adventure! Read on…
Where were you born? Where did you spend your childhood?
Born in Mt. Kisco. New York. Spent the first 14 years there.
Family, # of kids, parents’ occupations; influence of parents:
Two brothers. One is an artist specializing in Hudson River landscape paintings and the other is a pilot for Delta.
Did you face any major adversity as a child or teen?
Asthma. Hated it!
Education: Where did you go to high school/college/grad school?
High school and then the school of experience. On the job training is the best kind.
What has been one of your most memorable work experiences in your career thus far. This could be related to acting, singing, directing…whatever you wish?
I enjoy telling stories. My stories. Just finished a film called “Like Son” that was my story from start to finish. Loved every minute of it.
You have accomplished so many areas of expertise: Actor, stunt driver, singer, screenwriter, film producer and director. What is your mission and vision of your work:
My mission is simple: Tell my stories to an audience that has grown up watching me help tell other peoples stories. Hopefully the ones that come from my experience and perspective will strike a cord in the crowd.
CRITICAL INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS
Seminal moments and achievements in your path; biggest setbacks & challenges:
Balancing passion and responsibilities is tough. Trying not to be a better father on television (Smallville) than at home was the toughest. I don’t look at anything as a setback though. I am one of those people who truly believe “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Please paint the picture for us.
The studio will have 6 sound stages rather than one. People will be working here 24/7 on various projects that have nothing to do with me. In other words JSS will be a destination for the independent filmmaker as well as a birth place for my other stories. Two films a year from me. Help others get their films done. Play golf… relax for at least a week every 6 months! And… of course… occasionally polishing those Academy Awards I plan to put on the mantle.
Would you do anything differently?
Not a thing. I have enjoyed every triumph and learned from every mistake. I have great kids who grew up to be amazing people.
When did you know you wanted to be an actor as well as a singer?
Started in musical theater when I was eight years old with a strong desire to be up on the big screen. I haven’t deviated from that goal ever since.
Biggest challenges to being an actor?
Accepting rejection without taking it personally. Not everyone likes the same kind of pizza. It’s not the pizza’s fault. People have different tastes. Be your own brand of pizza. Don’t change your recipe to fit someone else’s preference.
Setbacks: What have you overcome? What did you learn from setbacks?
I have spent a lot of money on different projects and, so far, haven’t gotten a return on the investment. From this I learned patience. From this I continue to hone my craft and skill set. One of these days.. when one of the films breaks out of the box and starts producing a return… the investment of time, money and sweat will pay off. Great news is that there are lots more screenplays where the first ones came from. Churchill once said “Success is the ability to fail repeatedly without losing enthusiasm.” I appreciate that one most of all.
What drives you? Has it changed over time?
My drive has been the same. Evoke emotions in folks I have never met with stories well told. Creating something that makes someone laugh or cry. Feel safe or frightened… is a wonderful feeling. In a way it is helping people escape and feel more alive. That’s what movies did for me and, hopefully, that’s what mine will do for others. I have been driven to be a storyteller my whole life. The only difference is that, after fifty, the stories are my own.
What is your personal highlight/proudest moment?
The morning my youngest daughter was born. I was there, helping, with a midwife. What an experience.
Advice for those who dream of starting or following in your footsteps?
Glance at mine briefly… then follow your own. If you follow someone else’s footsteps you are likely to run into the same trees they ran into! Best to run into and learn from your own. Follow your own drummer. There is no right way or wrong way to do this and every expert doesn’t know your passion. Follow it. Live it. Dream it. It is better to follow your own passion and fail than to follow someone else’s passion and succeed. At the end of the day… if you are built for this business… you want to say “Look what I accomplished!” Not “Look what I helped you accomplish!” Don’t get me wrong here… there’s nothing wrong with helping other people if that is what you are built to do. I’m really not though. I like to think that there are two kinds of people in the world: Those who have jobs… and those who hire. both are necessary. Which one are you? That’s the real question.
Do you love traveling? How did you find your passion for traveling?
I enjoy traveling very much. It’s the only way I can really clear my head. My parents used to take annual trips to Florida and Vermont when I was a kid. Loved the whole motor home vibe.
Where are some of the most romantic places in the world?
Certainly Paris. Venice. But the balcony of your stateroom, wherever you are in the world, can also be the most romantic place in the world.
What are 2 favorite hotels in the world and why?
The Roosevelt in Hollywood for it’s fifties pool and old Hollywood vibe. Las Brisas in Acapulco for it’s individual pools and funky jeeps.
If you want to sign up for John’s cruise, or learn more about John, you can follow his journey below: