Upon first glance Jet Jurgensmeyer is just a normal kid. Then he speaks and you realize he is far from average. He is passionate, articulate, caring and immensely talented. Jet can easier hold an intelligent conversation than most people two and three times his age. His musical talents and acting resume are robust and impressive and his dedication to helping others is humbling.
Jet is at the beginning of what is sure to be a very successful and rewarding career. It was a pleasure getting to spend some time with him and we look forward to catching up again soon. Maybe join him by the bonfire for some good stories and live music.
Where are you from?
Jet: I’m originally from Nashville, Tennessee but my family also has two houses in Missouri. We started out by going back and forth between there because Missouri’s where my dad’s from. My mom’s lived in Tennessee for as long as she can remember. Then we eventually moved out here to California part time for me to pursue my acting career.
What inspired your acting career?
Jet: I actually started out at three on stage in Nashville. My parents owned a restaurant there. I started out on stage singing and telling jokes for people. My parents always say to this day, I never meet a stranger. We had some friends in Nashville that said, “Why don’t you try acting?” I did, I loved it and I’ve been at it ever since.
What was your first professional opportunity here in LA?
Jet: My first big thing out here in California was CSI. I started out. It was not long after we came out here to California. That kind of started everything for me.
Do you remember what it felt like the first time you walked in front of the camera on a professional level?
Jet: The first time I walked on a set and met everybody, all the actors, it was just one of those things, like I said, I never meet a stranger. I was talking to everybody and I do this to this day. I asked the camera guys, “Oh, what’s your angle on this”, or “How’s the lighting? What can I do to help you? How do you want me to do this?” It was one of those things where I wasn’t scared or I wasn’t nervous. I felt at home. I was really excited about it.
You lend your voice to characters, you play characters on screen and you also play music live and recorded, is there one thing that you prefer over the other or that you’re most passionate about?
Jet: I can’t really pick between voice-over and singing and acting. I’ve been doing them all for almost the same amount of time. I’m stuck with it. I love them all. All so much fun.
What’s the most strange or unique character that you played?
Jet: I love playing characters that were actually real life people. I played Todd Gerelds in Woodlawn. That was a lot of fun because I got to meet the real Todd Gerelds. He’s an adult now. I was able to ask him questions about being the assistant coach for his dad at the high school and working with Tony Nathan. He was just so obsessed with sports, like me. I’m a big sports fan. I was also in American sniper so that was really cool to be able to see that. Finally when the movie came out, I was old enough to watch it. I was like, “Wow, this is amazing. This really happened.” It’s a good feeling.
What’s your favorite sport?
Jet: Basketball or soccer. I also like watching football. I cannot play football.
If you could share the screen with one actor alive or dead who would it be?
Jet: A person that I’ve always said since I was really little that I wanted to work with was Tom Hanks. I’ve always said that because he does what I do. He does voice-over. He’s an actor. He directs. He produces. He’s just one of those all-around awesome entertainers. That’s what I’m going to grow up to be. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do.
I was really blessed to be able to share the screen with Doris Roberts before she passed away on The Little Rascals. That was amazing. Betty White, she is a blast. She is a firecracker, honestly. I also got to work with Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper on American Sniper. In between takes, I was playing cornhole by myself, and Bradley Cooper just walks in and says, “Hey, can I play?” I said, “Sure.” We started playing cornhole together, and I got direction from Clint Eastwood. It was pretty exciting.
Is there anyone in particular you love to share the stage with, musically?
Jet: People that I’d like to eventually be able to work with in the music industry would be Ed Sheeran and George Strait. I actually got to meet Ed Sheeran in Nashville. He’s one of those people that’s kind to everybody. He’s so energetic. He talks to you. He really gets down to your level and gives you advice.
Country, I mean, that’s where I got my start. Nashville, Tennessee, the home of country music. That’s how it all started for me. Definitely, George Strait. I got to perform on stage with George Jones. At the time I didn’t really realize how amazing and special that was for someone as young I was, but nowadays I look back after he’s passed and I say, “Wow, I got to share the stage with George Jones”. That’s a big deal, that’ll go down on my checklist.
You have a new single, what’s that called and what’s it about?
Jet: The new single Everything Will Be Alright is out on all major digital downloads. You can check out the music video on YouTube. One thing that I’ve always said that I want to produce through my music is a positive message. I want to put a smile on people’s faces, and Everything Will Be Alright is really telling you no matter what happens in your life, it’s all going to be okay, everything is going to be all right. They’re all positive messages, happy songs that you want to dance to and sing along. Songs that you want to go to if you’re having a tough time. I’ve actually had a couple people comment on the video and say, “I was having a tough time and I looked up the song and it just gave me hope. I was really happy after I watched it. I eventually started singing along with it, and I’m going to recommend this to all my friends.” That’s something that I always want to do.
What’s The Ryan Seacrest Foundation about and why is it important to you?
Jet: The Ryan Seacrest Foundation builds radio stations in children’s hospitals all around the country. I’m very blessed to be able to work with them. Just to go in there, and talk with all these kids, answer all their questions and play music for them. It’s so much fun. I couldn’t imagine myself doing it with anybody else.
What do you have coming up in terms of film and television that we can look out for?
Jet: I was just in Ferdinand which just released on DVD and Digital download, it was in theaters as well. I just finished filming a movie in Georgia called The Legend of 5-mile Cave, that’ll be out later next year. We’re really excited for that. More music is in the works; stay tuned for that as well.
If you could give advice to other young people who might be looking to do what you do, what would that be?
Jet: Go for it. If it’s what you want to do, do it. Just go for it. It can be tough, so if you don’t get your first job that you auditioned for, if your first song isn’t a number one hit, that’s okay. You write bad songs, you have bad songs, you have bad auditions, it happens to everybody, but you’ll get your time.
How would you say that your life is different than most kids your age?
Jet: One thing that I think maybe different is that I don’t think every kid is able to have both of their parent’s support which I’m very blessed to be able to have.I get both of parents with me at all times and am able to travel between three states. I’m really a normal kid that just so happens to be an actor and singer. I am homeschooled, but I do my school work. I get up in the morning. I make my bed. I eat breakfast. I do everything a normal kid does. I play sports, I have friends but I really just consider myself a normal kid and not everybody I meet do I tell immediately that I’m an actor and a singer. I just want to be a normal kid and have fun with them.
What’s your least favorite household chore?
Jet: Taking out the trash is annoying.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Jet: I would remove all of the hatred in the world. I think we just need to turn it into love. I have the new single coming out called A Lot More Love, and that’s the whole message. Everybody just needs to be kind to each other and be friends.
Anything else you want to go on record?
Jet: On record, thank you guys for your support. Like I said earlier, if this is what you want to do, go for it. If you want to be an astronaut, be an astronaut. If you want to be a singer, a performer, just do it and follow your dreams.
Keep up with Jet by following him on Instagram @jetjurgensmeyer