Actor J.P. Edwards grew up in Bradford, PA and Mt. Morris, NY. He grew up in a single parent home. He has always been really creative and inventive. He was in plays, sung in the choir, and played drums and the saxophone. Sports were also important to Edwards. It was his outlet to shut off everything around him. After college, he moved to LA to get away and start a new life.
Once in LA, he crashed at a friend’s house until he got on his feet. He worked construction and then as a Server in West Hollywood. One day at the restaurant he was serving Steven Levy, Owner and Manager of Frameworks Entertainment, and Ferne Cassel, a Casting Director. Cassel had asked him for a soda but said it was flat. She asked for diet soda and it too was flat. Then ordered an iced tea and again said it was flat. Being outgoing and a smart-aleck, Edwards engaged in a bit of banter with them for a bit and Levy asked if he was an Actor. He told him that he does construction and serving was his second job. Turns out, Levy wanted to build a cabana at his house and asked Edwards if he was interested. This started their friendship and Levy helped him to get started as an Actor.
At the time, Edwards wasn’t fully committed to acting. He was young, free and was making a lot of money. He moved to Vegas after 6 years to make more money in the restaurant business. He went back and forth to LA for acting. His daughter was born in 2010 and moved to New York. There he became a Level 1 Wine Sommelier.
2 years ago he started auditioning again and was ready to dedicate 100% into his creative side. When he’s not auditioning he works as a Sous Chef at a restaurant and is working on publishing his first children’s book.
What is it about acting that fuels your soul? “My brain is always creating and inventing and sometimes it’s hard to shut it off. It gives me an outlet to create and bring something to life. There’s no career that’s easy, but the entertainment business is tough because there’s no clear-cut path to becoming successful. It’s a lot of ups and downs and believing in yourself and having others believe in you. You have to listen to your gut and be ready and go with what comes your way. You have to love the process. Some achieve success early on and others go for decades and never get discovered. You have to let your passion fuel your soul and acting and entertainment happens to be one of mine.”
Edwards is known for dramatic and action roles. He would like to play more faith-based characters and one of his dreams is to book a lead role in a Hallmark Film.
He recently wrote and directed, “Malign” the true story that he personally experienced in some ways. This short film is shot ambiguously so viewers feel the struggle and uncertainty that victims work through. In the pain and confusion of this childhood trauma, the main character kills off her demon that haunted her for years. It was also the first time that Edwards and his daughter got to work together. She plays his daughter in the film. “I’m excited and humbled in regards to signing a distribution deal with Acclaim Video. It’s a deal that will get Malign out on a worldwide scale while reaching a multitude of viewers. It’s also a perfect way to showcase my talent to the world while starting a business relationship with Marc Hamill.
In the film, “Homeless Henry,” he played an abusive and drunk Father. “It became so emotional that I was dry heaving between takes. It took a lot out of me. What I enjoyed the most was getting to film in a new state and the Texas hospitality and it was exciting to work with Jae Head and a whole crew of incredible and kind people.”
What advice would you give to upcoming Actors? “Don’t do it for fame or money. You have to do it because you truly love to do it. Find a job that gives you the flexibility to audition and film. There’s going to be things other people have that you want and you can’t get wrapped up in what you don’t have. It’s expensive so you have to invest in yourself. Don’t cut corners when you’re doing headshots or getting an acting coach. Make yourself better than you were the day before. Build relationships and show gratitude to everyone.”
In his film, “Backroads” it is everything you want in a horror film from gore, to a good storyline, and a little comedy. Edwards played a stoner Deputy. “It was fun to play something different. It was the first time I played a Police Officer. I pulled from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to tap into the stoner character. I liked that the character had an array of emotions; he could mess around but also get locked in and be intense.”
His upcoming projects include the film, “Firebirds,” a movie based on a true story from the Vietnam War. He will be releasing a children’s book “Lighting Bug Lights” early 2019.