On the bumpy road to Hol­ly­wood

Havelock North Village Press - - Front Page -

At 15 he was im­port­ing scoot­ers from China and mar­ket­ing them. Ayear later win­ning drama awards and star­ring in ca­noe polo tour­na­ments for Have­lock North High School, then set­ting up his own dance party busi­ness at 17.

The act­ing bug was the one that “took” how­ever, and now Cameron Jones is to star in a new role . . . but he’s tight-lipped about a lead part he has landed along­side aHol­ly­wood star.

Cameron Jones be­came a house­hold name for his role as heart-throb am­bu­lance of­fi­cer, Dallas Adams, in the lon­grun­ning New Zealand drama Short­land Street.

He is bound by show­biz confidentiality and can’t re­veal any de­tails of the new role ex­cept to say he gets to wear cow­boy boots, the hat and speak in a south­ern ac­cent. He’s cur­rently liv­ing in Los An­ge­les, but shoot­ing in Amer­ica’s ru­ral heart­land.

“Funny how I left Hawke’s Bay to go half way around the world to pur­sue this dream and ended up back in a ru­ral area.”

He said his suc­cess still doesn’t feel real.

“I’m just hav­ing the best time of my life right now and I feel like it’s only go­ing to get bet­ter from here.”

Af­ter Have­lock North High School he stud­ied a Bach­e­lor of Arts in Act­ing at Toi Whakaari, spend­ing a se­mes­ter at Stella Adler Academy of Drama in Hol­ly­wood be­fore grad­u­at­ing in 2012.

Al­ready, he has racked up sev­eral big-time roles, in­clud­ing star­ring in Peter Jack­son’s The Hob­bit, tele­vi­sion se­ries Pas­sion in Par­adise and Nancy Wake— A Love Story.

But it was where he was in his ca­reer now that was the most chal­leng­ing, both pro­fes­sion­ally and per­son­ally, he said.

The ac­tor has had to keep his spir­its high af­ter his fa­ther died in Novem­ber. This was cou­pled with a year and a half of au­di­tion de­nials.

“It’s been noth­ing but hard work and per­sis­tence. I don’t know if I be­lieve in luck,” he says.

Cameron had to get an ac­tor’s visa when he went to Amer­ica, which meant he was not al­lowed to work in any other work­force.

If he did, it would be viewed as tak­ing a po­ten­tial job from an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen.

With a string of au­di­tion set­backs, he’d had to dip into his sav­ings for his day-to-day ba­sics.

His mother, Sue Pitts, who lives in Have­lock North, is fizzing about her son’s suc­cess, say­ing her son’s year had been tough.

Sue vis­ited him in May and he took her to many of his favourite lo­ca­tions. She had re­turned home when he learned he had landed the role.

“When he called he was so happy he cried. I amso proud of him. This is his big break, I be­lieve.”

Sue says her son has worked hard to hone his skills, in­clud­ing learn­ing to play the gui­tar and rid­ing horses to help him on the job front. Cameron says it still doesn’t feel real. “Each time I walk on set and work with such in­cred­i­ble tal­ent.”

BACK WHEN: Cameron Jones in his Have­lock North High School days, when he set up a busi­ness— Dun­geon En­ter­prises— or­gan­is­ing school dance par­ties at the An­gus Inn events room in Hast­ings in 2008.

PHOTO/SUP­PLIED

LEAD­ING MAN: For­mer Have­lock North ac­tor Cameron Jones is mak­ing his mark on Hol­ly­wood.

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