Jason Kozub, Actor
It is always interesting to talk to people who have reached some level of success (by what ever measure that is) and see how they got there.
But we know that we can never re-create someone else's path. However, there are common themes to success.
That's why I wanted to chat with actor Jason Kozub. He's not a household name but it is clear that he is on the right path. Jason loves acting and is driven to make it his full time career. He exhibits all the signs of a winner, persistence, faith, awareness, positivity, gratitude, humility, and focus. He practices these qualities all the time and I don't think he is aware he is doing it.
Here's our short conversation:
Steve: Was acting an interest from a young age? When did you decide that acting is what you really wanted to do?
Jason: I was actually shy as a child and teenager but I was able to say witty things and make people laugh. I could always improvise and think on my feet. I assumed that to get into acting you needed to start from a child. But as an adult, a friend told me you could start anytime, so I looked further into it. It was only 3 years ago, after taking my acting diploma that I realized I could really do this.
Steve: Acting is such unique profession in a city like Calgary. In the days you were starting out, did you have doubts about your choice?
Jason: For sure. However, the idea of acting just kept getting back into my head and my interest is too strong to just quit. I find it so interesting that the idea [of acting] kept coming back, it was as if I couldn't escape it.
Steve: How do you deal with doubt and the negative thoughts that cause many people to just give up?
Jason: I keep thinking positive and I throw out the negative. Doubts still creep into my head, but it is getting easier not to listen to them. My vision is stronger than silly voices in my head. But I keep working on it all the time.
Steve: To be excellent at any profession is a journey of ups and downs and I imagine acting is very much this way. How do you deal with the waiting, rejection, as well as intense feelings when you are acting?
Jason: The waiting is sometimes very frustrating but it is a competitive field and I realize that I just have to wait. It is an interesting job since there are long periods of waiting and intensity in the acting. You just get used to it, like you get used to any job.
Steve: Many people who excel in what they do and are committed to their vocation see it as a journey, events that lead them along a path. Has it worked that way for you?
Jason: Yes, definitely. Ever since I have taken my Acting diploma, little things have fallen into place like acting classes, interviews, auditions, and meeting interesting people. All this has been happening without a lot of struggle, I certainly work for it, but there is no real grief or struggle. I think I am open and aware of things like this and so I notice them when they happen. I still don't clearly see the path in front of me, it just reveals itself one piece at a time.
Steve: What are some events along the journey that have steered you to where you are so far?
Jason: Getting advice from friends to look into acting, meeting people in the acting industry, taking classes from Tom Login a producer and actor in California. It is not always obvious when these things are happening but when I look back, events just seem to link together. I can say that I have a faith that things will work out this way.
Steve: Since choosing to pursue acting as your career have you had to make sacrifices to do this?
Jason: Not really. I still have a full time job to keep me going until I get more acting parts. I don't live extravagantly. I have what I need.
Steve: Do you mind doing what it takes to be an actor? Things like part-time jobs, rejection,...
Jason: I have experienced rejection and failure at times. It comes with the business, and probably comes with most jobs. I work as a cook to make some money but I like that, I don't see it as a sacrifice.
Steve: What is your vision for your life as an actor?
Jason: My vision for me as an actor is a full time career. I enjoy doing it and I like how good acting inspires people. This will probably involve moving out of the city as my career grows.
Steve: What advice do you have for people who encounter things that they consider difficult?
Jason: I would say to them that you just have to pick yourself up from failure and keep on going no matter how many times you fall. People give up too easily. If you look at any actor who has made a career out of it they are very persistent and resilient. Focus on your vision and go back to it when you feel beat up.
Steve: Do you find it difficult to practice discipline? By this I mean the kind of discipline that keeps you focused on your vision.
Jason: Yes, sometimes I pick up an acting book to encourage me and regain my focus. I rely on God for inspiration.
Steve: What other things do you do (other than acting) that keep you positive relaxed, and focused?
Jason: I exercise a lot and read the Bible when I feel down.
Steve: What are your short-term plans with your acting?
Jason: I have some more intensive actor training I am participating in and I am pushing into commercials. I want to follow that up with sitcoms and eventually movies.
I really enjoyed chatting with Jason over pizza today. What's interesting about whenever we talk is that I do not feel the need to leave the conversation and wish him "good luck". I think deep down inside I know he doesn't need luck.