This famous quote is from the highly rated Cartoon Network show, Adventure Time.
This incredibly bizarre and hilarious cartoon is about a dog, Jake, and a boy, Finn, who travel the land of Ooo, fighting off the scary Ice King, while falling in love with the Bubble gum Princess, and becoming friends with Marceline the vampire.
Seventeen year old, Jeremy Shada, a Santa Clarita resident, is not only the voice of the main character, Finn, but also a close family friend.
Jeremy Shada was born in Idaho but moved with his family of six to Santa Clarita at a young age. His older brother, Zack, was the first of the three brothers who became interested in acting. Dean Shada, Jeremy’s dad, found an agency, Innovative Artists, and booked Zack his first audition. At age 5, Jeremy told his dad, ”I wanna do it, too!”
“I kind of grew up acting because I started when I was 5. I don’t really remember having a time where I took classes or anything,” said Jeremy. “When you’re acting at that young age it’s not as much you becoming the character, it’s just kind of you being yourself, generally. But as I got older I learned all the ins and outs from being on set and basically learned everything from working.”
“Once one of your kids begins working and doing interesting new things, the other kids in the family inevitably want to try it as well,” Dean said. The long road ahead had just begun as Dean began to realize: “Raising a child in the industry is very challenging.”
“Actually, I booked the first thing I ever auditioned for, which was an indie movie that my martial arts instructor was doing and I auditioned to play the part of the younger version of him and I got the job,” said Jeremy. “Obviously that’s not the norm when you ‘re an actor starting out you can go on hundreds of auditions without booking one.”
“The most difficult parts of having a child in the industry are time, normalcy, and healthy personal growth,” said Dean.
The continuous rejection can affect a person in a negative way. “I’d say the entirety of being an actor is vey hard,” said Jeremy. “Sometimes it’s physically hard, but I think mostly it’s psychologically hard from the constant auditions and, like, out of 100 auditions you might only book one at times, so you just can’t think about it and have to focus on moving on to the next thing.”
Surprisingly, Jeremy said: “ The easiest part is when you actually are on the job and performing.” Jeremy has appeared on television shows like, See Dad Run, Incredible Crew, Cold Case and Lost.
Being apart of the industry has its perks, of course traveling all over the world to participate in Comic Cons and movie premieres.
For example, “I travel at least once a month, and sometimes up to three times a month and I end up literally all over the place. Anywhere from Australia to Canada to all over the U.S. to Europe,” said Jeremy.
Dean also accompanies Jeremy on these trips. This reporter was lucky enough to travel with them to San Diego, New Mexico, and Orlando, to get a first look at the “craziness” that surrounds and goes on at the Comic Con.
Comic Con is a place where thousands of people dress up as their favorite anime character, superhero, Disney character, zombie, practically anyone they want, and travel around in packs to meet their favorite celebrity. The hectic atmosphere is a place where Jeremy meets and signs autographs for his dedicated fans.
Most people believe that being in the industry can cause one to miss out on other life experiences, however Jeremy has a different point of view.
“I don’t know if I really missed out on anything. I was home-schooled and I made friends in acting and at my church. I see it as getting an opportunity to pursue my dream and do something that is extremely fun that not many people get to do,” he said.
Jeremy continues to live a normal lifestyle which includes going to the movies, hanging out with friends, and shopping at one of his favorite stores H&M.
Jeremy also earns a good amount of money, but won’t share the exact amount.
Also, the Comic Con has been an amazing venue for Jeremy to share his other passion, music, with his fans through his band, Make Out Monday.
“Initially I started singing as a way to round myself out and music and acting go hand in hand,” Jeremy said. Then Zack, Jeremy’s brother, and Logan, John, and Seth, long time friends, decided to form a punk rock pop alternative band called Make Out Monday. Jeremy continues to improve his career by introducing his Adventure Time fans to Make Out Monday and vice versa.
As I stated before Jeremy and his family moved to Santa Clarita when he was a young child. “I’ve worked on jobs that shot in SCV but never really done a job that was specifically and SCV project,” Jeremy said. He prefers this area as a living space rather than a workplace.
“Even though it’s in the Los Angeles area, and you can work in the industry, it is just far enough away from it that you can have more of a simpler life,” Jeremy said. “I love the almost small-town feel of SCV and it’s really nice to get away from the craziness and busy-ness of L.A. at times in the evening and weekends.”
If one is interested in starting in the industry from SCV, Jeremy has advice.
“I would say to get some experience by doing theatre, student films, or improve classes and then if you really love doing it and are dedicated, I would say use the advantage that you have living in the L.A. area by trying to get an agent or start off by working as an extra on sets.”
“If you are thinking about getting into acting in any form, make sure it’s something you really love doing and have a great work ethic and not go into it expecting to get famous or expecting to be successful because few are. Go into it because you like the craft of acting.”
As the world of the industry may seem dreamy to the outsider, the reality of it is difficulty and frustration. Jeremy is not only an amazing actor, but also a great friend. He has developed such a great balance of his work life and life at home.
“Make the center of your life something else. Work hard and be focused, but have other things to ground you and keep you emotionally stable,” said Dean Shada.