Who am I anyway?
July 31, 2013 —
Even as a child it was evident that I was never going to look like Prince Charming. “Can’t skate by on your looks,” my mother would advise and, “stop making faces, or it’s going to freeze that way, and you have enough problems.” (Thanks, Mom.) Despite admonishments like this and my father’s discouraging my “artistic temperament,” I’ve always had a fairly strong sense of self.
When I was five, I started performing (much to my father’s chagrin), was taking tap dancing classes by eight and had a Broadway show under my belt by 16 (it closed after three weeks and my dad breathed a sigh of relief), but the bug was firmly in place (thankfully, it was not a spider) and I sallied forth. Up until then, everyone knew me as “That Jon Fox” and it was not always a term of endearment, but... they all knew who I was.
After college I signed with a talent agency called “Funny Face” in New York City whose bread and butter was actors (like me) who were less than “traditional looking.” Although I still yearned to be considered for the leading man, I began to see the value of the “character actor” status, especially when the work began to come in. Bit parts, “comic relief” and sometimes just the face alone would bring home the bacon, but a few TV roles and national commercials (www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ8lI0p3468) made me recognizable to the world at large, and I liked it.
As many of you know, once my ‘funny face” matured, and I no longer looked like a kid, the work slowed down to a crawl, eventually drying up altogether, which nudged me in the direction of writing about the world of Arts and Leisure, where I have (thankfully) enjoyed a fairly long run. Developing my own writer’s voice and personality, I settled into invisible anonymity. And then it happened. I moved to the glorious Upper Delaware Valley and was thrust into a tiny spotlight, becoming a “big fish in a small pond,” as my mom was fond of saying. (I’m working on a book of the same name and would love to finish it before I take my last breath... but I digress.)