I’ve met Jon Sprik several times in passing and he always struck me as a very well-spoken worldly man, which made total sense since upon speaking with him, I found out that he is a Fulbright scholar with an MFA from the University of Houston Professional Actor Training Program. There is no denying the intelligence behind his eyes…or his drive. For the last two years, he has been splitting his time between the East Coast and Los Angeles and acting in both markets. Even though he recently booked a role on the series, “Younger,” with Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff in NYC, he has been spending more time these days laying down roots in Hollywood. He usually gets cast as the “upscale nice guy with dark secret” including his role on the film, “Walk of Shame,” which is currently playing on the film festival circuit and racking up nominations, including “Excellence in Acting” at the Austin Revolution Film Festival. Although he is enjoying the laid-back nature of the West Coast, Sprik still has the hustle of a New Yorker and surrounds himself with like-minded friends that keep him grounded on the journey.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in West Michigan, specifically Grand Rapids. I stayed in West Michigan for college and got a B.A. in Spanish and Psychology while also doing productions and training in the theatre. My original plan was to get a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, but I couldn’t stay away from acting. I turned down a Fulbright to Spain and decided to go to graduate school to continue training instead. I went and got an MFA at the University of Houston Professional Actor Training Program. It was a small class of 10.
When did you come to Los Angeles?
I came to LA about 2.5 years ago, after living in NYC for 6 years. In NYC, I did mostly theatre off-Broadway and regional gigs.
What inspired you to be in the industry?
The summer of my sophomore year of college, I interned at Door Shakespeare, an idyllic outdoor festival, and I ended up working with many actors from The Guthrie and Milwaukee Rep. After performing under the stars, we would sit around a campfire and tell stories and sing songs. Until this time, my life had been split between art and academics. I found that the artists were more fun, engaging, and thoughtful and I decided that I wanted to spend my life working with people like that.
What are some of the projects you worked on in the past?
In NYC, I joined for a time the 8-year-long off-Broadway show, "The Awesome 80’s Prom.” It was a totally interactive show in which I played the host, "DJ Johnny Hughes."
Another favorite project was when I did It’s a Wonderful Life: Radio Play at the Powerhouse Theatre in Washington playing George Bailey. It was just after the recession and many people had lost jobs, were struggling financially, and really related to the play. It was incredible to feel the emotion and connection from the audience when such a classic play was reflecting reality.
What are you currently working on?
This winter, I did a show called Bee-Luther-Hatchee at The Sierra Madre Playhouse—a dynamic story about cultural appropriation. I also stared in an episode of My Crazy Ex. Coming up, the short Walk of Shame which I was in will be playing at The Austin Revolution Film Festival and has been nominated for “Best in Show”, “Best Drama”, “Best Actress”, and “Best Producer”.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’ll be working as a series regular on a show like Six Feet Under or Parenthood and doing shows off-Broadway during breaks.
How do you feel the industry is changing and how do you feel it benefits you as an actor?
More and more, people are able to create their own work and get it picked up by major networks/streaming sites. This provides an incredible opportunity to create my own work in collaboration with other artists and filmmakers. I look forward to doing this!
Interview by: Giovannie Espiritu