Former local tries his hand at the big time – working with NBC’s ‘Fear Factor’ along the way
Growing up in Sevier County with a dad in the entertainment business you’d think it would be a natural for a son to follow in his father’s footsteps. For thirty-one year-old Jared Link that came close to being true. “My dad sings at Dollywood and at the Smoky Mountain Jubilee. He’s been singing for twenty years. But I decided to try my hand at acting,” stated Link.
The former Pi Beta Phi student and Sevier County High School graduate left the area where he had been born and raised, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to go to the big city of Hollywood, California looking for his big break.
“I was in the drama classes and a few plays at Sevier High but nothing major. I decided I wanted to make a career in the entertainment business but singing wasn’t my thing. I’m an entertainer at heart and I like to make people laugh. So I decided to follow my dream and move to LA with my girlfriend Khia Hall. I’ve been here a little over four years now,” Link stated in an interview with the Herald.
The biggest change for Link has been the surroundings. “I’m not used to the buildings and the traffic. I miss the back roads. They don’t have many back roads here in LA.”
Since moving to LA, Link has had a variety of acting job including being an extra on “just about every show you’ve seen.”
“I was trying to work up to get my SAG (Screen Actors Guild) card. I finally got it.”
Waiting for his big break Link has been working as the lead camera assistant for the NBC television series Fear Factor.
“It’s interesting. I have a strong stomach and I’m able to deal with it. When I shoot it’s usually the grouse stuff. Some cameramen don’t like it but I can do it.” Link says they have filmed in some interesting places including an old mental hospital, which he described as “Creepy.”
More recently Link landed a part on a reality-based play that in his words is the lead up to a new Indie film coming out in June entitled ‘LA Twister’. In the play Link plays the role of Puma Pete. “It’s a reality based play with two casts. We are in a competition with each other. We act online and people can vote for us. Right now my competitor is ahead. It’s an interactive show and it’s constantly live.”
The rehearsals are all captured live on the Internet in a reality show format that gives the online audience the chance to actually choose the cast. Think American Idol meets acting meets the Internet. Over a period of six weeks, votes will be tabulated and the winners will get to play alongside Zack Ward (Titus, A Christmas Story), Tony Daly and Jennifer Aspen (Party of Five), the film’s lead actors.
\”I’m very proud of him,” stated dad Malcolm Link from his Sevier County home. “He is following his dreams and getting to use his technical skills along with his artistic skills.” Malcolm said he was able to go to a friend’s home that has streaming video and see his son in action. “It was fun and interesting to watch the rehearsals,” stated Malcolm.
Mother Sherry Payne who teaches at Pi Beta Phi stated, “He has done nothing but work in the show business field. He’s been an extra in many shows including the film ‘Hot Chicks’ and the television series, ‘The Practice.’ We’re behind him all the way.”
To vote for Jared, you can visit the following website and cast your vote. http://www.latwistermovie.com/dev/vote.htm.
When you click on “Cast 1 Vote” next to Jared Link, you are asked to select a character. Jared is up for the role of “Puma Pete,” so it is important that voters choose that character.
“I miss Tennessee,” stated Link. “Hopefully I’ll make it here in Hollywood and then I can have a home in Townsend and one in LA.”