Wednesday, May 21, 2014

From Homeless to Hollywood: Following an Unlikely Dream

Jack Kennedy was so committed to giving his dream one last chance that he ended up homeless before he made it in Hollywood. This is his story, in a guest post by actor and film producer Jack Kennedy himself. Jack is currently on the road in Texas with just his dog and his Jeep. Find out why...

SOMEWHERE ON THE ROAD IN TEXAS—Whenever somebody asks me how I’m doing, I answer, “Livin’ the dream.” But I’m an actor so that dream is often a nightmare. I’ve been at it eleven years now, had my successes, my failures, and times when I force my heart, nerve, and sinew to hang on when there’s nothing left except the will which says, “Hang on.” Yes, I stole that from Rudyard Kipling, that brilliant bastard! A year and a half ago, I decided it was time to either finally succeed completely or fail completely, no more in-between. So I quit my job and vowed to do NOTHING but act for a living. After two months, the money ran out and I moved into my Jeep with my dog; when it comes to dreams, failure is not an option. So I kept dreaming and something magical happened: I was homeless for nine months, but had my best year ever! I filmed a scene with Ben Kingsley in Iron Man III, booked a commercial, filmed two episodes of the TV show Castle and an episode of the NBC sitcom, Community, among other things.   
Jack Kennedy (center) with Martin Short and Jason Alexander

And now, heartened by a string of success, I am continuing to dream and doing what Hollywood says cannot be done: I wrote and am producing a film that doesn’t have Transformers, aliens, zombies, bloodshed, sex, or a scene with Channing Tatum’s abs! Who wants to see a heartwarming tale about an alcoholically wet and creatively dry writer who finds himself living in a semi-functional ’68 Winnebago while a dying mechanic becomes his unlikely muse? I do. And I am gambling that others do too!

I am now pouring my heart, soul, and the remnants of my bank account into making You Are Here. I am laying it all on the line, playing David before all the Goliaths, asking friends and strangers alike to contribute to my production as well, knowing that if I fail, my Rolodex will be forever tarnished, as useful as a life vest in a hurricane, my reputation like a gazelle in a lion’s den. But it is a risk I must take, because I must respect The Dream. And if you respect The Dream, go to, type in You Are Here, see what I’ve staked my existence on, and give the film a little love, cuddling, and contribution. Or…

Go pursue your own dream! Dreams are not to be trifled with; they are the pioneers of our path. If we ignore them, we ignore our destiny. And these suckers do not die; they just bide their time until we are sixty then return to haunt us all over again. But when we pay attention to them, our lives become extraordinary…maybe not in the way we imagined, but by taking that first step toward our dreams, we will discover thoughts, experiences and joy never imagined. This I know, because I am livin’ the dream!

"LIVE from Mongolia" is the true story of what happened when one woman followed her wildest dream out of a corporate career and into the news anchor chair in Mongolia. The book is available on Amazon (hardcover and Kindle), Barnes & Noble, and in bookstores. Published October, 2013 by Beaufort Books in New York.