July 21, 2024

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 21: Jay Valentin attends ITalk "Motivational Nightlife" event at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising on February 21, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for iTalk Events)

Hey Jay, you started your acting career at a very young age, what inspired you to pursue acting?

My best friend Jac’s been acting for a while. It sounded like fun & I was right to give it a try. I’ve worked on some of his & his mom’s projects & a few others & it was instant love. I knew it was what I wanted to do in life & that if I do it right & have success, it will open doors for me to do more for others & for charities.

Do you have any rituals before filming a show?

I clear my mind, breathe & pray. If I overthink it too much I get nervous & might forget my lines more easily. I find it better to stay relaxed.

Are there any acting projects in the works you can tell us about?

Not at the moment. Although there are a couple of projects I’m in that should be releasing at the end of this year or sometime next year. One is called Bastion & the other is called Keep On Believing. I’m excited for both to come out. They’re interesting stories with some twists.

What are your friends and parents thoughts on your career in acting?

Everyone’s very supportive of my career choice. My friends & especially my family are all rooting for me. A couple of times we’ve had to miss family events but they completely understand & cheer me on. My parents are the best! They do everything they can & sacrifice a lot to help me reach my acting & music dreams.

What goals have you set out for yourself in your career?

I’d love to continue acting & pursue directing as well. I also like to pursue music – writing songs… I play a little guitar & piano; would love to build on that. I’ve developed quite a passion for all of the above.

Overall, how has this whole acting career experience been for you so far?

It’s been fun meeting new, interesting people & it’s never dull playing various roles; becoming someone else is an exciting challenge. But I have to say that seeing the “behind the scenes” work, what it takes, all the hard work… that blew my mind. I have a new-found understanding of & respect for this industry.

What’s your favorite part about being an actor?

My favorite part about acting is that I can get away from everyday life & with this one career I can play the part of a doctor, air force pilot, hero, villain, etc. It’s a fun challenge to become diverse characters.

Do you have any advice for anyone trying to make it as an actor?

If it’s your dream & passion, go for it with all you’ve got. Don’t quit. There are going to be tough times. Give it your all. Constructive criticism is a learning opportunity. Apply it & KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

Do you have any other talents other than acting?

I play a guitar & piano, am currently writing a song, beatbox, sing a little & know a bit of karate.

Do you have any last things you want to tell your fans?

Make a difference by being humble, remembering where you came from & giving back to those less fortunate whenever possible. Pay your blessings forward. Don’t be a bully. Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. And never forget that, in the words of Jackie Robinson…”A life is not important except in the impact of has on other lives.”