14 June 2016

Why being Different doesn't matter to John James Uy

Photos by Andrei Suleik 

Imagine a life in pursuit of all the things that really matter to you. Too ideal? Maybe. But possibly doable also. We've recently talked with actor, model and musician, John James Uy about just that. It all started back when he was young, "I was this close to acting for Disney when I was a kid in California" John shares. But his early passion for acting had to come to a halt, he continues "My dad didn't want me to because he wanted me to finish school." This however did not stop the young John from loving acting, "Ever since I was a kid, my favorite classes were drama and art" and pursuing it, "[Then] in high school I even acted and directed our plays". A testament that it was going to happen one way or the other.

After spending his younger years mostly in Sacramento, San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in California, John moved to Manila after high school. This is where and when his pursuit of acting started to flourish, immediately bagging a role in a movie with Gerald Anderson and Kim Chiu. However, though it was fairly easy to get his first gig, the reality of the industry hit him quickly after the film. "Somehow it didn't work out, maybe the viewers didn't like me or I was [still] inexperienced." This setback did not hold John down too long though.

The journey to acting continued, and now with some mainstream and independent films under his belt, the word "inexperienced" can no longer be thrown in the words to describe him. But why did John continue to pursue something that's a hit or miss kind of thing? "Acting for me, is a gateway to express my emotions no matter happy or sad, and [it] gives me a chance to explore the other aspects of Johnny I didn't even know exists in me" John explains. It just shows how much passion he has for acting. Going all in may not be the best advice for everyone, but it sure helped John achieve something in the path he took. And being in the industry long enough, as a model, entertainer, and first and foremost an actor, he shares his work philosophy with us "Stay true, take your job seriously, and whatever problems or vices you have, don't bring it to the set."

While considered "different" for most of his life because of his passion and preferences, it is great to hear that he's in a better place in his life right now. Embracing the weird in him, just doing what he's passionate about, and fulfilling goals while staying true to himself. "I hear from a lot of people that they do not understand me, and [they think] I'm weird. [However] I do believe in just being yourself, and it's up to them if they will love or hate me." It is probably one of the reasons why he is flourishing in the industry, his dedication to the things he love plus his carefree handling of what others think. Today he acts in several shows and films, but the one he enjoys the most is his stint with TV5's online comedy show, Tanods. 

Maybe this conversation is a nudge to us dreamers, an inspiration to get back to being passionate, excited, and most especially invested in our lives. It does take more than passion to achieve things we aspire for, but then again, who gets the instant-success pass, right? I just hope this story of John James Uy becomes a motivation for at least some of you to keep pursuing the things and life that you would want for yourself.


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