When Jim Anderson got word that the film he acted in, American Paradise, was accepted to the Sundance Film Festival he was ecstatic.
But now that the short has began to make the rounds on the festival circuit – next appearing at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas – he’s preparing for another round of exposure that could help jumpstart his emerging acting career.
And he couldn’t be happier.
“That’s how I ended up on Ballers was getting that exposure at Sundance, and I think that as more festivals show the film that will open up more and more doors,” Anderson said. “It’s kind of a scary thing – it’s like the scene in a movie when the hallway just gets longer and longer, but then you finally make it to the door and it becomes real. “
Anderson, who spent 20-years in law enforcement and now coaches football at Sierra High School and focuses on his new career, has also recently made strides in his musical endeavors – the outlet that gave him his first taste at entertaining, and has been slowly building ever since.
In August, he and his band – The Rebels – will play the main stage at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in Reno for the famed “Hot August Nights” celebration. Also appearing on the stage will be The Beach Boys, which Anderson says signals how far they’ve come from their days playing smaller shows at community gatherings.
With the recent release of their new music – a collection of rare Elvis tracks to complement the staples that have made Anderson a household name amongst enthusiasts of the “The King” in the Central Valley and beyond – Anderson thinks that the new shows they’re booking in places like Reno and the upcoming Firehouse Theater will only open more doors.
While he’s scheduled to act in a feature film shooting this summer to be released by Time Warner in late 2018, he said that his focus right now is getting back to the music that he loves and giving fans and newcomers the best show possible as he steps out onto the stage.
“There’s something about performing that makes it special and unique,” Anderson said. “And while I’ve had all of these doors opening for me with acting, they’re also starting to open for us with the music and that’s what we’ve been waiting for.
“You stop and ask yourself if you’re ready for this sort of thing, but it’s what we put in the work for and what we’re excited to be doing.”
Fans of the HBO Series “Ballers” are in for a special treat when the show returns later this year – the prominent placement of a Sierra High School championship football ring worn by actor Christopher McDonald of “Shooter McGavin” fame. According to Anderson, after the two had a discussion over lunch about their respective lives and careers, McDonald not only offered to wear the ring in his scene, but made an effort to extend his arm so that the ring is clearly visible in the shot that will likely end up in the show.
“He said he wanted to give the kids that I told him about something to look forward to,” Anderson said. “There are going to be a lot of happy kids when that finally comes out – a nice reminder of the work that they did.”
But don’t think that the recent successes and the increasing exposure will change the humble Manteca boy who still makes it a point to raise the house lights on his mother and his fiancé every single time he steps onto the stage.
At the end of it all, he said, there’s nothing at this point that will change him from who the person he is.
“Even though things are stirring up, little by little, I am grounded like no other. I am still an investigator at Jack Able Private Investigations in Modesto, doing criminal investigations for the county and will continue to do that,” he said. “I am focused on music and acting and the possibility of its success, but I am grounded and realistic when it comes to those goals. I still drive by old beat up Dodge truck. I am on a friendly basis with about everyone I know, and I still work a regular job and still love to help my community wherever and whenever I can.
“I’m still a good ol’ boy from Manteca and proud as hell of that.”
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.