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Jacques Chevelle – Interview
[00:00:00] Casey: everybody. Welcome again, to another episode of spoiler country today on the show, we have one of the stars of the Nickelodeon TV SICOM side hustle, jock Chevelle, Jack, how you doing, man?
Jacques Chavelle: I’m doing good. I’m doing great.
Casey: So, so what you been up to, man? How’s life treating you today.
Jacques Chavelle: Labs has been treating me creating nicely.
I had a early morning photos to have to get ready for. And I got a chance to do a little exercise in this morning with friends. So as we’re going through this whole COVID thing, one of my friends built a. Gym in the garage. And I have been taken full advantage of that every day. So we’ve been trying to get up at the crack of Dawn and exercising, which like starts off the day really nicely.
Casey: Oh yeah. Yeah. I it’s, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to go to gym, but There’s that [00:01:00] feeling you get once you put in a good workout and then the rest of the day is just such a, I don’t know. It’s it’s, it’s a good, it puts you in a good head space.
Jacques Chavelle: Yes. Yeah. I felt that too. Definitely when we like, also something about getting up early in the morning to like, just starting your day off, like productive, it just like.
It makes you feel like you just like, Oh, you got something done today. Like it’s only like 12 it’s only 12 o’clock and you just like finished a bunch of tasks and it’s just like, feels good to like, have that all done so early in the, you have the whole rest of your day to do whatever you want. Yeah. Yeah.
Casey: Yeah. It’s somewhat, it’s important too. Cause it’s, it’s not just taking care of your body. It is like seriously, like a treat you give to yourself and it pays out. It pays dividends. Yeah.
Jacques Chavelle: Yeah. That’s, that’s very true.
Casey: So tell me, like, how did you get in this whole acting thing?
Jacques Chavelle: I got into acting when [00:02:00] I was in, when I was younger, I had went to a open call and I was like, I had heard it on the radio.
Very, just very like Just like something you hear, like every, like every like child actor, like it’s like actor who wants someone who wants to get in the business, like how they start is it’s like, I heard it on a radio. I went to the audition and then I was, I was very interested in like continuing to pursue acting.
I got into A high school production of comedy of errors was Shakespeare play. And I played of Syracuse at the time. And I actually got to perform that at a At a actual local theater in Atlanta, I’m from I’m from Atlanta. I went to Barrow high school and I got to perform that in Atlanta, which is an insane opportunity to have at [00:03:00] such a young age.
First of all, and this such a green actor, like I got to perform at like a local theater where People would pay to go see, which was a great opportunity. And I was very grateful to have that. And ever since then I had like continue to
Casey: pursue it. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So when did you move from Atlanta to, to out to LA
Jacques Chavelle: LA?
So I moved around my my. 10th grade year. I believe it was my 10th grade year. I moved to, to, to LA. And I finished up I finished up high school and college in LA, well high school, and then some college I went to Santa Monica college cinema, Santa Monica college, and that’s where I got more into the theater field and got to try out musicals and plays and start auditioning and everything.
That’s when I really started like actually getting into the
Casey: I hear ya. So D do you miss ATL any, or are you you, you all about the [00:04:00] California now?
Jacques Chavelle: I do miss Atlanta just because I haven’t been back in such a long time because of COVID. I would usually be back around this time, like, well, not around this time, like maybe a month before for the holidays.
And I just spend the holidays there in Atlanta and all my family’s from Atlanta. I don’t know anybody family wise here in LA. So. It was kind of like, I am missing it now, but I do love LA and I’m always after like a month or two with my family and like, I’m ready to come back and I’m ready to just like, get back into the work of it.
I always tell, like, people are, everyone’s like, has a land. Like, it’s that? Oh, it’s like one of the only States where you can go you can go, like you can go to the beach in the morning and then you can go to you can go snowboard in, you can go to big bear and go snowboard in or whatever. Like, it’s just like, that’s a lot you can do in LA.
And it’s fun.
Casey: It’s crazy too, because you want, until you [00:05:00] actually go out there, you don’t realize just how massive California is. It is flipping huge. So, but yeah, it’s so cool that you were able to To take that, that audition and just run with it and turn it assists me into a career. So now you’re, you’re on this show on Nick and that’s massive.
How how’d you feel when you landed the part?
Jacques Chavelle: I was. I was like, Oh my God. Like, it was very, the process was very, very fast and I did not, I have been acting for a long time and I’ve been in things, but this was abnormally. Just like the speed of getting this audition, going into producers, going into networking was just quick.
I was, it was Barry. Even when I think back about it right now, it’s like very out of body. I was like, I didn’t have time to really process [00:06:00] like, Oh my God, like I was signing, like I remember the test that I was signing. The thing was like Is like the contract, if I like this show and I was like, okay, I guess this is about to happen.
I’m like, okay. I’m all right. So it was very it was very fast and very quick and I was like, Oh, wow. And then act that the night I did my tests with network, I got a call from my manager and agent to go on conference call. And I was coming home from the audition because this one was in like Hollywood.
And I think I like I think, yeah, I just want to Hollywood, it was like a late, it ran late later in the day and I was coming back home. I had barely got home and then my agent and or call it and I was like, guess what? You got the part? And I was like, Oh my God, I thought was going to pick like a couple of weeks.
I hear back from this. And like, it was, it was very quick and very, very fast. [00:07:00] It’s
Casey: weird. I, I either here it goes one of two ways. It’s either a long slog of not knowing whether you’ve been, you know, accepted into a role or not, or you don’t realize you’re in it until they’ve already made the decision.
And it just goes by just boom. So I, I think you lucked out on on having to forego all of the, the long slog of having to go back and having to wait and see. So. That that’s really fantastic. And how have you enjoyed working on what the what’s essentially a kid’s program? How has that been and how has that affected your acting style?
Cause you’ve done some heavier stuff.
Jacques Chavelle: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s very interesting because I mean, it’s a multicam show and I’ve done a lot of theater and it [00:08:00] resembles a lot of theater because you’re cheetah now. You’re like the, like all the technical stuff is the same. The interesting part about playing a playing on a TV show like every week is that the character.
On a play you’re you, you have this same play and you, you, you have the same script and you have the same character, you know, where the highs and lows are, this character. And you play that every day and you do that for like weeks on a show. You play this character, you get the script, they change it and you play that character and you play those lines at one time.
So you get. In a cadence of this character, like at like around episode 12 and 13, most of the work that I would have to do for character preparation was already in my body. Which was [00:09:00] something I, yeah, something I never thought would happen. It came very naturally. Like when I started a process of like broke it down by how it felt and how it sounded and like how I wanted the character to come across.
But on episode 13, I mean, we’re getting these scripts. Like every day the scripts are changing. You get, you get one from you get one, you get a different one from executive producer, run through to the network one through, and then sometimes on the day of filming, you get a different script. So it kind of got me into this process of just like already knowing how this character delivers a line or how this character feels or how this character like.
His whole being, which is very interesting and very, I did not know that would happen, but yeah, it’s, it’s been very, a crazy experience.
Casey: Okay. A completely different discipline in terms of acting and it’s only something that’s going to help you out as you progress and [00:10:00] grow in your career. And do more stuff, which is fantastic.
And one thing I watched an episode of your show with my kids. I have two kids who are I have a six year old and a 10 year old. So of course they ate it up and it was, it was great and y’all are projecting the jokes and very much a A lot of comedy in your character, a lot of almost slapstick.
In terms of just like how the jokes are read and shown. And it’s really fun seeing that. And also watching my kids experience that because you know, of course y’all were the coolest thing since pre-sliced bread. So it was it was a fun experience, man. I really enjoyed it. So how. How are you how are you enjoying that?
Just doing that, [00:11:00] that different type of acting, is it.
Jacques Chavelle: Yeah. First of all, I really appreciate that. Yeah. I am excited that so many people so many kids connect with the character and love the, and like in this plan with the character and playing with the ways that he’s played, he enjoys words and how you he’s such a physical character, too.
How I have enjoyed it. It is. It is really, it’s really fun. And it’s the writers and the creators of the show are really good and they’re really smart. And they, they, they it’s, it’s insane what they are able to do. And like you learn in the process how to find the joke really quickly. And before I was like, really good at it, but like, you, you, you, they, they, they, they know how to write and you find that joke.
You find, you know, you know [00:12:00] how to play the joke, which is a very hard thing to do. Comedy is like a hard thing to, to, to, to get someone to to like portray because like either you’re funny or United that you laugh, you’re here and you’re not. Yeah. You, you. It’s it’s very, it’s a very formula, surprisingly, it’s a very formulaic thing.
And it’s awesome to be able to be a part of a show every week that I get to practice that muscle. And I get to play with these characters, this character and this amazing cast and kind of just like. Go back and forth with with them.
Casey: That’s awesome. Do you mind if I ask you a question about process specifically, like you’re coming in off, off of, you know, leave your car, go, do whatever you have to do to get ready for the stage or for, I don’t know what they will call it, the studio.
What do you do to get into your. [00:13:00] Into your character and put all of a jock Chevelle stuff out of the way so that you can, you can deliver the laughs. You can deliver the lunch. You can make the scene happen.
Jacques Chavelle: Yeah, it’s very, very important to get rid of of my issues because,
Casey: I’m not saying you have issues
Jacques Chavelle: that’s fair.
No, no, no. Seriously, like if I’m like having like a, a tough day or like, I like, like something going on, I mean, we have COVID going on. Life is happening while I’m filming the show. And there, there are days and it’s important for me to get out of my own way. And my process usually is a very physical one acting kind of informs the, the brain that, I mean, I think your body informs the brain.
So if you are in a certain posture, [00:14:00] Or your lip is curled a certain way or the cadence of the way you speak has changed. Your brain is like making connections that is already built. This has already had, has had time to be built upon. So week by week, I’ve been able to, like I said, get back in, get into that character quickly.
It’s it’s it’s assisted me with the process of. Of just going in and having fun. Right. When I step on stage because all of that background noise has to go through the background. I have, I have lines to remember. I have places that I have to be, I have to be aware of things. Things are supposed to be in certain places and sometimes it doesn’t happen.
And that’s sometimes not a bad thing because something good can come out of that. Like a mistake can turn out to be really funny and a really funny take or something someone didn’t [00:15:00] think about. So it’s very important for me to be in present in the moment. And a lot of that ability to get into the moment is.
Again, keeping that stuff in the background and just being present with my actors.
Casey: That’s awesome. Do you, do you do anything to prepare yourself beforehand to kind of, yeah. Yeah.
Jacques Chavelle: Yeah. Yeah. I do a little meditation. If it’s like a rough day, I’d do like a 20 minute and meditation and I’ll drink some tea.
Maybe if I’m feeling real anger, like real like hyper or something or moving too fast. Yeah, I just try to calm. Just try to calm myself down before. Performing just to clear the mind. That’s the best thing to do is to have a clear mind before
Casey: performing you also brought up T a second ago. I was wondering, I mean, you, you’re having to project your voice and act out loud.
What do you, [00:16:00] what do you do you go in and you’re like this today, some like it’s cold and flu season right
Jacques Chavelle: now.
Casey: Is there any secrets that you have for that, especially, I mean, when you did Shakespeare, I’m sure that was all.
Jacques Chavelle: Yeah. That’s so funny. You said that I was going to even go to that point that I The craziest thing is before this show I had did a, I did Macbeth and I was McDuff.
And that character, yeah, that character is well, the way I interpret the character and a lot is happening to his family and a lot is happening to his, his whole world at the moment. And I am just. Just giving it all vocally and physically to that character. And it’s so funny that because now Jagat is he is physically and [00:17:00] vocally a big character.
And I was like, Oh wow. That’s, that’s, that’s funny how that kind of went full circle, but Luckily you not on stage for two hours, it’s screaming for two hours. I get a break in between. I don’t know, judge it the, of that he will pan out that if that was the thing. But I like tea, honey.
Vocal, reds. I, I know sometimes. Sometimes I can try to keep from vocal fry, vocal fry to really. Like I can really feel it in the morning. So I just like kinda adjust the way he would say things sometimes if it’s too intense on my, on my voice and also we’re doing TV, so hopefully they got it on the first shot
sometimes, but we carry sometimes and yeah.
Casey: I’ve heard stories [00:18:00] from people in it in animation that have, they decided to go with a really just over the top voice for the character that they’re portraying. And then they’re like, Oh, I should not have done that should not because they’re, they’re yelling at the top of their lungs, you know, for six hours a day or whatever.
How was the shooting schedule for you guys? How many shows are y’all. Having to do a season.
Jacques Chavelle: So w we started off with 13 episodes at the beginning of 2020. And then by the time we finished maybe episode 10, we got picked up for another seven episodes, which calculates us to like 20, 20 episodes for our first season.
We’re filming. Almost every week. Oh, wow. We’re on hiatus right now. I’m on, I’m on break for this week. And then next week they go right back to filming. We film almost every week. The break [00:19:00] usually is during holiday. Like. The the, the, I mean, usually on a show you get 13 episodes and then there’s a break because also like the cast needs to break the CUNY breaker or whatever.
Luckily our, around the time we got picked up for another episode four, for those seven more episodes it was right near the holiday break, which was. Like how it was like Christmas and new year’s. So we had a break from that. And then on top of COVID we got an extra break cause we wanted to make sure everybody was healthy before they returned back to the set.
So we got a big break and then we were able to come back revived and ready to do some more episodes. Go for some more. So it’s an intense Shoot schedule. And it’s like, it’s like, you’re like going. Cause you’re like, you had to memorize memorizing lines, you got to memorize blocking. And where are you supposed to go?
And what you poke the holes and stuff like that. And sometimes things change sometimes the whole [00:20:00] thing disappears. And you learned all those lines for nothing, for nothing that’s happened before. And then some days you’re like, Oh, It was like it was less, it was, it was like maybe two weeks ago. I was I was, I was going to hit a lot.
I was heavy in this episode. And as like, I’m going to make sure, because Jack is very physical. Like I said, he’s, he’s moving a lot. So I was like, I’m going to memorize all my lines and gonna have them all down the day of shooting. They changed that it was like, Oh God, but again, those
episodes. 1516 by now, and I’m used to bad chains. So you just go in your trailer, you learn those lines really quickly. You get them down and you’re ready to set. And you hear it.
Casey: Have you, have you been recognized yet by people outside of Outside of the studio, just, you know, at the grocery store. Well, I [00:21:00] guess now it’s even, it’s even more of an obstacle because you gotta a mask on.
Jacques Chavelle: Right, right. Yeah. I haven’t been, I’ve been recognized by my fellow crew mates. I’ve seen my other crew mates around around Hollywood and now like, you’re like, and it’s so weird because I see them and I’m like, and there was like hesitation. Like it’s like. And jock Michael is like, okay, I didn’t know.
And then we say hello. But I have gotten like videos from like kids who have. Have been copying the character, which is super dope and so crazy that I’m a part of their childhood and this random person, I don’t know this life. I don’t know that I’m a part of their childhood. And I got this video where it’s like, this girl is like, ah, don’t pitch my brother.
I’m going to give you smack macaroni cheese. And I was like, Oh, so dumb. Yes. Give that give that we’re talking to their parents. [00:22:00] All right. Okay, cool. Cool kids having fun with the character, which is what I wanted when I worked on his part. So I’m excited and I’m happy about that.
Casey: That’s awesome. I understand.
You’ve also performed in a few musicals.
Jacques Chavelle: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. It was great. It was great. I the last musical idea before I got this job was a wedding singer I think, was at the Morgan Wickson theater. And it was fine. I am, I become, get in trance with musical theater, like it, I really have a love and a passion for it from an outside standpoint.
An appreciation for it. It’s very magical experience. I know it’s like, yeah, of course. But it is like when you’re sitting in from the wings and you’re seeing this artist is like belt out [00:23:00] this song. It’s, it’s amazing. It’s nothing like it. It’s very, I love being, having a chance to be a part of it.
I remember. Here’s a story. I remember that my college was doing into the woods and gray one, right? Oh yeah. We were doing into the woods and I was doing another show. I was the only, I was doing comedy of errors again. I was doing in Tromeo at the time. And I was like, I went up to the director. I was like, please let me be a part of this.
I will be a leaf. I will be in the background. Just let me be a part of this magic. I know this is not going to come back anytime soon. So just let me do that. And she let me do that. And I have. Show me as a pretty intense character. So I was like really grateful that she was, let me be a part [00:24:00] of both productions and perform.
And it was, it
Casey: was great. It’s fun. I I recently sat down with my kids and we watched Hamilton for the first time and I Of course, I, I already listened to the soundtrack a few times just because it’s great. And, but both of my kids it was fun seeing them take on what, what was kind of an, a new form of media for them and just.
Really appreciate it. And so it’s, it’s so fun seeing people experience, stuff like that for the first time. And I, yeah. Yeah. I just love it. Musicals are great. Yeah. So, yeah. So do you have anything else other than the the show on Nickelodeon, the two that you want to talk about?
Jacques Chavelle: Yes, I hope so.
I was I I’m just taking this time to be like really exploring what I want [00:25:00] to, what else I would like to do in the industry. I was able to work on a project with one of my friends called neighborhood crux, and we like was able to make that during during the pandemic during the shutdown.
Cause we were like, we were all like, it was like all this, these artists, like in the home and they were all like, just like, we gotta make something, we gotta do something. And I was able to do a lot of the background stuff. Like lots of the stuff like casting. I did sound, I did art. I was an art director.
And I got to do a lot of Of that stuff. And I really was able to explore, and like I found like a lot of joy in doing all that and like juggling all those things at one time. And I was like, Oh man, I like, I would like to do that more. So I just been in a process, a process of just like trying to figure out how to make more of my own content and collaborating with friends that I enjoy working with.
Casey: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. [00:26:00] And that’s the thing about artists is, you know, you you’re in the shutdown right now. You’re, you’re in the middle of a pandemic. You can’t stop creating though. There’s nothing that is going to make you want to stop that creative spark. And that is that’s the Mark of a true artist, because I mean, you.
It’s an itch that you have to scratch and you can’t put it away. And it’s awesome. Seeing people like yourself that just really take to it. And can’t be delayed by little things like a global pandemic get in the way.
Jacques Chavelle: Yeah, we, yeah, it was, it was, it was, it was very It was very fulfilling and very I don’t know, confirming that we were able to somehow figure it out and get it [00:27:00] done, even with all the restrictions.
And even without like, Ooh, I don’t know if we can do this. I don’t know if we can do this. Like, it was, it was a process of just like all that resistance and still being able to come out with. A really beautiful project. Was it an amazing
Casey: experience? That’s amazing. That’s awesome. So I I’m just really impressed by what you’ve done in what, from, from the outsider’s perspective, seems like, you know, a short amount of time, but you have all, all of this stuff that you’ve done has been just one step.
In the formation of jock Chevelle. So it’s it’s always really cool seeing somebody early in their career, making the right moves, going in the right direction, being fulfilled by their craft and wanting to to learn more about it and do more with it. So dude I, I can’t wait to see what else you do.
[00:28:00] Jacques Chavelle: I appreciate it. I appreciate that so much. Thank you. Thank you so much for that. No
Casey: worries, man. And also just seeing, seeing a fellow southerner do good.
Jacques Chavelle: Yeah.
Casey: Thank you. Thank you. I don’t want to take up too much more of your time, but thank you so much for meeting up with us and talking about your career and. Talking about side hustle and anytime you have anything else you want to bring to the show and talk about by all means, give us a shout.
Jacques Chavelle: Oh my God. Thank you so much. Thank you for having
Casey: me. No worries, man. Take it easy. Enjoy your evening and stay warm. It’s for some reason there’s a cold snap and it hasn’t been this cold all year. It’s like 17 degrees outside now.
T-shirts last week, so, Oh.
Jacques Chavelle: Oh, Whoa. Wow. That’s a quick switch out. [00:29:00] Wow. Oh, wow. Yeah, it’s stayed. Stay warm,
Casey: take it easy, man.
Jacques Chavelle: Enjoy it. I appreciate it. Thank you. Ma’am bye. Bye.