We had the good fortune of connecting with Jack Sharp and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jack, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
For me, acting and lighting design has been something that I continue to enjoy pursuing even after starting this journey almost ten years ago. It pushes me to be better not just as an artist, but as a person when I am designing or acting, so whenever I feel like it is getting too hard and it feels like I should stop and get a typical 9-to-5 job, I take a minute to realize that I am going after what I really want, something I am good at, and it is something that I enjoy deeply. I cannot imagine myself doing anything else, so I keep telling myself that.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What Sets Me We’d apart from others

• What sets me apart from others is how I tackle each project. The creative side of this job is something that comes naturally to me. When I designed my first collegiate play in my theatre department last semester, I had so many ideas before I even read the script. As I read through it, I narrowed it down to the one idea I felt worked best for the show. In terms of acting, it has been something I have subconsciously done since I was little; I would impersonate and repeat what I heard on tv or in movies, and it was not until middle school that I acted in a play. As I acted throughout middle school and high school, I realized that this was something I really needed to pursue. After high school, I took acting classes in Atlanta to help better my skills, and it was there I realized that I had more work to do than I thought. What I learned there was that if I trust my instincts and trust myself, my partner, and the script, then everything will fall into place. The older I get, the more I realize that I love acting, and that I would be happy acting in anything no matter how big or small.
what you are most proud of or excited about.

• That is a hard one because after each project I am apart of, I feel proud of it, but I am proud of the work I have done with Choreographer Lyrik London and his dancers, I am proud of the play I designed last semester, and I am proud of the production work I have done for different staging companies in Atlanta. As for what I am excited about? I am excited about all the opportunities that are out there for me. I have already been so blessed since just graduating this past December, that I cannot wait for what else is out there.
How did you get to where you are today professionally? Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?

• It was definitely not easy that is for sure. Growing up and even now I struggle with anxiety and other issues that had prevented me from putting myself out there and going after what I wanted. The first year or two into my college’s theatre program I felt out of place and way behind; everyone was way more knowledgeable and skilled than I was, and that made it really hard for me cause I felt like I was way over my head. For acting and life in general, I have struggled with my body image, being myself, and my weight. This made it really hard to not just put myself in front of a camera, but also be vulnerable and letting people see me. To turn this depressing paragraph around, I have gotten so much better about liking myself, and as I mentioned earlier, I grinded and worked on myself and my skills and I ended up being chosen to design a full stage production at my university. Now that I am out of college I am able to get back into acting, and through intense workout regimens, self-reflection, and self-love, I am ready to get back out there and make some art.
What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.

• The best lessons I have learned through my experiences is having patience with one’s self. It’s hard to not compare yourself to others when you can see your friend’s or random peoples’ successes, but that does not mean your time won’t come. Being able to take a step back, make your world smaller, and realize all the amazing things you have done can do wonders. It has allowed me to keep myself grounded while also gets me to focus and back on track. The art world is one of the hardest worlds to break into, but it is also so small; everyone knows everyone, and I find that talking about what I love doing has brought be a lot of my recent jobs. I’ll tell someone what I do, and 9/10 times they will go, “oh you know my brother’s, friend’s, cousin’s roommate works at …..”. So being patient and learning to trust and believe in yourself (I know it’s a cliché but it’s a good one) are the best lessons I have learned.

What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
• If my answers in this interview can improve one person’s day, then that is what I want the world to know about my brand and story. If my art can inspire or even just brighten up someone’s day, then my brand/story did its job. That is one of the biggest reasons why I love the art/entertainment world; I am able to do something that can make a positive impact on someone. Even if they have no idea that a lighting designer is a thing, if they see one of my designs while watching a performance, then that is beyond okay with me. I want my brand and my story to create a positive effect on people, and I hope I can do that for a long time.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ponce City Market, Underground Atlanta, The High Museum, and the Weston. I have to pick places that are in the gps otherwise I will get me and my friend lost; I am really bad with directions. There are so many places in Atlanta, but those places are where I have had some really memorable moments.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out my family who support me and encourage me, I would like to thank German Hernandez AKA Outer Limit for not only getting me this interview, but for being there for me since day one, and I would like to thank the Gainesville Theatre Alliance for teaching me and showing me what I am capable of.

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