From Actor to Designer
I stumbled into that career through a chance meeting with Mikhail Baryshnikov, in Washington D.C., at his first US appearance (Don Quixote) at the Kennedy Center. One thing led to another, and I landed a role on Broadway as Michael in Peter Pan. That ran for almost two years, and started the ball rolling. I had a diverse career in TV, Broadway, animation and film. It was a great experience but I found myself a bit bored and unchallenged after a while. Add to that the fact that I had a stalker that made life a bit uncomfortable, eventually leading me to a decision to turn my hobby into a business.
|Jonathan in a Teen Magazine|
You hear so many stories about rotten child actors, drugs, booze and strife. Never happened with me. I had an amazing experience. Got to travel the world and get to know some truly brilliant artists. Also, the skills in communication and personal confidence aid me every day in my new business and life in general.
Crappy, just like everyone else. Basically like gambling. You keep dumping nickels (in this case, little bits of your soul…) in the slot, and that one win makes it all worth it.
learned early on not to take it personally. So many factors, many having nothing to do with the individual who did not get a call back. Also, one no often leads to another opportunity, as in life.
|JW in Mac and Me|
Great crew and people, wonderful director. We had fun with that project but I admit I was horrified when the production company needed more money and took funds from McDonalds, resulting in the odd, spontaneous “music video” scene at a McDonalds. A low point for sure. Hard to hold your head up in that situation and smile for the camera. Made us all feel like tramps!
I have always been drawn to craftsmanship and good design. I am a huge industrial design geek, on all levels. I used to sculpt and paint, and always loved classic cars. Acting allowed me the time and money to engage in that hobby. I used to apprentice at some shops run my auto legends during the hiatus weeks when I was doing Charles In Charge, and then even would build cars when sitting around on location. I built a 34 Ford while shooting Steel Magnolias, to keep myself entertained. Eventually I realized that automotive design and restoration represented a convergence of all I enjoyed and admired. I saw an opportunity, as no one was doing the sort of proper restorations on utility vehicles that they would apply to conventional 2WD classics, and I went for it.
Two distinct and independent brands: ICON (icon4x4.com), and TLC (tlc4x4.com). ICON is all about classic transportation revisited in a modern context. We have a range of production vehicles, plus we do interesting one-off vehicles (iconcustoms.com) combining classic design with modern engineering, to create daily drivers with soul. TLC focuses on caring for (sales, service, restoration and parts) Toyota Land Cruisers of all vintages (1958 to current). We also consult various automotive OEM’s.
We started by doing some restorations for dealers around the world. Eventually, when Toyota was considering developing the FJ Cruiser, Mr. Toyoda reached out to us and commissioned three design study vehicles. It was a great experience.
Irregardless of the mass economic situation, I find consumers (and not just automotive) are seeking our products of distinction, built and created by driven people. Products with story and purpose, perhaps in response to the lack of quality and care found in most high volume manufactured consumer goods. I sense a resurgence of Heritage goods, crafted with care to last and be proud of. I am honored to be a part of that “movement/community”.
Again, something unique and built to last. We have several female ICON owners. Tired of the bland production cars, maybe looking for something with a bit of a spirit of adventure to make life more interesting.
Details in construction and design. I take pride in the fact that if nothing else, my design (and any good design, IMHO), is considered. Meaning, you can point out any element on my designs and for better or worse, I will have a long geek answer as to how it is made, why it is made out of a specific material etc… . I find inspiration in may other design segments, and apply them when possible to my creations.
|Couldn't help but add this pic!|
TLC ICON Site
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