You might know him best for his role as Jordan Thomkins on the Bernie Mac Show; Jeremy Suarez, now 30 years old, sat down with us to reflect on his beloved mark on the entertainment industry, why he chose to take a break and why he’s back and better than ever.
Jeremy’s vibrant spirit has graced television screens across the country; from the Bernie Mac Show to Chicago Hope to Jerry Maguire, Jeremy became a household name during a time when cable TV was still the primary source of entertainment at home. Gaining fame at such a young age definitely had its perks. Describing the world of acting as an almost a ‘coddled’ lifestyle, he remembers the little things like craft services on set and being taken care of by professionals behind the scenes. As time went on, Jeremy expanded his resume with voiceover work for films like Brother Bear and Adventures in Zambezia. It wasn’t until he got older that he began to question if he liked being an actor simply because it was the only thing he’d ever known. Having been born in Burbank, California, he was always surrounded by entertainment industry happenings, gigs, networking events, etc. He began to imagine what the world was like outside of his Los Angeles bubble, so in 2016, he and his wife Maria packed their bags and moved near family in Alabama.
Being a stark contrast to LA-life, it’s safe to say that living in Alabama was definitely an adjustment. But Jeremy was excited about the idea of exploring life not as a celebrity, but as a regular guy in a regular town. Having the advantage of being recognized by true fans but also being able to walk down the street without being asked for autographs, he took a job at a local AT&T store and began working in sales full time. Jeremy describes it as a positive experience “I learned so much about sales and I learned to be a better communicator, all of these things being applicable to the world of acting”. In 2018, he was spotted by a customer who recognized him at the AT&T store where he worked and the customer posted a video of Jeremy drinking coffee and being…well…a regular guy. People didn’t understand why someone like Jeremy would give up their dream job only to work a normal 9-5 in a rural town.
Jeremy, who’s spirit is immensely positive, stresses how important that break was to his psyche and his perspective on life. We see so many childhood actors who struggle with substance abuse and mental health in adulthood because Hollywood is truly all that they know. Jeremy’s epiphany and drive to leave LA might have been the very thing his career needed in order to maintain its success long-term. Acting is a dynamic job, which is why eventually, in 2019, he moved him and his wife back to SoCal. Now living in Encino, CA, Jeremy excitedly says that he’s got big things in the works. While he’s not able to reveal specifics, he wants fans to know that there’s more to come and that he’s staying positive despite having to hit ‘pause’ in 2020.
Jeremy, like many of us, went into 2020 thinking that this would be the year of momentum. It’s safe to say that the break due to covid definitely caught him off guard. But he’s grateful to be safe at home with his family. He’s learned not to take things like nightly dinners with loved ones for granted. He urges others to appreciate what they have during this time of great loss and anxiety. He plans to dedicate this momentary setback to refining his original ideas and next steps. Jeremy believes that now more than ever, we need to be compassionate toward other people.
His advice to aspiring actors is to be easy on yourself. He stresses that you’ll hear the word ‘no’ a lot but it’s important to keep going, knowing that the ‘yes’s’ will come. And if money is your goal, he says “go be a banker” because acting can be very unpredictable financially. But it’s clear that he wouldn’t trade it for the world. And taking a break from it only reinvigorated his passion for the industry; a clear life lesson that sometimes you have to step back in order to gain some perspective and appreciate the blessings in life.
Follow Jeremy Suarez’s journey on Instagram here.