It took 11 years to come to fruition but young up and coming comedian/actor and Boston native Chris ‘Jonesy’ Jones discovered his love of comedy by accident it would seem. Once destined on the path to become a musician, an abrupt career change allowed him to discover himself in a new light. The transition to comedy has been well received and now Jonesy is finally starting to reap the benefits. Now in Los Angeles, he’s closer to the action and it’s paying off, including a recent appearance on the TV show Gotham along with several other projects. I was recently able to catch up with Jonesy to discuss his aspiring career as well as his plans for the future.
Parlé Magazine: How did you get into comedy?
JONESY: I started off as a singer in a band. I was pretty funny on stage. Someone suggested I try stand-up comedy so I went to an open mic and I really loved it. It was a challenging new experience to be on stage by myself. I felt like I was on a roller coaster with my heart beating so fast and the intensity of the moment. But I was hooked and I became a junkie for that feeling I got when I got on stage to do comedy. I just wanted to try it more.
Parlé: What happened with your music career?
JONESY: I became so dedicated with trying to master comedy that I just didn’t have time to do music with my band anymore.
Parlé: What was it like the first time you got on stage to perform comedy?
JONESY: I’d like to say that it was glamorous but it was far from it. It was an open mic at a bar inside of a hotel back in Boston. There were very few people there besides the comedians that were performing, the bartender and my girlfriend at the time. I started off dirty at the time because I hadn’t yet found my voice as a comic yet. Looking back on it now I’m pretty ashamed of it but you grow and learn as an artist. I don’t do that type of material anymore. It didn’t go too well, I got a few laughs but they were mainly from my girlfriend so I didn’t count those as much.
Parlé: Has that been your worst set as a comedian?
JONESY: Absolutely not. My worst set was a show I did in Rhode Island on this small island for these rich college kids. It was their senior week; I remember having to take a little boat out to the island to do the show. The guy headlining was a friend of mine, he got me the gig. I got on stage and did some jokes. I used to play guitar and sing silly songs so I thought that the college crowd would love it. I sang a song about how I fell in love with this lesbian and how I converted her. No one told me that the first few rows of the show were the student chapter of LGBT community. They didn’t like my song. They started booing me. I had to cut my act short because of it. Right after the show, the headliner gave me my money and told me that I had to leave right away. I was so heartbroken because at the time I was college aged and I wanted to stay and party with the rest of the students. They basically chased me off the island. Needless to say I don’t play that song anymore.
Parlé: You’ve been in quite a few movies and TV shows, can you tell us about any of them?
JONESY: I’ve done a lot of independent things that haven’t had a wide release. I was in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist [imbd lists him as the cute band boy], I was on The Letterman Show, Nurse Jackie, Law and Order and recently, I was on that show Gotham. A lot of people reached out to me when they saw I was in it. I had a cameo in an episode called “The Balloonman” where the lead detectives come to question me about a series of murders that took place. I was so proud that I was able to book a spot like that. I’ll also be in an upcoming series called The Tina Fey Project that’ll start to air on Netflix in March so be on the look out for that.
Parlé: Are there any upcoming projects in the works for you?
JONESY: The Tina Fey Project is the big one at the moment but I am auditioning for a bunch of TV shows at the moment. I did a web series before I came to L.A. with some guys from Brooklyn. We shot about a dozen episodes. The web series is called Base Camp, it’s about two hikers who climb halfway up a mountain but they’re too lazy to finish so they pitch a tent and drink beers. They talk about finishing the trip and they encounter a bunch of bizarre characters.
Parlé: Was there ever a Plan B for you career wise?
JONESY: I’ve moved from Boston to New York City for a while where I was able to get some parts in a few TV shows but unless you want to do Broadway or theater, which is fine, you have to go to L.A. to be in the TV and movies and I did that. I never really had a plan B, I just knew that this is what I wanted to do and I’d have to give it my all. I can’t really do anything else, the least I can do is try.
Parlé: Have you done any comedy specials or anything the readers can check out to see your brand of comedy?
JONESY: I recorded an hour special a few years ago and I was putting it out there for a while but I’m not too pleased with it now. I do a lot of videos on Youtube that can be checked out, www.youtube.com/funnyjones. There’s a good mix of things on my channel, there’s some of my stand up, my acting, comedy sketches and funny songs. My only regret as of now is that I haven’t been as active about putting content out there.
Parlé: Has promoting yourself via social media been a blessing or a curse?
JONESY: I don’t want to say it’s been a curse but it’s been a bit hard. It sucks to put material out there that you know is good but it doesn’t feel like people are watching or at least not as many watching as you think should. I’m glad I have the tools to get my stuff out there but when it’s not pulling in big views it can be frustrating.
Parlé: Any thoughts about transitioning to behind the scenes work?
JONESY: I write quite a bit and I’ve shot a bunch of shorts, it’s all on my hard drive. I would really love to write like a TV series.
Parlé: Do you have any ideas on what the show would be about?
JONESY: I wrote a pilot series based on my experience with bill collectors. Right when I got out of high school, one of the first real jobs I got was working as a bill collector. I was working with a lot of criminals. Imagine a fresh faced 18 year-old white kid surrounded by a bunch of people who couldn’t get work legally doing something else. We were one level below a used car salesmen. It was a very crazy experience and I think it would make a great TV show.
Parlé: Sounds hilarious. Look forward to seeing you bring it to fruition. Where can people find you via social media?
JONESY: Twitter, Instagram and Youtube are all funnyjones. On Facebook you can find me under ComedianJonesy.
My main website is www.jonesy.com
Parlé: You’ve got a pretty inspiring story and I can’t wait to see you really take things to the next level. Any inspiring words of advice for our readers?
JONESY: Follow your dreams. Give your dreams a fair shot, a lot of people think that if they do something and it doesn’t work out right away then it wasn’t meant to be. Sometimes it takes a while for things to fall into place. Don’t do something because you might make a lot of money doing it, do it because you love to do it and the money will eventually come. We only have one trip around this sun and if you don’t give your dreams a try then what else is there? You’ll walk around the rest of your life with this big hole in your chest filled with anger and hate about what could have been and that’s no way to live.