FYIG recently had the chance to chat with actor Jadiel Dowlin about his role on the new Nickelodeon series, Star Falls. Find out more about Jadiel’s earlier roles on Annedroids and Zoink’d as well as how he manages studying and his acting career right here!
Tell us a little bit about yourself as a person.
I’m a mega superhero enthusiast that loves track and field and soccer. Our family enjoys the outdoors so we go camping and hiking during the summer. Given my Panamanian Hispanic background, I am fluent in Spanish, and I admire my talent of being able to wiggle my ears! I transformed my passion for playing make-believe and storytelling to acting and writing.
You started off in the entertainment industry modeling and appearing in commercials at age 12. Were you focused on acting at that time or did you have different aspirations?
I wasn’t focused on acting at all. My parents thought modeling and commercials would help build my social, communication, and personal skills. Then I started participating in speech competitions at school and they realized that I had a natural ability. So they learned about the industry and figured out a way for me to be successful in it while still being a kid.
Your first television gig was as a judge on Zoink’d. What was your experience like on that show and what did you learn from it?
Zoink’d was more of a children’s reality TV series and it was messy and fun! We had to slime contestants if we didn’t like their acts. On the show, I was able to showcase my affinity of impersonating others and doing a variety of accents on the spot. Most of all, it taught me to improvise and think on my feet.
Your big break came when you landed the role of Nick Clegg on Annedroids which earned you a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2016. How did it feel to get that nomination?
At first, I didn’t know that it was an actual Daytime Emmys Nomination and figured it wasn’t such a big deal. I remember assuming it was the Canadian Daytime Emmys or some knock-off of the original that I was nominated for. Then I did some research a couple days later and found I got nominated for an actual Daytime Emmy! As in the official one that takes place in Los Angeles and has a red carpet! It was my first time attending pre and post events, and at the time it was my biggest red carpet event. I was a little overwhelmed with all of it, but it was lots of fun.
You star in the new Nickelodeon show Star Falls. What drew you to the show?
The role was unique! And I loved the premise of a movie “star” coming to a small town called Star Falls, and he “falls in love.” It’s just such a perfect title and concept for the show. But foremost it deals with the importance of how two different family lifestyles can be merged together.
Tell us about your character in Star Falls, Phoenix Brooks.
Phoenix is the son of movie star Craig Brooks and has a sister and brother. He’s very new age – although that’s not “new” anymore. He’s a deep thinker and shares his inspiration with others to take the time to reflect on the meaning of life and aspects of life. He’s very philosophical, spiritual, and enjoys activities pertaining to yoga, meditation, vegan eating, wears crystals, that sort of thing.
You’re a scriptwriter for the Dino Dana series. How did that opportunity come about?
I’ve always kept In-touch with the creators of Annedroids, J.J. Johnson, and Christin Simms, who directed, produced and wrote the show. They saw my passion for writing and directing, we had lunch a few times – and here I’m, writing episodes!
How do your experiences as an actor and a scriptwriter differ and how are they similar?
I have so much respect for scriptwriters now. I sense that many actors believe that they can change the characters lines because they are playing the role and they know best. However, That’s a big no! I’ve learned to not change any words in the scripts… they have been carefully chosen and been through many approvals. It’s my job (as an actor) to bring the writer’s words, actions, and emotions to life – in this sense we are one and it’s a very delicate process that requires respect for the creator.
You’re currently enrolled in Ryerson University double-majoring in Philosophy and Film Studies. How do you manage that workload along with acting and scriptwriting?
I don’t like being bored; there’s so much to do in life, and I truly love what I do! My secret is to prioritize and be very organized and it’s imperative to communicate with my professors at the beginning of each semester so they are aware of my work obligations. However, I still rely on two very efficient assistants… Mom and Dad! They help me manage all my auditions, self-tapes, callbacks, review contracts, liaise with my agent and manager, teach me financial management and taxes, transportation, image, and so many other tasks. Acting is like having two to three full-time jobs, so having them support me allows me to get tasks done quicker so I can chill with my friends or to simply do nothing and have fun.
You received the full-ride President’s Entrance Scholarship that is given to only six Canadian students. What was it like to receive such a prestigious scholarship?
Absolutely shocked! I was in Port Hope shooting the outside scenes for Star Falls when my Mom told me I had to return a phone call to Ryerson’s admittance. She knew but didn’t tell me because she wanted me to experience the awesome news the same way she did. I couldn’t believe it! It was a very stringent application process and I wasn’t even going to apply because it was too much work and didn’t have the time. I felt auditioning for a role was much easier, but I spoke with my parents and they said that the fact that I had a 90 plus average (which is a criteria) it was my responsibility as a youth to apply. If I got it, I would be able to show other Hispanic Black/Caribbean youth that they are also able to do the same. So being recognized for my academic achievement and being selected amongst hundreds of students for my leadership qualities is incredible. But now it’s my role to find ways to pass it on so others can be inspired as well.
What advice would you have for aspiring actors and scriptwriters?
Be sure you know why you want to be an Actor or Scriptwriter because it’s not about being famous or rich. People only see when you’re on TV or movies, on the carpet or in magazines. They don’t see the amount of work you put into the auditions and callbacks so they don’t realize the amount of rejection an actor receives and the number of edits your script gets. These are not easy careers, and it’s important to accept that you may not be the right fit for the cast and it’s okay. I’ve learned that discipline, persistence and to be properly coached by credible mentors is important.
I’ve read that you’re a comic book fan. What types of comics are you into?
DC comic characters are my favourite, and their characters, comics, and media really speak to me. I am also a fan of the Marvel movies, especially the comedy found in them. And knowing so much about the characters, I feel like I could practically write a movie about them…maybe one day!
Let the readers know where to find you online.
I appreciate you taking the time to conduct the interview. Thanks!
I may be reached at: