Jeff Clifford moved to Los Angeles for the same reason as many other young adults: to break into show biz!
And this aspiring writer and actor, who was a theater major at Valdosta State University in southern Georgia, is finding his way – slowly, surely, and in some unlikely ways. He has done a few commercials, formed a sketch comedy troupe, and he’s been working in film.
Film archiving: a different way to work in film
We should qualify “working in film” because this part of Jeff’s foray into show business is not in front of the camera, nor behind the camera. Actually, it might be more appropriate to say he works with film, surrounded by pallets and shelves full of canisters that contain old movie film reels. As a Vault Specialist for LAC Group, Jeff is helping to ensure that movies and other archival items belonging to a major movie studio are correctly coded and organized, retrieved when needed, and safely stored for future generations.
Combining auditions and archiving
Aspiring entertainers often rely on backup jobs to help them pay the bills and fill in the gaps between unsteady work in their creative fields. Waiting on tables is the stereotypical interim work, and Jeff did his requisite time as a waiter when he moved to California the summer of 2012, along with a part-time job at Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park. Going from job-to-job didn’t leave as much time as he wanted for writing or auditions. When he discovered the LAC Group opening, he thought it might fit his needs, and it has.
Jeff works the second shift at a new LAC Group facility in southern California, which leaves him time for auditions and collaborating with his friends. Together they formed a group called The House of Culture Comedy, which writes and performs sketch comedy. Like most performers these days, they rely on social media, both as a performance medium as well as a marketing tool for building a following. Links to their Facebook page and YouTube channel are included at the end of this article.
When Jeff has an opportunity to audition during the day for a commercial or other acting gig, his supervisor at LAC Group can usually accommodate his needs. Jeff says, “Working set hours every week allows me to plan for other things like auditions. It was much harder when I was juggling multiple part-time jobs with odd schedules.”
Some of Jeff’s auditions have been successful, landing him in commercials for major brands including Lowe’s, Hyatt Hotels and Logitech. (Note that none of these are LAC Group clients and Jeff does his acting work during his personal time off.)
Jack of all trades…
During his shift at LAC Group, Jeff is 100% focused on his responsibilities. He is something of a perfectionist, working diligently to make sure everything is right. This is an important trait for one of his job requirements, which is barcoding. Looking at every item individually and entering descriptive information for accurate barcoding is an important step in the transformational journey of stacks of crates to valuable archived collections. And his actor/writer side enjoys the fact that he is working with some famous show biz relics.
“It’s cool to see the different types of entertainment. Sometimes we’ll see something we recognize and it’s fun to point it out to our co-workers and talk about it.”
This jack-of-all-trades enjoys variety and doing different things. His work includes a physical aspect that he enjoys, and then there’s operating a fork lift, which we suspect is something that lots of people secretly would like to do.
Perhaps most importantly, his work at LAC Group gives this industrious individual the benefits and steady income that empowers him to pursue his passions, which in turn makes him a happier, more productive employee.
Donna Holbeck, LAC Group Archival Manager has this to say about Jeff:
“Jeff is like a secret agent. You would never know he’s an actor by his demeanor, nor would you know that he is good at literally every sport and super-competitive. He invests himself in everything he does, and that makes for a great employee.”
Work-life balance is becoming more important – people value their time for family, causes, hobbies and other pursuits. For Jeff Clifford, balance allows him to follow his passion for writing and performing. It’s an ambitious career path, but in the meantime, we at LAC Group enjoy watching his progress, both in archiving and acting.
We would love nothing more than to be able to say one day, “We knew him when…..”
See more of Jeff’s creative work as a founder and member of The House of Culture Comedy:
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