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Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Trade Jon Baas to Hollywood"

As most of you know, I'm a professionally-trained actor. I've been in movies, both Hollywood and independent; I've acted on many stages; and I'm currently contributing my voice as a character in an online audio series. But I also have a problem that requires some creative thinking -- I used to live in a big city with plenty of stages and film projects. Now I live in a small Wisconsin city of 3,000 people, completely surrounded by farm fields. There are no acting companies here, there are no movie studios. If I wish to continue acting, I need to be bold and "create" my own stage.

So, here's my plan: I'm going to be creative and unconventional, I'm going to do something most people wouldn't think of, and I'm going to trade myself to Hollywood.

Trade myself to Hollywood? How is that going to work?

Well, with your help, I am going to start a chain of trades with anyone -- anywhere, and I am going to "trade up" until I find myself with a speaking role on the set of a Hollywood movie or television show. Anyone who wishes to be part of my bold little adventure is welcome to trade with me. I'll start with one item, I'll trade that item to someone else for a bigger, better or more interesting item, I'll trade that item to someone else, and so on. My final trade will give whatever item I have at the time to whomever chooses to cast me in a small speaking role in a Hollywood acting project.

Simple as that. And throughout the entire project, I will blog about the people that I meet, I will share pictures, I will write about the objects I trade for, and I will share experiences and advice from my own acting career. In the end, I also hope to blog about my time spent acting on the set of whatever movie or television show I trade for at the end of my adventure -- much like I did when I acted on the set of "Mr. 3000" with Bernie Mac.

So, where does this start? What item do I have to begin this chain of trades?

To start us off, I have in my possession, a lone, solitary one million dollar bill. I collect historic, real and fake currency -- this is one of the fake bills from my collection. Please keep in mind, this bill is NOT worth $1 million dollars; you cannot spend it in a store. It's not real. But it is an artist's unique creation, and it does represent the kind of fake money that is used as props in Hollywood movies and television shows. (This particular bill has not been used in any movies).

Since I am starting this project with the hopes of trading up to an acting role in a Hollywood production, it seems appropriate that my first trade item be a fake one million dollar bill. But not just any fake million dollar bill, no, this one looks cool and "realistic". It's unique. It's not something you see every day. In fact, it's one of my favorites from my own personal collection. I'll even autograph it for the first person to trade with me!

This is what my un-autographed $1 million dollar bill looks like (front and back):

UPDATE #4: - (Feb. 27, 2013)
This $1 million dollar bill has been traded to Rex in Utah for a Walter Koenig autographed publicity photo. To learn more about this trade, read my blog recap located at the link below:

Next Trade Object - "Walter Koenig Autograph (TJBtH Trade #1)"

UPDATE #3: - (Feb. 14, 2013)
Someone has offered a trade for my $1 million dollar bill, and I've accepted that offer. The trade is now pending (via the USPS). Stay tuned if you would like to trade for the cool new item in trade #2!

When I first released my "Trade Jon Baas to Hollywood" project, I offered an old autographed stage script from one of my earliest stage appearances (as Gandalf in "The Hobbit"). Two weeks later, though (on February 11, 2013), I decided that I needed a first trade item with a broader appeal. As a result, I chose to update this project and offer my $1 million dollar bill instead.

To read more about this change, please see my blog post titled: "A Million Dollar Trade".

Here are a few things you should keep in mind about this project:

Q: Can I mail you a trade, or do we have to meet in person?
A: While I would prefer to meet anyone I trade with in person, I will accept other trade formats -- most likely through the mail. Ideally, trading in person would be best, though, as that means we can both meet and have our photo taken together for my blog... and for your personal collection!

Q: Will you travel to meet me if I want to trade with you?
A: My ability to travel long-distance is rather limited at the moment. I live in northeast Wisconsin (USA), in the small city of Brillion. Brillion is located near the larger cities of Green Bay, Appleton, and Manitowoc. While I would prefer to make in-person trades in my general area, I am willing to consider other options as they present themselves.

Q: What kind of things can I trade you?
A: You can trade me anything except the following:
  • No vehicles. In other words, no cars, trucks, boats, etc. The object has to fit inside my house or garage until my next trade. I would have nowhere to store a car, truck or boat.
  • No buildings. Again, the object has to fit inside my house or garage.
  • No business coupons or promissory discounts. It has to be a specific and/or unique item that I can trade up to someone else. Not everyone has access to your business to use said coupon.
  • No food items, perishable or non-perishable. Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, but there's no guarantee they'd last until my next trade. :)
  • Nothing illegal. Guns, drugs, you know the drill.
  • Nothing inappropriate either. This is a family-friendly project.
Q: Can I call you on the phone to suggest a trade?
A: At the moment, my phone number is only available by email (unless you already know it). Anyone that I trade with may be given my phone number so that we can work out the details of our trade.

Q: Why do you live in the small city of Brillion, WI (the city with only 3,000 people)?
A: Before July 2010, I lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There are plenty of stage and movie acting opportunities there. Afterall, Milwaukee is one of the largest cities in the United States. In July 2010, I married my wife; she was already established as a teacher here in Brillion. I moved from Milwaukee to Brillion so that my wife did not have to give up her job. I do miss the acting opportunities that I had in Milwaukee, but marrying my wife was more important to me. :)

Q: How long have you been acting?
A: I've been acting since I was eight years old. I am currently 32 years-old. My first taste of acting was as an authentic Civil War reenactor. My parents became involved with reenacting, and included me and my five younger siblings in the hobby. I got involved as the field musician -- also known as "the little drummer boy". When I was in grade school I was in my first movie. I started acting on stage in high school. And when I went to college, I decided to study theater and acting as my future career. If you want to know more about my professional acting career -- during and after college, you are more than welcome to read all about it on my biography or filmography pages.

Q: What movies have you already been in?
A: You can see a list of my movie and stage credits on my filmography page.

Q: Why are you doing this "trade-up to Hollywood" project?
A: Why not? Everyone has dreams, goals, and aspirations. Sometimes you have to take bold and creative steps to make those dreams and goals come true. You'll never know unless you try. :)

Q: What inspired you to start this project?
A: Truth be told, I've wanted to do something like this for a long time. Now seemed like a good time to move from "want" to "pursue". As far as my inspiration, that comes from many sources, one of which was this guy, eight years ago.

Q: What kind of Hollywood movies or television shows would you like to be in?
A: Well, I'm open to whomever chooses to trade me an opportunity. Ideally, though, the following roles or projects would interest me the most. If I was traded a chance to act in one of these, I would be, well, beyond thrilled!:
  • An episode of the ABC television series, "Castle". I've always wanted to work with and meet Nathan Fillion. I am a huge fan of "Firefly", now I love "Castle" as well.
  • Anything Star Trek related. I've been a life-long fan of the franchise. The opportunity to be a Starfleet officer in an episode or movie would be a thrill-come-true. Although, to be honest, any speaking character would be just as exciting.
  • An episode of "The Big Bang Theory". There is no better sitcom in my mind.
  • Anything directed by J.J. Abrams.
Q: How long will this "Trade Jon Baas to Hollywood" project last?
A: As long as it takes. I'm serious about this. At the moment, me and my wife do not have any children. When/if I become a father, an ambitious project like this would be a lot less likely. So now is a great time to put my time and effort into these creative trades!

Email me if you want to trade:


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