John Marshall Jones, (Dexter, Bones, Boston Legal) is best known as the loving father, Floyd Henderson on Family Channel’s “Smart Guy” (and also Sci Fi network’s “John Doe” ). He recently completed the successful off-Broadway run of The Guest at Central Park West for which he won the Audelco Award for ‘Best Actor in a Theatrical Performance’. He also recently completed filming on the television pilot, The Troop, for Nickelodeon. Since coming to Hollywood, he has starred in four television series, nine recurring characters ( Lifetime’s “Still Standing”, “Navy N.C.I.S.” and “Joan of Arcadia”), over 100 television episodic (both sitcom and one hour), 20 A-list feature films and 10 MOW’s. Needless to say, he is never out of work for long. What’s his secret? “I learned a long time ago that scene study, acting technique and, yes, even talent are important factors to some extent but none of them mean anything if you don’t know how to AUDITION. Like most actors I would get so anxious before my auditions that it was impossible for me to perform like I wanted. I got tired of leaving the audition feeling like a failure so I developed a series of techniques, Mastering The Audition, that let me show directors and producers what I could really do.”
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After graduating from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Theatre and a two-year apprenticeship with Chicago’s “Second City Ensemble,” he knew he was ready for the big time, but he had other ideas. “I didn’t get into this just to be famous. I had seen so many negative and stereotypical images of African Americans in the media that I wanted to make a difference. I was going to accept only roles that embodied the positive images of humanity. High minded? Why not? And since the vast majority of the roles for African Americans were pimps, pushers, rapists, thugs, buffoons and illiterates, I also reconciled that I would probably not have as many opportunities as many of my less high minded contemporaries. So I came up with a system to make every opportunity count.”
And count it has. Over the past few years Jones has booked jobs in major movies such as “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “White Men Can’t Jump,” “The Doctor,” “Sgt. Bilko” as well television roles in “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Joan of Arcadia,” “Soul Food,” “ER”, “Home Improvement,” “Roseanne,” and “Melrose Place,” just to name a few. Jones has compiled an impressive portfolio of real estate holdings and the freedom to travel the world as he pleases but acting remains his true love. “ I married acting a long time ago. So even when things weren’t going that great, I knew I’d never leave. I feel like an old grizzled vet sometimes. I mean, 90% of the actors that started with me quit years ago,” then he adds joyfully, “so when people ask me how my career is going, I tell them ‘Well… I’m still here!'”