Feature Friday: Jake Hansen

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Jake Hansen is an aspiring actor who has roots here in Johnson County. Photo by Aaron Switzer, The Campus Ledger

Caleb Latas

Staff reporter

clatas@jccc.edu

He’s a supernova – an exploding star bursting onto the scene of fame and the silver screen.

From beneath the brim of a Vans boonie hat pokes a face lightly dusted with blondish-brown stubble and adorned by a pair of sapphire-like blue eyes. Around his neck is draped a silver necklace, at the bottom of which of hangs a pair of centimeter-long eagle talons — a symbol of his rank as Tom-Tom Beater in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, a special sect of the Boy Scouts of America.

He is a walking dichotomy, stepping out of the cast mold. Decked in Vans and a tri-colored, three-quarters length henley, he doesn’t strike you as someone who can quote Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” When most think of skaters they think of outlaws and outcasts- a cigarette in one hand, shirt off, greasy hair. Most don’t think of an Eagle Scout with theater training. And yet there is Jake Hansen.

Born in Spring Hill, Hansen was like most children in that he desired to be the center of attention. As his peers grew out of this, Hansen held onto it with white knuckles. Despite the desire to have all eyes on him floating just below the surface, Hansen’s first acting experience didn’t come until high school, when he played the role of Tim in Blue Valley Northwest’s production of “Noises Off.”

While some may be discouraged or overwhelmed by the bright lights and attention, the memorization and the stress, Hansen felt empowered. It felt natural to him, it kicked and roared his engine to life. He wanted more — he felt he had found his passion and he meant to pursue it.

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do through high school until I got involved with theater and I got on stage, and I realized this is a way for me to connect to other people,” said Hansen. “Being up [there] is just something I love to do.”

When his hunger for the stage exceeded what his high school drama department could provide him, Hansen turned his sights westward. Los Angeles called him and he answered, making his way to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) and delivering two monologues that scored him a sport in the prestigious academy.

Why, then, is Hansen still wandering around Fountain Square when he could be living the Hollywood dream?

In a showing of parental prudence, they insisted their son accumulate some credit hours at a “normal college” before committing himself to the dog-eat-dog world of Hollywood. Maybe, just maybe, his parents hoped, Hansen would find a knack for finance or marketing.

“It’s just in my person that I can’t sit down and just type at a computer for eight hours a day,” Hansen said. “Although I wasn’t typing, I was just sitting at a desk for eight hours a day at school and the only class I was looking forward to was theater.”

So for now, Hansen’s fuse burns slowly but consistently, building up to an ever-so-gratifying boom, making his presence is felt as he exudes confidence and showmanship, patiently waiting for his opportunity to shine his light on the world and to sparkle under the limelight.

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