2nd Date: An Interview with Jaik Andino


Meet Jaik Andino

Jaik Andino is an alumni of the Second City Acting Conservatory in Chicago. Jaik began pursuing his dreams as an actor, writer, and producer after spending 18 years as a global consultant working with corporate executives. Jaik hopes to use his work in entertainment to highlight experiences growing up as a minority, his pursuit of love, the corporate world and his global travels to tell real stories.

Jaik is a first-generation American who can bring his unique perspective to bear on any project he joins. His personal mission is to communicate complex stories about the crossroads of identity through relatable drama and comedy. Jaik wants to tell stories that are equal parts educational and inspiring.

Of his work, Jaik has said, “I want to be able to create and bring stories to life that reach into the soul, demand discussion and ultimately bring people from all walks of life together through the woven thread that binds us all, our emotions.”


2nd Date

2nd Date is Jaik Andino’s writing debut and first feature film as an actor. Scheduled for 2023, the project focuses on Jaik and Wyatt, two lifelong friends searching for love in their thirties. Callie, the Matchmaker and Maeve, the assistant, organize dates for them but both fail spectacularly, earning poor reviews in the post-date survey. Wyatt receives feedback that he is not 'woke' enough and Jaik receives feedback that he is not 'masculine' enough. They clearly do not understand as Jaik suggests wearing camo pants for the rest of his life while Wyatt reacts that he only sleeps 5 hours a night.

They set off on an epic adventure that lead to unexpected places. With monster trucks, horseback chases and a huge secret, Jaik & Wyatt will find themselves in situations they were not prepared for. Through it all, they’ll discover the beauty to be found in life, friendship, and with any luck, in love. Keep an eye out for 2nd Date in 2023.


***


Please tell us about yourself. How did you start your career, and how did you get into the world of cinema, especially acting and writing scripts?

When I was a child! Specifically 9 years old we had to do a short presentation in front of our class. Somehow I convinced my mom to bring in many boxes and we created an elaborate stage. I performed like a wild child telling a crazy story and had the whole class laughing (minus the teacher who was not amused haha) I was named class clown in high school and the greatest joy I have in life is to make you laugh. I can't explain it exactly but when I make someone laugh, my whole spirit is energized. It feels like the sun is beaming a ray of light directly into my soul. So its still unclear what that means as it relates to working in media but I do know that every fiber of me needs to finish this film. I started writing this film 7 years ago after 3 nightmares. The 3rd one I found myself in my bathroom on the floor and didn't know how I got there. Dazed and confused, I said, ok god, it's time to go do this. I'm taking a leap of faith in 2022 to go live my dream :)

I graduated and am an alumni of the Second City Acting Conservatory in Chicago. I started pursuing my dream as an actor, writer, and producer after spending 18 years as a global consultant working with corporate executives.



As a writer, an actor and a producer, who or what are your influences?

Good Will Hunting. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck grew up together and wrote this beautiful script and they acted in the movie. Given I’m attempting to do the same thing with 2nd Date, they are my biggest idols. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this movie. My other influences include a cartoon – Thundercats J and definitely Star Trek the Next Generation. TNG had many life lessons and it was kind of my church growing up. Patrick Stewart is an amazing actor and the new show, Picard, is really beautiful.



What is your vision as an artist? What types of stories you endeavor to tell through your scripts/films?

I’m a first-generation American and someone who has traveled and lived extensively all over the states and abroad. Being a consultant, I was on a plane a lot! I have unique perspectives and excited to bring that to life. I hope to use my work in entertainment to highlight experiences growing up as a minority, my pursuit of love, the corporate world and my global travels. My personal mission is to communicate complex stories about the crossroads of identity through relatable drama and comedy. I want to tell stories that are equal parts educational and inspiring. I want to be able to create and bring stories to life that reach into the soul, demand discussion and ultimately bring people from all walks of life together through the woven thread that binds us all, our emotions.


Traumatic experiences (and recovering from/dealing with them) seem to be among the themes you incorporate into your works, especially ‘2nd Date’. What made you want to write such stories? Do they come from your own experiences?

2nd Date is driven from many personal experiences. I believe some of the traumatic experiences can touch others – a simple pause to reflect, a laugh, a discussion is so powerful in our fast paced world. A quote I love from Chuck Palahniuk, The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will. I’m hoping 2nd Date is a piece of art that can last well beyond me. My favorite actor of all time is Meryl Streep. In 2017, during her

Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech she concluded her speech with a quote from Carrie Fisher. "As my friend, the dear, departed Princess Leia, said to me, 'Take your broken heart, make it into art.' I teared up.


What is your creative process? How do you decide on the plot, the characters and their traits? What advice would you give to those who want to build a career as a screenwriter/filmmaker?

Its hard to pinpoint my creative process. Ideas pop in my head all the time. I’ve actually never sat down to think of an idea, a lot of 2nd date was envisioned through random thoughts and dreams. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night and writing. Books like Save the Cat, helped me put structure to these ideas. In terms of character build, I like to build the character up from childhood including where they grew up, who raised them, what did they like, where did they go to college, who was their first love. What is their favorite food, smell, color and so on. I have a bank of questions and try to build all aspects of a character to be a real living person in the real world. My advice would be, don’t overthink it. All entertainers started with a vision and passion. Only some go for it. And the others that did not, likely overthought it.


How do you think building a career as a screenwriter is different today? Has it become easier or more difficult to have one’s scripts made into films? What are some of the major challenges within the industry?

I’m still in the process so I can’t speak from a place of experience but so far, like anything in life, anything difficult takes a belief in yourself, belief from others, passion, hard-work, perseverance and of course, funding.

I understand that you are also an actor. What are the challenges of working both behind and in front of the camera? How different is it from acting on stage? Is this a career you’d like to continue?

I hope to continue building an acting career. Given 2nd Date is my writing and acting debut, I’m taking the approach of taking a leap of faith. And I’m planning to give it a running start and jump as hard as I can. No one knows the future but that is the cool thing – no one knows! So lets see how far I can leap!


How were your scripts received at film festivals/competitions around the world? Please tell us about your festival run.

It’s been overwhelmingly successful beyond my wildest dreams. I’m grateful that this story about friendship between two people (with very different skin tones), love and family has resonated globally. 2nd Date has won festivals in the US - New York, California, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Paris, Rome, Prague, Stockholm, Toronto, Beijing, India


What projects will you be working on next?

I have started working on a character study story on Alexander the Great. I've also been continuing to focus on acting and pursuing a career in the field.


Jaik’s Instagram