It had been a year since Jake Guy last walked down the hallways of Brookswood Secondary School.
After graduating in 2014, the 18-year-old never thought he’d be back patrolling the familiar territory of his teenage stomping grounds — nor in his condition.
Hooked on Adderall (dextroamphetamine) and completely overwhelmed, he was threatening to burn the school down — or at least, his character was.
Guy was at Brookswood Secondary filming the new TV Series, Ties That Bind.
Playing the character Trevor Wynn, Guy is featured in Episode 6 Controlled Substance that will run on Up TV on Sept. 16.
“There was an incredible surreality of being in my old high school and professionally working so I can develop my craft,” Guy said.
“That was incredible, and the character was probably one of the coolest I’ve played yet.”
This is just one of many roles the young actor has landed in the past year.
His introduction to TV came last September on the hit show Supernatural — a role he secured out of his first professional audition ever, just two weeks after hiring an agent.
“I was very nervous,” Guy admitted.
“It was a bit of a blur for sure.
“Working with the other actors professionally and the director was incredible, I don’t know how to really describe it.”
He made an impression on director Guy Norman Bee, and was asked to work with him again on another new show, iZombie.
This time Guy played a suspected murderer.
It’s hard to imagine him portraying these dark characters when meeting him.
Quiet and well-spoken in real life, Guy says he becomes a different person when he’s acting.
“It’s not really my head it’s going through, it’s the character’s head that it’s going through,” he said.
“I’m a bit of a method kind of guy, meaning that I fully immerse myself in the character prior to the camera rolling.
“For me, it’s all about an unconscious consciousness — that’s the way I like to put it.
“Going through my head are the emotions that pertain to the scene.”
Not long after filming iZombie, Guy landed the role on Ties That Bind, and now is currently filming a new Christmas movie, Dashing Through the Snow.
Getting into the minds of his characters comes naturally to Guy. He’s known he wants to be an actor since the age of 10.
After starring in his Grade 5 Christmas play at Alice Brown Elementary, he caught the acting fever.
In Grade 8, teachers at Brookswood Secondary created a new role so he could be in their musical, Grease, and he played lead roles in subsequent musicals all the way through Grade 12.
Also heavily involved in the Brookswood film program, Guy says his teachers helped him excel in his art.
“[My teachers] were essential to my choosing to continue with film after high school,” Guy said.
“It was a difficult choice, 95 per cent of the time I’m an unemployed actor, so it’s challenging.”
Guy is comfortable both in front of the camera and behind, working as a production assistant when he is not acting.
In fact, in Ties That Bind, he was originally hired to help out behind the scenes.
“It was funny, I was working on that show as a production assistant and by chance I got an audition for the show,” he explained.
“And after the audition, I had gone back to work as the production assistant on the show.
“I got to talk to the executive director, and she was very impressed with the audition and that led to getting the part.”
Seeing the show from both sides of the film was very beneficial, he said.
“It’s advantageous because I know in the back of my head what they are going for and what they’re needing from me as an actor in terms of the shots and scenes they need to get,” he said.
But, Guy admits, it is a little weird to see himself on a television screen.
“It’s crazy, it’s very crazy,” he said.
“I don’t really like watching myself, or at least I don’t really like watching myself with other people in the room.
“It’s challenging because you’re obviously your harshest critic.
“If I see something I don’t like, I automatically assume the others watching might think the same thing.
“It’s a bit nerve wracking, especially since I shoot the stuff and I might not see it for a couple months and then you don’t really know what it’s going to look like, what it’s going to be.”
A lover of independent films, Guy hopes one day to make movies with meaning.
“In the future, I want to be making stuff that matters,” he said.
“Stuff that pertains to issues of now or of the past as opposed to just commercialized mainstream content.
“I’d like to make stuff that is commenting on the world.
“Social justice is of first and foremost importance to me.”
But for now, Guy’s enjoying the many acting roles he’s earned and the opportunity to hone his skills.
“I think I love the art of storytelling,” he said.
“I think it’s also a fun way to escape everyday life — the characters I get to play and the settings I get to be immersed in.
“I get to have fun.”