The career path of Glen Ellyn native John Shepherd has as many twists as a Hollywood movie, but he says it's been a rewarding journey.
Shepherd calls moviemaking a humbling business, and he likens it to having a child. It's fun and rewarding, but 98 percent of it is a challenge, hard work and luck.
It started happening when he was a kid, watching Disney movies and thinking, "I could do that!" At age 9, he decided to audition for a Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus show (the group has since morphed into the acclaimed singing group, Anima). However, his mom wasn't home that afternoon, so he convinced his friend's mom to drive him.
His friends teased that he'd end up doing "slasher movies or porn," and to his dismay, he ended up in the former.
"The script was kept a secret, and I literally thought I was auditioning for 'To Kill A Mockingbird.' Then they told me it was "Friday the 13th Part V." I got to kill Jason. I was one of the few guys who got to kill Jason, because he's un-killable," he said. "But all I really thought was, 'aw, I'm going to be (filming) in a barn in the dark for six weeks with a machete in my hand.'"
After that role, he grew frustrated with Hollywood, turning down a role in "Friday the 13th Part VI" and making an abrupt career change: he left showbiz and became a minister.
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