The Thing About Jake Borelli
Inspiration can be found in the most improbable places. For instance, Jake Borelli’s aspirations of being an actor started with the children’s television series Barney & Friends. A young Borelli would express his desire to “go there,” when he watched the show. While his mother assumed that he was referring to the location where the series was shot, the former Nickelodeon star actually meant that he wanted to be a part of the production and to share the screen with the titular character Barney.
The Columbus, Ohio-born actor describes his childhood as “your average suburban life” with a nice little perk: getting a chance to see the world due to his father’s job at United. After broadening his horizons on expeditions, Borelli would audition for local productions when he was as young as 9 years old. “I did 3 to 4 plays a year up until high school,” he recalls. “That’s how I learned to act and learned that I could be good at this one day.”
After high school, he moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of a full-time acting career. Thanks to his youthful looks, he was able to get a manager relatively fast and book commercials and guest roles on a number of popular Nickelodeon series like iCarly and True Jackson, VP before securing a recurring role on The Thundermans. “That was a dream job for me, and I loved it,” Borelli shares. “My dream is to be on a network sitcom, and Nickelodeon is like a training ground for that.”
Despite his budding success, though, Borelli felt he needed a change in his life. With The Thundermans coming to an end, he decided that this was the perfect time, so he sold his car, got rid of his apartment, and moved to New York City with plans to study theatre. Therefore, it came as a surprise when he landed an audition for a role on Grey’s Anatomy – the longest-running medical drama on ABC – six weeks after his move. Although the audition “seemed so out of reach for me,” his initial disbelief turned to astonishment as he put together a reel and ended up scoring the role of surgical resident Dr. Levi Schmitt.
Despite his already-successful career, furthermore, Borelli regularly attends acting classes, continually improving himself as a professional. “I think it’s so important to always be honing your craft and learning. I’m learning every day. Grey’s itself is like a boot camp for television acting, my co-stars are my teachers,” asserts Borelli, also sharing with me his late-night tales of reading plays with friends. “Never stop learning, never stop reading.”
Writer: Alain Clerine
Photographer & Videographer: Baylee Thorburn
Stylist: Lauren Ashley
Men’s Grooming: Kayla Ramos
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to Ambassador Chicago (@ambassadorchicago - ambassadorchicago.com) & EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)