Jon Baas
 
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BIOGRAPHY :: Jon Baas

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1980 I was born in Minnesota (USA). My father (a former actor and Guthrie Theatre prop-maker) was studying to be a Protestant Christian pastor. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. I was the first child in my family, eventually becoming the oldest of six children -- three boys and three girls.

1984 When I was four years old, my father accepted a call to serve as the pastor at a Lutheran church in the small farm town of Union Grove, Wisconsin. It would be there in the country -- surrounded by corn fields, rural roads, and open sky -- that I would spend most of my childhood.

1985 At age five, I started school -- kindergarten to be exact. I was a cheerful student, friendly, talkative and eager to learn. I also had a strong imagination, and a budding interesting in art.

1988 Jon Baas reenacting, the early years.When I was eight, my family became part of the American Civil War reenacting community. We joined a Confederate group in southeastern Wisconsin. My father portrayed the unit's military surgeon, my mother portrayed a battlefield nurse, and I became the "little drummer boy". My siblings participated in costume as well.

Since realism and authenticity were an important part of historical reenacting, I soon gained a deep fascination with American history. I developed an interest in drums, percussion, and acting. I came to love the marching, the camping in canvas tents, and the thrill of participating in live-fire battles.

1992 Jon as a young brewers fan.I loved living in southeastern Wisconsin, especially when it came to baseball. Like many young boys, the game became a passion for me. My father and I would drive north into Milwaukee, and attend Brewers games at the old Milwaukee County Stadium. I loved each opportunity, and I soaked up every minute of every game.

On September 9, 1992, my childhood hero, Hall-of-Fame centerfielder Robin Yount, hit his 3000th career hit, and I was at the game when it happened. A year later, I wrote about that experience in a Minnesota Twins team essay contest, and won.

Decades later, I am still a deeply devoted fan of the Milwaukee Brewers.

1993 In early January, my family moved from Wisconsin back to Minnesota. My father had retired from the ministry, and with no relocation requirements, my parents chose to move to Minneapolis. The Twin Cities became my new home. For a small town country boy like myself, it was a change that would take some getting used to.

This was also the year that I was in my first movie -- the baseball film, "Little Big League". I was 13 years old.

1994 In the fall, I enrolled as a freshman at St. Croix Lutheran High School in West St. Paul, Minnesota. While I was a quiet introvert, and I never really joined any social circles, it was here that my life-long love for art and acting came into focus. My professional future was starting to take shape.

1998 In the Spring of 1998, I graduated from high school. I had found the stage during my sophomore year (giving up JV baseball in the process), I won roles in most of the theater productions, and I even had the opportunity to design some of the theatrical stage sets. I also gained recognition for my artistic contributions to the school. I won a number of art awards, and I painted many of the large stage murals used by the theater department. When I graduated near the top of my class, an Academic Scholarship led me back to Wisconsin, where I enrolled as a freshman at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee.

1999 Wisconsin Lutheran was a small college -- roughly 750 students at that time -- but it had a great art department, and a promising young theatre program. I quickly became involved in both. A few months later, I had starred in my first collegiate production -- the comedic, "All in the Timing" by David Ives, and I was well on my way to two more roles before the academic year came to a close.

I eagerly buried myself in acting classes, I won first place in a Southeastern Wisconsin regional art competition, and I worked in the college Admissions Office, recruiting even more prospective students into the theater and art departments. I was leaving my mark on the college.

2000 During the summer before my junior year, I returned home to Minneapolis. During this visit, I once again found myself in the movies. This time, I was cast in the Hollywood film, "Sugar & Spice", starring James Marsden.

When my junior year began, I returned to college and starred in the Arthur Miller classic, "The Crucible". I also started working as the graphic designer for the theater department, designing all of the promotional materials for each theater production. My promotional work was distributed around the country, and without realizing it, my professional career was off and running.

2001 During the second half of my junior year, I declared my major in art, while pursuing a minor in theater and acting. I continued to act on the stage, and I was cast in yet another film -- this time for NBC, a made-for-television movie titled, "In the Net", which aired across most of the United States in early 2002.

2002 Jon as Officer Welch.This year was my final year as an undergrad. I starred as Police Officer Welch in my last college show, the Neil Simon comedy, "Rumors". I put together the first gallery exhibition of my artwork, I continued designing for the theater department, and I worked in the campus library as a librarian's assistant. By Spring, I had officially earned my professional degree: A BA in Art.

Upon graduation, I chose to stay in Milwaukee. I found an apartment, and was hire to my first post-college job as a sales associate for a local Barnes and Noble book store.

2003 In early summer, I left Barnes and Noble and decided to become self-employed. My passions just weren't being satisfied in the book business, so I prepared to go the freelance route instead. As luck would have it, and less than a month after leaving the store, I was cast in yet another Hollywood movie -- the Bernie Mac baseball film, "Mr. 3000". I spent a month on the set working with Bernie and other members of the cast and crew, I met some fascinating people, and even gained a little media attention.

2004 In the Fall, I starred in a stage production of the classic novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird", produced at Milwaukee's Sunset Playhouse. After over 20 performances, I officially wrapped production on my first post-college professional stage appearance.

2005 Jon as Florindo.In 2005, I gained three more stage roles: Mr. Carrisford in a production of the classic story, "A Little Princess", Florindo, in the 1750s Comedia del Arte production of "The Liar", and Edmund Swettenham in the popular Agatha Christie mystery, "A Murder Is Announced".

On the art end of things, I had designed promotional work for theater/film companies, custom art for private clients, corporate logos, marketing materials, websites, detailed graphite portraits, and three pieces of commissioned art for a company that etched images into mirror and glass surfaces. This year alone, my artwork was printed, published, distributed, seen, and sold all over the world.

2007 This year, I decided to take things a step further. I launched Jon Baas designs, an online retail store featuring my artwork on a growing catalog of prints, posters, clothing, and housewares. I also gained the title of "entrpreneur" as I took on other creative projects along the way.

2008 In August, I moved to a new apartment in a suburb of Milwaukee. I also began dating my future wife -- Kelli. Although we rediscovered each other through mutual friends on Facebook, we had previously attended college together (for a short time) many years before.

2009 In January, I proposed to Kelli, and she said yes. We set a wedding date for July 2010.

2010 In May, I starred in another professional stage show, "The Trip To Bountiful" -- a dramatic play by Pulitzer price-winning playwright Horton Foote. I played the male lead, Ludie Watts.

In July, I married Kelli, and became a husband for the first time. A few days later, I moved out of my apartment in Milwaukee, and relocated 100 miles north to the small city of Brillion, Wisconsin. Kelli was the kindergarten teacher at the local Christian elementary school. I moved into her apartment, and settled into a new phase in my life -- once again, as a resident of rural Wisconsin.

2012 Early in the year, I decided to branch out in my acting, and sought to establish myself in the area of voice-over work. My first success was as a cast member in the online Star Trek audio series, Starship Excelsior.

I also established a social internet series, "UFP: Starfleet Academy", which was set in the Star Trek universe, and retold the Dominion War from the perspective of those who worked at Starfleet Academy. This series gained popularity rather quickly, as it use made use of the social benefits of Facebook page to tell the story in real time (i.e., today's date being the same date in the future year of the story). At it's height, this Star Trek series had a loyal following of nearly 10,000 fans.

2014 Always the entrepreneur, I refocused the format of my freelance work, and began offering my unique creative services on the website, Fiverr.com. By the end of the year, I had found my niche, and was building a brand for myself. I had established a strong reputation among my peers.

2015 In July, Kelli and I bought our first house. For the first time, we were no longer renters. We owned our home. We had obtained our own claim to the American dream.

2016 I established a second social internet series, "USS Enterprise-D", once again set in the Star Trek universe. This time, however, the story follows a slightly alternate re-telling of the adventures of Captain Picard and his crew of the USS Enterprise-D ("Star Trek: The Next Generation"), as told from the perspective of the officers who maintain the ship's Public Affairs office. Unlike the Domnion War story from four years ago, this series has its own website, and a much deeper collection of story resources.

To date, this story entertains over 8,300 fans.


I you would like to learn more about me, or what I do, please feel free to explore JonBaas.com, read my blog, or follow me on my social media channels -- facebook/jonbaas or @jonbaas on Twitter.