Yup. That's me.
Dylan H. Jones was born in Huntington, West Virginia, in 1984. A year later his family moved to Bloomington, Minnesota, where he lived until the age of nine. After that they decided to follow the trend of living in cities that end with "Ton" and moved to Bradenton, Florida, where he has lived ever since.
I grew my first full beard when I was fifteen.
Dylan's first theatrical role ever was in The Four Food Groups, probably the most overdone Kindergarten play in the galaxy. The first book he ever read was A Christmas Carol. He dressed as Indiana Jones for quite a few Halloweens, as well as Ross Perot in 1993 (at age 9). When he was very young, he started wearing three piece suits, and this trend continues to this day.
Although intrigued by music from a young age, he hated piano lessons because of trouble getting his hands to coordinate (being extremely left-handed, this was nothing new). He didn't decide to genuinely pursue music until high school, and even then because of a scheduling fluke: When signing up for electives, six choices could be selected, in order of most important to least. At the time, his first pick was computer science, but for whatever reason, all but the very last of his choices were full. That final choice was Choir.
I'm sure there's some reason I wanted to dye my hair...
can't think of it, now.
He graduated from Manatee High School in 2002. Throughout his teens he performed in numerous community theater productions, and was awarded Best Supporting Actor at the 2003 Florida Theatre Conference for his portrayal of Huck Finn in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Performance was his first love, and he feels that those experiences have benefited his writing, compositions, and films tremendously.
In case you wondered what I'd look like as an old man...
there it is.
At New College of Florida he studied Literature and Theater, for which he received his Bachelors Degree in 2006. His thesis was a chronological analysis of the growth of musical theater, along with his first musical, based on the poem "Beowulf." However, it was not produced, and at the time he did not know how to write music but merely dictated into a tape recorder, trying to collaborate with others to bring the music to life.
I guess I could've had a V8 that day.
Eventually, he realized that his music was never going to be heard if he didn't learn how to read and write it himself. Using a computer program, he taught himself to compose solely by ear, a slow but rewarding process. Dylan took music lessons at State College of Florida, where he also studied creative writing, graphic design, film, theater, and paralegal services, because... well gee, he didn't have enough to think about.
Cover of A Very Potter Musical's "Get Back to Hogwarts."
Once he had the basics down, he started working on several different musicals, ideas he'd been thinking about for years. But soon, he began to realize two things:
One, ADHD, while incredibly beneficial creatively, is tough on the process of developing and completing ideas, let alone whole plots.
Two, shows are EXPENSIVE. Even if you've never seen The Producers, it's not hard to fathom just how much money and time and energy goes into creating a piece and getting it in front of an audience.
However, rather than being discouraged, he sought advice from friends, musicians, and fellow composers, and eventually the idea to create Jonesing was born. The most amazing thing was how helpful others were, and their interest and desire to hear more kept him working until finally, in early 2012, he set plans in motion for a workshop of his first full musical, to take place in November.
Oh yeah, did I mention I make movies, too?
In addition to composing, Dylan is still hard at work on writing, acting, producing and directing new films and plays. After the workshop is finished, he plans to release an album of the show, and submit it to various festivals and regional theaters while focusing on all his other projects.
...Who knows what'll happen next?