Cape Town born Anton Jeftha (who hails from Belhar) is currently back in South Africa on a work visit in his home town Cape Town, after having relocated to Los Angeles around four years ago.
Anton will be based in Cape Town until March 2020, before he heads back to start working on a new feature film – one of his must see film projects for 2020.
Not only is Jeftha a rising actor making waves in Hollywood but he is also a well known model and voice over artist based in Los Angeles and Cape Town. Throwing it back to 2015 Jeftha was nominated as one of Cosmopolitan’s sexiest men in South Africa.
I still remember when Jeftha became well known nationally with his TV advert as the face of OUTsurance Life for three consecutive years as the presenter for the brand before he moves to Los Angeles in 2015.
Jeftha is one talented man and has been leads in various TV commercials for campaigns in South Africa, USA, UK, Canada, Belgium and Sweden.
As a vocalist and voice artist Anton is a part-time singer and has led countries voice over campaigns for retail brands globally.
You moved to Los Angeles four years ago and finally you are back in South Africa for a few months. What is it like being back?
It’s been wonderful so far, lots of catching up with Family ( Massive family as Dad is one of 11 lol)..friends and balancing with work.
What is life like in Los Angeles?
LA is a beautiful place, with beautiful people and lots of opportunities..It is work however, lots of it.. There are so many ambitious individuals out there, out-working and more hungry for success than the next. So you always have to be on top of your game, having your eye on the prize and strategically moving closer each day to your goals.. This gets exhausting sometimes but I’ve also seen the opposite, which is not working towards your goals and that can be exhausting too. But, yes LA is a wonderful place if you know what it is you’re going there for.
Can you share the real truth of some of the struggles you have encountered as an aspiring actor while living abroad?
From the get go I was prepared and willing to do whatever it took to work in LA, so I’ll keep it 100 with you 😉 I had experienced a comfortable amount of success locally with Commercial work and International and local television before I left SA. Thing about Hollywood is, you soon learn, it’s not about what you have done yesterday, it’s about what you are doing today and plan to do tomorrow. This coupled with the fact that just like the other millions of newly arrived entertainers monthly into the town; You’re one of the numbers and have to hustle for survival first and fore-mostly alongside pursuing your craft and dreams.
So the first job I did was packing boxes in a warehouse in Downtown LA, I thereafter served tables at a Restaurant called Chin Chin on Sunset Plaza, I sold jewellery in Costco’s all around the US and I went back into serving tables at a popular restaurant based on the Bravo Tv show, called Pump. My last day job, was working as an executive PA to an A list celebrity for more than a year..Being close to a person like this taught me what it actually took to be in the public eye and the responsibility and hard work that goes into it. These were the struggles I guess, not working along my purpose ( As an Actor) in order to survive living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
It also was the best thing that would have happened to me because it gave me life experience which is valuable to any artist. While working these jobs I was in Acting classes weekly, auditioning and always submitting self tapes from whichever hotel room or city I found myself in. I have friends out there working two or three jobs while working on their craft and trying to break into the industry, it is what it is, and you stop feeling sorry for yourself, put your head down and grind.
You have two film projects coming up in 2020, can you share some details with us?
These projects are The Contrast, and Comic Relief respectively. The Contrast is a patriotic romantic comedy where I play a supporting lead role. My character’s name is Nate and I’m the lead’s best friend. It is set around a wedding which is to take place the following day and the occurrences, at times funny which happen along the way to I Do or I don’t 😉
Comic relief is a dark comedy, filming in Savannah Georgia next year..Again as supporting lead, My character this time is a straight laced guy who is the Lead’s best friends Fiancé. While giving away as much as I can , the story follows a children’s party entertainer and her pursuit of a career as a stand up comedian by night. The Contrast would be released early in 2020, while we are scheduled to start filming Comic Relief mid next year.
What is the importance for you being based between LA and Cape Town for work?
LA is like the Olympics of Acting, In LA i get to explore a different angle to the craft and rub shoulders with people who are at the top of the game. This motivates me to keep improving and take whatever I learn abroad and bring it back to Cape Town ( And vice versa). Both markets are lovely to work in and I am very fortunate to be doing so, it also has just always been a passion of mine to travel for work and not be help to one location.
What do you miss most about life in general in South Africa?
Because it is smaller, it is much easier for me to navigate, Also my entire family is here so things are just exponentially more comfortable for me in Cape town, in that sense. I have a great life in Cape town, I therefore enjoy coming home whenever I can, there’s a feeling here that you don’t get anywhere else in the world..It’s just home, you know.
Would you say the past 4 years has changed you as an actor and as a person?
The past four years have made me very grateful for the smaller things, in terms of validating even the smallest of projects or when working as an Actor to appreciate the job not because of the magnitude or size of the job but because you are working in what you chose to do for a living.
It has opened my eyes to what it Actually takes to arrive at levels of success in this game and to diligently work on my craft and to keep growing. I believe I am more confident and have become a lot more focused when it comes to applying myself.
Do you have any inspirational words to share with any young South Africans who would love to follow their dreams but doesn’t know where to start?
Just start, I have always found that to be the hardest part. When I started I used my entire months salary and sold some things to take my first Acting class for a few months. I then got an Agent and made sure I always showed up..So I would say get out of your comfort zones, this could be as simple a thing as moving out of your parents home to a place which up’s your necessity level.
When you leave the nest, you are forced into production and survival. This kind of pressure I have found is healthy as you soon find what you really are made of. So yes, put yourself in situations which are uncomfortable but which aids your growth, around like-minded people who are doing well in the fields you want to be in..Stick through these moments which challenge you..oh and read..as much as you can:) Keep showing up..