Interview with Don Long

 
Going back and listening to the earlier episodes of Adventures in Odyssey has been a real treat for long-time and newer fans. One such character who helped to complete the series was Jack Davis, a boy with a vivid imagination and tricks up his sleeve. Don Long, now married to Genni Long (Lucy Schultz!), voiced Jack's character for years. Don has agreed to share with us some behind-the-scenes goodies in this special interview.

Actor Bio | Website
 

How did you get involved with Adventures in Odyssey?

I auditioned with a small group of kids from our church.  We were in a church near Pomona, California and Genni's mom took us to the audition. I remember being pretty shocked they chose Genni and me -- as I remember, they didn't know we knew each other at the time.

 

What was it like playing Jack? Do you relate to him in any way?

I always liked playing Jack because he has an adventurous spirit. I can relate to him in some ways -- usually the ones where he would convince friends to do something that would end up getting them all in trouble…

 

Who is your favorite character and why?

It would be tough to pick just one -- but my favorites are Lucy (of course!), Whit and Connie.

 

Which character do you resemble the most?

I can't say that I closely resemble a specific character on the show… there are some aspects of Jack Davis, Jason Whittaker and a little of Eugene that come to mind first…

 

What was your favorite part of working on Adventures in Odyssey?

I loved being able to watch the adult actors do their work and see some of the "tricks of their trade" in the studio.

 

Do you wish you could change anything about your acting skills?

Absolutely, it becomes very evident that I have a lot lacking when I'm in the studio next to others like Will Ryan.

 

What was it like working with the original cast of kids on Adventures in Odyssey and Hal Smith, the original voice of Whit?

We were in a relatively small group of child actors (I think there were seven of us who originally started on the show) -- so most of the time, after the first few recordings, it was good to see "friends" again. Hal was always a "father figure" to us and would treat us very respectfully -- he was a great actor.

 

Have you seen any AIO sites? If so, which ones?

I have seen many of the sites -- I can't remember their names specifically.

 

What did you like and dislike about playing emotional scenes?

The emotional scenes were the ones I liked the best because a real "atmosphere" could be created in the studio -- I remember several times when we would finish a serious or sad scene and everyone we be very quiet, even after the recording stopped -- we all really got into the scenes.

 

What is your favorite aspect of a recording session?

Being able to be around the adult actors and watch them goof-around in the studio between scenes. They have so much talent and they are always using it!

 

Were you friends with any of the AIO actors? If so, which ones?

Of course, Genni (I married her), and I consider all the actors and writers I worked with to be friends.

 

What's the story behind you and Genni Long getting together?

We grew up together at church and have been together since we were seven years old… we were married at 18 and have enjoyed every minute of it. We are definitely best friends.

 

What other kinds of things (job-related) do you do now?

I am a home builder. I build custom homes for clients on the north-side of Houston, Texas. I also am the worship leader for our church in Magnolia, Texas.

 

What are your hobbies?

Anything musical.

 

Do Odyssey fans ever recognize you in public?

No, I can't say that anyone has recognized me -- my voice has changed quite a bit from when I was a child.

 

What have you learned the most as you played Jack?

The entire experience of being on the show has been a highlight of the past 20 years.

 

When you started with Odyssey, did you expect to appear on the show for so long?

No, I really didn't know what to expect -- it was so new at the beginning and then as characters began to develop -- I was thankful to be one that recurred in several scripts.

 

What is your most memorable moment during your Adventures in Odyssey days?

There was a show called "The Day Independence Came" and I played a character named Irwin Springer. Several adult professional actors were brought in for the show and it was awesome to watch them all in the scenes together!

 

In conclusion, what piece of advice would you like to leave the Adventures in Odyssey fans who have loved your character throughout the years?

Ecclesiastes 12:13 says to "fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." -- that's the best advice I've ever heard.
 

Thanks for taking time out of your day to talk to us!

 
 

 

 


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