Woodsville’s Jordan Wilson makes a play against Blue Mountain Saturday after returning from Hollywood last week to finish out the school year and baseball season for the Engineers. Charlie Lentz/The Littleton Courier. (click for larger version)
May 11, 2012Jordan Wilson emerged from the visitor's dugout in the bottom of the first inning and ran out to shortstop last Saturday afternoon at Blue Mountain Union High School — wearing his old No. 7 Woodsville jersey and a black Engineers baseball cap with the green W above the brim. After spending most of his senior year in Hollywood his head might easily have grown a little big for his cap — but he seemed as grounded as the dirt between second and third base.
"I'm still not used to be being out here again. Definitely going on the field is a mind changer," Wilson said. "I just picked up where I left off like I've been here the whole season. It's awesome. Just playing sports again — it's just like I never left."
An aspiring model and actor — Wilson flew back home last Thursday and was thankful for the chance to return to complete his senior year and appreciative of the acceptance by both his teammates and baseball coach Willy Kingsbury.
"I thank Coach for that because he's just been treating me like I've been here the whole season," Wilson said. "I'm blessed to still play. Most coaches probably wouldn't play me because I've been out half the season."
His stint in California has been productive. Wilson won an audition for a clothing commercial and went to the Midwest for filming.
"I got to fly to Iowa, West Des Moines. They put me up in a hotel," said Wilson, 18. "We filmed all day one day. It was a lot of fun."
Last year Wilson worked as an extra on the set of the upcoming movie "Men in Black 3", appearing as a model in a scene shot on location in New York City. "MIB 3" is scheduled for release on May 25 and Wilson will find out then whether he made the final print or ended up on the cutting room floor.
"I'm excited because I love Men in Black," Wilson said. "I'm definitely a movie watcher so I love every movie."
After foregoing most of his senior year at Woodsville High to concentrate on an acting and modeling career in Los Angeles — Wilson returned to finish out his senior year and take his spot in the Engineers batting order.
Wilson is represented by the Wilhelmina modeling agency and also has an agent helping him find acting roles. He left Woodsville at the end of last September and shares a house in Los Angeles. Relocating to California puts him in proximity to auditions for roles in commercials, television pilots and movies.
He's up early every day to deal with the traffic on the way to job interviews. When he lived in Woodsville the auditions were few and far between so it was necessary to relocate to Hollywood to further his career.
"January, February, March is (television) pilot season so that's like new shows that haven't gotten picked up yet. I just went out (for auditions) a lot. I didn't book any TV shows this year but I got a lot of call-backs and that just makes me feel good," Wilson said. "I've got a couple projects coming up."
Wilson auditioned for the movie "Geography Club" which is in pre-production and he has a chance of earning a role.
"There's four people (in the running) for this character and I'm one of the four. It's going to be a big movie. It's called "Geography Club" and it's based on a novel — I'll know next week if I got it. So I'm pretty excited for that," Wilson said. "You know that you're out there (audtioning), they want you — it's just tough (competition)."
He also booked a TV commercial with an accompanying print campaign (for newspapers and magazines).
"It's a computer commercial, it's for Dell," Wilson said. "Actually I filmed that right before I flew back here. It was commercial — I was like a college kid going to college. I'm just like happy, without my parents — blah, blah, blah — and then I did some print work (for Dell) and it was a lot of fun."
While in California he did his schoolwork for Woodsville via the internet and is on track to participate in graduation ceremonies with his classmates in June.
Coach Kingsbury is glad to have him back on a youthful ballclub that lacks experience. Wilson is one of only two seniors in the starting lineup — along with first baseman Heath Page.
"Leadership alone, we need him. He brings a different mentality to our team," Kingsbury said. "It's great — a big hug when I first saw him Thursday afternoon at practice. He's just one of those guys that you love. He's a great athlete."
The Engineers were without a win through the first nine games of the season and Kingsbury had little doubt Wilson's return to shortstop would benefit the team.
"I put him right in there and he's going to be in there the rest of the year," Kingsbury said. "And I think he will help. One guy don't get you wins — but one guy will bring up the morale, keep the positive stuff going. And that's good that he's back. He'll at least finish his senior year playing a little bit of baseball — he missed basketball and part of soccer."
Wilson played shortstop last season and also pitched. He's back at short and also pitched the final inning against Blue Mountain Saturday. Kingsbury doesn't worry about Wilson's fielding or pitching but said it will take a few games to feel comfortable in the batter's box. Wilson hit in the No.-5 slot against Blue Mountain.
"The biggest thing that's going to take time for him to catch up is hitting — because he's been throwing in California, so I'm not worried about his arm. He can field ground balls," Kingsbury said. "The hitting will be the last thing to come and when that does he'll get himself some hits and probably help us win a game or two — that's the hope down the line."
Wilson hopes his stroke returns. For now the stress of winning an audition has been replaced with the pressure to connect on a fastball. He'll worry about Hollywood after graduation — for now he's making a short stop between second and third.
"I love this team," Wilson said. "High school sports is just a great time for me. It's totally different from my job back in California — it's so much pressure there. I'm going to graduate here. To graduate on stage — it's so important, just being with your friends — prom, graduating with your friends, class trip — I'm thankful I can do that with my classmates."