“A Day in the Life” with Toronto actor Jeff Teravainen

Our circle of friends often call Jeff Teravainen “The world’s most interesting man” when introducing him. Besides his current occupation as an actor, Jeff has so many interests and achievements over the years. The guy has done everything from fronted bands to race cars and everything in between. He is always good for a laugh, but also can go to the deep end of deep.

Jeff grew up in a small town called Orono which I think had a strong effect on his outlook. He’s a very friendly guy, outgoing, who can be painfully shy too. For much of his early life he was an award winning singer/musician coming up just short of bigger things. After devoting so much of his energies to music it was hard to transition into the next phase. But eventually he started pursuing a childhood dream with acting. Maybe starting so late has given him such a grateful mindset on the business.

I remember when he first decided to give acting a proper go. He wrote personal letters and delivered demos to every production company in Canada for documentary work. That took a lot of time and energy but that is Jeff. He has a very strong work ethic. But having said that his greatest joy is his family time. Especially being a father. He loves hitting the slopes with his daughter and dreams of scuba diving with her when she is old enough.

Jeff is very well rounded because he has so many interests. He is a huge history buff and is always reading up on it, listening to podcasts or indeed digging it up. He and his family often head out in the country to look for fossils and he has quite a collection. He is big on motoracing . Especially MotoGP, Grand Prix Motorcycle racing. And of course, he loves his video games! Whenever I think of one thing he likes, I think of three more and too many to list! Oh, have you seen his photography??

It’s always great to drive in the car and hear him on a commercial because you know that one of the good guys is doing well!

by Jack Goba

Jeff Teravainen
I live in the city, and I love many aspects of it. The architecture, history, the people. But I truly love the country. We were fortunate to have a cottage growing up so weekends were always up north. And to this day we usually hit the road on weekends. There is nothing like mountains and oceans for me. I am up Sulfur Mountain in Banff.
Jeff Teravainen
I LOVE being on set. This is a shot from me working on FAR CRY 5. To be able to play characters in the video games you love is truly a gift.
Jeff Teravainen
Being a Dad is the best thing I will ever do. We got lucky to have such a kind, wonderful child. It is incredible to watch her grow and be a part of her life. One of the great things about my job is when you are working it is immersive. But when you are not you can get great periods of time to spend with your loved ones. Here we are at Morraine Lake in Alberta. A magic place!
The gym! I am determined to stay fit and be around as long as I can for my daughter, so I try to be as active as possible. I have lots of war wounds from sports but you have to keep at it. It is also very important job wise as the type of roles I usually play require it.
Jeff Teravainen
The booth. I am so fortunate to work in the voice world. I feel so at home in the studio! The amount of prep I have to do for on-camera work is the hardest part of the job. I think I may have had one too many head injuries over the years so learning lines is tough. I love voice work for a lot of reasons, but just showing up and reading is a treat!
Jeff Teravainen
Family, friends and travel. Again, I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful family. The 3 Amigos travel very well together. This is us I think in Disney World (obsessed with the place). Ever since my daughter was a baby she has been a real trooper. I remember driving the bulk of PCH1 in California in a day. Not many toddlers would put up with that! We have so much fun on our adventures!
Me at the Columbian Mammoth at the La Brea Tar Pits. I am in heaven at a place like this. So whenever I can I hit the museums, I dig for fossils, I read up on history. I am completely fascinated by it.
Jeff Teravainen
Again, being on set. This is a shot of me in my trailer waiting to go to set on Utopia Falls. Being well prepared and waiting is such a great place to be. I always try to take in the moment, how lucky I am to be there. Just enjoy it.

What ‘hood are you in?

I am in the West End of Toronto. I never thought I would love it so much. The area just gets better and better. We can walk to great restaurants like Grappa, Tom’s Dairy Freeze or enjoy the many parks.

What do you do?

I am an actor! That means a lot of different things. I do on-camera work like film and television shows. Some examples would be Dark Matter, Suits and X-Men Dark Phoenix. I act in video games such as Far Cry 5, Splinter Cell and Assassins Creed. Then there is voice work. If you watch TV or listen to the radio, there is a strong chance you have heard me on a commercial. I am very fortunate to work in this field and I absolutely love it. There is also animation. I have characters in many shows like Beyblade and Bakugan for example. I have also been the voice of a few networks over the years like CBC. I have been the voice of two Olympics, The FIFA World Cup and Hockey Night in Canada’s intro! I got into the game late so I really appreciate doing what I love for a living!

What are you currently working on?

Right now with the virus everything is pretty much shut down! I am happy to have invested in a broadcast quality home studio so I am still doing some commercial work. My biggest one is out of LA where I am the voice of a major automaker. I use a program called Source Connect that lets me send my voice down to them there. While in my headphones they can give me feedback live. What a great world! I have just started a new video game so that has lots of performance capture where you act wearing the dotted suits and helmets. And also the voice element too. I am also almost done narrating a great new show called Secrets in the ice for Science Channel in the US. I am loving the show! Oh, yeah, I was supposed to start a new movie this week but…. quarantine!!

Where can we find your work?

My latest big thing that has just come out and it is the new TV show “Utopia Falls”. I am very excited about this one. I am a series regular on this. The show is a sci fi set 400 years in the future. It centers around my daughter, Robyn Alomar who at 16 will take place in a musical competition called The Exemplar. On the surface we live in a Utopian Society and I am one of its rulers. However, when she and her friend discover an archive of forbidden history and culture it begins to open their eyes to how this work really works. It begins to change them in ways that can be very dangerous. Imagine teens hearing hip-hop for the first time in the future after nothing but poppy songs about how great our state is. You can catch it in Canada on CBC GEM. It’s CBC’s streaming platform and you can find it on your smart TV, Apple TV, Android etc.

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1939 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography