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Wings’ star Jones dabbles in acting

MItch Jones MItch Jones - NLL

Mitch Jones has long assumed the role of a lacrosse player, and often a very good one at that. But would you also believe that there was a brief moment in time when Jones was going to be… a truck driver? Let me explain.

After graduating from the University of Northern Michigan in 2015, Jones, who was 23 then, was approached by his aunt Amanda, who founded the talent agency Division 73, about pursuing a career in acting. Since 2012, Jones had already had another job as a professional lacrosse player in the NLL, but doing some acting gigs on the side would’ve supplemented his income.

*Note: During Jones’s collegiate career, he was a Division I hockey player, so due to NCAA and NLL rules at the time, Jones could play in the NLL while still attending university. Jones played only a handful of NLL games with the Washington Stealth and Buffalo Bandits in his first three seasons (2013-2015) because he needed his collegiate hockey seasons to have finished.

By the winter of 2015, Jones was now devoting all of his time to professional lacrosse with the Buffalo Bandits. Mitch told his aunt that he wasn’t interested in diving into acting. Jones would go on to have three full successful years with Buffalo, totaling 80 goals and 103 assists for 183 points. He also picked up 328 loose balls and caused 37 caused turnovers in that span.

In the late fall of 2018, the Bandits traded Jones to his hometown Vancouver Warriors. Growing up in Delta, B.C., in Metro Vancouver, Jones was happy to return to the area where he played out his minor lacrosse career. Vancouver has also been called Hollywood North. Jones also played in the summertime in the Western Lacrosse Association (first for the Victoria Shamrocks, then for the New Westminster Salmonbellies).

Being back home meant Jones spent less time on the road. After a handful of years in Buffalo, it also meant that Jones had to figure out what he was going to do for work outside of the NLL. So, he reconnected with his aunt.

Jones had never acted before, but he’s always been outgoing and sociable. As a professional athlete, he’s also exhibited his ability to stay focused, patient and dedicated to perfecting a craft. Acting seemed to be a decent fit for Jones, who was in his mid-20s and starting to become one of the NLL’s household names. Yet, even though he was a star in one field, acting would prove to be a new challenge for Jones.

“I’d never done anything like that,” Jones said. “I don’t even watch that many movies or anything like that, so I was very fresh in the acting scene… I remember going to auditions, and I gained a lot of respect for what [actors] do to hone their craft and be good at it and take it seriously.”

From 2019 to 2020, Jones went to a dozen auditions. Most of the roles he was going after were commercials which were looking for someone to play a sport such as golf or basketball (both of which Jones does as hobbies). Unfortunately he was never picked for any of the roles.

Instead, the only role he ever booked was playing a truck driver in a Dodge RAM commercial. Jones was excited to have gotten the role and was given a date to show up at the University of British Columbia campus (in Vancouver) for shooting. Lo and behold, the one day that Jones was scheduled to shoot this commercial, he and the Warriors had a game that night at Rogers Arena.

Poised to make it all work, Jones opted to film the commercial on this day, knowing he would be missing morning shootaround with the team. What Mitch didn’t know, as a new actor in the industry, was just how long days on set can be. The hours were ticking as Jones was going through the motions of embodying his inner truck-driving self. He had missed all of the team’s morning activities that day, and it looked like he was in danger of missing the evening’s 7 p.m. game, too.

As the clock neared 4 p.m., Jones approached the director and told him that he had to leave set and go be with the team for the game. The director begrudgingly agreed, but under one condition: Jones needed to take a picture with him because the director’s son was a big lacrosse fan.

The Warriors lost the game 11-7 vs. the Colorado Mammoth, and Jones’s part was cut from the commercial during post-production.

This was not the end of Jones’s acting career, however. As one of the Warriors’ marketable names and faces, Jones participated in promotional videos for the team.

His favorite was the team’s 2022-23 home opener announcement. In the video, Jones, who is now a real estate agent for Royal LePage Sterling, mistakenly thought he was told to hold an open house at Rogers Arena, while actually being told the Warriors home opening date for the 2022-23 season. Jones also participated in the promo video for the Warriors’ full schedule release that season – it was made to be a spoof of The Office.

The comedic roles come naturally to Jones. As an outspoken, charismatic guy in the locker room and around his teammates, it doesn’t take much for Jones to get into character. Growing up, Jones always loved watching comedies and admired actors such as Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler.

“If I’m watching a movie or a show, I’m looking to get a laugh,” Jones said. “If I’m looking at it from my point of view, if I can make someone laugh or smile – whatever it might be – that’s a nice feeling for me.”

After Jones was traded to the Philadelphia Wings in the middle of that 2022-23 season, he started picking up some roles with his new team. The most notable has been the video announcement of the Wings 2023-24 helmet sponsor Primo Hoagie. This shoot tested Jones’s range as an actor, as he was playing a less comedic role and was more suave.

While Jones has enjoyed doing these videos with his NLL teams, auditioning for roles outside of the NLL has not been front of mind. When he is not involved in lacrosse – and Jones is now very involved in the game at various levels in the Philadelphia area – he is still focused on his real estate job.

That doesn’t mean, though, that Jones is closing the door on acting entirely; if the right role pops up, Jones might take another shot at becoming a big-name actor.

“I’ve got a few sticks in other fires that’ll keep me busy once I’m done, but I’d never say never,” Jones said. “If there was an opportunity, I would definitely be interested. I think it’s really fun.”