Red Dirt Diaries: An Oklahoma Actor’s Return Home

Friday, January 14th 2022, 5:41 pm

By: Karl Torp


More and more Oklahomans have followed their dreams of being in the movies. They go where the work is: Hollywood.

For James Austin Kerr, that means leaving Los Angeles and coming back home.

“I’ve always joked that every show that plays in a dental office waiting room I’ve been on,” Kerr said. “Criminal Minds, Bones, Scandal, The Mentalist, NCIS.”  

The actor and writer grew up in Edmond and got the acting bug just after high school.

“I really just wanted a self-confidence boost,” Kerr said about his decision to move to L.A. to become an actor 13 years ago.

“We thought he'd be gone a month,” Kerr’s mom, Beth, said. 

“We were all in tears,” His dad, Steve, said about the day he left.

Hollywood has brought Kerr a career but flying back to Oklahoma also brings work.

“Of course it has caught my eye, but a lot of people in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta -- some of the big film hubs -- see it, too,” Kerr said about Oklahoma’s emergence in the film and television industry.

Kerr has now done six projects in Oklahoma.

A couple of them, like the movie "A Country Romance,” came during the pandemic when Oklahoma was open and Hollywood closed down.

These days, Kerr enjoys returning to work in Oklahoma while staying at home with his two biggest fans.

“They are my best cheerleaders,” Kerr said about his parents.

Currently, Kerr can be seen in the show “Johnson” on Bounce TV.

Kerr is more convinced than ever that Oklahoma now has the resources to land major projects and a community far more caring than cutthroat.


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