gmhTODAY 10 gmhToday Sept Oct 2016 - Page 65

“Film and stage acting are very different. On stage, you’re playing to the back of the house. You have to project your voice and your facial expressions and gestures are larger than life. In a movie everything’s up close. High def. You have to tell the story with micro expressions. A couple of times the director had to pull me back from being a theater guy, but he was supportive and encouraging, and I caught on.” In “The Biggest Game in Town,” Jayson plays Atticus Cane, a small-town poker champ and a big-time dreamer. He and two friends embark on a madcap adventure in search of a legendary poker game. When the film premiered last March at Monterey’s Golden State Theater, a contingent of South County theater buffs attended and gave it a thumbs-up. He’s hoping the film will be shown in South County in the near future. The Family Guy Acting runs in the Stebbins family. Jayson and Lisa’s son Andrew, now a senior at Gavilan Early College Academy (GECA), has been performing in plays since first grade. “Andrew does a lot with South Valley Civic Theater, Jayson said. “We love to see him onstage and unlike me, he can really sing!” Jayson added that Andrew is great with kids, which is a good thing. Andrew was a teenager when his baby sister Emma Grace was born, followed by Olivia two years later. Over the years, they’ve enjoyed family outings to Disneyland, the zoo and the beach. “At seventeen, Andrew’s pretty selfless,” Jayson said. “He looks after his little sisters and they love him for it. Emma is, in all things, a big personality, very fun. Olivia is strong-willed but also a hugger and a snuggler. What can I say? DAD is the coolest job I have.” Before Olivia was born, Jayson and Lisa decided instead of having a baby shower, they’d have a fundraiser. “Diapees and Wipees” is now in its third year. Every April, the Stebbins reach out to the community for donated baby diapers, wipes, clothing and other items which are then distributed by Community Solutions to underserved families with infants. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN “The need is so great,” Lisa said, “and our community is very generous.” Jayson and Lisa count themselves lucky that their parents, most of their siblings and the family’s 15 grandchildren all live within easy traveling distance. “With so many of us, we pick someone’s house, get together one Saturday every month, and celebrate lots of birthdays. Christmas and Halloween are at my parents’ house, so the grandkids can open gifts and show off their costumes.” When he needs a little escape, Jayson opens a good spy thriller and gets lost in the story for a little while. He confesses to being horrible at golf after 15 years, but loving it anyway. Working out at Crossfit is part of a regular routine, what he calls a late-life hobby. “When I became a dad again at forty, I figured I’d better start doing something because I plan to be around for a long time for the girls. Lisa and I have been working out at Brethren Crossfit for quite a few years now and we love it.” For the past seven years, Jayson has also taught seminary classes to local high schoolers who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Gilroy. Classes are held on weekdays from 6 to 7 am, before the teens start their school day and Jayson heads to the office. “Students from my first year of teaching are now in college or out working and married. My son has attended the class, which has been a real treat for me. Teaching is an interesting measure of time, watching kids grow spiritually over their four years in high school. Faith is important to Lisa and me and this has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done.” Jayson himself is a long-time student of the Bible, from which he has drawn many life lessons. “The Book of Nehemiah really stuck with me this year. He inspired his people to rebuild their city, despite heavy opposition, because he knew in his heart it was the right thing to do. His story can apply to family life, job or charity work. It’s important to commit yourself wholeheartedly in all you do and not let obstacles dissuade you from your path.” SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 gmhtoday.com 65