Huge native lands contract role in ‘General Hospital’

The Citizen, February 2013


GLENDALE, Calif. — Rafe Kovich Jr. has been on the run most of his life. His mother always said someone was after her, and after arriving in Port Charles, N.Y., Rafe discovered that everything she told him about her past was true. Facing danger from all sides, Rafe’s situation is further complicated by his mother’s sudden death. Now, he must learn to fend for himself in an unknown city.

Jimmy Deshler’s life isn’t nearly as panic-inducing as his alter ego’s, but the fledgling actor has certainly had his share of adventure since moving to Los Angeles three years ago. Now quite settled in his California home, the Hugo, Minn. native has landed a contract role as Rafe on the ABC soap “General Hospital” and will be appearing in most of the show’s episodes over the next four years. His first episode aired Jan. 30, and he has been in every episode but one since then.

Deshler, 18, has not always been a professional actor, however. It wasn’t until he took a class at Lakeshore Players Theatre in White Bear Lake that he discovered his love of acting. Growing up, Deshler was more of an athlete than a performer. Between hockey, football, baseball and wrestling, he was involved in at least two sports a year from kindergarten through ninth grade.

“If Jimmy wasn’t busy with organized sports you could find him out playing street hockey, a neighborhood game of football, skateboarding, or on the pond out back skating and playing hockey with friends,” said Deshler’s mother, Shelly Flaherty.

Deshler attended Hugo Elementary School, St. Mary’s and then Central Middle School. After he spent the first half of his freshman year attending White Bear Lake North Campus, he relocated to LA. His oldest brother, Tony Gomez, graduated from White Bear in 2006; since returning from a tour in Afghanistan, he has lived with his wife in Knoxville, Tenn. Deshler’s other brother, Nick Gomez, graduated in 2009 and now lives and works in Forest Lake. Deshler’s father, Jimmy Sr., lives in South St. Paul.

Deshler has now been pursuing acting professionally for four years, and is very excited to have landed a long-term, consistent role. Though he finished high school a year early and began college this fall, he has decided to put further education on hold while he pursues his new role.

After several years of countless auditions and landing smaller roles, the position on “General Hospital” really fell into place for Deshler. He auditioned for the role of Rafe last fall, received a callback two days later, and did a screen test a week after that. Within a few days he was offered the role.

Deshler said one of the challenges of acting is constantly going out on auditions and waiting so long to hear back about a role. “You get a lot of no’s before you get a yes,” he said.

In the month since he began filming for “General Hospital,” Deshler said it has been very rewarding to see the episodes he has appeared in, watching his hard work pay off and seeing what he loves to do actually happening. “Hopefully it lasts because I enjoy it,” he said. He films anywhere from one to five days a week, sometimes working on multiple episodes in one day. Episodes generally air about three weeks after filming wraps.

Since moving to LA with his mother and signing with Savage Agency, Deshler has played a wide variety of roles. His favorite so far has been an appearance in an Eminem and Lil Wayne music video, as they are both artists whose music he already loved. He also had guest-star roles on “Criminal Minds” and Disney XD’s “Kickin’ It,” has appeared in several commercials and short films, and more recently in a full-length film (2012’s “Retribution”). Deshler said that his role on “General Hospital” is by far his biggest and most exciting role to date.

Along with acting, Deshler said he recently got back into ice hockey. He has been practicing with a team in LA and will be playing in a tournament in a couple of weeks.

Though Deshler loves living in California, there are parts of Minnesota that he misses, especially the lakes, both hanging out in the water in the summer and playing hockey on the ice in the winter. However, the year-round sunny California weather is something that he appreciates. He said it’s great “being able to get to the beach or drive up the mountain and be in the snow all in one day.”

Deshler also finds great encouragement from his Minnesota roots. “I really appreciate all the support I’ve had from family and friends in Minnesota,” he said. “Thank you to all those who are watching General Hospital!”

Friends and fans can follow him on Twitter @jimmydee14.

See original article here.