Hitting into the Major League

How one SHS freshman took his love for baseball onto the movie scene


Deeya Prakash

ACTION. Freshman Jake Hertzman recently went to watch the premiere of “Chance,” a movie in which he played the younger version of the main character. Shooting began in June, and he was on set for a total of 15 days. “Being around cameras actually isn’t that weird, once you get used to making enough eye contact with specific ones. You have to make sure you do it enough times but also not too much, just so it isn’t awkward,” Hertzman said.

  Freshman Jake Hertzman plays baseball anywhere and everywhere, be it the field on a rainy day, the backyard, or at a barbeque, the summer sun blazing down as he tosses the ball back and forth with his dad.

  However, the majority of last June, Hertzman played most of his baseball on the set of “Chance,” a movie about a young baseball player who faces the difficult life of a teenager.

  It all started with a typical tournament, during his sixth grade year.

  “Around three years ago, [the producers of the movie] came to a baseball tournament I was in and took pictures of kids to see who fit each character they wanted best,” Hertzman said.

  Later, they called him out to their facility to have him read the script. After that, he didn’t hear anything for two years, forgetting all about the mini-audition he did all that time ago.

  Then, he was called to reread the script. But this time, in front of camera.

  By early 2018, he was cast as the role of twelve-year-old Chance, the younger version of the main character in the film.

  The movie follows the journey of Chance, and his growth through ages six to sixteen. As he matures, he navigates the difficult paths of social media and teen romance, and as pressures build, he watches his promising future as a baseball star become further and further out of reach.

  The movie mainly focuses on cyberbullying and the mental illnesses that develop in the protagonist as a result, driving him to attempt to take his own life. Because of this heavy topic, Hertzman decided to do something interesting with his money.

 He stated that “NCAA rules [dictate that] you can’t get paid for… a sport you may [potentially] play in college, or else it ups your athletic status to ‘professional,’” so the actor could not be paid for his work in the movie because the majority of the scenes were of him playing baseball, a sport he hopes to pursue in college.

  However, the producers worked out an agreement with Jake: they would give a donation equal to his pay to a charity of his choice.

  Due to the premise of the movie, he chose to donate his cash to the American Suicide Prevention Foundation.

  Though he thoroughly enjoyed the experience, he said he probably wouldn’t pursue acting through SHS theatre, or even any other acting endeavors in the years to come.

  “I feel like I would probably only get into acting again if I felt like it was worth my time. Acting in theatre isn’t really my element, so I probably wouldn’t involve myself in SHS theatre, and I wouldn’t want to do something that I felt was unnatural. But if something like this comes up again, I may think about it, ” Hertzman said.

  Regardless of his acting future, Hertzman is sure to be a big name, be it in baseball or future career. The bottom line is this: get his autograph while you can.