This Dodgers fan can’t stop performin’
It is an improbable shtick the kid has created for himself, pantomiming to a run-of-the-mill Journey song in the eighth inning of Dodgers games — a manic, bug-eyed performance that has captured the hearts of Dodgers fans in this, the summer of their discontent.
Ladies and gentlemen, now batting ... Jameson Moss.
“I started out big and bold at first,” he says. “Then this woman, this fan, came by and said, ‘I love what you do, but you should start small and build to it.’”
So ever since, that’s what Moss has been doing, performing to “Don’t Stop Believin’” and becoming a feel-good phenomenon in a season that has gone on and on and on and on.
The 19-year-old Santa Monica college student is not there for every game. But when he is, the DodgerVision camera crew seeks him out, hooks him up with some ear buds so that he’s in sync with the three-second delay on the big screen, and away they go.
Is he an actor? Of course.
Is he paid? No, but the Dodgers do throw some freebie tickets his way now and then.
Is he famous?
“I was at an In-N-Out Burger the other day and the guy goes, ‘Hey, aren’t you the dancing dude at the Dodger games?’ ” Moss says.
Fame comes in some funny packages sometimes, and the fact that the camera discovered Moss in the loge section, most often in season seats that his family splits three ways, seems sort of remarkable. At least till you see the quivering, impossible-to-ignore performance in person — one part Belushi, one part rally monkey.
“He’s really kind of shy,” his mother, Kelly, says.
Sure, Mom, whatever you say.
As noted, Moss starts small — almost reluctantly — looking at the camera skeptically with his puppy dog eyes. As the song progresses, he becomes more animated, making the song (and the crowd) come alive through a series of gestures and hand movements.
Part of what makes it so effective is that Moss plays it so straight, pretending to take the whole thing very seriously.
Two minutes in, Moss is pleading to the baseball gods for help as the entire crowd laughs and applauds.
Don’t stop believin’,
Hold on to the feeeeeeeelin’ ...
“I did it as an audition piece for a major casting call for Disney,” Moss says. “So when it happened to come on one night at the stadium, I was ready.”
It all started late last summer and has been building since. Before and after his bit, spectators stop by to shake his hand or get a picture taken. Moss is gracious with all of them.
“The guys who come up to him are the guys I grew up with — the cops, the firemen, the everyday people,” his mother says. “The people who work hard, the family men, they’re the ones who appreciate him the most.”
In person, the wild-haired young man is well-spoken and polite. He is still trying to figure out exactly where to go with his life and hopes to transfer to UCLA, USC or Cal State Northridge to pursue either acting or the music business. It’ll be entertainment related, that’s a lock.
“I’m out here for the industry as a whole,” says Moss, who grew up in Atlanta and moved here with his family four years ago. “Whether it’s behind the camera, or in front of the camera.
“I love making people happy. Whether it’s a smile, a hug or a laugh, I just love making people happy.”
Moss has done a fair bit of acting — a couple of national commercials, a " Hannah Montana” appearance and a role in the upcoming feature “Easy A.”
For now though, his biggest gig is this summer stock performance at Dodger Stadium, a jittery-wonderful one-man show.
And though he has more going on than many 19-year-olds, including charity work for the Tug McGraw Foundation, his greatest gift may be the desire to just be one of us — at least for now.
“I’m a die-hard fan,” he says. “I like to go out, have some nachos, a Dodger dog and just be a part of it all.
“I’m an average Joe,” he says.
Yeah, kid. So was DiMaggio.
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