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Airline Pilot Turned Actor Releases Powerful Short Film on The Hidden Struggles of Depression

In his most recent short film, The Struggle Inside, airline pilot turned actor, Herb Jackson Jr, delves deep into the hidden struggles of depression and mental health issues.

Working with Acting & Voice Studios in NYC under the mentorship of James O’Connor, Herb Jackson Jr took on one of his most serious roles to date, playing the part of a university administrator discussing the mental health concerns of a student. The short yet impactful film highlights how, even the people who seemingly have it all, can still find themselves struggling with depression.

The hard-hitting short film is a poignant story on a topic that desperately needs more attention, mental health. In 2020, an estimated 21 million adults in the US had at least one major depressive episode [1], yet there still seems to be a major lack of awareness when it comes to what mental health problems can feel or look like. Many people are quick to write off mental health problems as people behaving badly or acting out of character, which is why Herb Jackson wanted to tackle this subject head-on in The Struggle Inside.

Speaking on his role, Herb Jackson Jr says, “Actors are storytellers, and it’s up to us to tell stories as honestly and truthfully as possible. It’s a blessing to be able to play these important roles. This story touched on something more serious than I’d ever worked on before, forcing me to look inwards and figure out the nuances that I had to work on to get such an important message across.

If there was thing that I would want viewers to get out of this short film is that it’s OK to have issues and open up about things. Whenever you’re feeling depressed, you should never feel like you have to struggle in silence, there’s always help out there for you.”

Herb recently shifted his focus away from flying to pursue his passion for acting. Since breaking into the entertainment industry, Herb has gone on to appear in a number of TV shows and short films, also turning his hands to host and produce his own podcast series, 5 Minutes with Herb.

The airline pilot turned actor works closely with acting schools and mentors in New York who have coached him throughout his roles. Together, they have helped Herb to get into character, build layered characters, and understand the underlying message of the story he’s trying to tell.

Herb is currently working on new short films that will be released later this year, where he hopes to continue telling hard-hitting stories that resonate closely with his audience.

The Struggle Inside can be watched in full, here

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