The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Alumnus follows dreams of becoming policeman, actor

Alumnus follows dreams of becoming policeman, actor - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Nathan Gershon (left) sits on the set of "Friday Night Delight". Gershon stars as a veteran in this film. Photo retrieved from Nathan Gershon's Facebook profile

Texas A&M University-San Antonio alumni-turned-actor teased his upcoming projects and shared his experience as a policeman.

Nathan Gershon graduated from A&M-San Antonio with a bachelor’s of applied arts and science in 2014. He later became one of the first Jaguars to obtain a Master’s in Journalism at Harvard University.

Though Gershon has managed to build quite the academic resume, he also has embarked on different career paths; he currently doubles as a reserve police officer in the La Vernia Police Department and as an actor. 

Gershon was introduced to emergency service careers from an early age. At age 17, he served as a fireman in Martindale, Texas.

“Back then, we could join the volunteer fire department in high school and do real Firemen stuff,” he said.

A similar program was offered for the police department, though volunteers first needed to go through the police academy and be at least 21 years old, Gershon said.

Gershon wouldn’t become a police officer until 12 years after serving as a fireman. At age 32, Gershon attended the San Antonio College police academy.

Although it took him over a decade to attend the police academy, Gershon said he never stopped wanting to be a cop, he just didn’t have the time for it.

“I’ve gotten to meet a lot of wonderful people, a lot of bad people; I’ve got to help people, I’ve taken bad guys to jail,” Gershon said.

Nathan Gershon (right) works as a reserve police officer at the La Vernia Police Department. Photo retrieved from Nathan Gershon’s Facebook profile

It was until Gershon moved with his wife to Mississippi, where he “didn’t have anything to do,” that he started auditioning for acting roles.

“The dream kind of got reborn because I was in a situation where I had nothing else to do,” he said. “I might as well swing for the stars.” 

Gershon said he was a “theater kid” growing up and even did commercials in Houston as a child. 

He said the desire to act never left him. 

“When you’re a kid, you want to be a thing, you know, a doctor, a lawyer, an astronaut, (or) a rockstar, but you know life kind of gets in the way sometimes,” Gershon said. “I always kind of wanted to do it; the dream never died. I finally found myself in a situation where I could.”

Gershon’s first speaking role and favorite role was in the movie “Life Insurance Lottery,”  filmed in Houston about 5 years ago. 

“It helped me overcome the idea that this was impossible,” he said. “That was just an amazing moment.”

Gershon said it was a wonderful experience filming his first gig on-location and not inside a studio.

“By the end of the day, I realized I was having so much fun,” Gerson said. “The nervousness was gone and it was kind of filled with a renewed hope.”

Gershon said acting fills him with a lot of “good feelings.”

He finished filming “Friday Night Delight” in Blanco, Texas earlier in April. He plays a struggling middle-aged adult who is a veteran of the first Gulf War.

Gershon also recently starred in a dark drama, “Vicemares,” as a lawyer “whose life is falling apart and then it gets much much worse.” He said this role has been his greatest acting accomplishment.

“It was a role where I got to demonstrate my acting skills the most,” Gershon said. “And I also think when it comes out, it might help my career in a big way because prior to that, I had been in mostly horror movies.”

Both “Vicemares” and “Friday Night Delight” have an expected release sometime next year, Gershon said. 

He also has made appearances on TV shows such as “Fear the Walking Dead,” where he interpreted the role of a death row inmate.

At 40 years old, Gershon said he was unsure about how he would factor into the acting industry. He came to realize Hollywood has space for people of all ages.

He said he has options to play both the “good guy” and the “bad guy.”

“There’s a lot of people my age in the real world, and Hollywood reflects that,” he said.

Gershon said his acting gigs have given him enough time to work his monthly police shifts.

“If you get a starring role in a movie, you’re gone for a month or two,” he said. “If you get a little part in a TV show, you might be gone for less than a week.” 

He said his police department has been very understanding of his acting career by working around his extended absences.

Gershon was awarded the Master Peace Officer license from the State of Texas in 2021. This license is the highest recognition a police officer can receive.

He said the most rewarding thing about being a policeman is the opportunity to make the world a better place every once in a while.

“Even though I’ve got this acting career, I hope to continue doing it as long as I can,” Gershon said. 

Nathan Gershon hosts airplane and car shows with the Commemorative Air Force, the largest flying museum in the world. Photo retrieved from Nathan Gershon’s Facebook profile

In addition, Gershon volunteers as a Public Affairs Officer for the Commemorative Air Force. Founded by World War 2 pilots, it is the largest aviation museum in the world.

Gershon has been involved with the organization since he was a kid. He met one of the founders and visited stored planes in San Marcos.

Gershon said his involvement includes hosting an airplane and car show. 

“We maintain, restore and fly historically significant aircrafts,” he said. “We not only do that, we’re also a veteran service organization and we serve the communities we’re in.”

Through all his endeavors, Gershon said he is proud to represent the A&M-San Antonio community and stand out as a Jaguar.

“I am defintely a proud Jaguar and I feel very lucky to still be part of TAMUSA,” Gershon said. “That university was wonderful, I had a good experience there.”

This story was updated at 12:05 p.m. Dec. 1 to update photo formatting.

About the Author

Daisy Gonzalez-Quezada
Daisy Gonzalez-Quezada is a communication senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She transferred from Allen County Community College in Kansas in 2019. In her spare time, she likes to listen to music and watch either sitcoms or K-dramas. She wants to explore the world as a journalist after graduating.

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