Jason Clark: Center Stage
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN RAFAEL – Prior to beginning his career in the automotive industry, Jason Clark spent much of his time working backstage for numerous theatrical productions. In either of these settings, however, his natural aptitude would eventually bring him from behind the scenes to the front of the stage. “In high school I was very involved in theater,” he relates. “While I mainly worked with lighting and other technical aspects offstage, I did a bit of acting as well and was part of an improvisational troupe, which was a lot of fun.” Following high school, Jason considered pursuing his passion for the dramatic arts at a collegiate level, but after getting a job at Sears Automotive, he made the decision to remain in the work world. To his surprise, he found his theatrical experience and talents could be applied in his newfound environment. “As time went on, my outgoing personality and people skills became apparent, and I was promoted from the back end to the front of the house as a service advisor.”
Today, as assistant service manager at Toyota Marin, Jason’s theatrical prowess continues to benefit him in his professional life. “Speaking to people is an art,” he explains. “Thanks to my prior experience with theater and improvisation, I’m comfortable approaching people without any fear of what to say or how to say it—it’s just second nature at this point.”
Jason was born in Oakland and grew up in Pinole, where he continues to live today with his wife, Maria, and their children, Sophia (7) and Annabelle (3). As a father of two, Jason says the bulk of his time outside of work revolves around family. “At this point in my life, it’s all about kids.” Though he says it’s been a while since he’s participated in favorite pastimes like snowboarding and dirt biking, he does make it a point to take regular outdoor excursions. “My wife and I are avid nature lovers,” he affirms. “We just got back from Yosemite a couple weeks ago, and before that we did some camping and hiking in the Monterey area.”
In regard to his life and career, Jason says it’s important to never judge a book by its cover. “You shouldn’t make assumptions about people you don’t know, because it can really limit your interactions. Whenever I’m helping a customer, I give them the benefit of the doubt in terms of their level of automotive expertise. If I find they need to be educated, I’m happy to fill that role.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Jason says he’d spend some time abroad. “My wife is from Slovakia, so I’d probably take her to visit her family and see some more of Europe.”
Q: What’s your favorite local brewery?
A: Lagunitas in Petaluma.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.
Q: What’s your favorite theatrical production?
A: Les Miserables. I’ve seen it too many times to count, including productions on Broadway and in San Francisco.
Q: If someone was making a movie about your life, what actor would you choose to play yourself?
A: Seth Rogan.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?