Foot in the Door: How to make moves in the entertainment industry and life

An award-winning Producer, Jessie is known for her ingenuity, positive outlook, calm disposition and sense of humor, all valuable skills when working with networks, studios, and agencies with strong personalities in high-pressure situations.

This year alone has found Jessie shooting projects on the high seas with Disney, backstage with BET, launching activations with ABC Family and Freeform, and the streets of New Orleans with FUSE network.

Her numerous credits include projects ranging from commercials, movie and TV promos to music videos, co-branded entertainment, magazine shows, interactive media, documentaries, and PSA’s. She loves what she does and it shows!

Jessie completed a 3-year Master’s Program in Spiritual Psychology, adding another tool to her bag of tricks and bringing those skills to the fast paced, quick turnaround, production world as well as to her life coaching practice.

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“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
George Eliot

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Taking the “free” out of Free-lance or how to thrive as a creative for hire.

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I wonder if you are like me and find your self in the constant pursuit of something? Not from a place of lack or discontent mind you, but because you are engaged in the game of life and you have ambition and drive and enjoy the feeling of success.

So you think you want to work in Television?

 

Well I know this guy, who knows this gal who…

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I recently scoured the US News Money article about the best jobs in 2013 not because I am considering a career change mind you, but to keep on the cutting edge of cool with my knowledge of what’s the latest and greatest.

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Being an independent television producer and having spent the majority of my career as a free lancer I’ve had hundreds of opportunities to ask, negotiate, and sometimes settle for payment for the work that I do. Next to sex, they say money is one of the most taboo and uncomfortable things to talk about, and that’s with friends and family. A discussion about money with strangers can be frightening!

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Growing up there were families of friends that I would have gladly traded places with…you know the ones who always played games together on the holidays, cooked together, formed their own band, or just seemed to enjoy being in each others company.

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Most of us have heard of the devilishly handsome actor Jon Hamm who plays the devilishly handsome Don Draper in the TV series Mad Men.  Don is the guy that seems to have it all, get what he wants, and always finds the way to save the day in the fast paced competitive Manhattan-based advertising firm he works for.

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Win or lose, we go shopping after the election.-Imelda Marcos

What were you doing Sunday night?

Were you one of the 40,000,000 people that were glued to their TVs or DVRs watching the crème de la crème of Hollywood adorned with thousands of dollars in clothes and jewels (and often being paid six figures to wear them) on the industry’s biggest night?

I was.

And somewhere in the middle of the cheese tray and Jennifer Lawrence tripping on her Dior Haute Couture dress, a feeling of concern came over me.  I wondered what was going on in the minds of the people who didn’t win.  The Losers.

Would they spend their days depressed and feeling desperate and hopeless that they didn’t win?  Could they avoid the stigma of being a loser when the whole world was watching and measuring their reaction? Did they wonder if they would ever work in this town again?  Are they just like us?

My Spidey sense tells me we’re all in this together and whether we wear a Valentino gown or a nightgown, handling loss can be challenging. I don’t claim to know what was going on inside the heads of any of the nominees, but what appeared to be graceful acceptance of being a loser got me to thinking about the power of loss as an ally.

So I’d like to thank the Academy, my friends and family, and all who have won the jobs or men or opportunities that I seem to have lost.  You’ve actually helped me expand in many areas of my life and I’m grateful.

Here are my winners and some of the why and how:

Les Miserables: Feeling disappointment and sad that things didn’t go as you preferred is no surprise when you’ve had your hopes set on something and you’ve dedicated yourself to a goal.

Losing a client or a project to the competition doesn’t feel good.  Give yourself permission to feel the sting and be open to moving on.  I continue to be delighted and surprised at what shows up after I have been willing to let go of the idea that I have “lost” an opportunity.

• Amour: If you’ve given your best to the situation try maintaining your focus on the quality of your effort not solely on the outcome.  Times when I don’t get the gig or the guy don’t mean I’ve done something wrong or I’m not capable.  We do ourselves a great disservice when we negate all that we have contributed and judge ourselves exclusively on one moment of the experience. Losing heart is the true loss.  Learn to love the process.

• Silver Lining: In all competitions, people lose. In fact, in most competitions, nearly everyone loses; yet, those who eventually win take time to learn from losing, rather than just regretting it or giving up. It can be exciting and invigorating to incorporate what you’ve learned from watching the competition and take your abilities to a new level.  Personal growth is the real victory.

• The envelope please: Oh and just in case you still felt bad for those who didn’t win an Oscar, each of them took home a gift bag worth more than $45,000!

This year’s goody bags included a $12,000 trip to Australia, condoms, a $600 acupuncture appointment and a package of 10 personal training sessions valued at $850.  Circus lessons for the nominee’s children worth $400 were also included, as well as a $5,000 face-lift procedure, a $1,800 one-year membership to Heathrow Airport’s private VIP service, a $3,000 stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort in Mexico, and Windex.

See you on set,

Jessie

 

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Under the Big Top or, How being a Circus Performer enhances your Production and Life Skills!

alien.png - 19.68 KbLast week I had the opportunity to shoot an interview with Steven Spielberg.  You know the guy; game changer, multi-billionaire, producer, director, and visionary. I really can’t imagine there are many people on the planet that haven’t been touched in some way at some time by some thing that Spielberg has been a part of, he is that HUGE!

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This time of year I usually find myself reflecting on what has taken place over the last 12 months and contemplating what I hope will happen in the year to come.  It’s an interesting combination of celebrating accomplishments and wondering what might have been if things had gone the way I had preferred

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images-1 1.jpg - 7.06 KbIt’s a phenomenon that’s only a few years old, but who makes it on the list for a Starbucks run on set and who doesn’t can be, and I’ve witnessed it take place, a defining moment and a reason for feeling good or bad about yourself.

I’ve experienced genuine terror. Not from staring into the face of a hungry lion or looking down the barrel of a shotgun. And no I’m not an extreme sports fanatic or a solo trekker in the Himalayas. The terror I feel appears when I have to find my voice and tell a client (or any person for that matter) no.

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