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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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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I attribute being in the entertainment industry to my first trip to Universal studios many moons ago.  It happened right after I almost threw up in the tunnel that rotates and just before King Kong almost devoured me. We came around a corner to the back lot where they were filming and I wanted to leap off the tram and run down to the set where they were yelling action and magic was taking place. I felt like it was where I was meant to be and I followed that feeling!

images-5.jpg - 6.96 KbWell, we might as well face it, relationships are one of the greatest sources of joy in our lives but keeping the love flowing and your life in balance when you work in production can be extremely challenging.  Take the time I promised (for the umpteenth time) that I would be home in time for dinner, go see my family, show up at a party, or take that weekend off, I promise, and the opportunity to work came along and I grabbed it and disappointed someone. And if you are involved with someone who isn’t in “the business” it may be awhile before they get used to the wild ride of hanging with someone whose life can be predictably unpredictable.  So what to do?  How do you love the one you’re with, keep your clients happy, stay healthy AND fill up the bank account when you can?

fashion_police-1.jpg - 20.20 KbI’m fairly certain my parents didn’t want me to earn a masters degree in defying authority but I tend to think I excelled in those studies and I‘m kind of proud of it!

Take how I dress for instance. Nobody’s gonna put Jessie in a corner and if I feel like getting my freak on or having a flair or just flaunting what I got, I’m all about it. But now after years of experience and some interesting reactions, I recognize I am communicating something very intentional with the way I choose to dress.

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Today I got a call from one of my favorite clients.  You know the one you really like, who you’ve had drinks and laughs with and who, after five years of working together, you’re confident that everything is solid between you both?

Well imagine my surprise when I realized she was calling to tell me that they were coming to L.A. for a shoot and they were NOT going to hire me. Smack!  WTF??

When you're hot you're hot and when you're not you're not.

Hey all you slightly depressed, despair dabbling, should I get a job at Whole Foods thinking free-lancers...here you are again.  Or should I say here I am again!  Not working, pitching projects, doing budgets and wondering if I will ever work in this town again. Sound familiar?

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