We had the good fortune of connecting with A’Noelle Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi A’Noelle, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been taking calculated risks in order to succeed in life. Before moving to Los Angeles, I worked as an actor and a production assistant in the Greater Seattle Area. At that time, I was the only African-American Female to work on major productions as a PA in Washington State. I knew then, I wanted to share my story with younger people who have an interest in film but did not know how or where to begin.
I spoke in various schools in the Pacific Northwest in order to inspire upcoming actors and filmmakers to pursue the arts, specifically in the film industry. In February 2018, I decided to pack my belongings and drive from my hometown (Tacoma, Washington) to Los Angeles. I had, maybe, $1500.00 to my name. However, my dreams were (and still are) bigger than my circumstances.
Now, moving to Los Angeles was challenging. The most challenging part of the move was the unbelievers. I had to block out negativity from others and focus on my goal.
Overall, taking calculated risks means believing in yourself so strongly, that nothing can deter you. Moving here is the best decision I’ve made in my life so far. I have a wonderful group of friends, amazing business partners, and most of all, I have unwavering confidence in myself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My journey was not a smooth ride. This journey is one of perseverance and tenacity. Acting had been a passion of mine since I was young. Growing up, I’ve performed in various school productions and was in the choir throughout my teen years. When I decided to go to college, I decided to go to a small school in North Carolina. When I was accepted, I was overwhelmed with joy. Unfortunately, I had to overcome racial and sexist discrimination throughout my college years.
I’ve been called the “slave of the class” and “lazy” by my professors. I remember being bullied by my professors so harshly that I thought about quitting school altogether. Thankfully, my big sister, Leslie, would encourage me to get up and finish what I started. While in college, I directed For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange. The majority of the professors thought I would fail. However, my show sold out almost every single night.
At the same time, I competed as Miss University Place USA in the Miss Washington USA Pageant. I would fly back and forth from North Carolina to Western Washington every other weekend in order to compete. While I did not win the pageant, I learned that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
I’ve kept that same mindset. That anything is possible as long as I remain diligent. I’ve now lived in Los Angeles, CA for three years and I am so happy with every choice I’ve made. Every risk I have taken in my life and career has paid off immensely. Even when things seemed bleak, I never lost sight of my dream.
Right now, I am writing a book based on life advice my sister, Leslie, gave me throughout the years. I speak professionally about my acting career and I mentor young people who want to create a professional film career. I’ve learned that staying true to myself is the only true answer to becoming successful.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a foodie so I love to eat! My favorite restaurant Is Cafe Laurent in Culver City. They have the best pancakes EVER! Their pancakes are as big as my face! I definitely love bike riding in Santa Monica. Hiking is another hobby that I love! My favorite place to hike is Aliso Canyon Park in Granada Hills because it’s peaceful and quiet.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Special shout out to my big sister, Leslie Shantel Harris for always believing in me. Giving a warm shout out to my friend and business partner, Ava Walker, founder of Arts, Film, and Goods Pantry, Inc. Lastly, I want to thank Jen Singleton, Kristi Vetica, and Mariesa Bus for their loving friendship and support.
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChpGqTE12r0P3lca1t6-G3Q (@A Noelle)
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