We had the good fortune of connecting with Bethany Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bethany, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
I would say that forgiveness and grace are probably some of the most forward guiding principles in my life and work. Forgiveness isn’t a feeling, it’s a verb – you have to wake up every morning deciding you won’t slide back into bitterness, anger, resentment – towards yourself or someone else. Grace and forgiveness can be offered to yourself and to others if someone has wronged you. When you can let go of the choices you made when you didn’t know better and you can let go of holding someone to the person they were in the past you see the seeds of change blossom. I remember things, people and situations can be beautiful and not be perfect.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a true crime TV producer and documentarian. I never actually wanted to be in film and TV, I didn’t choose the thug life – the thug life chose me. I got my start on the scripted series Prison Break. The writer’s strike and recession immediately followed my first year in entertainment. Others would have gone on a more sensible career path but it was too late for me I was smitten with storytelling. I loved the colors and shades words and stories cast on our life. I shifted into documentary storytelling and I find that it is pretty inline with what I wanted to do at University, which was human interest pieces for Vanity Fair, Vogue etc. My career path has been challenging in large part because I’m freelance, I say that I’m a feral cat and I go where the work takes me. I don’t have a traditional career ladder to climb and that’s okay. I found that by letting go of expectations and comparisons it helped me focus on my goals ahead. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to not be afraid to advocate for yourself. No one is going to advocate for you more than you and if someone is offering you advice don’t take it as criticism, take it as an opportunity to help you get to the next rung on the ladder you have chosen to climb.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of the most beautiful parts of our city is the drive up the coast. I love taking a drive up the 101 and going to the Ventura Harbor, then taking PCH down. It shows the beauty of the area, it’s serene and lovely – and you can stop at some of the gems like Neptune’s Net, Paradise Cove for a bite to eat and to take in some of the magnificent ocean views. This is a wonderful afternoon activity. I’d also take them kayaking for an afternoon, it’s a fun way to exercise, get outdoors and to enjoy the wonders of Southern California. For a more quiet day I might take them to Burbank to show them around the studios and to eat at the famous Smokehouse. I’d also carve out sometime to show them the Griffith Observatory, eat at Phillipe’s French Dip (a family favorite since moving to LA) and the Coliseum. Lastly, I might take my best friend to Descanso Gardens and for a meal at El Compadre.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate this shout out to Tiana and Andrew.