We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaclyn Amor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaclyn, how do you think about risk?
I am a risk taker. Undeniably so. I’ll pack a suitcase and move across country on a whim…oh wait, that’s exactly how I ended up here. I think being a creative is already a risk in itself. The lack of consistency and foundation seems glaring when you first branch out and freelance – there’s no right or wrong way to go about our work, so deciding to dedicate your life to your craft is the risk. There’s a lot of sleepless nights, waiting for checks to clear, heartaches, failures, lessons and everlasting days where you apply for job after job, not knowing when you’ll work again. It’s a risk every time we put our art out in the universe, not knowing who’s going to see it, let alone connect to it. But, the risk is worth the reward. I have always had the mentality of saying “yes” and just figuring things out when challenges get thrown at you, which of course happens all the time in the entertainment industry. I personally encourage people to always ask for opportunities, ask for the introduction, tell people what you want and what you’re looking for. My network is well aware of the fact that I will straight up just tell someone that they need me on set (yes, this is how I honestly got a number of my jobs), and that’s a risky move every time, but you’ll never know if you don’t try. So I suppose you could say that I see risk as an invaluable life lesson, an inevitable act. There is risk involved in every aspect of our lives and it’s all about your approach and listening to your gut. It was a great risk to start a new business during a global pandemic, but if you want to shake things up and create your life, you have to take the leap.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’ve most recently gone into business with my friend Ben. We are just about to officially launch Agent 86, a bespoke hybrid creative agency with an in house production team. We handle everything from brand identity, creative direction and development to full scale productions, while representing each of the individuals on our team. What sets us apart is our business model and that we prioritize our creative talents. Our team and roster is filled with amazing creatives such as producers, directors, writers, cinematographers, on camera talent, choreographers, art directors and stylists. Both Ben and I have been freelancing individually for such a long time and realized that it would fare better for us if we had a go-to team at the ready, and that’s how the idea of our agency was born. We both have film production and creative direction backgrounds, and have worked in more traditional settings, so we are confident in our ability to deliver high quality content and become a one stop shop for our clients. With the restrictions we are currently facing in our industry, we’ve found that it’s much easier for us to consistently work with our small, COVID compliant teams, and that becomes one less thing for clients to worry about. Our company is still young, so stay tuned with us as we grow. We have an amazing slate of projects we will be tackling throughout the year.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Is this a hypothetical “if we weren’t in a global pandemic” scenario? If so, here are my LA go to’s: Food spots: Messhall Kitchen in Los Feliz. I would suggest getting the brisket hash and eggs or the mess burger with a fried egg. It’s super comforting and delicious. Home restaurant on Hillhurst (also in Los Feliz). Low key, this is one of my favourite spots for anytime of the day (and might also be my go-to first date spot). I have only ever had good eats here, and it feels like you’re eating in a giant tree house. Pine and Crane in Silverlake. Amazing Taiwanese cuisine. It’s just the jam. Definitely worth the line. Ruen Pair in Thai Town. Hands down my fave pork fried rice. EP/LP in WeHo. Their menu is delicious and I’ll throw in their rooftop for a fun hangout spot to have a cocktail (I go here for a solid Espresso Martini) with a view. They also have the Melrose Rooftop Cinema up here, where we sit outdoors and watch some familiar flicks like “The Goonies” or “The Fifth Element”. Of course no visit to LA is complete without a taco truck run, so we would more than likely walk to the Leo’s Taco truck near my apartment, and just get everything. Coffee Spots: Paramount Coffee Project in Fairfax. Can’t go wrong with an Aussie coffee (I might be biased as I’m from Sydney). They also have good small plates, and lovely ambience to get some emails done. Go Get ‘Em Tiger always brews their coffee in a way that gives me a kick in the butt. And their non dairy milk options are pretty spot on – I’ll often be stuck for 5 minutes trying to decide between oat milk or almond macadamia. Drink spots: Wolf and Crane in Little Tokyo. I am a whiskey lover, and this place has an incredible selection. I love a dive bar. And I love a dance. And I get to have both at the Shortstop in Echo Park. I show up in my sweats and kicks ready to hit the floor with my friends. Apotheke in DTLA. Killer interior design and amazing mixologists. Seven Grand in DTLA. Another bar with an impressive whiskey library. By impressive, I mean insanely massive. LA Happy places to visit: The lights at LACMA. It’s just magic. Go as the sun sets. Or at midnight so you can miss the crowds, though you might catch the odd influencer out in the wild creating content. Breakroom 86. I love a speakeasy and I love to karaoke. This is a speakeasy karaoke bar with 80’s decor, a boombox wall, arcade games in the back and hidden karaoke rooms. On the weekends they have some fun go go dancers, though we like to party on a Tuesday to jam out with their live karaoke band. Shatto 39 Lanes. If you like bowling, or pool, or arcade games…or onion rings…you’ll find them all here. It’s an old school good time. The Rose Bowl flea market. Everyone should get to experience this at least once. Go a little early. Bring Cash. Find the gems. *[deleted]* Drive up the PCH. If you’re not from California (ie: me), it’s just a dream. Get a convertible, rock some sunnies, and go for a drive until the sun sets. Honestly I’ve only been in LA a few years, I’m still exploring it myself, shoot some spots my way!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m going to shoutout my business partner and one of my best friends, Ben Meredith. We have been friends for about a year or so, but got closer during the past year due to the pandemic. Our conversations and creative collaborations became a daily staple and a huge part of keeping each other sane. When I pitched him the idea of a new business venture, he didn’t hesitate for a moment and jumped right in the deep end with me. He’s a legend.
Jaclyn Amor Drea Castro