We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacobo Aparicio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacobo, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
In my personal experience, and what I have learned from my bosses and mentors is as simple as this: to be kind. It really doesn’t take that much effort to be polite, kind and accessible, and in turn it opens many, many doors… and keeps increasingly more open.
In addition to that, and again, drawing from my personal experience and by working with my mentors, the need to truly be persistent and determined with your goals and dreams is another major lesson. Specially in competitive industries where you may be frequently exposed to the rejection of your ideas, being relentless and consistently passionate (which is not an easy thing) is what typically makes the difference between for those who become successful.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m from Madrid (Spain), and great up playing semi-professional, and eventually professional soccer back in Europe. However, after suffering some injuries and realizing that, if I wanted to pursue a career in entertainment, the best opportunity was going to be to come to the US to complete my college education, I ended up accepting a scholarship offer to study and play NCAA D1 at Iona College, in New York. After graduating, I started working in advertising, but quickly found a point of entry to the entertainment industry, working on set on the Marvel show Luke Cage (Netflix). After that amazing experience, I realized that I wanted to pursue a more creative path within the industry, and decided to pack up my stuff and move to Los Angeles to find new opportunities, even though I only knew one person in California (one of my college professor’s sister, who ended up becoming a hugely important person in my life as she always helped me with job leads, recommendations and support). After interning at a talent agency and working at a production and management company, I went back to Madrid to work at Warner Bros, and meanwhile applied for the Producers Program MFA at UCLA. I was fortunate enough to become one of the 12 students admitted into the program, and moved back to Los Angeles to pursue my master’s while working at a management company and producing short films. At the same time, I co-created a series project that was eventually sold to one of the big streamers. Finally, in February of 2020, I accepted an offer to join my dream company, Anonymous Content, and have been working there since then, learning from producers, executives, managers and creatives who I really admired (and still do!).
This journey wasn’t easy, and admittedly took a lot of determination and persistence before I landed at the company where I had always wanted to be. However, all the difficulties and previous steps that I had to take before joining Anonymous Content prepared very well so that when the opportunity came through, I was always to make the most out of it. In fact, this is one of the most important lessons that I have learned, the sense of tenacity, relentlessness and determination to make your dreams come true no matter how long it takes, nor how challenging that path might be. At the end of the day, becoming a resilient person ends up being extremely valuable not just for employers, collaborators or colleagues, but also for oneself, as you start feeling capable of being entrepreneurial and savvy enough to generate opportunities for yourself, and for those who surround you.
Perhaps, the most common challenge is pursuing all these goals and dreams without my family and friends from home closer to me, and event though this past years has been the most challenging one due to Covid, I try to go twice a year to Spain to spend time with all of them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Whenever friends from Europe come to visit, I love taking them to the Griffith Observatory. It might be a cliche, but I sincerely think there is nothing like seeing this hugely vibrant city from above, quietly, at night. It’s magical.
As for places to eat, I happen to like a restaurant called Hollywood Thai, which a friend from Thailand recommended a few years ago and I loved. It has now become for a specific group of friends from min our go-to spot for late dinners.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As it usually happens, there is a lot of people I definitely have to thank. My parents have been an amazing source of support throughout my life, and my entire family and my childhood friends have always encouraged me to pursue my dreams despite that meaning being thousands of miles away from home. Throughout my college and graduate years, several professors both at Iona College and specially at UCLA have also been incredibly supportive and helped me to improve in many aspects. And most recently, my current bosses, Keith Redmon and David Levine, are the best possible mentors I could have ever wished for, as they make sure that throughout the insanely busy process of putting together and selling shows and films, I find ways to improve, contribute in a substantial way, develop my own creative instincts and taste, and seek my own opportunities within the company.