We had the good fortune of connecting with Jada Taylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jada, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I embrace risks. They can be scary but they are needed. They promote growth. 6 years ago my family took a risk with helping me chase my dreams by literally splitting our family up so I could be in LA.
My mom uprooted her life and moved to LA with me to help support me and my dreams. It has been the biggest risk of my life so far. I’ve had to overcome a lot of self doubt not thinking I’d be good enough or putting pressure on myself to be successful because my family and parents have sacrificed so much for me to be in California. Being an actress I’m taking risks daily. As an actor you have to make several decisions wether the decisions are about the character you’re playing or the way you say a line. It’s a risk because you never know how it’s going to turn out or if it’s going to be good enough for the casting director or for the director but why play things safe when these risks can change your life in positive ways. I wouldn’t have had the amazing opportunities I’ve had so far if I hadn’t taken the risk of moving to LA and that has helped me embrace risks even more.
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.
Being an actress & model is something I’ve dreamt about since I was a little girl. The feeling I get going to the movie theater and watching some of my favorite actors and actresses is indescribable. Or the feeling I get from watching hundreds of YouTube videos of Naomi Campbell or Sessilee Lopez on the runway. I’m overwhelmed with inspiration watching the greats do what they do and I’ve always wanted to make other people feel that way as well; inspired. So far I think I’d have to say I’m most proud of my print work, especially as a black model. We face different challenges in the industry. I’ve had experiences on set where hair stylists didn’t even want to touch my hair or didn’t know how to style it. I had an experience on set where the hairstylist was picking through my hair as If it was contaminated or something and then she proceeded to ask “do you wash your hair” mind you you’re always supposed to come to set with freshly washed and clean hair.
My hair had been washed the night before and in that moment I just remember thinking how do I respond to this woman who’s treating me like I’m dirty. No one should feel that way or be made to feel that. I politely responded yes ma’am I do. I actually went into the bathroom and cried. I put on my game face and came back out and did my job and did it well. I don’t think I gave myself enough credit for how resilient I was on the set for that job it was a full day of constant racial micro aggressions. There have been times where makeup artists couldn’t match the tone of my skin with the foundations they had. There have been many times that Ive made the decision to come to set with my hair and makeup already done out of fear the hair and makeup department wouldn’t know what to do and that I’d unfortunately would have to work not feeling confident in how I look. This is a serious problem in the industry and something I’m very passionate about changing and bringing more awareness to with my growing platform.
I’m still fairly young and still have so much more to learn about how to handle different situations but if I’ve learned thing it’s to never ever let someone else’s actions change the way you view yourself or how you feel about yourself because 9 times out of 10 it’s usually them that doesn’t feel to well about themselves.
I didn’t really become confident in myself and how I look until I was about 17 or 18 and I’m 21 now so not that long ago!
In middle school and somewhat throughout high school I use to be really insecure about my height and how skinny I was. It can still sometimes be a touchy subject for me actually. I used to get picked on for being so skinny and tall people would call me anorexic and say I was a stick figure all kinds of things.
I used to go home and cry in my room. I also remember I would look at all the other girls at my school or that were my age and I wanted to be like the other girls you know, they were just starting to break into puberty everybody was getting their boobs and you know forming a curve in their body. And me I was just *makes hand motion* just straight as a pencil and I didn’t have boobs like the other girls. As I got older I realized that having boobs or curves don’t make you beautiful and I hate it took me so long to figure that out. Beauty isn’t the fact that you have gorgeous hair or perfect skin. To me beauty is the fact that you love yourself. Loving yourself is beautiful! I’m hoping as my platform continues to grow my brand will stand for self love & kindness. If there’s one thing the world needs to know about me it’s that I love my family hahah and I love kindness! I’ve always told myself if anyone could take at least one thing away from meeting me even if we talked for 5 seconds it would be that I was kind. Being kind is fun I don’t care what anyone says haha!
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.
My best friend and I are major foodies. There’s nothing we love more than a good meal and good conversation. I love West Hollywood. I was born and raised in the suburbs but I’m such a city girl. The city is unmatched and the young, and energetic vibe of WEHO is amazing. I’d take my best friend to a restaurant called WARRIOR which is a Asian restaurant that I went to with another friend and I’m dying to go back. It’s delicious! Then we’d do some shopping on Fairfax or Melrose. I love a nice hike so one morning we could get up and go on a nice hike. I’m also a HUGE reader and there’s this black owned book store in Leimert Park called Eso Won Books that I love to go to. I’m a Sagittarius and we tend to be very spontaneous so I’m always making last minute plans and deciding to do things based off of maybe a billboard I see driving home or a tik tok video things like that haha!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mother Gina deserves all of the credit and recognition for where I am today and how even further I’ll go. She’s my rock. The older I get the more I realize how absolutely rare it is to have someone in your corner who believes in you more than you believe in yourself. When I feel the industry is breaking me she reminds me of my strength. It gets really hard to keep pushing forward sometimes but I have no choice but to keep moving forward when I have someone behind me helping push me towards my dreams and working just as hard as me to do so. She supports me no matter what, and I’m grateful beyond measure to have someone like her on my team.
Adam Scott Henderson Chandler Kinney D. Chanel Diane Kevin