We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamila Glass and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jamila, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
One piece of advice that seemed to fill the air around me during my formative years was that a person should focus on one thing in order to find true success.  I remember while growing up and going through the process of figuring out what I would major in and what I would ultimately do in life that I was always bothered by this notion of being locked into one profession.  The mere idea of choosing nagged at me.  My parents did their best to expose me and my three sisters to as many interests as possible, and that awakened in me a curiosity that exists to this day.   I currently work in the fields of dance, marketing, and filmmaking.  All of my career interests inform one another and that curiosity allows room for infinite growth. My personal mantra is, “I am a better filmmaker because I am a dancer and I am a better dancer because I am a filmmaker.”  Giving myself the space to allow my interests to roam has been incredibly freeing.  It has allowed me to craft the career that I want, and that has given me an immense amount of peace, even when life has been hard. While I understand the conventional advice to pick one thing comes from a time where the world was a bit different, today I encourage people to look at it through a different lens.  What is calling you?  What brings you joy and gives you butterflies?  What do you love so much that doing it all day and night won’t feel like “work”?  Explore those things and see where it takes you.  Dive in, not only to what is calling you, but also study the world of those interests so you can understand the landscape that you want to embrace.  Your interests could lead you to places you couldn’t even imagine, and your life could unfold in a way that seems unfathomable to others but ultimately makes perfect sense. When you align with your true passion instead of trying to fit into someone else’s mold, magical things happen. 

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am proud of staying the course during my career even when it has been extremely tough.  I often questioned my audacity to choose the life of an artist — a life filled with uncertainties and a fair share of rejection. 15 years into my professional career and I am finally starting to see that every single experience I’ve had has prepared me for where I am today…that I’ve always been right where I needed to be.  I am excited about the future.  I am currently choreographing on a Netflix TV show and was just named the incoming artistic director of Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company.  My community has expanded exponentially from these opportunities.  So I am looking forward to making more genuine human connections and sharing new work with the world.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
During these trying times, it’s really hard to say where I would take a best friend who is visiting town because the pandemic has forced the closures of so many Los Angeles mainstays.  If it was safe for people to freely congregate, I would just meet up with a bunch of my good friends at the beach or the park and bring good food, good music, good dancing… watch the sunset together… and just have fun being around each other.  The little things are so much more important these days.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, Duke Gervais (my husband), Jelani (my son), The Glass Family, and my tribe who is always cheering me on.

Website: www.jamilaglass.com
Instagram: @jamtown_jam
Twitter: @wooden_nickels
Youtube: /thecuttingroompost

Image Credits
Adam Parson, Jordan Matter, Robbie Sweeny

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