We had the good fortune of connecting with Janelle Renee Pearson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Janelle Renee, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
It’s a decision that I make every moment of every day, which is to do in spite of fear, to show up every day for what I love even when I’m scare shitless I’m going to fail. Subsequently I’ve also had to decide to give myself grace on the days where it doesn’t feel like I’m showing up as my “best”. I’ve learned and truly believe that the biggest obstacles that I’ve faced in my career/life have had to do with my perspective and the stories I tell myself that keep me stuck and unwilling or unmotivated to create. It’s been a process but I’ve felt more momentum in my career as I decided that no matter how things “looked” on the outside every day that I show up to get to do what I love and what I want I AM successful.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The life I’ve chosen/have been given as an artist is easy in the sense that I’ve never doubted that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, but it’s difficult to the psyche at times. It takes a consistent practice in my life to not associate my value as a person with what I’m producing and so I’d say the biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome is the self doubt, and second guessing. I’ve learned I have no use for the doubt and very little for the second guessing, if I’m in either of those two places, I’m out of faith, out of flow, out of creativity, but most importantly out of peace. A Blurb on My Art: I’ve been thinking a lot about the apocalypse lately. Not the one where the world burns up in a blaze of glory, but the kind the Ancient Greeks spoke of, the disclosure of knowledge and revelations. Obviously, there’s serious polarization in our society; people choosing sides, conspiracies, candidates etc. So many are trying to cling onto the things, ideas and opinions we think define us because we feel the shift, the change in the air that whispered, and now yells at us that there’s SO much more than what we think we know about each other, about ourselves, about our purpose here. The Apocalypse is upon us now. Creating content and acting is the way I choose to express how I see and feel in this new world. I make and perform in works about the Apocalypse. I believe that we’re in a time now of a universal expansion, the ways in which we’ve lived in our society, the values we’ve lived/stood by, the crimes against humanity we’ve ignored are running to the light, and with that offers the question of how we want to move forward. I’m passionate about creating art and being a part of stories that model and examine more of who we are as people and all of the terrible but mostly great that we’re capable of. Art imitating the life that we’re creating for ourselves in a world pillared by compassion, empathy and community and creativity.
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.
Monday: Monday is a chill day, I have a fire pit in my backyard and this would be the time for us to catch up. Settle in have a little spirits by the fire and order in, maybe from SweetGreens or Sugarfish depending on the mood. Tuesday: We hike!! Griffith? Runyon? Fryman? How much you wanna sweat? Then there’s Lunch! We hit up LA Authentica Birria Truck in North Hollywood. The BEST Birria in Los Angeles, and I’ve tried A LOT. Later on (when it opens back up) we’re hitting up Da Poetry Lounge to listen to the incredible dope ass poets and singers who perform there on weekly basis for a low price of $5 at the door. Get in line early though, the space is intimate and the line fills up quick. Wednesday: Early morning Road trip to Tahquitz Falls in Palm Springs to hike up to the beautiful waterfalls. Then dinner in Palm Springs. Thursday: We play it by ear. Maybe it’s a beach day and we visit the house on the beach I’m working on manifesting in Malibu, great views of the Dolphins on the warm sand before noon. Then maybe we go to Malibu Seafood….actually we DEFINITELY go to Malibu seafood and order all the fried fish and shrimp we can stomach. Then we take the scenic route back to the valley, winding down Topanga Rd. Friday: We visit one of my friend’s with a pool, then, KOREAN BBQ – Quarters or Road to Seoul- Nuff Said Saturday: Brunch Baby! You can never go wrong with Blu Jam in Sherman Oaks (I’m a valley girl), or Republique on La Brea but I also love to switch it up and try new places. Sunday : SHOPPING on Fairfax or Browsing depending on the budget. We are hitting up Melrose Trading place FOR SURE! They’re open every Sunday until 3pm, they have lots
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
SOOO many people there isn’t enough space to say. I’ll take this time however to give a special shoutout to my parents who I’m incredibly blessed to be so supported by. I’d also love to shout out my writing partner Sophie Labelle, without her and the work we’ve created together I wouldn’t have built the confidence I needed to step into the artist and creator that I am. On top of that I have an INCREDIBLE community of chosen sisters in my life that are constant sources of support, healing and advice. Shout out to Laryssa Green, Sade Clacken Joseph, Thais Francis, Makeda Declet, Kristen Laffey and LaVon Wageman (who gave me my first ever gig as a producer). And I MUST MUST MUST shoutout my production team, the one man band DP, Editor, Colorist the list goes on…Sean Cruser, you are the creme de la creme, and the Director, DP, Editing Queen Kwanza Gooden, you both have been two of the most vital parts of the magic we’ve created. There are many many others, I am so blessed to have the community and support system that I have, without it, there is no success.