We had the good fortune of connecting with Jasmine J. Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jasmine J., do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
“Be nice!” I’ll explain this because I don’t want people thinking they get to just act any kind of way! But I do think women in particular are taught we need to be overly polite and “nice” and stay in our lane. And that’s just not true. If there’s something you disagree with, speak up! Your opinion has value. We’re often made to feel if we don’t agree and go along with the status quo we’re being “difficult.” This is especially true of minority women. For a long time I felt I had to be overly nice and accommodating to not be labeled as an “angry black woman.” Don’t feel bad for expressing your opinion. Don’t put up with unfair treatment in an effort to not cause “trouble.” It’s something I’m still working on, but so important to embody. But, that being said, don’t be disrespectful. Don’t talk to people in a manner you wouldn’t want to be spoken to yourself. Be open to hearing others’ thoughts and opinions in the same way you expect others to respect yours. Be kind, be respectful, be open-minded but let’s stop being “nice.”
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a producer and development executive. I work with writers, directors, actors and everyone in between to bring stories to the screen. I work heavily within genre content (horror, thriller, sci-fi, etc) and bring stories to life that are equal parts thrilling, scary and emotional. I’m continuously amazed by the artistry, imagination and craft demonstrated by all the filmmakers I’ve gotten to work with! I’m not going to lie and say it hasn’t been a hard path to get to where I am now. I’ve had difficult jobs, worked with difficult people and had to deal with difficult situations that always, at the time, felt insurmountable to overcome. But I’ve been taught to have a “figure it out” mentality that has served me well. I’ve successfully helped bring to life dozens of long and short form content. The content I’ve overseen has over 100 million+ views online and counting! It’s incredible to think so many people have watched and enjoyed what my team and I have worked so hard to make!
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?
California is beautiful so I always like to get people outside! There are some great, easy hikes that anyone, even my couch potato friends would enjoy. Something shorter like Runyon (cute dogs, nice views), hiking to the Hollywood sign or a short hike through more lush greenery would certainly be on the list (Eaton Canyon trail always gets good reviews from my non-hiking out of towners). I always do a drive up the PCH, hitting the Santa Monica and Malibu beaches and taking in some of the views around Topanga Canyon. On the way back I’d probably hit up My Two Cents or Bludso’s, two black-owned businesses that are making my mouth water just thinking about them! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Obviously have to shout out my mother. The foundation of who I am as a person is because of her. I’m lucky to have come from such a supportive family. As a girl from Maryland, packing up and moving cross country to work in “movies & tv” is kind of a crazy thing, but I’ve never felt anything but support from everyone back home. I’d also have to thank my girlfriend, Whitney, for always being my sounding board. For assuaging my self doubt and telling me every day I’m the “smarting person she knows.” I probably would have packed it up a long time ago if I didn’t have her pushing me forward day-by-day, literally sometimes hour-by-hour. And there are a lot of people I’ve met and collaborated with along the way that have, both in big and small ways, helped me get to the point I am now- from co-workers who’ve taught me so much to friends who’ve helped me release stress and instill confidence. It really does take a village!