We had the good fortune of connecting with JD McGibney and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi JD, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I found a deep connection with music when I was a teenager. Like most people, going through adolescence can be confusing and tough. Listening to and creating music gave me a way to channel all the angst, the difficult emotions, and what I would later come to identify as anxiety, into a healthy and creative medium.
As I grew up, that connection with music grew as well. I played in bands all through high school and college, until I met my mentor, Thomas J. Bellezza. He taught me how to run my life like a business. Being equipped with that information, I found the courage to pursue a career in entertainment to help give back what had been so crucial in my personal journey.
After a few years of working as a session musician and creating original music, Thomas invited me to join him in expanding his company, BBR Productions. The goal being to help entertainers get their careers in the entertainment industry started, and teach them how to run their lives like a business.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
BBR Productions is an affordable all inclusive consulting, marketing, and development production company designed to help entertainers find their “Yes” in life.
One of our missions is to make sure entertainers are educated enough to make sure they are not taken advantage of, and are able to provide their own foundation to bring their dreams to reality.
We also have a nonprofit designed to educate filmmakers through first hand experience, and have our first project in the works.
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.
Most of my favorite places in Los Angeles involve food! Top of my list is this fantastic restaurant that my uncle introduced me to called Irori Sushi. Hands down, some of the best sushi I’ve ever had in my life, ever. On top of that, the experience is fun because you have to sit on the floor while you dine. For breakfast there’s Bru’s Wiffle in Santa Monica. They have a red velvet waffle that’s like heaven on a plate. For lunch, brunch, or just plain coffee, I’d bring them to Steampunk Cafe and Groundwork Coffee in the Valley.
On a more intellectual note, The Getty Museum and La brea tar Pits are some of my favorite museums in the city. Griffith Observatory is another choice, too. The hike in the park leading up to the museum, topped with the view of the city; what could beat that?
My final stop would be the Hollywood Bowl. This is one of my favorite venues in the entire world. The aesthetic of the bowl itself, coupled with the fact that the sound is perfect anywhere you sit makes it so that there are no bad seats.
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?
One of the most important lessons I learned was that success is never about you, it is about the people around you. It takes a team for any one person to succeed, and in working with a team everyone succeeds together.
The most influential person in my career, and my life, is my mentor and best friend Thomas J. Bellezza. He’s taken me under his wing as a protege and shared with me endless amounts of priceless knowledge. He’s been by my side as I’ve gone through some of the most difficult events of my life. He’s guided me as an artist and a professional, and never has he ever cast judgement during moments of weakness or ignorance. Every action has always been to motivate and inspire me to be a better version of who I am.
Another person that’s been influential in my life is my aunt, Bonnie Eskenazi. Without her love, guidance, and giving nature there is absolutely no way that I’d have been able to do half the things I’ve done. Her and my uncle gave me my first platform to stand on in order to step into the entertainment industry without having to worry about a roof over my head. Bonnie was also a crucial component in encouraging me to take the steps necessary to build a career in the entertainment industry.