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

Hi Jeff, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Interesting question as the word “balance” is truly a key one for me. I think living a fulfilling happy and successful life is all about balance. Even in relationships you need a healthy balance. I used to become very overwhelmed when I had a lot going on at the same time. Honestly I still do, just not as much as I’ve learned to keep up on things as best I can. You have to have the talent for your talent as one of my acting teachers used to say. Meaning you’ve got to have the discipline, savvy and business sense for the creative artist in you. You can apply that to everything in life really. You’ve got to keep your time and your energies in check and in balance for your preparation, for your work, for your finances, for your health, for your important relationships and family, for rest and time off, for your soul and for your happiness. If you expect things to change last minute and challenges to come your way at the worst times, then you can be more fluid and roll with them better. I constantly try to stay on top of things, keep a to do list and be as prepared as I can be. That includes down time and the gym for me! When everyone goes home or takes half a day on a Friday, I put in a full day as I don’t know what will be thrown at me the next day. There will always be hard knocks and curve balls in life and work, but when your preparation is already there, you can adjust and do your best. That’s all we can do is our best and a tremendous part of that is balance. It may not be perfect, or how you planned, but you would have done the best you could with whatever it is.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I used to wish I had started pursuing an entertainment career as a kid, earlier than I did. I now know that it was my journey and everything happens as it should. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to deal with all that comes with that as a kid. I did school plays and anything that was accessible to me as a child. Even in high school I did the plays, and at a sports-oriented all boys Catholic school like Holy Cross in Queens NY, let’s just say that wasn’t so easy. Early on, I knew I was fascinated with acting and performance. I know it helped me in countless ways grow out of the insecure boy I was, and into the man I am today. Don’t get me wrong, I was a popular kid, voted best looking in grade school by my classmates, and had a large group of friends. Which would change as I grew more into my adult self and learned who my true friends were. They become family. I’m proud I never “gave up” or succumbed to pressures to leave entertainment or any dreams behind. I knew I had an artist’s soul and needed to be creative to be happy and truly live my life.
I started working in the family business after gradating college, and quickly moved into New York City. That’s where I was able to take my passions further, began exploring and took acting classes at night, Manhattan is where I got my first acting job on “All My Children” which made me eligible to join SAG at the time. That was it, I was bitten by the bug, I was all in.
I was further developing my craft, booking gigs and learning the industry when I moved to Los Angeles. I made new friends and family there and became intrigued and interested in producing. With a group of very talented friends and well over 3 years, I produced my first feature film, a documentary “Ringers: Lord of the Fans” which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2005 and was sold to Sony Pictures. It was a ton of hard work, and turned out to be a big success for all of us as first time filmmakers. It was the perfect segue into producing narrative features, as after Ringers, we vowed never to produce a clip and clearance nightmare documentary again. Kidding … not.
We’ve all heard that being behind the camera can help you as an actor. After living it I can say it truly does, but I didn’t expect it to teach me as much as it has and in various ways. Some say “You have to choose one profession. You have to choose one hat over the other.” I call BS! I know from experience that it all helps shape who you are as an artist and as a human being. Even staying working with my family business, has helped me greatly in many ways, and because its family allowed me great flexibility. In todays world where working from home is more common than ever, you can choose differently, you can choose to do what you want. It’s challenging, time consuming, takes enormous discipline and is extremely difficult at times, but everything worth it is. It’s all about balance for me. Balance is taking care of yourself. As I’ve mentioned that’s a key word and mantra for me “Balance.” Another is “Dream.” Go ahead and dream I give you permission. You can have it all.

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?
I would recommend a visiting friend to stay in my hood, West Hollywood. If there is a central place in Los Angeles, I would say Weho is it. It’s Hollywood and Beverly Hills adjacent on either side. It is really only about 35 minutes away either North over the mountain into the valley or studios, South to LAX, East to Downtown LA or West to the beach. If you like nightlife, great brunch and dinner restaurants, its a trendy and happening part of town with a lot to do. Revolver and Mother Lode are favorite local bars, with Mother Lode known to serve the strongest drinks on the strip. LOL! Yes I like a good cocktail come the weekend! Tom Tom and Bottega Louie are also right on the Santa Monica Boulevard strip and have great atmosphere and delicious food. Hit the dessert and coffee bar in Bottega Louie even if you’re just strolling down the strip. The Abbey is an infamous LGBTQ food and bar hot spot, where everybody including celebrities eventually falls through. Lady Gaga made an appearance there just last month. You’re only minutes away from Eataly at Westfield Century City, hiking at Runyon Canyon or Malibu, shopping on Rodeo Drive or Melrose Avenue, pool parties and sunny rooftop lounges everywhere. During the pandemic I finally got to the Los Angeles National Forest. It’s so beautiful and BIG with picnic areas, trails, streams, waterfalls and breathtaking nature views in all its majesty. I could keep on writing and just realized that I am still discovering all the great places Los Angeles has to offer.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my family, Trey and my brother Jerry for all of their support. I would not have been able to continue a creative career if it was not for their enduring love and encouragement. I’d like to dedicate this Shoutout to a huge source of inspiration to me – one of my acting teachers Naomi Thornton. Naomi passed away from Covid-19 last year during the pandemic in New York City. She was one of my first acting teachers at Michael Howard Studios in Chelsea NYC. Naomi lived uptown and loved New York. She enjoyed walking everywhere in the city, “It help’s keep me in shape!” She was full of life and passion for her art and students. Besides teaching she would still perform in shows and loved Chekhov, a favorite play of hers was The Cherry Orchard. I remember her telling us stories of how she would take a summer cruise in Russia on the Volga River I believe, and teach and perform Chekhov in the ship’s shows. One of her daughters Amy told me Naomi loved the free food on the cruises and the unsanctioned excursions she took off the ship because she wanted to meet real Russians and not be herded about with the other cruise members. Naomi would sneak away and head down little dirt roads in the country and talk to people in their gardens in her broken Russian. She had little cards posted all over her apartment and taped onto various furniture with their names in Russian. I credit Naomi for helping me make the big decision to move to Los Angeles. When I asked her about leaving NYC and moving for LA, she looked at me sharply and immediately said “Yes, you should go!” The moments I lived and lessons I learned in her classes will stay with me always as they are now a part of me, and are some of the most moving meaningful memoires in my life. Rest peacefully angel and thank you for everything.

Website: http://jeffmarchelletta.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeffmarchelletta

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeffmarch

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeffmarchelletta

Other: https://www.industrystandardfilms.com

Image Credits
David Madison, David Muller, Marcos Daniel Ferreira, Sandra Valde-Hansen, Tom Pritchard, Andre Chesini, Trey Haines

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