We had the good fortune of connecting with Jes Fama and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jes, why did you pursue a creative career?
I was born with a creative itch. You can never satisfy it, it’s always there. My brain is constantly swirling with ideas and it causes many sleepless nights! So, what I’m getting at, is that I didn’t choose to pursue an artistic way of life, it was just something that I was made for. Trust me, this lifestyle is grueling and demanding; uncertain and inconsistent, but anyone with the same passion understands that it’s just part of it. The rewards far outweigh those difficulties because it’s your craft. You get to do what you love. When I’m on stage hosting a live event or I’m in the middle of a great interview, I’m happy. Even when curveballs are coming at me full speed on the red carpet and I’ve been in an uncomfortable dress and heels all day, I haven’t eaten or drank anything and I need to pee…I’m still wicked happy. That’s why I’ve pursued my creative career.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Nothing in the entertainment world is easy. Nothing happens overnight. You have to put in the work, that goes for anything really. One of the reasons I started interviewing is simply because I like stories, especially true stories. I’m also a really big fan of music and something I noticed when I was younger was that the musicians were getting the crap end of the stick. MTV was really the only place you could find interviews with musicians, but only on certain shows at obscure hours. The talk shows would showcase a band for the night, having them play a song, but the bands themselves were never in the “hot seat”. Also, I noticed some ‘journalists’ were merely asking questions to their guests that their producer had just given them, and not having any actual connection or interest in who they were talking to. So often missing out on some amazing follow-ups because they didn’t care to listen to the answer, instead skipping to the next question. I really try to listen and I’ve found some great stories between the lines that sometimes have even surprised my guests.
There are so many challenges in the world of arts. Number one…everyone wants your job! There is so much competition out there and it’s brutal. You need to have really tough skin and be ready to be rejected. Try to remember not to take it personally, even though it seems personal because they didn’t pick you…there are a bazillion factors, just move on. I also produce and host my own show, so I get to do what I want!! I cast myself every time! Ha! But with that I face other challenges, I have to create all my own content, edit it, promote it and constantly prove myself. And because I’m not a massive show like E! News or Access Hollywood it’s a lot harder to gain access to bigger names and events. I take every opportunity that I can. There is always something to learn.
Every accomplishment is a big deal but for me I’m most proud of my most recent event; I was accepted to be in the press room for the Oscars! I have applied for years but this year it finally happened, my credentials were approved. This was/is still a huge deal for me, to be part of one of the biggest nights in movies, and I did it myself. That was kind of surreal, I opened the email and I had to read it a few times, and then I totally cried. Another big night was The Metal Hall of Fame in 2020 where I was co-host and a producer. That was super challenging wearing so many hats. People don’t realize the work that goes into making a one night show or concert come to life, all the working parts, the people, the staging, the pipe and draping and the last minute everything! The list goes on. But when it’s all done and you put together a really great event it feels amazing. Plus, hosting that night was incredible, I got to introduce some metal greats and interview the icons backstage! Pretty epic night.
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 love my visitors! When my besties come for a visit I have to show them around. Of course you take the day trip to Rodeo Drive, do a little walk about and shopping. (Unless you’re rich, which I am not, you don’t spend a lot of time there!) Then head to Hollywood Blvd, go to Amoeba and shop for that fun obscure movie you didn’t know you needed until this moment! Then let’s go eat at Saint Felix on Cahuenga. Drive up Beachwood to the Hollywood sign, take that picture and head home in tons of traffic! They would have to see a show at The Whisky and the we would head to The Rainbow for some grub. A lot of people suggest the pizza from ‘The Bow’ but the menu is huge and everything is delicious. My personal faves are the lasagna, the Chinese chicken salad and the chicken noodle soup, and the bread, OMG the bread.
One day we have to hit the beach taking the scenic route on the PCH because it’s so beautiful. We would head to Zuma, set up on the beach and watch for dolphins, play some frisbee and chill. Then head down the coast and have lunch at Reel Inn Malibu. Then we would go to Venice and walk the boardwalk and shop at the outdoor vendors. We would stop for something refreshing from one of the family owned restaurants off the boardwalk and have it while we walked over to the Venice Canals. It would be perfect to walk them while the sun was setting!
One night we would go to The Satellite for live music or to Hotel Cafe for a showcase. There are so many small music venues here in L.A. and all around. And so many iconic ones too, like the Troubadour or Viper Room. I’d want them to see all of the places! I also love food and would want them to eat everywhere like The Stinking Rose, where everything is made with garlic, yumm! Chiba is the best sushi restaurant, Spumoni on Ventura has the best gnocchi bolognese and Joe Peeps has a deliciously massive pizza (I love it extra cooked) I love food.
We’d take a hike at Fryman Canyon and check out Tree People one day. I love the Farmer’s Market and the Santee Alley Shops. There’s so much to do and new things all the time. Whatever we do, we’re gonna have fun!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to BTV Mike, Jeff, Jim, Jay, Alicia, John, Joe, Nick, Chris, Megan, Scott and everyone else that I had the pleasure working with.
BTV was my first real taste of broadcast journalism. I was able to try everything there, from the teleprompters and cameras to reporting and anchoring. I really got the best hands on training sitting behind the news desk or out on the field for Bridgewater This Week. My experiences at BTV are irreplaceable. There is a bond that was created between us that will never break. My BTV family is one of a kind. I visit every time I’m home and still pop in on some special events, like my favorite, The Annual 4th of July Parade. The first year Alicia and I were invited to cover The 4th of July Parade Live event we got to ride on a float…we still talk about how much fun that was!
Linkedin: Jes Fama
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