We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Lynn Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica Lynn, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
As the founder and CEO of Soaring Solo studios, a company dedicated to the direction and development of one person plays, I can attest that the most Important factor behind the success of my company is the power of speaking our truth and telling our stories.
In a time when there is so much divisiveness, It is more imperative than ever, for people to be inspired to unite, find empathy for one another, and be educated on life experiences different than their own.
Not to mention, it is deeply healing for the actors and writers of solo shows, to be able to tell their stories and experience the profound level of freedom and self empowerment that such Creative expression provides.
I believe that everyone has a story worthy of telling, not only for their own personal transformation and growth, but for the betterment of their audience as well.
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.
20 years ago I began my journey as a solo artist performing my own one person plays internationally and through a series of synchronistic events, I was able to transition into a full-time career of directing and developing other solo artists. Guiding people to creatively share their stories and speak their truth from stage has been the proudest and most rewarding aspect of my life to date. With well over 100 solo shows under my belt as a director, I have learned so very much from my students and clients. They have generously taught me and their audiences about important topics such as gender identity, homophobia and transphobia, Racism and anti-racist work, sexism and sexual trauma, domestic violence, deaf culture and being differently abled, alcoholism, human sex trafficking, And the list goes on of the things I’ve been honored to be educated about and help to enlighten an audience about through the powerful voices of the Solo Artists I’m blessed to work with. Theatre is a fantastic form of edutainment, and solo theater specifically is wildly dynamic as we experience an entire world through the lens of just one person.
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?
One of the things I love most about Los Angeles is access to the beauty of nature and perfect weather. That said, when I have visitors, I always take them on a hike on Fryman in Studio City. To me, in such a bustling and busy city, being able to hike into the mountains above the traffic, noise and tall buildings, and simply look down at the “city of Angels” is such a replenishing and inspiring activity for my soul.
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?
I am deeply grateful For the contributions of Adilah Barnes, a dear mentor of mine who is the cofounder of the Los Angeles women’s theater Festival. She is an exemplary solo artist with a wealth of knowledge to share. Sitting on the board of LAWTF with her has been invaluable in my personal growth and professional Achievement. She is a woman of great integrity and talent, and I continue to learn from her to this day. www.LAWTF.org
Photographer, Mary Lou Sandler of 3 cubed studios