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

Hi Jessica, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
If I could share one thing with my younger self it would be that having a work life balance is the key to sustainability in a creative career. I think it’s a common misconception that to make your mark in the entertainment industry you have to be working constantly and people needs to ‘see’ you putting in the work. Personally, I’ve found that a lot of the good stuff, the inspiration, the ‘ah-ha’ moments come when I take the time for self-care like hiking with friends, spending time with my husband and our dog, and appreciating art and the artists around me. I believe we’re all here because we’re unique and have something special to add in our respect fields, so I am going to enjoy every moment of the journey, including the detours!

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?
I have been a producer in TV, Film and Digital for the past several years and more recently I have been directing, so I’d say reinvention is the key for me! I love everything about producing – the pace, collaboration and problem-solving. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to travel and work around the globe. Transitioning into the Director’s Chair has been daunting, but a challenge that felt like a logical step for me as an artist. I have directed shorts films, commercials and music videos, so my next goal is to direct an episode of television. I am a fellow in the HBOAccess Directing program and that has opened a lot of doors.

One of the most exciting and unexpected creative journeys I have taken as an entrepreneur is working in the comic space. My friend and collaborator, Alyson Shelton, is an incredibly talented writer and during COVID we embarked on turning one of her feature scripts into a comic. We collaborated with an all-female team and REBURN was born! REBURN is a comic about a super-powered woman named May who steps forward to reclaim her life, find her daughters all while trying to understand the scope and legacy of her power.

When it comes to creative partnerships I give 1000% percent when I am all-in. Experience has taught me to do a ‘gut check’ before I work with anyone and to make sure we can communicate and have healthy boundaries. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of awesome people! And, I look forward to the next chapter!

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?
Going on a hike is such a cool way to SEE Los Angeles so that’s usually one of my go-to’s. I’m from the Midwest so when my friends visit they tend to come out when its cold and snowy back home. There are so many great hikes in Griffith Park that’s one of my favorite spots and then we would celebrate our work out with a delicious brunch on the patio at Messhall Kitchen in Los Feliz. And, then, of course, we would take a drive down the PCH and head to Malibu to enjoy the beach and splurge on sushi at Nobu Malibu. I’ve also been really enjoying the flair of Highland Park! Cool shops, restaurants, and people. I think its a great vibe to share with friends from out of town.

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?
WOW! I feel fortunate to have so many incredible people in my life. Where to begin? I guess at the beginning?

My family has always supported my dreams – even if they thought I was crazy – that was probably more often than not – I’ve always known that they were there to cheer me on in the good times or lend a shoulder in the bad, so without them I don’t think I would have the courage to be uniquely me!

I received my BFA in Theatre and Telecommunications at Indiana University. The day after graduation I packed my car and headed to LA with no connections in the entertainment industry. There was a large group of us (Shout out to my fellow Hoosiers) who moved at the same time and we became a lifeline for each other. With the support of the university we started our own alumni association called the Hollywood Hoosiers that still exists today. I’ve met so many great people thru this group and have the opportunity to mentor students. I want them to know that they’re not alone and we’re here to support their dreams too. My husband and I kicked off a ‘Hollywood Hoosiers Scholarship’ fund at IU that will be given to one student in The Media School every year starting in 2022. I wouldn’t have been able to pay for school without scholarships and financial aid, so its important to me to give back and hopefully encourage others to do the same!

Speaking of my husband, I am so extremely blessed to have a man in my life who encourages and, quite frankly, puts up with me! We work together as much as possible and I can’t imagine it any other way. He’s the kindest most wonderful guy I know and I can’t believe that in this crazy big world we found each other.

Website: jessicapetelle.com

Instagram: instagram.com/jessicatography

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicapetelle/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PetelleJessica

Image Credits
Leslie Alejandro Brad Turner Michael Louis Schrader

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