We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessie Eveland and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessie, why did you pursue a creative career?
It has never really felt like a choice to pursue an artistic career for me. It has just always been apart of me since I was young. I an incredibly thankful to my parents for exposing me to so many of the arts since I was a toddler. I always looked forward to my dance, piano, guitar, and acting lessons. It was because of this exposure that I realized any career in the arts would make me the happiest in my life. Money, fame, or glittering gold has never been the draw to acting for me. As an actress, I believe it is incredibly important to showcase the human element in all of it’s beauty and ugliness and this keeps me going. I am not afraid to show every spectrum of the human element. I have always been a theatrical person, strongly feeling emotions to their most heightened state, sometimes to a fault, so why not make a career out of that? All emotions, good or bad, aren’t strange to any of us, but I love harnessing them and find it fascinating to walk in other’s shoes finding similarities with these characters that I get to breathe life into. My first gig was being cast as the lead witch in a 3rd grade play called “Piggy Pie”. It was my first time on stage! I felt so alive being this tiny evil witch and from that moment on, I knew acting was for me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am fiercely protective of my creative inner self and I think that strengthens my resilience and commitment to my acting career. Learning the balance of life in Los Angeles, making money, and chasing your dreams is challenging and has taken me awhile to chart the course. The biggest step I’ve taken in my career was to get trained in the Meisner technique. In my acting school especially, you get out what you put in. Nobody can go on stage for you, and it is painfully obvious when people are acting rather than living in the moment. I was able to move up a class level in half the average time it takes for students to move up. I just feel I have no time to waste. Acting is an addiction to me! It’s where whatever crazy emotions I have are celebrated and accepted. It wasn’t an easy journey. Showing all sides of yourselves to your peers and anyone can be a daunting task if you let other’s judgement kill your bravery. My accomplishments at this school are the most tangible reminder that I’m on the right track. It might seem odd for me to boast about my accomplishments in this way, but it is also the biggest lesson I’ve learned and that is why I share it. There is a piece of the pie for everyone in this industry, and through my acting school this fact was cemented for me. As an artist, you are cheating yourself and the world if you aren’t completely genuine and authentic. I admire people’s authenticity and uniqueness! It is the most important part of pursuing a career in a creative field! It was through mine that I was able to be the record breaker at my school and be rewarded with going up on stage with my acting teacher who was taught by Sanford Meisner herself. I can’t exactly pinpoint how I overcame the fear of exposing my own human element to my peers, but I can narrow it down to my love of acting and choosing everyday in whatever I’m acting in to live in that moment fully.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love hiking in Griffith and Runyon Canyon so we’d have to go there. I recently found this cute swing at Elysian park so if they wanted any pics for their Instagram I’m all over it. I’m learning Korean, so I’d love to take them to Koreatown. I love all of the places to eat and shop down there. I’d probably keep an eye out for any comedy shows at UCB. I was able to see Ben Schwartz there, and as an avid Parks and Rec fan I was beyond happy. There’s a fish taco place in Los Feliz that is my absolute favorite. I’d have to take them on a drive on the PCH as well from Santa Monica to Malibu because it is such an iconic drive. Oh and all of the theme parks. I’ve lived here for what feels like a long time but also not enough time! I’m still a tourist in this city and I love that.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am incredibly blessed to have had grown up in such a creative family where arts were made a priority. My mom is a kid at heart and has always encouraged us to live in our own little imaginations. She taught me to have incredible sympathy as well and both have transformed my acting career. She introduced music into my life and at the age of 4 I began learning piano. I have two older sisters and to this day we are all a creative bunch. When we were young we would personify our pets and come up with dramatic back stories for them before we adopted them. We were never in competition with each other creatively and acknowledge our different strengths in the arts. My father is my biggest fan. Anytime I accomplish anything creative, he is right there encouraging me to find a way to make a living at it. I also attribute him with my love of the guitar because he encouraged me to add a stringed instrument to my creative repertoire. My best friend Lindsey is always there to answer my call, hyping me up and reminding me who I am. I absolutely cherish the boat I’m in with my Los Angeles friends and acting peers. We all have each other’s backs and it will always be that way. Timothee Chalamet also deserves some credit. When I felt really discouraged about my career and felt I was drowning, a friend invited me to see Call Me By Your Name with her because we were trying to see all of the Oscar nominated films of that year. I had no idea what the film was about, but 15 minutes into the movie, because of his fearlessly authentic acting, I was reminded of why I wanted to act in the first place. He completely brought me back down to the roots of why I wanted to act – to showcase the beauty and pain of being a human. My focus shifted because if I had to opportunity to do what he did in that movie even once, that would be enough for me. I hope I get to work with him one day.
Other: https://www.backstage.com/u/jessie-eveland/ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10452999/ https://resumes.actorsaccess.com/jessieeveland
Mary Tamura, Hilda Centeno