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

Hi Jillian, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking risks and stepping outside of my comfort zone has led me to the best opportunities and experiences in my life/career! It’s not always been easy to step outside of a place of familiarly and comfort. There’s always the possibility of dealing with rejection or failure when you put yourself out there. I’ve always been motivated by the quote, “I rather have a life of ‘oh wells’ than a life of ‘what ifs’.” Even if you take the risk and it doesn’t work out, it will always be beneficial to your growth. It has helped me realize my true desires and has built my resilience as a person.

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.
Since a very young age, I always knew I wanted to work in entertainment. I grew up heavily involved with the arts and had a lot of different creative outlets such as theatre, dance, music, writing, and video production. All of these experiences made me realize I was truly passionate about storytelling. I decided to enroll in a broadcast journalism class in high school and this really sparked a new interest in me. This is what gravitated me towards the television news industry. I tried to gain as much experience as I could by taking classes at the local NBC station and job shadowing in the news studio. It wasn’t until college when I joined a student-run news organization producing broadcasts once to twice a week. One of my proudest accomplishments was getting to produce my first live broadcast and seeing it air on local television. In addition, I still plan on pursuing acting for as long as I can professionally or nonprofessionally. There’s still a lot of things I’d like to try and a lot of goals I still have yet to accomplish. Overall, I’m really excited for what’s to come!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
That’s a tough one! I’d probably take them to The Grove for shopping and dinner. It’s been one of my favorite malls since I was little. I love amusement parks so we’d definitely spend a day at Disneyland or Universal Studios. I’d want them to spend as much time in the beautiful weather so we’d check out the beaches (Santa Monica, Malibu, Laguna) or hike to the Hollywood sign through the Brush Canyon trail. One of the days we would go check out the exhibits and amazing views at the Griffith Observatory. I’d also want to take them to see a performance at one of the best music venues, the Hollywood Bowl. There’s really an endless amount of things to see and do.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family is everything! They have been so supportive of my goals and I’m really thankful for that. Through the good and the bad, it’s nice to always have this support system I can always count on. Their love and encouragement is what keeps me going.

Also, teachers are SO important. Two people I’d also like to recognize are my two college professors: Professor Vargas and Professor Acedo. Their knowledge and mentorship has made such a positive impact in my life.

Instagram: @jillianfortner

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillian-fortner-994940168/

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