We had the good fortune of connecting with Joanna Burke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joanna, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
I would say that the single MOST IMPORTANT THING that ANY of us can do in life is to be ourselves. When I finally made the decision to stop being what/who I thought everyone else wanted me to be & I stopped trying to “fit in” well…that is where I found true freedom & Jojo’s Dance Divas & Dudes started to gain momentum. I am Miss Jojo, a person who LOVES Children, Toys, Playgrounds, Disney Musicals, Stuffed Animals etc…I chose to color my hair blue & am allowing my BIG OVER THE TOP personality to lead me both in the classroom & on camera.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I would say that the #1 thing that sets me apart from every other adult in the World is that I am NOT 1. I am truly a child at heart who wants to have fun through education & movement. I have wonderful artist friends who have BIG goals and will absolutely work in TV & Film, however none of them are envisioning Sesame Street or Blue’s Clues as their DREAM JOB like I have. Or at least not to my knowledge, so if you are reading this & this is you then let’s be friends! I am always wanting to team up & make friends with others who have this same unique interest that I have. As a matter of fact, I recently learned that some of my family members draw & write amazing poetry so I am happy to share that we have teamed up and will be releasing a project this spring that I am very proud of so keep up with me on IG for all the latest & greatest.
I would say that the BIGGEST challenge I had to overcome was accepting the fact that I am different…REALLY different and embracing & falling into that rather then trying to change or conform to my idea of what I should be or what everyone wants me to be. At the end of the day the bright light is always going to shine through so why waste time trying to dim it? I think that has been my BEST life lesson so far. You can deny who you are all you want, but you are still going to be that person, even when you have shoved the real you so far down you think it can never be found again that person will still appear & guide you through this life.
TRUST ME when I say that it is SO MUCH LESS WORK to embrace and lean in to who that person is that you shoved way deep down cause they aren’t going away and there is no sense in wasting time & energy.
Everyday I am making new discoveries about myself & my brand & I am not afraid to be ME & dream BIG about all the things I want to do for children & certain celebrities I would like to partner up to make a difference with. If you are reading this & believe I can be of service in some way of something YOU are creating, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
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?
A lot has changed since COVID and we are still going through it here in California, which on the positive side has allowed for a bit more down time with friends & family. If I had a friend visit for a week, I would see if we could hit a theme park like, Universal Studios or Disneyland. Let’s face it, theme parks can be exhausting so after running a-muck all over & bouncing from the Magical Kingdom to Hogwarts I would say it is time to order in & just spend some down time with one another. I am a firm believer in NOT always having to be “out & about”. COVID has taught me so much & 1 for sure thing is that home is such a wonderful place to be.
Upon being bored of my own home, I would suggest finding an Air B & B with either a private pool, where I would of course bring a HUGE unicorn float to lay on while floating around & listening to GREAT music, or a beach front property where one could experience what it might be like to live at the beach.
Of course while I am enjoying a lovely “staycation” I have to eat, but don’t want to be ripped away from the pool & my unicorn float…time to hit those delivery apps & I have to say that Joselitos in Montrose is one of my favorite spots to order in from. When I am not ordering Joselitos, sushi or an acaí bowl from somewhere I am using my Tovala Oven which I am now completely obsessed with for many different reasons, from price, convenience, the food being top quality and healthy…you should absolutely check it out. The food cooks itself with the scan of a barcode so I have all the time in the world to keep floating around on my unicorn with great company during “staycation” mode, & it is also such a great tool when I am back to my regular Miss Jojo “on the go” routine.
Hands down if I was vacationing with a friend we would have to get massages, facials, manicures & pedicures. When it comes to my fingers & toes I frequent a place called Nails Paradise in Glendale, and to be completely blunt, a massage & facial is a treat I practically NEVER treat myself to but when I able I really like visiting Burbank Spa & Garden.
Of course, if you are vacationing with me you must also be ready for early morning football on the weekends! If Manchester United is playing you can find me by Patch Moore’s side at The Fox & Hounds in Studio City with the rest of the United supporters.
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 look at folks like Fred Rogers & Shari Lewis…now I am NO ventriloquist, but I do love children & love talking to them. I have a goal to leave a mark on this World as BIG as Mr. Rogers & Ms. Lewis.. I am very lucky to be surrounded by amazing friends & communities that are supporting my efforts & before they even knew what I was up to would say things like, “you know you really remind me of a modern day female Mr Rogers”
Hearing something like that from multiple people has been a great tool to keep going. So a HUGE shout out to:
All my friends in the Voice Over Community at Soundbox LA, the On Camera Acting Community & my Rep at Rage Models, the Hosting community at Become A Host, All the parents out there who have given me the honor & privilege to be with their children every week in the dance space & who are subscribed to my YouTube channel allowing their children to watch my creative content, the staff at The Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge & the Community Center Preschool for keeping my enrichment programs alive. Burbank Parks & Recreation for inviting me back to contribute to day camps every year, my dear friend & fashion consultant Katie Watford who helps the feelings I have inside show on the outside though style, Claire Criswell owner of Rats Nest Parlor in Burbank for taking the plunge with me & creating a beautiful head of blue hair for Miss to wear. Also my church family at Story City, my immediate family who has always supported me no matter what & my boyfriend Patch Moore who has to put up with silly things in the house like stuffed animals, rooms full of dance props, mermaid sheets, my blue hair, loud attire & the continuous singing, dancing & listening to Disney Musicals on full blast ALL THE TIME. A little extra shout out to him as well for assistance with shooting & editing content.
Be it dance or the 3 Rs (Reading, wRiting & aRithmetic) I am so grateful to have support from great teachers & mentors from all around the World including my friends from LCFCC Preschool, Chandler Private School & my dear friend & dance teacher mentor Julie Kay Stallcup.
I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful, supportive friends, & business owners.