We had the good fortune of connecting with Jordan Van Clief and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jordan, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The main reason I have had success is because I’ve tried. I know that sounds stupid, but so many people have great ideas and great concepts, but never get beyond that phase. I call it my crazy ratio, I have 90% follow through on my crazy. If I have an idea, I go for it. As an actor, making your own work is paramount and I’ve had great follow through on that. Do I do it alone? Absolutely not. The second reason I have succeeded is because I know how to ask for help. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Support your friends. You can’t ask for their help if you don’t support them. As an actor, I try to go to all my friends shows, repost their work, shout them out to friends and family and then when I say I need a favor, they are happy to help me out knowing I’ve always had their back. Third and final reason, is I know when to stop and take care of myself. I do not grind 100% of the time. That’s insane. I cry all the time because it’s my favorite stress reliever. I let myself do that without judgement.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Acting is not easy, I would never tell anyone to pursue acting unless they love in through and through because it is an oversaturated industry full of rejection. Why am I doing it? Because I wouldn’t be myself if I wasn’t an actor. Making my own work is incredible, I love having creative control and writing fun female forward pieces, but there’s always some self doubt that creeps up. Why can’t I get an agent? Why don’t I book more roles? Why do I have to work so hard to act? Sometimes I love just being an actor and showing up to set just to act. When I make my own work, I’m wearing a million different hats and multi tasking all day. But when I sit down and really listen to myself, I do it because I love it. I do it because I know I have stories that are meant to be told. I do it because I’m good at it. And when my opportunity comes, I know I’m ready for it. I work hard because Hollywood wasn’t ready for my brand, they wanted me to be dumber, prettier, uglier, smarter, and I could only be me. Don’t let people tell you that you aren’t good enough, what they mean is you aren’t what they are looking for right now. Don’t wait on them, prove them wrong.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Mid City is a very under appreciated area, but it’s full of hidden gems. My favorite local spot is My 2 Cents, a delicious New Orleans style southern restaurant. You can get the best shrimp and grits there, and trust me, I always do. For breakfast it’s Cafe Chocolate, a Mexican-American cafe that has the best breakfast in town, but skip the coffee there and get your caffeine at Little Amsterdam Coffee. A black owned coffee shop that is not only gorgeous (filled with local art) but also has the best soy latte (bye Starbucks).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To Eddie Leavy, my partner in crime, my only plus one, and my most thoughtful friend. You inspire me to create, to be better, and you let me celebrate every little victory, even if it’s just finding the perfect parking spot for an audition. To Tyler Schuelke, thank you for taking my crazy ideas and making them better. Thank you for always being down to look stupid and act weird. You make me a better person. To Lauren Satkwich, I love you and everything you do. When I grow up I want to be you, hot, successful, and no f*cks to give.