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

Hi Jozanne, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Personally, it was more than a thought but a definite calling. As an actress and writer, there were many times I was looking for a story that represented myself and other people of color that I was not seeing in the entertainment industry. Instead of complaining, my business partner, Xaypani Baccam and I decided to provide that space that will not only fill a void but connect the world through  art and entertainment. Sometimes the things we hate to see are what we are called to change. Basically, we hold ourselves accountable and begin to create work and opportunities for a more diverse and inclusive Hollywood. This is genesis of Double 8 Entertainment.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
First, I must state that I am a proud Jamaican woman who has had the privilege to come to this country. My heritage and culture definitely influence a lot of my work and who I am as an artist. I started off as a poet and from there my creativity expanded to actress, playwright, author and now a Co-Ceo of a new  and on the rise production company name Double 8 Entertainment. The thing that sets me apart is the fact that I am unapologetically myself. I no longer try to hide any part of me.  The proudest moment for me was when I wrote my one woman show, BEAUTIFUL and stepped out on faith by performing a staged reading of it. That one decision in believing in myself took a show that literally began in my living room around the world. Now Beautiful is also an award winning book and is currently  being adapted to a screenplay. This once  broken place in my life that I was blessed to overcome is inspiring  hundreds of women and men from around the world.  Some days it literally blows my mind.

It’s never an easy journey following your dreams and living on purpose. Life will challenge you. Or should I say Murphy’s Law will test you to see if you are committed  and do you really believe in what you set out to accomplish. Sometimes even your closest friends and family will doubt your decision and your  path.
To overcome those challenges, I had to get my mind right. What I mean by that? I had to make a resolve that either life or death, this was what I was going to do. I also had to avoid the naysayers and follow what my heart was crying out for.  There are so many lessons for sure. But the greatest one for me is to practice faithfulness.
The art of being disciplined is more powerful than even talent. There are millions of brilliant, talented people but only the one who persevere through discipline most times wins the race. Greatness is born but legends are built.
Regarding my brand, you will always see an element of spirituality and provocativeness sprinkled in anything I do. Succinctly my story…A few years ago I discovered that my biologically name “Josanne” means “God Increases” It means expansion of space and time. But the funny thing is I grew up in a very small room where I shared the bed with my grandmother and grandfather until I was 10 years old. I spent the majority of my life thinking small and feeling small. Just like the walls closed in on me physically, so were the opinions of others. My story, I will push the envelope in my work and life to champion women and children who have been abused and definitely to bring a fresh worldview to entertainment as an artist and producer. from the Caribbean. I was born to expand. This is just the beginning.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles is such a fabulous place to live. The beautiful sunsets and summer weather will make you want to move here. There are so many secluded and eclectic places throughout our city for everyone. I really love Palos Verdes. The Terranea Resort would be the place for breakfast for sure. A little posh but well deserving for the people you love. Let’s not forget the beaches. Hermosa   and Zumba Beach are definite.  Dinner at the Peninsula in Beverly Hills is a must and a little splurging on Rodeo Drive. Why not? And how can we not drive down Ventura Blvd and  make some pit stops at different cafes along the way.

More than likely on Saturday morning a hike either in Topanga Canyon or Runyon  to get our blood circulating. Then a nice brunch on Sunset Blvd at Le Petit Four.  Going on an adventure and discovering new things fascinates me. So  I am sure I would also let my guests explore and I join in the festivities.
Another interesting thing to check out in Los Angeles are the Center Theater Group shows. They always have amazing performances. So many things to do on Hollywood Blvd and maybe a quick trip to Santa Barbara horseback riding can just top it off perfectly.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow.  That is a long list of people.  But first, as a person of faith, I want to give a shout out to God. My gifts and talents all stemmed from the Creator. It just took myself coming in agreement  and my amazing community of friends to confirm what was already destined. However, I must say a book that definitely got me on the way to purpose was the phenomenal woman, poet and educator, Dr. Maya Angelou’s “Why Do the Caged Bird Sings.” This book set me free to use my voice in various mediums.

Website: https://www.jozannemarie.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jozannemarie/?hl=en

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jozannemarie?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iamjozannemarie/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lViykpt8Iq4

Image Credits
Nogen Beck.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.