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

Hi Mikey, how do you think about risk?

You have to take risks for success, just like you have to eat to survive. If I didn’t take chances, I wouldn’t have all the knowledge I’ve gained, and I’d live a life of “What if?” Granted, COVID dismantled a lot of the foundation I’ve built for the past 7 years, I can at least repair it with the knowledge from all my experiences. That’s the thing about risks, before you jump, you NEED to embrace that you might fall on your face. It’s a decision and like all decisions, there can be repercussions. Just know, you might not succeed with the goal you’ve set forth, however the shot you took didn’t result in failure because you gained insight from it.

Experience is wisdom. Knowledge is power. When you gain intelligence to something, that’s education, which is only ever beneficial. If I didn’t move to LA at 20, not knowing a single soul on the West Coast, I wouldn’t know what I know, now. If I didn’t live out of a Prius for 15 months, my determination wouldn’t be rock solid now. There’s always a positive and a negative when it comes to taking risks, but that’s all dependent on you. If you received a result that was the opposite of what you wanted, you have to find the positives. Ask yourself, “What did I learn?” or “How did I grow?” If you look at the negatives, you’ll discourage yourself from taking more chances. It’s simple math. You can’t go into a situation with a negative outlook and expect a positive result, and you most definitely cannot look at the outcome negatively, then expect positive reinforcement afterwards. Shoot your shot, then, STOP, DROP, SHUT ‘EM DOWN, OPEN UP SHOP, and shoot some more.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally? How do you stay motivated during times like these?
That’s a hard question, considering everything I’ve been through in the past year. When I did my last interview with VoyageLA, I discussed how things were looking up, but after it was published, my life did a swan dive straight to rock bottom. Before 2020, every year had its own struggles that lived rent free in my mind, sidetracking me from my dreams. I suffered with a lot of PTSD from the malicious abuse of growing up closeted in a small town filled with small minds. So, essentially I’ve lived an entire life inside my own head, analyzing every single little thing, that would leave me in my bed watching my ceiling and life spiral, constantly. Therefore, finding motivation, has been the hardest thing to achieve. Especially now that the dust has settled after this COVID bomb went off and demolished a lot of the foundation I’ve worked hard to build. Before COVID, I had a $25 an hour full-time job, lived in a rent-controlled apartment in West Hollywood, and was booking headshots and demo reels. Now, I lost all of it, and I’m living back in my small town, under my parent’s roof.

So, how do I keep busy and stay motivated? It’s taken a lot of TLC. The hardest part, for any human, is waking up and continuing. What I’ve learned is that whatever goals you want to achieve or however you picture your life years ahead, you also need to envision that the clouds above your head right now, will clear out. Our minds are like weather, ever changing. Some days its sunny, other days it rains, and sometimes your mind is the eye of a hurricane. You just have to know the sun will come out, maybe not tomorrow, but ultimately, if you keep focused on finding the sun. I find my sun comes out whenever I’m creating and focused. Currently, I’m pitching my memoir and screenplay to literary agents and publishers. I’m just finishing up another screenplay as we speak, along with preparing a standup comedy special that I’ll be airing on my Instagram in the months ahead—we’re gonna have fun.

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?
Disneyland, for sure. There’s something in the air there, where the moment you hand over your admission ticket, your problems are left at the turnstile. Suddenly, you’re a kid again. Disney has played a major part in every child’s life, so when we’re adults and have our problems that can weigh us down, Disneyland is the place where you release the pressure of adulthood and connect with your inner child.

Now, if you’re rollin’ with me for a day, we’d do breakfast at The Griddle Café, then we’d feed my old soul at Amoeba Music, where I’d vent about how they had to move off Sunset BLVD because the rent was sadistically insane, which is a bummer because Sunset was known for music and rock n’ roll, but I guess it’ll just be known for apartment complexes and hotels now, which is a big FUMBLE on whoever made that call. Anyway, for lunch, we’re grabbing the to-die-for orange chicken from Kung Pao Bistro, then we’ll do some window shopping on Melrose, emphasis on WINDOW, since my paycheck went to rent. Afterwards, we’d head over to Barney’s Beanery in Santa Monica, since their happy hour is perfect for us “On A Budget Baddies”, then we’d take our tipsy selves to the beach and watch the sunset. Finally, once nightfall is amongst us, we’re going to The Abbey, especially if its a Tuesday, for their 90s night, where I will buss it to Hanson’s “MMMBop.”

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?
Definitely my good friend, Jenae Hope. She has been my rock throughout this nightmare of a year who helped push me to keep pursuing my dreams. Like myself, she’s someone who strives for success and lives to create. She graciously put me on as an Executive Producer to the web series she created, Soul Ties, which is going to be monumental for the Black community. She’s going to change Hollywood in the near future and in order to do so, we need donations to help get the production this show needs! Any contribution helps! You can go to indiegogo.com and search “Soul Ties” or click the link in bio @soultiestheseries on Instagram.

And for my fellow actors who feel their craft is suffering due to COVID, fear not! The Actors Mark with Raquel Gardner is the place to be. She’s helped multiple actors nail their auditions and land the role, all from the comfort of their home. She’s simply the best when it comes to emoting and keeping your fuel-tank full on the road to stardom. If you want to SNATCH that role, you better call her.

Instagram: bitchwiththehighpitch

Image Credits
Mikey Jay

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