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Life & Work with Jasmine Hester

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Hester.

Hi Jasmine, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I think my story is all about trajectory. There were many times in my life where I thought I knew what my life would look like in the next five years or so and life having a sense of humor redirected me and set me on the right path. I’ve always known that I wanted to be an actor. As a child, I loved theatre, movies, and books. I was painfully shy when it came to anything involving performing arts so, I would go to the safety of my room, pick a book, select a character from that book, and act out scenes as I read them. I never thought I’d get over my shyness, so I looked at acting as more of a fantasy, not really something that could become a reality. I went to and graduated from the University of California, Riverside. I was taking steps to apply to grad school, and while submitting my applications, I just couldn’t get myself to actually press send. My heart just wasn’t in it; it didn’t feel right. So instead of continuing to pursue a career in clinical psychology, I decided that I was going to pursue acting and that’s what I did, and it’s by far the best decision I’ve ever made.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I think eventually the road will smooth itself out. As I continue on, doing the work, and persevering it will. I think that there are challenges that naturally occur with any dream that your chasing. Hollywood is no different. I think it’s a bit more complicated because there’s no set path, everything is done by trial and error. It’s a profession that isn’t solely based on talent or how hard you work, there’s a lot of politics that come into play. You spend your time auditioning in the hopes that you have convinced a casting director or producer that you’re perfect for the role. It’s a field where you have to become very comfortable with rejection while still having faith that everything will work out. I think one of my biggest struggles was trying to convince agents/managers that I didn’t belong in a box. That I wanted to play EVERYTHING. A lot of roles are based off of looks, so just by looking at me, early in my career my then agent felt that I could only play the love interest, girl next door type of roles. So to convince him otherwise, I had to go out and find the roles that I wanted to play, which usually meant connecting with people that were in film schools at the time, linking up with friends in my acting classes, brainstorming scene ideas, shooting those scenes, and creating a reel that showcased a variety of characters, to prove that I belong in Hollywood, because I can handle whatever is thrown at me. After all, I want to be known for my work.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am an actress. I’m currently known for costar roles on hit shows like Blackish, The Last Ship, Good Girls Revolt, and most recently The Neighborhood, to name a few. When I’m not in front of the camera, I love directing. I like helping other actors pull out emotions that they didn’t even know that they had, it’s therapeutic and allows me to flex my creative muscles. I am most proud of my most recent venture in joining Take Action Global, which is an organization that educates students from pre-K all the way up to College on climate change and other socio-economic issues around the world. I was blessed to become a part of their Global Response Team, where our job will be to travel the world, gathering exclusive footage to bring awareness about many events happening around the world. It is job that literally has all my passions wrapped up into one. I get to travel, be a filmmaker, collaborate with brilliant minds around the globe, and do my part to help the world and our environments to the best of my ability.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
I think this time during the pandemic has been an enlightening one. For me personally, I feel like it forced me to evolve as a person. When you’re by yourself, and the world is still, you have no choice but to be alone with your thoughts and get reacquainted with yourself, and that’s exactly what I did. It gave me the time to pay attention to what energies around me. It gave me perspective on what I really wanted to do with my life, and it allowed me to get to know myself more, which made me love myself more. Being able to do that gives you a certain level of peace that is indescribable. It’s hard dealing with inner turmoil, but doing the work is so necessary.

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Image Credits:

Robert E. Beckwith Alisha Peats Evan Jackson from Young Bold and Regal The Last Ship Chronicles of Jessica Wu series

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