Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Valencia.
Hi Jessica, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’m originally from NYC different parts… my parents and little family I knew kind of had selective amnesia that I existed… it happens; no one’s caretakers are perfect. I was vortexed here down the matrix life chute and had to get in to fulfill my top secret mission… we all have a top secret mission! If you can spend hours to crack the code on your partners iPhone you can spend some time and get on your Inspector Gadget Nancy Drue detective kick and learn who you are… and your mission… and that can take going through different chapters in life and exploring sometimes one road leads to another road to another highway to a different state.
So with the selective amnesia caretakers, I figured I’d tried to escape the regime and while I was fending for myself being Jane in the Concrete Jungle I stumbled into modeling from looking like I died last week and came back to life from being extremely skinny and malnourished… that skinny model waif looks before OF there was a different type of modeling… Modeling taught me how to use which fork in a country club and what a black cloth napkin was… I met a lot of people who thought I was raised in a cult BC. I didn’t quite understand why they didn’t walk 5 miles to school, what was a birthday or a holiday? I was becoming a sociologist at this point from so much travel and expansions of culture I thought, hey I’d like to have a voice… I realized I had quite a different colorful life… I also graduated HS at 16, eight or nine different HS with no structure or stability and honors… I fell into the trap of the system and did college on programs and scholarships…I was working in music and writing for artists when I did a one women show and also performed at Gotham comedy NYC… I didn’t realize most people didn’t see a lion hanging out of the projects walking home from school or live on their own as a tween… Or traveled on a private jet… I never had a prom or Pom poms… my normal isn’t most normal… but why fit in when u can stand out? Blackouts walking 145 blocks to get home and people complain about traffic here in LA? Geese… So modeling branched me and pushed me for want and need for people to see who I am, not what am I… a measurement…? Who I am versus what am I is always important to me and entertainment in general acting, music, modeling, cannbox you in… If you’re going to box me in, put a ribbon on it, a bow I refuse to be a square peg in a round hole…
My acclimates don’t dictate my worth, my legacy does. Being I didn’t know what a birthday or holiday was and had to learn basic culture, I know how important your legacy is; your death day is a birthday to me… life is death, death is life… how you impact or help the next. You don’t know what anyone is going through at all. Someone could have just come from a funeral and you don’t want to be that a* hole to push them over the edge. A kind word goes a long way. I am not a go with the flow person, but I don’t leave open opportunities unexplored. Things have to make sense and dollars which is a business can be a long unpaid internship where you are selling yourself like a used car salesmen… Please pick me puhllllleze want me!
So although I always wanted to do acting explore it, I was writing and those NDA are tight like how Edward Snowden said ninjas were after him, that’s how I feel if I ever break silence… I like painting a picture and telling a story… Selling my emotions, that’s acting to me… and since we are all different glasses of water from the same ocean and different stars in the same sky, I feel storytelling unites us and makes you think deeper or out the box… storytelling and sociology is my form of acting and writing and comedy, etc… even in fashion, I was taking photographs smiling with my eyes and selling the product and telling a story. I do things from a different perspective as an artist. When your writing music for someone who is a different height, weight, race and gender from you, thats skill, that special skill comes from me living with different cultures, traveling and knowing we aren’t that different… certain things many think are beneficial really divide us… I digress…
Art is subjective not objective. I was doing acting classes in NYC and I was a PROFESSIONAL student at learning things I needed to unlearn badly on set. Whole different ball games and stadium on sets. I already was SAG from a commercial I did as a teen for drug-free America saying “NO!” To drugs that we know say “YES!” I was a bit tired of being exploited and abused paying the piper or pimp here take my money and tell me everything I’m doing wrong instead of building around what’s right and special to expand and grow on… there’s NO FORMULA TO ACT. Subjective art is not objective. Learn 80 techniques for 20 years either you connect or you don’t and also I was there to explore it wasn’t to be back on set or professional and I think “teachers” need to be humble not everyone is there acting to be a professional actor. I had moms who wanted to be able to have louder voices and public speakers… I met Dan Nainan in one of my classes didn’t know who he was and he was always sleeping soooo much. I thought this poor guy must work eight jobs for tuition. He and many others I don’t want to run the name drop game were like your very unique and special and funny. I was in immense pain from a personal situation so it refused to accept that and the lightbulb moment didn’t quite happen it’s more thunder had to strike. An agent in Los Angeles was contacting me frequently to come to California.
I’ve always wanted to go to California and I’ve loved California but being my Amish, cult, regime upbringing I didn’t know how to drive. I was like over NYC since every day was like being in a Third World War zone… but I wasn’t sure how to do this LA thing… I made it work not easy, still not easy but I did. I also found long-lost family that didn’t believe I was family or know I existed. Being I look NOTHING like them and I have an accent, I made sure to speak their language and show them identification and proof to the guards and multiple assistants before getting to the gate. Brooklyn to Beverly Hills…Harlem to Holby Hills, the fresh princess of bel air… I have different eyes, hair, shape, weight. We aren’t Cum ByYAh but never the less… They don’t get me… things I’ve been through or the norm for me is NOT in their Matrix… I’m like the long-lost refugee who escaped on a sailboat while they have a yacht and own all the yacht companies… if that analogy makes sense… I swam to escape they swim for weight loss with trainers… Analogy… So that’s where I am… I ponder I think I dissect dichotomies I utilize quantum physics in characters and think what if this happened or that and I use that in my roles… I always lock in different outcomes of my characters… I’m not a line memorizing robot. I’m very good at improv…
I had a touring one women show pre-pandemic and I also had some public speaking venue opportunities with a few select charities and nonprofits I volunteer and mentor with…Humanitarian work is my world. If only I could connect with the Un one day… heyyyy Angelina Jolie you hear me babes? I do extensive charity work, with age out foster care, domestic violence, trafficked youth, I really want to structure more housing that’s is safe and clean, as I can’t tell you how many times as a renter even right now but that’s another story we don’t have rights to test for mold, pests, literally you need permission from the landlord so what power or proof do you have for constructive eviction. A lot of homeless I’ve met it’s been struggle after struggle with no safety net and so much beauty and potential in them… when you are constantly beating down by the system and doing everything right, how much more can you take? People right now are using their last savings to pay rent and aren’t getting basics met but will be called to court for breaking leases. This world isn’t all fairytales and unicorns. I’ve known some dark things since a young age and I’ve always been cognizing about roles I do and a message getting across to people. It’s not the glitz and glam for me. Again I explore what I feel, and we change and dreams don’t expire but they can change forms. I never thought I would of been writing and quote on quote verbatim funny. Like no, I don’t crack jokes daily. I’m super serious but Sometimes it takes people seeing you from the outside. We can’t always see ourselves how others do… Don’t try to fit in when you can stand out. I see that all the time. Puffy, who I’ve seen work magic he took big from a cypher rapper to mainstream; he worked with Faith and Mary. What would happen if he said, hey Mary sing in Faiths key… she wouldn’t be The Queen of Hip Hop Soul. If an acting teacher told Twista the rapper slow down, he wouldn’t be Twista… I encourage anyone reading this to please think about what someone says is your flaw can be your secret superpower!
Remember I said top secret mission Nancy Drue, Inspector Gadget? Opinions don’t pay bills or cure cancer and they sure won’t be at your funeral. Concentrate and think for yourself; be yourself and you can flourish and fly. Don’t sit on the shelf if you feel lost; we all have an expiration date… Most people look at what they don’t have versus what they do have. Basics. I’ve never had a hug from my mom. I’ve never had a birthday (or knew what it was lmao). People get caught up on their hair color or Botox when there are burn victims in ICU and cancer patients. You can be complacent and content but be aware… what you have someone else may not. The person in the Benz wants the private jet, the person in the Honda wants the Benz. The person on the bus wants the Honda. The person on a bicycle wants to afford a bus fare. The person walking wishes they had a bike and the person in a wheelchair wishes they could walk. Don’t forget how far you have come and don’t fall prey into material objects you can’t take when you come. Your acclimates and whose life you touch will carry on…
Music, fashion, writing, acting, entertainment. I am a multi-faceted person. People don’t always have your best interest at heart, so follow your own. My biggest regret was not realizing it’s ok to do more than one thing at a time. I wrote my one women show while working in music. There are people who will say they do one thing but guess what, slow feet don’t eat. being on my own at such a young age split my brain beyond survival mode and experiencing so much life or death circumstances. I know what’s best for ME (juggling) may not be for YOU so learn that skill; it won’t be taught in any class or school… life is a series of ships: relationships, friendships, business ships, partnerships. Don’t be on a sinking ship even if it’s a yacht. A well-run tug boat will get you to point Z while the yacht can’t even reach point B…
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?
Being politically correct to people who act like they have a PHD and don’t even have a GED and want to judge. Like get you a robe and gown and go play a judge as an actor BC in real life your not qualified… Those who do not care if your sick (hello pandemic) are not paying a bill or investing in you are making withdrawals to your life to deposits… many many people have this quality but wouldn’t be there at your funeral a birthday if you have cancer so I always scrutinize people and in my head, I say some choice words… I respect people who care where you sleep and eat… All others are opinions and everyone has opinions just like we all have armpits (pg version) opinions don’t pay bills. If you’ve had bullets fly over your head, escaped 9-11 blackouts, blizzards; floods, hurricanes, whatever things. Some have been lucky and no traumatic things you value your happiness more and listen to others LESS
Ignorance is bliss but ignoring is just stupid…
People I meet out here try to show value in a car or bag and it’s like great you have a Benz but live at home, you have a Gucci bag but have four roommates. Being from NYC, multi-millionaires have TO get on the subway even with a driver on payroll, it can take 3 minutes to go ten blocks or 30 in a vehicle above ground… Traffic is way worse in NYC your sitting bumper to bumper for hours…So being in a city that is soooo judge and insecure is always a task to make sure I have my voice heard. I’m always open to constructive critical and compromise but I refuse to subscribe to the dictatorship and not a democracy… Fidel Castro Kim Jun Ung… No, no, no, if I have a label, it’s my own brand… it doesn’t make em a better anybody as an actress, a writer, a performer to sell myself as something or someone I’m not…First impressions, first appearance. No, I want to be long lasting and looks can kill… I’m trying to give you more life… A breath of fresh air… smoggy LA City…
Everyday is like DISNEYland to me here in Los Angeles.
I expect to see Mickey Mouse and a free continental breakfast!
Versus the rats on the NYC subway.
I used to name them Mickey and Minnie.
I’m still high alert so instead of being turned up, I have to still learn to turn down. And not everyone is going to understand me. That’s ok, it’s a good thing… find your tribe and vibe sometimes we can be misunderstood; it’s all language and breakthrough and connecting… Some of the basic slang I’ve used for years… people look at me like what planet did you fall from. I am articulate and thoughtful but yes slang gets through. When I say “son” it’s an endearment or a friend… and I catch myself when people hear will be like what the sun is out?
I walk in a CVS and I do not have to beg for help or feel like I’m asking and being a burden for someone to do there diligence and job.
If someone smiles at me in NYC, I have to be aware that’s usually you about to get robbed… and look behind you because whoever is in front of you is DECOY… big sour apple ruthless streets Park Avenue Penthouse you aren’t separated from nothing. LA you are segregated separated from all….. I took the train and bus here religiously before learning to drive and purchase a vehicle and so many aren’t aware of the culture that people exist using those modes of transport… They just complain about the traffic… People expect me to smile a lot here, like hey what’s wrong, you’re not smiling… Everything is sunshine, unicorns and rainbows and where is the party AT!
I remember when I said “have a nice day” to a women I gave my seat up to on the train in NYC she said “worry about your own day don’t tell me how to feel or what to do!”
That type of constant conflict for NO reason daily can have you walking on eggshells with post trauma.
SO learning how to actually deal with people versus avoid them for safety is different…
I do miss certain (not all cat calling) which was in my gotham comedy live performance I do miss it selectively because I could go outside in pajamas hair in rollers and still be approached as I’m Miss America… “damn you look good man god bless you.”
God bless me did I sneeze? Who said I believe in God? Which God we talking about? Hey hey I’m in Buddha that’s not even a God!
Well selective B word. What now I’m a B, I thought I was miss America…
So being in LA learning how to voice my opinion, have a voice and do it on a turned down laid back vibe versus an aggressive New York vibe, but still retain MY dignity and not compromise my values or morals beliefs what’s true to me… again it’s just connection and language… Music is a language. Love is a language. Math is even a language, connection reach and being affluent in as many literal and figurative language is goals❤️
People have so much time to go to the beach and picnic out here, and time is money… I’m always like thinking what can I learn, how can I grow. I admire people who seriously have time and energy to date. I’m busy progressing bc I always feel the expiration clock, and I Want to expand my energy and don’t want to waste time unless it’s a real ship… my previous analogy… I’m from a business city so I have to learn life is a beach out there, not like old school Nas life’s a B (word) it’s actually a beach here lol lol there are actually work business dates out here versus business lunches or brunches in NYC… I am not used to that… how do we e plods or expand ideas at the beach it’s super common here…
Regular dating is super laid back… I did a picnic date during the pandemic and it was like so hard bc I’m not a picnic person with all the bugs, dirt… food… and I was like how in the world can they try to get to know me? But hey, we live in a world where someone will try to get to know your facad your rep follows your IG every move (make sure they a rent scrubbing your pics hacking).
Dating and being in the industry whole other story. Super obstacle. People expect you to be your characters or be on 24-7. Can say it again I am demure in life. I don’t need to be the life of the party center of attention, I’m playing chess looking at all angles, making my next move… can’t do that if everyone is on me! time and a place for all.
I do love the beach, and I do love the weather the creativity here, and I always loved palm trees! I’m happy I came here and always wanted to 🙂
It’s a lot of old school, Hollywood glamour as well, the buildings are older and not with fire escapes or doorman or concierge…..
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Being able to adapt as a writer to a different gender, race, culture, religion and make their voice not miss a beat writing a hip hook for a 300 lb ex-gang member is putting myself in their life and story… and pulling from mine…
Same with scripts, I’m placing myself in the character’s shoes. Same with characters I play.
I’m pulling from myself quietly situations not even disclosed or you are aware of. And learning how to still keep myself to myself and pieces private while still balancing a delicate recipe of being truthful, vulnerable and honest in all I do….. A lot of people have calculated moves, posts, etc. their stories are literally bigger when what they are for clout… people like to connect to your story and take a liking to you… I’m not going to expand something for that vehicle. What you see is what you get…
Imagine if Lyon Cohen told the late great DMX you can’t bark! that was his unique trait his paw print, let people be who they are! have you ever been to children’s village.? people judge and can’t walk run a minute in your shoes or socks.
Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Don’t stalk me if you see me in the streets, you look creepy. Say hi… and don’t act like you like MY dog to win cool points and you don’t even like dogs!
I’ve adopted a blind deaf senior poodle no one wanted* (and was going to be zzzz he is my dog angel, his name is King Jaspur the third… the Royal snout).
I tell him all the time mommy specially picked and wanted you! And he comes from royalty not the cold mean streets!
Don’t let vets hustle you… everything is a business for repeat clients (acting classes, vets, beauty — keep you feeling down to repurchase when you’re perfect how you are! Don’t get hustled by life! Live life. Don’t let it live you the best you can in the system… be aware…
What you brush off can happen to you. Life can change in the blink of an eye… That homeless person can easily become you… Respect others try to envision yourself in their shoes. Again as a sociologist, what I call myself as a writer, actor, performer, music, creative person, fashion – design.
I constantly have to envision my audience and their receptiveness. I always must think demographics who they are where did they come from where are they going.
Most people, I feel don’t even do one percent of that… breaking hearts, ego, pride you don’t know what someone is going through.
Next time you have road rage did you think if that person just came out of surgery and their driver is going slow to not break stitches? Or if someone is driving alone pregnant bc they don’t. Have anyone?
I think outside the box and create scenarios… senior dogs are the best, super chill laid back TRAINED I want another.
Normal things bring me joy… playing monopoly going to the library basics I didn’t have… I’m on private jets and yachts at 16 modeling already graduated. I was living faster when I was younger so I’m myself in dog years older…
He is happy, healthy, loving… he was given up… Animals are not like cars you trade in on a lease to get a newer version… Make sure before you get a dog or any animal a bird turtle you have an alternative plan if you can’t care for the pet bc of income or illness… have a rescue lined up a friend, etc. so you don’t have to bring the animal back to shelter…
Oh, fun fact my first pet was a huge bunny rabbit… she kept growing… the Petco said she was a. He, and “he” would turn white from black, and he was done growing… whew, what a trip… I still would love to see a zebra one day!
- Email: Starringvalencia@gmail.com, Bookings@cylencemedia.com
- Instagram: Starring_Valencia
- Other: Legal – firstname.lastname@example.org
I love stars and think in music, beats and lyrics…full songs for how I feel… stagatto… drums…I go by Valencia alone had to add a name for Sag aftra starring as my IG is all about my celestial love… shout to Mike at Cylence Media!