Today we’d like to introduce you to Aleksandra Jade.
Aleksandra, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
People often ask little kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up? Firefighter? Doctor? Astronaut?” Yet I feel like I have asked myself that question many times throughout my life. Even in the most difficult and confusing times, when it makes sense to pack up my bags and go back home to Chicago, I close my eyes and I always come back to acting. It has proven to be the greatest teacher and the truest vehicle that brings me closer and closer to the person that I would like to become.
I grew up in Chicago, then moved to LA and got into the game of auditions. I’m grateful to have booked life-changing projects and to have worked with top professionals that have tested me as an actor, such as being a part of the iconic video game “Call of Duty: WW2,” the Lifetime movie “A Tale of Two Coreys” and more. In between auditions, I was obsessed with upping my game: going to more acting classes, figuring out how to get into more casting rooms, and just pushing myself so hard with often little results. Then as if by chance, I stumbled upon a book that changed my life. I’m talking $7.99 changed by whole life! Now in between auditions, I wasn’t just guessing about what to do to be productive; instead, I was diving into entrepreneurship, marketing, online business and influence. I was realizing that I can become more of a creator. I needed to become a filmmaker, a producer, a better screenwriter, in order for me to create more opportunities to act. I was still a disciplined actor, but my world started opening up and I was having so much fun creating films and building out my audience online.
This idea that I could be more of a conscious creator with the tech that was already available to me blew my mind. (Before that I always thought that I had to wait for someone to give me a job.) And so, along with my boyfriend, who is a business coach, Kyle Nussen, we started our own production company, Magic Joo Joo Productions. MJJ is a production company in the way that we create films and other projects, but we are different because we also create tools for artists and indie filmmakers that help them to create more and maximize their reach. We have helped several hundred actors stay creative all around the world during the COVID-19 crisis with our free virtual acting challenges, we’ve educated actors on how to get the business side of their acting optimized with our programs, and have been creating project after project after project. It’s been so rewarding to connect with artists from all around the world and create together.
Has it been a smooth road?
I think the toughest part of being an artist is really committing to an artistic life. For a long time, I jumped around random side jobs and watched a lot of my friends quit and go back home. I have found that sometimes that can happen from having negative influences in your life – and I don’t mean so much negative people, I mean also listening to teachers who maybe don’t have the success and results that you desire, spending time with old friends that talk down about being an artist, having a side job that you hate and makes you feel horrible. These are real and common things that aren’t talked about enough in the journey of committing to an artistic life. I definitely got a little tougher. Being an artist, to me, is a very entrepreneurial journey that requires a lot of courage and creative thinking.
Please tell us about Magic Joo Joo Productions.
Magic Joo Joo Productions is growing faster than ever. We are a production company in the traditional sense that we create and film various projects, yet we very new and different than anything thing else in the marketplace. We specialize in taking very complicated sales and marketing principles (like the use of sales funnels, automation and other online marketing strategies) and fitting those principles to work for independent filmmakers and artists in an easy way.
We create programs and tools to help artists grow quickly by putting the power back into their hands. Our crowdfunding funnels, our educational courses, our free content creation challenges to inspire actors to create and more. For example, when an indie filmmaker is deciding to fundraise for their film, instead of having to go through the big crowdfunding giants like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, we have a unique system that ups the average cart value of the donations that they can run without paying high fees to these sites.
Our mission is to empower artists by teaching them how to be more entrepreneurial in this field and helping them do so. Every time we finish one challenge or program, we always reach out to our audience of actors and filmmakers and literally ask them, “What do you want/need next?” They tell us, we create it. And we plan to serve our community to the highest level that we can while continuing to make films and stories that encourage a positive change.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I believe that self-publishing is going to keep increasing and there’s going to be an abundance of really cool and interesting projects available. I think that’s because it will keep getting easier and easier for artists to create content with advancements in tech and there will be more platforms to publish their work on. I think the idea of what a “feature” is and what a “web series” is going to keep spiderwebbing into more and more categories. Therefore, there could be more film festivals, more and more platforms to publish original content, and in turn more opportunities for actors and filmmakers to create and publish their work.
If that’s so, I believe artists must become better marketers and become more educated entrepreneurs. If someone creates a film, they can have a novel version to sell, they can have t-shirts, they can really dive in and create a whole culture and identity to their projects that will increase their fanbase and allow them to create more in the future.