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Meet Jackie Ortiz of Other Jackie O Media, First Gen Series in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jackie Ortiz.

Jackie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m the daughter of Filipino Immigrants. To me, I feel like that finds its way to the core of everything I do. My parents are as generous as they are hard-working, and as I get older I’m finding just how much of their story, their generosity and their work ethic I carry with me.

My road to content producing & storytelling began when I encountered the healing properties art possesses. When I was 11, my aunt passed away from stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. Being super shy, awkward and pre-pubescent, I turned to music as my outlet to express myself and work through my grief. Many of my first songs were written for her. I think songwriting enveloped me in a way that I never knew music/art ever could, and as I began to work up the courage to share my music with my peers, I found that it connected me to them in a way I couldn’t with plain words (because there were so few to share! I was/still consider myself a quiet person).

There is something magical that happens – a weird, unexplainable universality – when people experience art together. And that’s the kind of connection I crave.

Since then, I’ve had this insatiable need for connection, which I think lends itself naturally to producing content & storytelling. I’ve worked with marketing firms, museums, theaters, musicians, producers and actors to get their work out into the world. I love the challenge of getting art out to as large of an audience as possible in a digital space where it’s difficult to break through the clutter.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Immigrant guilt is real. It’s so real that it created such a spiraling path for me and my career.

I was always under the guise of suit & tie – that in order to make my parents proud I had to be a salary woman with a stable 40-hour job at some random Finance firm or Ad agency in Chicago.

And my memory is full of these tiny disappointments: I remember feeling like I let them down because I abandoned my then-dream of becoming an Emergency Room surgeon when I realized I thought dissecting frogs at Summer MediCamp was kinda gross. I remember being ashamed whenever I’d come home to family parties because I was majoring in music, and constantly being met with “oh, but what are you going to do with that?” I remember going to college and feeling like I had to pursue the most stable path in music that I could, so I jumped around from Music Ed to Vocal Jazz Performance then Music Business. My indecisiveness lead to me graduating with a degree in Anthropology, which was the happiest accident I could’ve ever asked for.

An anthropology degree landed me at a non-profit art museum called the Erie Art Museum, where I worked under a phenomenal woman named Kelly Armor. Kelly served as the Director of Folk Art & Education there, where her main responsibility was to connect the Erie community with the museum through classes, outreach, and a program she created called Old Songs New Opportunities, which created opportunities for refugee women to use traditional skills and cultural assets from their home countries to begin to build a career as early childhood educators.

Kelly provided me an integral lesson – if there is a role that you see a need for that doesn’t exist, create it.

Please tell us about Other Jackie O Media, First Gen Series.
I created my media company, Other Jackie O Media, as a one-stop-shop for artists and small businesses to get their work out into the world. I specialize in branding, advertising, content creation and web design for artists, by artists. I’m most proud of the extremely collaborative relationships I’ve nurtured with my client base. My forever goal is to be an extension of your artistic vision – to connect as many people with your art as possible.

Outside of my media company, I’m currently working on a storytelling project called First Gen (@firstgen_), which is an Instagram soundbite series that seeks to explore the lives & stories of First Generation Americans like myself. We soft-launched in November of 2018 and will have rolling monthly submission periods on topics from interracial dating, to superstitions, to immigrant guilt in the Fall of 2019.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
To be honest, I’m not sure I could’ve gotten to where I am had I done anything differently. 🙂

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo by Nick Agro

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