Today we’d like to introduce you to Jean-Pierre Giagnoli.
Jean-Pierre, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in Long Beach, CA on July 7, 1984, at St. Mary’s Hospital. I started out at a very young age performing just at home. I imitated most of the comedians and other artists I saw. I was able to stay up late to watch SNL and Johnny Carson when I was little and I really found something special about comedy and making people laugh. I even imitated the Marx brothers and more. I always loved and danced to music. My mom always listened to k-earth 101 and I loved the music. Especially Motown artists. Soul and R&B were my favorite.
My uncle came home one day after finding the Michael Jackson BAD album on the ground and he gave it to me and I fell in love. I listened to it nonstop and learned all the dance moves. I danced for hours to it. When I was younger I was very introverted and these performances were only for me, my family and a select group of close friends. I was severely bullied and picked on when I was younger and this led to how shy I ended up being. Even teachers and school administrators picked on me. Our family dressed us differently and we looked and acted differently so that made us targets for this. My grandmother and mom tried to get me and my younger brother into acting but I was too shy and did not want to and for many years I developed my talents in private. In 1996 I really was exposed to rap music when we got cable TV and MTV showed a lot of it. Another powerful art form that spoke so deeply to me.
Growing up around gangs and drugs was something I could relate to. Although I did not do that stuff I knew what the music was talking about it. I began writing lyrics but again in private. In high school, I had to do a poem assignment in an English class and my teacher really enjoyed it. She said it was so clever, even though it did not stick to the format she asked it was so good she spoke to me and gave me full credit because she was so impressed and entertained by it. That is when I realized it was a skill I had. A bunch of students found out about it and liked it too. All of sudden all these people wanted me to rap for them but I was still pretty shy. I was still developing myself. I wrote lyrics like the artists I liked but it was not representative of me and who I was.
By this time I had been singing and performing in choir and drama class. I was on stage a lot. I liked being on stage but once I was off I was shy and introverted and wanted to be left alone. This does not work in entertainment because people want to meet and talk with you. Around this time I started to become popular because girls liked me and after so many years of torment I was socially inexperienced and did not know how to deal with people liking me after feeling like I was always so hated and different. My favorite comedians taught me humor and I was funny but some guys thought I was not and told me I was annoying and I thought it was great it was my defense against people I did not know how to deal with. Turns out I was too young to understand that woman love humor and instead of leaving me alone it backfired and they wanted to hang out with me more. My humor could be harsh and I did anger a few people but mostly people thought I was funny.
This is when I realized comedy was natural for me. Another revelation for my life happened in high school when I met one of my best friends Adam Cadabona. We had choir and other classes together. We were both pretty shy so we clicked really well. We had more than just music in common. We loved the paranormal, ghosts and all. This started our real pursuit of the paranormal; we started going places, found mentors in the field of parapsychology and started a non-profit organization called the Southern California Paranormal Detectives in the year 2000. This is a big part of me that I will get back to later. Here I am senior year of high school, the senior talent show is taking sign-ups and me and Adam sign-up to sing. Turned out that not many people signed up so my teachers knowing all I do asked me if I can do more stuff so the talent show won’t get cancelled. I agreed and ended up doing comedy and some other talents. At this point in high school, people knew I sang/rapped but not many had seen me perform. Again the stage was a place of peace for me.
The big day came I performed most of the talents on the talent show. I change out of costume and head back to class and I am greeted by teachers and students with cheers and admiration. I turn red and stay quite but also realized that I have something if this is the reaction I got. It is the end of the school year and I became the most popular guy in school just when I was about to graduate. I came a long way from believing everyone hated me. When it came time to decide what I wanted to do in life I knew what I wanted to do. Entertainment was for me, it was clear now. It did not matter how shy I was off stage, on stage I was free. I choose Cerritos community college because they offered a stand-up comedy class and I always wanted to do what my heroes did. Kevin Hoggard taught all of my favorite class’s Stand-up comedy, Improv and acting. He even taught Steve Carell before he came to California. I majored in Radio, TV and film and psychology.
I worked at my college radio station my entire time at Cerritos as an on air personality and DJ. I took music classes where I developed my craft as an artist, producer and engineer. I also did a lot of acting on stage, on-camera and behind the scenes because I really love to learn about all the aspects of my passions. I was one of the first students to get my AA in radio, TV and film from Cerritos because it was a newer program and that was a great feeling. While attending college I met all kinds of new people who introduced me to new things. At my first job working at Knott’s Berry Farm, I would freestyle rap a lot with my co-workers and I got known by everyone. I made a friend named Joe who introduced me to the music of Immortal Technique and his music hit me hard. I was still struggling to find myself in my music and express myself. I only grew up with the gangster rap and did not want to misrepresent myself but when I heard Immortal Technique I learned you can rap with a message and I really started taking rap seriously.
With Myspace being the new big thing around this time and having access to studios on campus I started recording music and putting it up on the site people liked it and I started performing shows and house parties. It was a good time. I did not even have an album out but made money winning freestyle battles and performing my songs. This was really big for me from 2006 to 2008 but once the economic bubble burst people went out less and the promoters I worked with did not do many shows anymore. In this time a friend introduced me to an apprenticeship with a Sony music producer, Bruce “Automatic” Vanderveer, and for a few years, I learned and worked with him. Got to work with some big names, perfect my studio/music skills and got some credits. I wrote for a Jerry Bell single that came out. There was a failed reality show attempt with this but it worked out for the best seeing that the Sony music producer did not want to fake things like the company had presented to him.
At the same time as this, I did extra work on TV and movies, Voice over work, stand-up comedy clubs all over LA and signed to a commercial talent agent. Eventually my agent dropped me because I questioned an unethical practice I encountered with them. At this point, I just did a lot through my connections and on my own. I did all of this while going to school eventually earning my Ph.D. in Parapsychology in 2009 from Progressive Universal Life Church. Eventually, I met the woman I would marry and she investigated the paranormal with me and my team. She supported my dreams and we eventually moved in together and got married. I signed to a new talent agent and my paranormal organization officially became a 501( c )3 non-profit right before my wedding.
In this time I had many failed paranormal reality show deals because I did not want to fake a show about something that means so much to me. I had my first paranormal experience when I was two years old. I stayed over my grandmother’s house, which I did often, but this time I slept in my grandfather’s room. He died when I was three months old and I only could recognize him through pictures but he came to me one early morning and it interested me as much as It scared me. My family said it was a bad dream but I knew what a dream was and this was real. When I was about 10 my mom and grandmother sat me down and told me that our family are sensitives and they all have experienced and been followed by the paranormal and that set me on a path to search for answers to the unknown. Side note my mom watched the movie Ghostbusters when she was ready to pop with me and I believe that had a big influence on me. I wanted the degree Peter Venkman had and I got it.
While working a job I hated for 10 years and after so many bad deals for reality shows I decided to start shooting a YouTube series on my own so I assembled a team and we shot this series for two years (The REAL Paranormal Detectives). I do not have as much time as I once did but our YouTube is still getting subscribers even with no new content. In this time period, people knew I was an MC and DJ and I started to be asked to DJ a lot of weddings and I loved it. In this time frame my father, who I thought left when I was two started coming back into my life and problems with my mother and grandmother were so bad after my wedding I did not speak to them for three years. My grandmother hates everyone and my mom is her minion. All of this leads up to how my life started to change and take shape a year ago. I quit that job I hated and got a small role in Ford v Ferrari that turned into a featured role as one of the main Ferrari crew in the film. At this point, I decided to never settle for a job I don’t want again. I got all my SAG vouchers on this movie and was eligible to join. I did a scene with Joh Bernthal and was directed by James Mangold which shot my confidence as an actor through the roof.
By this time I had done a few commercials and low budget stuff but nothing on this scale. The money I made from a month and a half of shooting on Ford vs Ferrari allowed me to take time to work more on my music and take on more acting gigs. In this free time, I signed to an indie record label but it turned out to go nowhere so I quit that too. A good friend of mine told me about a program called Landmark that can enlighten you. I took it and I really started to see all of the things in my life more clearly. I had this deeply rooted fear and it started to come out why. It took a while but eventually because of my brother’s girlfriend being so blunt about the abuse she saw I had to face the fact that I was severely abused by my grandmother my whole life. This only occurred about a month ago. Landmark and facing my fears led me to accept that I viewed myself so poorly and had so much fear because of what I had been through. I was beaten and tortured; the verbal and mental abuse did the most damage. I could not even look in the mirror at myself without being negative.
I also found out that my dad did not leave and my grandma abused him and chased him away too. He is so loving supportive and encouraging. He is really everything I needed in life and now I have him. I am happy to say I am no longer the person I described I have cut off my abusers, surrounded myself with people who love and support me and have more entertainment opportunities than ever in my life and I only see it getting better. I am living into a bright future where all I want is coming. I recently shot a sizzle reel for a new paranormal show called underwater paranormal @underwaterparanormal where I am in charge of all the paranormal things on the show. I have never felt so valued and confident in myself in my life. I do most of my promotion through my Instagram @talenteded where I have a pretty big following. The rest of the promo for all I do is through Facebook @emceepierre and my official websites www.mcpierre.com and www.paranormaldetectives.org
Thank you for your time and keep an eye out for me. If anything I really want my story to inspire people to never stop going after their dreams.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
One of the hardest things in music, particularly in rap, is when they don’t see you as colored you really have to prove yourself and still have a lot of hate to contend with. I have been in many reality TV deals and I had to turn them down because I found out it is all fake and I don’t want to fake something that I am so passionate about. This was very discouraging but I started my own YouTube series out of it. One big problem was all the broken promises from industry people that claimed they wanted to help me out and nothing ever happened. The hardest thing for me which I mentioned in my bio before this is the severe abuse I went through growing up.
My grandmother is a narcissist and abuser. She isolated us, as children, from the rest of the world which made my shyness worse. She said trust no one except family. I trusted her because she was family. She always discouraged me and even said God would strike me down because of my entertainment aspirations. There were a few very bad years of psychical abuse. She beat me so bad I learned how to cry in cue just so she would stop and when she finally did she would grab a bucket of water and pour it on my head while saying I will give you something to cry about. After a few years of this, she made her point and continued with the verbal and mental abuse. I never took the chances I am taking right now because she already made me a failure. I was not scared to fail, I was a failure so I did not even try. I felt worthless with a front of confidence and before about a month ago I never spoke of this.
Even after the physical abuse was over there were many times she took knives to me and said she would kill me and one time because she did not like the way I dressed she threatened to pour bleach in my eyes holding a small bottle over my head. She disliked my wife so much I collapsed three times from what I know now to be panic attacks because of all the abuse I had to endure. I finally left my family and cut them off for three years to heal. It was hard to live on my own and go after my dreams but I still did. This was by far the hardest thing to overcome. I have PTSD like symptoms,from the abuse, went through some very tough bouts of depression but I am slowly recovering. I have now completely cut them off and am doing more entertainment work than ever. I never have given up and now I know you don’t need anyone to believe in you but yourself. My abuser made me believe you need others to succeed. You don’t.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Talenteded Productions story. Tell us more about your work.
I am the business/company including the Talenteded Productions and my 501 (c) 3 non-profit the Southern California Paranormal Detectives. I work hard at promoting myself with social media and networking. I also have the help of my agent MPM models and talent. They represent me for everything. Acting (Commercial, theatrical, TV and film), Stand-up comedy, Voice over and even the Paranormal. I do it all I am known for acting, rapping and music production, DJing, Very well known for the Paranormal.
I am most proud that I have for a long time with the Paranormal ie; starting the non-profit and getting 501 (c) 3 status and doing all of it on my own. I am starting to do the same with acting and music. What sets me apart is my never give up attitude. I just keep going and believe, more now than ever before, that I can do anything. I have had the word genuine used a lot to describe me in the industry and it sounds like that lacks, not just in society, but in the entertainment industry as well and it is good to know people can see my passion and drive is real.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I do not believe in luck. I believe everything happens for a reason, even the bad things. If we are truly open the bad teaches us lessons to learn and grow from and that allows us to find the good easier.
- Website: www.mcpierre.com
- Phone: 5622084705
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/talenteded
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmceePierre
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/talenteded
- Other: www.paranormaldetectives.org
Black and white photo Teddo Corbin Photography