Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica De Soto.
Jessica, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
At a noticeably youthful age, a big nosed, brown-eyed, cinnamon colored little girl knew she could fly in her dreams, but as well as in real life. Eventually, the little girl began to discover she had the gift of healing the broken and exposing the raw truth in ways her intellect was not able to grasp. While she began to blossom in her age, her family and friends took notice that there was something luminous about her and beautifully distinctive, and maybe one day, it may cure the corrupted world we all live in.
Without pride but with humility, she was gifted with an incredible gift to love unconditionally and to sustain an authoritative leadership role without consuming the temptations of what society offered. When people began to take notice of her spirit, it brought opposition and trials in her life, but the light inside her heart was a continuous reminder that she had been birthed for a reason. Then it became evident, and almost aborted child was a gift from God to the world.
I am 31 years old now and for years, I was starved from the destiny that God designed for my existence. Deep down in the pits of soul, I have been exposed to the beauty and power I have within. I’m here to help, inspire, love, create awareness and teach others by using the many gifts and talents God have blessed me with.
My name is Jessica De Soto and I’m the new original.
I grew up in the performing arts, and dance became the foundation for my artistic journey. I started dancing at the age of three and I’ve been dancing ever since. I’m technically trained in Classical Ballet, En Point, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary Ballet, Lyrical, Modern, Horton, and Musical Theater. By the grace of God, I was able to be trained by utterly amazing people such as Paul Vreulink (Southern California Dance Academy), Stephanie Powell (Long Beach City College), Svetlana Waisman (Svetlana’s Dance Academy), Deborah Sanders (Long Beach Ballet Academy and Dance Theater), Denise Leitner (Royal Ballet School in London), Tiffany Billing’s (Club Jete), and Ka-Ron B. Lehman, Beth Iguchi, Don Martin, Reggie Brown (Los Angeles County High for The Performing Arts – LACHSA).
Dance became the exceptionally light I needed to breathe. Dance became my soulmate. The essence of its power tainted my whole being. While I was chasing my dreams in Los Angeles as a dancer, I also started modeling, and as I grew in my creativity and artistry, I was able to grasp the art of writing, which led me to majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication at Long Beach City College in my early twenties, and through journalism, I found my passion in photography.
Just like dance, writing, and modeling, I found photography as an outlet to create the visions that have stained my mind. In darkness forms a type of beauty that’s indescribable yet effortlessly enlightening, and that’s what photography is to me. From growing up in the performing arts and always being in front of the camera, becoming the eye for the vision rather than the subject brought so much joy and love to my heart. Since I’ve been exposed to the beauty and power within myself, I also want to unmask those same elements in the world that we all live in by using my gifts and talents that God has blessed me with to help, inspire, love and create awareness.
A mystique aura has risen in the form of my spirit. A mystery it is and a puzzle piece, some may call me but listen, and read between the lines because God’s masterpieces are never a mistake. I’ve been created for a purpose.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
To be honest, no. Not at all… As a child, I remember attending church with my grandparents, being present at private Christian schools as well as partake in Christian girl scout meetings, but I never saw the true meaning of engaging in these types of events.
Back in the days, when I was able to spend time with my grandparents, I would either see my grandfather, George, praying immensely by his bed or being told by my grandmother, Maggie, to pray before I went to sleep and that I, should always pray. Their ways seemed odd to me, but I was also very curious in knowing why they did or said such things. After my grandparents had passed away, the light that I once clung to had faded.
Throughout my adolescent years, I experienced a lot of pain which led me to the wrong people in my life. During these times, I was lost and confused because the love that was shown to me as a young girl wasn’t Christlike. Therefore, I battled with depression, suicide, abusive relationships, and addictions, which continued into my young adult life.
During these seasons in my life, the one thing that kept penetrating my mind were the memories of my grandparents. So, I tried, crying out to God to help me, but back then, it just seemed like my life was becoming darker, and my way of living was becoming more sinful and wicked. There was even a point in my life when I gave up and turned and walked away from Him.
But for some reason, there was a part of me; my faith, deep down inside that wouldn’t let me genuinely give up. I realized then that I did believe, but I didn’t know how to take the next step with Christ. As I continued to live in sin, I fell into a darkness that almost took my life. I had finally hit rock bottom. I had finally given up. Given up on my life because I didn’t want it anymore. So, one night, I was alone in my car crying out to God, and I asked Him, “If you can take this addiction away from me, I will serve you for the rest of my life.”
I was 24 years old when I realized that I needed a Savior, I needed Jesus Christ. It was that night, I received personal conviction as I repented for my sins and accepted God’s gift of salvation. After receiving the gift of salvation, I can now see why Christ called me to be saved. For by grace, I have been saved through faith, and that not of myself. I never would have thought I would be in this place right now, in life. The journey in getting here has been unquestionably gripping and motivating, but I am still standing here when I should have been dead and gone…but God! I have learned over time that I am not my own and that I have been bought with a price. I have been saved by His grace!
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I actually wear a few hats as a creative artist. Therefore, I freelance in dancing, modeling, acting, singing, art directing, journalism and photography. If the right opportunity presents itself, I will embrace it. However, when it comes to photography, I adore shooting fashion, commercials, portraits and photojournalism, in addition to short films and campaigns for a variety of brands and small businesses.
When it comes to journalism, I love reporting and writing about authentic moments in life that can either inspire, help and/or create awareness in people’s lives for them to change for the better and do right in the fallen world we all live in. In all honesty, when it comes to telling stories and capturing moments with my cameras, I wholeheartedly enjoy capturing and writing about moments that will impact the masses.
Equally important, I am mostly proud of the women I am becoming now. The journey that I’ve been on hasn’t been easy at all and I’m grateful to see another day. Another day, to open my eyes in the morning, another day to walk again, to breathe again and to be a light for others to follow.
I know society makes it seem like success is all about materialistic things but those elements don’t last forever.
Success to me is genuine happiness. Something that the world can’t give. It’s those times when you feel like giving up but something deep down inside of you keeps pushing you to keep going. It’s those moments that I’m most thankful for!!!
And that’s what sets me apart.
I don’t swim with the rest of the fish, I like to paint a different picture so people can see that there’s light at the end of the tunnel and not only defeat. And the reason why I’m doing what I love today and becoming the woman I am is simply because of Christ! Without Him, I wouldn’t be here right now. So, I’m going to keep being the light that I’m created to be and shine bright for the world to see.
There is a musical that’s coming up on Friday, September 17th at 8 p.m., that I will be performing.
It’s called Down Around Brown Town. Please see info below.
“Get up offa that thing and get over to Down Around Brown Town for a fun and spirited Jukebox Musical, a tribute to the music of the Godfather of Soul. Created by Frit and Frat Fuller, this show is filled with great song and dance and salutes the one-and-only James Brown by featuring different characters in various vignettes set to his greatest hits. Along with his anthem, “I Got You (I Feel Good),” you’ll hear many of the funk master’s signature tunes, which include “Please, Please, Please,” “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine,” “A Man’s World,” “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, “Cold Sweat,” and of course, “Super Bad.”
Here’s the flyer below as well as a link for people to purchase tickets: https://elportaltheatre.com/downaroundbrowntown.html
Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
My favorite childhood memory was when my grandfather, George Seals taught me my very first dance move. He taught me a few tap moves on his antique heater while holding my little hands. Talking about someone who was the creative in the family, it was him. My grandfather was the writer, musician, singer and a man of God. He was definitely one of my inspirations growing up and my hero.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.desotodigitalmedia.co
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/desotodigitalmedia/
All photos were taken by me (DE SOTO). Black & White dance photo by: Jade Payne (@junipayne) Photo of me in yellow dress sitting down in sand by: Collie Jay (@cxlliesnipes) Photo of me in white dress sitting down by: Ocean (@smallerocean) Photo of me, profile view underneath a palm tree by: Christopher Jackson (@retrospective) Me smiling with my big fro by: Me (@desotodigitalmedia)