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Meet Jessica DeShong of Creative Encourager in The Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica DeShong.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
From my early years, I’ve always been a creative. Developing my musicianship was a natural path for me. I played piano, viola and sang. The theatrical side of my personality got to flex its muscles in school and community performances.

Realizing I loved people and cared about their growth and successes came about as a young teen. I discovered that I am an empath, that is someone who exudes empathy for her fellow being. I sometimes say with a chuckle that I tend to love people more than most people love people. I can’t help it. It’s innate. Desiring to understand what people are feeling and thinking excites and moves me.

As I developed my skills as a performer, I yearned to combine my artistic talents with my desire to encourage people.

So now, living in LA for two years, I intentionally seek out creative projects to be a part of that offer healing to its audiences in one form or another, be it through music, acting, laughter, health and fitness or any other avenue.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My main struggle has always been choosing a singular path. Many people grow up knowing exactly what they want to be; they want to be a graphic artist, a coder, a stay at home dad, a chef. This knowledge allows them to hone the skills necessary to become that profession.

I, on the other hand, never had any idea of what I wanted to be profession-wise. This made figuring out what to study in college difficult. This made knowing what to focus on after college confusing. All I knew is that my strengths were music, movement and the concern for people’s well-being.

Now I know the continuous inner fight to choose a singular path occurred because what I do and what I am doesn’t exist as a check-mark type job. You won’t find Creative Encourager in between Doctor and Scientist on the job listing. It’s something I have to create within myself and introduce to the world on a daily basis.

Please tell us about Creative Encourager.
Authenticity mixed with a genuine interest in others is what sets me apart. No one comes to LA to be average. I count myself in that ever-star-reaching lot. But my primary focus isn’t my success. Becoming a celebrity or exceedingly wealthy isn’t my driving force. (Although, I’ll gladly accept the wealth because wealth gives options!) My catalyst to do well in life is my desire to use the arts to be an agent of healing to the world.

What do I do? I used to fear this question, but not anymore. Proudly, I tell you that I am a freelance creative consistently looking to be apart of powerful projects.

I am musician. I am a songwriter and composer, the genre of which is “Encouragement”. I’m an alto with a warm, sultry voice when singing R&B, pop and jazz but then become a mezzo with a clear Disney Princess style voice when singing theatrical or classical. I play viola, which I studied at Ithaca College and I play piano thanks to my mom! I even self-produced a Christmas album December 2019. It’s 12 classic songs that I arranged for my piano and voice. It’s on Spotify.

I’m an athlete. Back in 2017, I lost 35lbs by changing my mindset, my eating habits and learning Muay Thai. By 2018, I was a lead cast member in Shaun T’s Transform 20, a 6-week, 36 episode at-home workout series created by BeachBody. I adore physical movement, especially Taekwondo, dance and contortion style stretching.

I am an LA actor and voice actor. This process is interesting as a newer LA native. Understanding the flow of how Hollywood works, trying to get “in the door” at casting agencies and paying for acting classes seems to be an art form in itself. But I’m doing the grind and am forever hopeful that my break will come. My agencies are MTA and The Firm La Model and Talent. I do freelance voiceover work on, too.

I love encouraging people. I will cry with you. I will celebrate with you. I will tell you the hard truths. I will push you toward your goals. This gives me life. My friends and colleagues tell me I am a life coach. I humbly agree.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I believe authenticity, showing up on time and remembering names is key to my success. In a town that is filled with a lot of braggadocio combined with the most elaborate facades, I think people yearn to engage with others who are real. Time is incredibly valuable and honoring people’s time shows them you respect them. And ultimately, people want to be seen and known and the most simple way to give them that gift is to remember their name.

 Contact Info:

Image Credit:
The Actors Collective: The yellow shirt, the Nike headshot; Bookedit Photography: The red jumping photo, The chataranga photo; The rest: My husband 🙂

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