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Meet Trailblazer Krista Jasper

Today we’d like to introduce you to Krista Jasper.

Krista, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I was a little girl, I would write plays and perform fashion shows for my family at any opportunity I had. I loved performing, but I was also very athletic, so I started gymnastics lessons at the same time I joined the local theater club. After a few years of trying to balance both, I quit theatre to focus on training for the 2008 Olympics. I was homeschooled and practiced 48hrs a week. I became famous for my floor routine to “El Tango de Roxanne” (Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, where I had the only opportunity to combine my passion for gymnastics and theatre. It was my one chance to really perform a show! I loved telling this story through my body language as I performed my floor routine. At the time I saw the movie, I was only 12 years old but I still understood the concept of loving someone you can’t have. At the time, that person was Backstreet Boy’s Nick Carter lol!

But after many trials and tribulations, I ended up accepting my full scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007 prior to the Olympics Games. During my time at UNC, I had won multiple championships but most importantly, I had an amazing head coach, shout out to Derek Galvin, who helped me find that joy in gymnastics again. As I reached my final competition season in gymnastics, the big question of “what’s next” had to be answered. I always knew I wanted to continue my other passion for acting, but I wanted to bridge the gap between the two and celebrate the person I’ve become thanks to gymnastics. I was 10 surgeries deep, one that paralyzed me for over two years, and left with so many mixed feelings of anger, regret, sadness, stubbornness, happiness, and so on. I wanted to share my story and inspire others so I started by writing a play about my life training for the 2008 Olympics. I eventually moved to NYC and performed in off-Broadway at the TADA Youth Theater. Shortly after, I wrapped up the show, I felt like I was officially ready to say goodbye to my life as a professional athlete, and give acting in LA a full shot!

Here I am, 4 years after moving to LA, making steps towards my goal of winning an Oscar. I have a VERY long journey ahead of me, but I’m super proud of my accomplishments so far: 6 National commercials, modeling for some of the top athletic brands in the world, and a Netflix movie. I love this city, the sunshine, the pool of talented people you constantly meet, and the opportunities that are around every corner. I learn more and more about myself and this industry every year, it has its ups and downs, but I am thankful to have an amazing partner to not only celebrate the good times but keep me grounded during the tough times. If gymnastics taught me anything, it’s that hard work and persistence pays off. I’m very excited for the next few years, even decades if that’s what it takes, and to see what life has in store for me!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Yes and no! I mentioned before, the industry has its ups and downs and when it’s up it’s amazing and everything seems to just work out but then when there’s nothing going on, it can get very overwhelming. You start doubting yourself thinking you’re not talented enough, or pretty enough, or working hard enough, etc the list goes on and on. I think the hardest thing to remember is that I am not 100% in control of my success. I can take classes, read scripts, write scripts and audition all day, but it still comes down to so many other factors whether or not I book.

That can definitely take a toll on your mental happiness, but what gets me through is remembering my life outside of my career. Focusing on other aspects that make me happy: my marriage, my family, my friends, my hobbies. All these factors make you a complete person and it’s SO vital that you don’t ignore them. I also think it’s important to have a side job. Something you enjoy, and that’s flexible for your main career goals. This not only allows financial stability but also being and feeling busy. When I don’t book a job, it’s not the end of the world anymore, because I have clients depending on me to get them healthy and fit. Oh, if I didn’t mention it before, I am a personal trainer! So, I never really have time to sit and stew, in fact, I sometimes, forget I even auditioned for it in the first place!

My advice is to explore the other parts of yourself that make you happy because a genuine, happy attitude will bring more and more good things your way. Be respectful, be patient, and love what you do!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about your business – what should we know?
I am an actress and a model. Most of my credits have been in print and commercial, but I have been in several indie films, one of which is on Netflix! I am most proud of my work modeling for several athletic brands. Although I am not a professional athlete anymore, I still work out every day and prioritize my health. I love that I get to promote a healthy image and lifestyle for women. I used to feel ashamed when I tell people I am a model because I feel like it always comes with that stigma…” Oh, you eat nothing”. No actually, I eat a lot! A lot of vegetables, protein and complex carbs to fuel my body with the right nutrition. I want to set an example and inspire women to be the best versions of themselves. We all have different body types, shapes, and sizes, but what it really comes down to is being healthy. That’s the most important. We should be putting more emphasis on what goes into our body’s and how we treat them, then how they look. Because the former will take care of the latter!

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Don’t be afraid to fail. Failing is part of the journey. One failed opportunity opens the door to another one, and I truly believe that. When I lived in NYC, I auditioned for Bring it On the touring Musical play. I was being considered for one of the main roles, only to be turned down with their official pick. After a few months, I moved to LA. Met my husband, got an agent and booked my first national commercial. If I had booked that tour, I would be traveling throughout Asia performing a role I thought would make my career. If we didn’t fail, we wouldn’t appreciate our successes.

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Image Credit:

Kell Riches, Fab Fernandez, Ture Lillegraven, Ryan Jaeger, Alex Kapustin, Chris Nowling, Alex Kohnstamm, David Salafia

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