Today we’d like to introduce you to Aditya Juneja.
Hi Aditya, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Raised in Fairfax, Virginia to immigrant parents that moved to the states in the 1990, when I was two years old. I watched my parents start from working minimum wage at McDonald’s to delivering packages for FedEx and eventually becoming the success stories they are today. My parents studied hard then got into IT during the early days of AOL which heavily influenced me to get into the same field. I worked in software development until the age of 28, when I realized I was struggling to find happiness and fulfillment. I remember feeling so frustrated with life one day after a rough conversation with my mom and knew I needed to make a drastic change. It was now or never.
At that time, I knew one of my childhood best friends had just moved out to Los Angeles a year prior. Moments later, I found myself shooting him a text validating his offer to come let me stay with him for a bit. As soon as I received confirmation, I had booked myself a one-way ticket to the city of dreams. Now, I just had to figure out how to tell my job and pack my life into one suitcase.
It was September 2015, I am in LA barely one week but already on set of a major studio production. My heart and mind was racing as Wayne Brady passes me the mic to ask me my name. Yes, I had made it as a contestant on Let’s Make A Deal! But in that moment, everything I questioned about my choice in life felt confirmed. I made the right choice. I am here to work in entertainment.
Shortly after, I began looking up casting agencies and tried to get booked on any and every production I could submit myself. I remember playing a street pedestrian on many shows while trying to sneakily call the casting hotline to get work for the next day. Finding industry work was surprisingly challenging and become a union felt nearly impossible. However, after much persistence and working on sets 50+ hours a week, I became eligible for the union.
It was fun getting to explore Los Angeles through the eyes of an actor and well, less impressively, sometimes just a background actor. I got to be on every major studio lot and experience many once-in-a-lifetime moments. Unfortunately, in February of 2018, I suffered a major injury causing a compound fracture to my left tibia and fibula. This took a toll on my career and overall mental health.
During this time, I began mentoring under Executive Producer Braxton Davis. Where I began learning the production side of the industry and eventually started my own business. Now, I am the owner and operator of Nine10 Productions and have helped producer hundreds of film projects from music videos and shorts to full indie features. My most recent notable project was with writer Frederick Keeve on The Godfather Buck, featuring Kyle Lowder (Days of Our Lives).
Currently, I am also working on The CryptoQueers, a blockchain project aimed to empower LGBTQ+ voices in the metaverse through educating and community building. We are a small team and still in the early stages of research and development.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not always been a smooth road. My family has not always been supportive and my first year and a half spent living on a couch. There were days I could not afford food. I took public transportation to work. The buses would just pass me by and many days, I suffered being close to late. I used to be very trusting and have had people take advantage of it.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My truest passion is to help others. I enjoy learning people’s stories and sharing mine. I feel like stories help us journey through life. My goal is to tell inspirational stories and hope that it can inspire the world to be a kinder place. I believe what truly sets me apart is my perspective and ability to find compassion towards (almost) anyone.
We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
My favorite childhood memory is… well not paying bills. :’)
Image with Loud Luxury (men in black with sunglasses) was taken by Clay Price. Images from set were taken by Summer Yang. Image of The CryptoQueers logo is provided by The CryptoQueers.