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Life and Work with Jessica Miesel

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

Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started singing when I was very young and always thought I’d pursue a career in the opera. As I got older, I was bitten by the musical theatre bug and immediately after college, I moved to New York where I lived for four years.
I moved back to Atlanta with the hopes of finding more stability and creative fulfillment by doing professional theatre in the area. I had zero experience working in film and television, and honestly, never thought I would, but I got lucky and was picked up by an agent. It took some time for me to figure out the differences between stage and screen, but through hard work and becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin, I was eventually able to become a full-time actress – particularly thanks to the show I’m on now called THE RESIDENT.

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?
This business is tough. Really, really tough. We’re selling a product, and the product is ourself, which makes the rejection and criticisms particularly hurtful.

People talk about how you have to have a thick skin to make it in this industry, but I think it’s more complex than that. Once I was able to love myself, even the things I didn’t like about myself, the rejection was easier to manage. I’ve found a lot of actors who aren’t working as much as they’d like to begin to try and find ways to change themselves physically. They think if they lose that extra 20 pounds or change their hair, they’ll begin to get cast. While that may be true for some, I’ve found it’s the people who completely embrace who they are and stop apologizing for their so-called “flaws” that not only work as actors but are also happier people.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with your business – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I’m primarily an actor but also work as a singer and teacher.

As an actor, I love being challenged, making people laugh, and breaking barriers. Being a full-figured woman in this business adds additional challenges. Thankfully, I’m represented by people who see me more than just a number on the scale.

Diversity is (finally) becoming a priority in casting, not only in skin tone but body type as well. I love being able to represent curvy people and hope younger kids see me and are reminded they are beautiful and perfect, just as they are, and that there’s a place for them in this world, too.

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
For me, it isn’t so much specific experiences, but specific people who have influenced me. The first person who comes to mind is my middle school chorus teacher, Mr. Alan Bunn. I was a painfully shy kid and always had a love for singing but was too nervous to show it. He was goofy, passionate, smart, and made you LOVE music.

Another person was my first voice teacher, Mrs. Soles. She brought out so much in me and my singing, and I honestly don’t know if I’d be where I am today had it not been for her.

And obviously, my parents. They taught me how to think for myself, be independent, respect others, and never underestimate the benefit of hard work. They’ve always been my biggest cheerleaders, and to this day are the first people I call to share good news I’ve received.

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Image Credit:
Anna Ritch, BreeAnne Clowdus, Casey Gardner

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