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Meet Jesse Gallegos of Gallegos Films

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jesse Gallegos.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jesse. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky in the 90’s. My parents, Teresa and Juan, were race horse trainers and pretty good at it. She moved from Canada, he traveled from Argentina. I remember watching them train in these huge racing facilities, how fast they would speed down the track, their excitement to get behind these powerful creatures and gallop them around the fairway, time and time again.

My parents got divorced when I was really young, I didn’t know what that meant at the time, just that my father was gone for the most part. Mother Teresa raised me and my three siblings by herself. She is the strongest person I know and the reason I carry such a strong independent drive. When I was 12 we moved to Northern Louisiana, a small little village outside of Shreveport called Doyline. I played sports and was recruited for basketball at Louisiana College after graduating high school.

My second year of college I fell into acting classes. Then I fell in love with theater. During that time, one of my teacher/director/mentors Tabitha Huffman lead me into film acting and I joined her agency. Film classes were limited in Central LA, so every week I would drive an hour and a half to Lafayette, to take on-camera classes with Marcus Lyle Brown. Also at the time, most auditions were in person in New Orleans., which meant a 7 hour round trip to see Casting Directors for 10 minutes.

After college and outside of my creative endeavors, I worked as a Manager at Enterprise for about three years. I acted on several smaller projects and wrote and produced a television pilot based off my thrival job managing rental cars. In the summer of 17,’ I moved out of Louisiana and over to Georgia in pursuit of being a full-time filmmaker.

These last few years have been full of dreams and compromise. I said YES to everything that I was interested in. Some things turned out to be terrible experiences but I grew from them. I auditioned for countless CD’s. I booked a small role on a Tom Hanks movie, got to act beside him for over two months. I worked as a Co-star on a FOX network show alongside Henry Ian Cusick, Guest star on a Randal Reeder project, and die epically on comedy horror with Allyson Hannigan. I acted on about 20 shorts in the time since I moved, directed/produced a few personal projects, and started working on my own production company.

All that to say I am still finding my way, but I have never been in a better place in my life. I am fortunate enough to pursue my passions everyday and be surrounded by wonderful creative people with the same mindset.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not at all, it feels very far and few in between for anyone to have a smooth road in the film industry. The biggest mountain to climb is balancing your money making job and your creative job. I worked 60+ hours a week while taking classes, auditioning, and working on my own projects for years. I spent thousands of dollars with no guaranteed return just to film things I felt passionate about.

Fear of failing, fear of not having money to pay bills, fear of never being good enough. These thoughts were always at my doorstep. I auditioned hundreds of times, never getting a response. I bombed auditions too, ruined relationships with CD’s, let my nerves get the better of me. I was lucky enough to have mentors guide me though, and I gravitated towards people in my life that were self-driven like me. That kept me sane, kept me focused. That is what STILL keeps me focused.

I struggled moving to Atlanta, starting over after the tax incentives left Louisiana. Figuring out housing and meeting new people. Atlanta was a whole new world compared to the small towns I grew up in. I got lost in heavy traffic and side jobs. I still auditioned mostly in New Orleans so I was doing 12 hour round trips for those same 10-minute auditions. Life got harder, yet more exciting. I had new challenges, new opportunities.

I think one of the hardest parts of creative passions is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, wondering if all of this will pay off down the road, finding that stability. There are still times I find myself locked in my room staring at my computer or the mirror trying to convince myself that I am heading in the right direction.

Please tell us about Gallegos Films.
I make most of my money acting and most of my known work is from that. But recently, I have been developing skills in production. Writing, producing, post-production (editing, coloring, audio). I started my own company, Gallegos Films. I am most proud of my pilot I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in. I am submitting it to festivals and creating a package to pitch this year, a whole new avenue of challenges! I am constantly developing ideas and getting involved with other filmmakers in the community.

Honestly, the only thing that sets me apart from others is my actions, I try to DO more than I SAY. Constantly finding new ways to grow and challenge myself. Never settling for an okay job. Giving every project, I work on 110%. Working smart, not just working hard. Surrounding myself with people smarter and better than me.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I knew what I know now, I would have continued acting in 2nd grade, after playing a pterodactyl in “The Lost World”.

But I’m glad I didn’t. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I knew what my true dreams were at that age. It took time for me to find myself and my place in this world, the stars aligning in their own way.

I learned you have to love this lifestyle more than you hate your deepest darkest fears. If you believe that with every part of your being, you can have a success in whatever you do.

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