In front of the camera or behind the scenes, Jessica Mathews sets the bar high. I recall a recent telephone conversation with her and I counted at least 9 different projects she's spearheading. I remember hanging up and thinking, "Wow! She's got to be the busiest lady in show business!"
When I think of one word to describe this talented Actor and Producer, I recall a term coined by The Tipping Point Author Malcolm Gladwell who once said, "I think that word of mouth is something created by three very rare and special psychological types, whom I call Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen." In my opinion, Jessica is a Maven. Mavens willingly share their vast amounts of information on a particular subject in order to sincerely help others. If you've ever caught the Acting or Producing bug, get ready to meet and learn some things from the epitome of "lights, camera, action!"
Jessica Mathews is a Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG/AFTRA) Actor and Award Winning Producer. Jessica was born in Florida. She graduated from The University of Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, and Dual Minors in Economics. Switching gears, she is now a professional working actor performing throughout the world.
You saw her as "The Other Woman" on NBC's "Las Vegas" episode "Hit Me!" She appeared in "Change Your Life!" starring Tony Plana (Ugly Betty) and directed by Patrick Shen (Flight from Death). Jessica also shot on "Kimberly" (Official Selection Angeleno Film Festival) in which she starred. Jessica won the title of Miss Burbank USA, and competed in the Miss California USA Pageant. You may have seen her in television shows such as "Wild On E!" and "The AXE House Party" on MTV. She was a Guest Host for "Art Mann Presents" on HDNet, and she was a Guest Host on "Street Stars" on PAX. National commercials include Honda Generators, Donzi Boats, Community Loans of America, ESPN, National City Bank and Country Music Magazine, just to name a few. Jessica had a Recurring part on the show "Courting Busey" with Gary Busey. You have seen her on the "Roast" episode of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" with Gene Simmons.
Did I mention Jessica is busy? But, she's never too busy to show her support and gratitude to military families in various ways.
Charles "Chazz" Pratt III (CP3): What do military people who might be interested in Acting or Modeling need to know?
Jessica Mathews (JM): This is hard to sum up into a small paragraph. Basically, know your market. Wherever you are, figure out who the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) franchised agents are, and see what their requirements are for submissions. Find a good headshot photographer and get good pictures taken. Be willing to work (for free!) at first to get your name out there and just to get hands on experience. Start putting together a resume. If an agent likes your look, they will see potential and give you pointers. Get into a good acting class. Learn from reading books, from asking other people who have experience, and be ready to be a sponge! Soak up everything you can. Make sure you are available for auditions.
CP3: What has been your most interesting event or success and what did you do (and continue to do) in order to succeed?
JM: I have shot on hundreds of sets. They all have brought an interesting experience. What I really love is a great role that you can really sink your teeth into. As far as producing, I look for a great script that I can really bring to life off of the page. I have been lucky enough to find great scripts, go on to amazing film festivals, and win some pretty awesome awards. I feel that in order to continue being a success, you have to keep pushing the envelope and keep wanting more. I have a hunger to keep doing bigger and better projects.
CP3: How has the internet impacted your journey?
JM: A lot of info is available on-line now. When I was first starting my career, I would come home from my marketing job in Orlando, and just sit on the computer for 6 or 8 hours looking up resources on acting. I wanted to learn everything I could. I think that is a big difference between the "doers" and "non-doers". I learned so much and then I went out and did it! You can, too!
Jessica is married to Editor Dave Swuz. If you've ever watched HGTV, The History Channel, Lifetime, Spike, or Food Network, chances are, you've seen Dave's work. As a couple, Dave and Jessica find time in their busy schedules not only to work together on numerous film projects; they also have a heart for serving Veterans.
CP3: What activities do you and Dave participate in to help Veterans?
JM: My husband and I recently did a bike ride from San Diego to Phoenix to support veterans. He rode his bicycle over 400 miles, and I drove the RV for 7 days, 8 hours a day at 14 mph, or 22 mph, or 8 mph (whatever we were doing at that particular moment). Our friend Doug flew out from West Virginia and documented the whole experience.
CP3: You mentioned an opportunity for Veterans to possibly appear in a documentary you're producing.
JM: Our company, Springfield Films, is shooting a (non-political) documentary about the Pat Tillman Foundation, veterans, and a journey that one man is taking to build awareness and to raise money for veterans and their families. We are looking for Veterans in the Los Angeles area to interview for our documentary
CP3: How can Veterans get more information?
JM: They can email firstname.lastname@example.org if they are interested. It is an uplifting doc thanking Vets for their service.
CP3: Any words of advice and encouragement to military families?
JM: I always say, "Follow your dreams"! And our company's motto is this: "Don't Dream to Achieve, Achieve your dreams!"
For more information:
See how Dave Swuz honored the military
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