A Southern’s realizations in Brooklyn
Written by Jency Allison Weeks
Picture it: Frisco, Texas. 1990.
Thinking about Frisco, TX in the 1990s brings me “home.” This was a time when The IKEA sign sat alone in a cow pasture. David’s Grocery Store was where we went to get the daily goods.
Donuts on a Saturday morning required a road trip to Shipley’s in Plano and the Dallas Cowboys practised over an hour away and not in my backyard. This Frisco was my childhood. This was my “home”.
Fast forward a few decades: Brooklyn, 2019.
I am producing a film and a 70-year-old women runs out of her Brooklyn apartment in her torn pyjamas and is screaming at my film crew over camera equipment sitting on “her” sidewalk.
The confrontation nearly resulted in fists of fury and an abundance of language that would make Dave Chapelle blush.
Trading in the Friday Night Lights for the bright city lights has been
adventurous, to say the least.
As I sat there drinking my coconut honey blonde latte watching the tirade unfold, I couldn’t help but find the humour in the situation.
Me, a small-town, Texas girl sitting on a porch stoop in Brooklyn watching the eruption of emotion.
This led to a flash-back experience of my last 10 years. If someone had come to me 10 years ago and said,
“Jency, in 10 years you will live on
the East Coast working as an Actress
and Producer in and around
New York City.”,
I would have thought they lost their mind. During this time, I was not preparing for a life in TV and film, I had just finished a master’s degree in Sport Management and was working for a prominent Division 1 football program.
However, deep inside, I wanted something different. Growing up, I always loved learning the behind-the-scenes aspects of the big screen. Coming from a traditional Southern family, I did not want to disrupt my “normal” life.
Getting married and having our daughter only solidified that path to normality.
In a round-about way, it was becoming
a stay at home wife and mom that led
me to a last-minute decision to take my
first Improv Acting Class at one of the
local colleges in Dallas.
Shortly after, I was auditioning, signed with an agent, and working. The race was on!
I think this is a good time to acknowledge the support of my husband and daughter. Without them, this journey would be non-existent.
As I watched the elderly women reign down insults on that Brooklyn sidewalk, I snickered at the irony of the situation.
The film we were shooting was about the southern mentality and the pressure of the idealistic success in his acting career. . . in New York City.
This connection to my own story is what led to the humorous moment while the lady relentlessly screamed at our crew over a simple camera being on the sidewalk. Choosing to find humour in moments like these is what makes life fun.
What the general movie-goer might not understand is the hardships the actors experience until that one moment when they simply “fit” the ideal role, catapulting their career.
A little talent, a little luck, and an endless amount of determination is what leads to success in this industry.
I would not be where I am today
if I had not decided to take a
chance and pursue this crazy profession.
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