Today we’re joined by Jessie “Jess” Cook. Jessie is a phenomenally talented theater artist. She does a number of artistic activities: art, dance, singing, and writing. However, her passion in life is the theater. Jessie plans to study theater in college. It’s clear she’s a very talented artist with an incredibly bright future, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m involved with lots of different types of art. I draw and write as a hobby, but I do dance, theatre, musical theatre, and technical theatre at my school. I’m also in a Women’s Chamber Choir at my school. I also work at a haunted attraction as an actor! I’ve done theatre for 6 years, and I plan on studying it in college.
What inspires you?
The world around me inspires me, and my love and passion for my art. I have a constant drive to do better than what I’ve done before.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
When I was younger, I had always wanted to be an actress. Like any kid my age, I wanted to become famous and have a bunch of nice things. I did not realise how deep I would get into my craft. I started doing theatre and musical theatre in middle school, and I immediately fell in love. I owe my love for theatre to my middle school theatre teacher. She helped set the flame that has given me my passion for what I do.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
I don’t have any unique symbol or anything in my acting. I do have a signature in my art, but it’s just my nickname in cursive. Nothing too special!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Never give up! Your pace will be different than others, everyone’s pace to success is different. Also, do not be afraid of rejection! That just means your moment is not here yet, it will soon come! Keep improving yourself and let rejection help you mold your art. Know the difference between constructive criticism and nasty comments. Choose which comments to use, there will always be those comments that you agree with and ones that you don’t. It’s OK!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as an Asexual. Not interested in that kind of stuff.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
My asexuality is not known by anyone. I’m still in the closet when it comes to my asexuality.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The most common misconception about asexuality I see often times is that “asexual people do not belong in the LGBT+ community”. It’s sad that a community of inclusivity that preaches messages of being yourself and embracing yourself shuns people who are asexual. People state that acephobia does not exist, yet I see so much of it.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Don’t rush yourself to find an orientation. It is OK to not know exactly what you identify with. It’s common to suddenly change your orientation. Just because you don’t fit into a perfect mold of an orientation doesn’t mean you don’t belong. It’s ok. Take your time. This is YOUR identity, it’s okay not to know who you are yet!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
People who are interested in what I do can find me on multiple social media platforms! My theatre work is (sadly) strictly local, but I love talking about my work to other people. Don’t be afraid to talk to me or ask any questions. I don’t bite!
Thank you, Jessie, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.