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Rising Star Jessica Morris On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Entertainment Industry

I would love to see some mental health classes started in, as early as elementary school. There are some life skills that kids should start learning early on such as learning how to cope with anxiety, deal with anger, and how to find the positives in challenging situations. Some children don’t have access to this […]

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Credit: Bjoern Kommerell
Credit: Bjoern Kommerell

I would love to see some mental health classes started in, as early as elementary school. There are some life skills that kids should start learning early on such as learning how to cope with anxiety, deal with anger, and how to find the positives in challenging situations. Some children don’t have access to this information at home and learning these things at a young age could make a huge difference in their lives and in society as a whole.

I had the pleasure of interview Jessica Morris.

Actress Jessica Morris has built an impressive career for herself in television and film. Best known for her role as Jennifer Rappaport on One Life to Live, she also starred as a lead in the Daytime Emmy nominated Amazon Prime miniseries Ladies of the Lake and Ladies of the Lake: Return to Avalon. A fan-favorite on Lifetime, Morris has brought her talent to several TV movies including The Wrong Man, The Wrong Teacher, and The Wrong Student, among many others. She recently returned to the network as a lead in Poolboy Nightmare, which is airing now.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thanks for having me. Well, I was very shy growing up. But when I started doing plays in school, I discovered that acting was a way for me to confidently express myself. Then, at age 16, I traveled to Tokyo, Japan to work with a modeling agent out there. While there, I booked my first professional acting job in a commercial. I had such a blast and felt so in my element on set. At that point, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I don’t know whether or not it is interesting but for me it was life changing. After about a year and a half in Los Angeles, I booked role on an ABC daytime show and a few weeks later I had to pack up and move to NYC for five years. It was quite a sudden change but very exciting.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

On my first horror film shoot, I was frantically running through the woods in Big Bear. I was so emotionally into the scene, that I didn’t notice a big tree stump right in my path. I tripped and took a very hard fall. It was so embarrassing and I had a little piece of bark sticking out of the front of my shin. Of course, they ended up using that take in the movie because it was so real.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am currently writing and will most likely act in two back to back movies that will shoot in Taiwan this Fall.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Shooting a movie with director Tom Six was incredible. He has a such a strong vision and very original ideas. He also has a great sense of style and wears a fancy suit and hat to set everyday. We finished filming the movie in Amsterdam and that was unbelievable. It is a breathtaking place and I ended up visiting a windmill that coincidentally I had recurring dreams about as a child. All in all, it was just a very enriching experience.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I think that it is important to have other creative outlets. If you are waiting for your next audition or job to create something special, you could end up feeling frustrated and stuck. It helps to write, paint, bake…whatever makes you feel inspired and keeps your juices flowing.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

Well, I think you need to accept the fact that you will have many failures and that you will be rejected many times. Try not to take these disappointments so personally. I believe that things do happen the way that they should and that the right roles for you will be yours. Focus on being your own personal best and don’t let others discourage you.

Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

I use LOTS of hydrating face masks and collagen eye patches. I’m obsessed with them. I also mediate and do a bit of stretching/yoga. I started taking a bunch of vitamins too, and I feel like these have really improved my energy levels and mood. During this 2020 lockdown and working so much from home, a simple walk around the block or an hour or so at the beach or the park can be extremely rejuvenating. Fresh air and sunshine are a necessity for happiness.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Find a job that you don’t mind doing that you can do on the side. Believe me, you will be a better, more secure and much more well-rounded actor if you have other aspects to your life. It also makes the acting work more fun when you already have a way to pay your bills and you are not so desperate to book the job. At some point, hopefully you won’t need the other job. But at least you have something to rely on, if you are going through a dry spell as an artist, which is pretty normal sometimes.

2. Do not date your costars. I know it can be fun and you may bond so much while working together so intimately. But it is unprofessional and you can burn bridges that way.

3. Find other creative outlets. (As I stated before)

4. Don’t drink too much at industry events. You may think that it makes you seem like the life of the party. But if you have too much, you can just appear sloppy to other people and could run the risk of losing their respect.

5. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. One day you play the hot cheerleader, years later you evolve into the troubled teacher. That’s part of the fun. Embrace aging and enjoy the evolution.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Walk your own path” has been one that has influenced my life. Growing up, I didn’t always feel that I fit in with my peers. I learned early on to focus on my dreams and to follow my heart and my instincts. As an adult, I have continued to learn to love the things about myself that are different than other people and to use those things for good. Comparing yourself to others can be unhealthy. You are only ever in competition with yourself. Stay in your own lane. Every person has something unique to contribute.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My manager, Debralynn Findon, has been a rock for me. I met her when I first moved to the West Coast and she has been on my team ever since. She is truly like a sister to me and has shown me unwavering support.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to see some mental health classes started in, as early as elementary school. There are some life skills that kids should start learning early on such as learning how to cope with anxiety, deal with anger, and how to find the positives in challenging situations. Some children don’t have access to this information at home and learning these things at a young age could make a huge difference in their lives and in society as a whole.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this.

Cate Blanchett has been one of my favorite actresses for a long time. I admire her ability to transform herself into such a wide array of characters. Maybe she could give me so pointers!

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram: jessicamorris01

Twitter: @jessicaamorris

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