Jocelyn Jones was raised in an artist’s community on the Hudson River just 30 minutes north of Manhattan. This idyllic hamlet is home to some of the most influential artists of our time and it was here that her interest in art, artists and their process began.
She is the daughter of Henry Jones, a character actor whose credits include some 40 films and over 300 televisions shows. Mr. Jones started out as a Broadway actor, most known for “The Bad Seed”, “Advise And Consent” and his Tony Award-winning performance in “Sunrise at Campobello”. Ms. Jones began her career at the age of 12, appearing alongside her father and E.G. Marshall in an episode of “The Defenders.” Her work in motion pictures includes Clint Eastwood, “The Enforcer” “The Other Side of the Mountain” with Beau Bridges, Al Pacino’s “Serpico” as well as starring in the cult classics “Tourist Trap” and “The Great Texas Dynamite Chase.”
Ms. Jones has appeared on stage in both New York and Los Angeles, most notably at The Mark Taper Forum, playing Greta Garbo in the world premiere of Christopher Hampton’s “Tales From Hollywood.” She has also appeared with Joe Stern’s Matrix Theatre Company, where she played the delightfully insane Violet in George M. Cohan’s farce “The Tavern” and as Constance Wicksteed, a spinster with a passion for large breasts, in Alan Bennett’s farce “Habeas Corpus”. She received critical acclaim for her role as Lucy Brown in Ron Sossi’s groundbreaking production of “The Three Penny Opera”, which famously utilized all three theaters of The Odyssey Theatre Complex for that same production.
An in demand acting teacher for over 25 year, Ms. Jones has shepherded hundreds of actors from novice to starring careers and currently works with over a hundred hand picked actors, directors and writers at The Jocelyn Jones Acting Studio.
Known as a “secret weapon” to some of the biggest stars in the industry, she has served as a confidential Creative Consultant, working on some of the highest-grossing pictures of all time. From advising artists on which projects to choose, to working with writing teams, to develop current and future projects, Ms. Jones’ consultant work has been considered an invaluable asset to many.
As a script doctor, she has served in every capacity, from page-one rewrites to final polishes- confidentially contributing to blockbuster films and television series alike. Her production company, Mind’s Eye Pictures, is dedicated to producing her own original content.
Her new book is Artist: Awakening the Spirit Within.
Jocelyn Jones is one of Hollywood’s most prized secret weapons. A legendary acting teacher, coach, and artistic advisor to the stars, she has served as a confidential Creative Consultant on some of the highest-grossing pictures of all time.
Now, she shares her personal journey—and the secrets behind her unique methodology—in Artist: Awakening the Spirit Within.
How do you tap into the power of creation? A great teacher doesn’t just tell you; they show you! With forthright vulnerability, Jones shares the memories and lessons that shaped her, both spiritually and as a world-class teacher—proving beyond question that the same creative process she offers actors can help you discover andmanifest a life in coherence with your own heart.
Whether you’re an actor looking to elevate your craft or a fellow human traveler pursuing your dreams, Artist shows you step by step how to awaken to your higher self and move confidently into the life you were born to live.
Enjoy my conversation with Jocelyn Jones.
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Jocelyn Jones 0:00
Do the interview did with it burns, and you know, look at his love. Look at the size of his passion. And then look at the size of you responding to his passion and talking about these, or you worked on this kind of camera or you worked in this, you know the level of enthusiasm. If you had you know, one of those Geiger counters, it was just charts that is beyond ego.
Alex Ferrari 0:29
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Jocelyn Jones 1:22
I'm very good. Thank you. It's lovely.
Alex Ferrari 1:25
Thank you so much for coming on the show. I am. I'm excited to talk to you. I think I think we're gonna have a conversation that's hopefully going to help some some filmmakers and screenwriters and anybody in the business who wants to be creative and be an artist. And I think it's something that a lot of things that you talk about in your book, your new book, artists awaken the spirit within is that it's things that aren't talked about publicly very often about mental health, about negative talk about self talk about beating yourself up all these kinds of things. But before we get into all of that, how did you get into this insane, insane business?
Jocelyn Jones 2:02
Well, you know, I was a little bit born into it. I was raised on the Hudson River, in an artist's community. And so I was raised with extraordinary artists, my dad was an actor. So the first wave of artists at the dinner table were actors, and they are a breed unto themselves. And then my mother remarried. And the next way my stepfather wrote for The New Yorker, and the next wave of artists at the table were painters, and this was in the 60s. So you just go to the top of that food chain, you know, drop a lot of names. But they were these extraordinary painters. And then, you know, there were dancers at the top of the field. I mean, everybody was at the top of their field. And I was young, and I was impressionable, and I was studying them. And I was very interested in, you know, when they were happy, we're going to talk about happy because I happen to watch you flip the script and be interviewed by your friend CB bato, and talk about happiness. And I was like, yes, you're on to something there. Um, anyway, and so I was very interested in when they were happy, they were working. And when they weren't working, it wasn't just actors who weren't actors go out of work, you know, they should really check into a hotel, because they're very difficult to be around, they get so concerned that they'll never work again. But it was also painters. And it was, so it was anyone who like they're in the creative process, and they are lit from within. And because these guys were at the top of their field, they were lit with inspiration, it was something beyond themselves, which is kind of what the book is trying to hook people up to anybody up to. But anyway, so there were all these actors, and then I left home at a very early age because I lived right outside Manhattan, and if you live near Manhattan, or breath away, you're like, I'm in the city by by gotta go. And, you know, when I was younger, we moved to Manhattan, we still couldn't afford Manhattan, even you know, 60s and 70s, when it was not the same city as it is now. So we would live five girls and an apartment and you know, work when I don't know how many Second Avenue bars and wait tables and go on auditions and all of that. And at that time, I was really young. And I was discovered by Eileen Ford, who was a very big Marvel agent at the time. And she saw something in me and she sent me out for test shots I recall, which were you know, photographers who were trying to get laid, but they also wanted, you know, pictures and tree models and upcoming models, whatever they would take your picture It was during blow up. So I don't remember that. But you know, they were all it was pretty wild time. And I would bring these pictures back to Eileen Ford. And she looked at them and said, Oh, God, Johnson. No, these are terrible. You look so sad. Nobody calls me up and says, I want the sad girl. Okay, that's that. So she said, you have to do something. And so I started creating characters to be in front of a camera because I was really had a hard time with the black box, you know? And so the she I brought those pictures. She said, Oh, you're an actor? And I said, No, no, no, no, my dad's an actor, one of those in the families or not. And she started sending me out on audition. So she sent me out of my first audition was for a heroin addict for Mayor Lindsay's drug campaign. And they were very real. They look like documentaries. And it won an award, I played the size perfect for the sidebar. It was about to say perfect. Yeah, good for the sacral. So, you know, that was that that was the start of my journey toward acting. And I did a number of independent films. But in my, you know, I never loved acting. I mean, I love acting. I love the part of acting, and building life from nothing. I love that I understood structure. But I never you know, you, you talked about how, you know, you found the podcast, it took you a while, but something that you'd found home, it was like a call and suddenly you happy, right? I was not happy as an actor, I I am very private person. I didn't like having to audition. I like control in my life than putting my art in front of somebody and having them say, yeah, like, No, I don't, you know, I from New York, I have a little you know.
But more than that all of this study of artists had settled in the, and I had a certain kind of leadership growing up that came from other things. And I thought teaching, you know, I got pregnant, I have a baby and being a mother and being a teacher sort of went together. And you know, when you do that thing you're meant to do, you put one step on that path. And things just start flowing really well, which is part of knowing Oh, I'm on the right path. So you know, really, I was a teacher for three years. And teaching led to you know, I worked with a lot of film stars on films in private coaching, and that led to Script doctoring. And all of that was very, you know, confidential under nondisclosure agreements, but a lot of fun, very interesting work. And then all of that led to one day deciding, I think it's time to do to leave something of my own, because my whole life has been helping artists. And I love that and it's right. But at some point, you have to look at yourself and say, am I avoiding, you know, my own voice. And so, you know, my mom died. That's a whole evolution in a person's life. Everything stopped. So I could say goodbye, and then handle her affairs. And that's when I started writing the book. And, you know, Alex, I didn't want to write another acting book. There's a lot of acting books.
Alex Ferrari 8:45
There's a couple, there's a couple.
Jocelyn Jones 8:48
I started, you know, I don't know whether this is part of me hustle. But you know, I'm quite spiritual. And so part of what I had spotted with these artists was a kind of a spiritual connection. Call it inspiration, call it the muse, call it spirit, call it whatever. But it's something beyond ego. It's something beyond personality. It's something in the ethos that great artists seem to tap into.
Alex Ferrari 9:21
And it's so funny you say that because, you know, as you know, on the show, I've had the pleasure of talking to some amazing guests and some very high performing. You know, Oscar winners, Emmy winners, Tony winners, really high performing artists. And I always love asking that question. I always ask the question, Where does it come from for you? And the bigger the star, the bigger the artist, the more humble they are about their craft. It's so funny because I've met people who are so boastful about what they do, and you can tell that they'll burn out Soon enough, and they won't have any major legacy left behind. But the bigger the Oscar winner, the more humble they are up because they are aware that in many ways, it's not them. It's coming through them. But it's not them. It's coming through their filter, if you will. So in many ways, and not to get too woowoo. But like I'm talking, I'm going to drop a name. Because I think it's important to the conversation when I was speaking to Eric Roth, who's obviously the Oscar winning writer Forrest Gump. And he just wrote doing, he's doing okay for himself. Eric, I asked him specifically ago, how did you? Do you ever just sit down and write. And when you're done writing, you look at it and go, who wrote that? Like, it's not even you can't even recognize it as your own. It just kind of flew through you. He's like, yes. And I searched for that almost all the time. But I don't always get it. But when I'm able to tap in, it just flows through you. And it's a magical thing. And I think any I mean, as I as I've written my books, there's moments where I've written entire chapters. And then I go back to read, and I'm like, who wrote this, like, it's almost like you're channeling something, as a great artist. And that goes for acting, writing, directing, it's being in the flow. Athletes talk about it all the time, it's being in that moment where you don't think it just is, and it just kind of goes through you. And you already understand the craft enough, that that's not a problem. Like, if you're going to write you have to understand English, you have to understand basic grammar. But once those basic foundations are laid out, everything else is fairly magical. And that I always find that's so interesting that they are all humbled that the biggest ones are the most humble about their process. And in this is 100% of the time I've asked this question. I don't care who it is. Everyone has impostor syndrome. It's fascinating to me. Yeah. Yeah. Everyone. I mean, again, I'll talk back, go to Eric Ross interview. He's like, Oh, yeah, absolutely. Like you're, you're Eric Croft, you've won Oscars. You've worked on the biggest movies with the biggest director? I mean, and he's like, Yeah, but I still, I still feel like at any moment, someone's gonna walk in the door and go, What are you doing here? You're not supposed to be here. So that's an artist thing. I think I think most artists in general do that. Do you agree?
Jocelyn Jones 12:36
Well, yes. I mean, I think there's an interesting explanation for it. First of all, I think intention is is such a really important thing. So when you're talking about what you just said, was so beautiful. When you're really talking about structure, you're talking about technique, which builds structure, right. And when you when an artist and those grapes, and I've worked with a number of those huge, huge stars, which I'm just facilitating them to this space of inspiration. Because the more structure you have, the more you can trust yourself. It's like building a house, and actor, built a life, built a life out of nothing. So you think of those building house, you have to put the structures together so you can live in it. So people are always talking about living in the moment, while living in the moment most actors think of as improvisational. But it's not just improvisational, you have to build the house, you know, the moment so you are building moments. And then because of the structure of those moments, you trust them. And you can fly from one moment to the next which book I like into rock hopping. I don't know if you ever spent time with country, but he knows big wonderful streams with big rocks in them, they have a lot in the in the woods and had to move around. And my favorite thing to do was leap from one rock to another. So I spent years honing this concept from my students, which I still think is a little mad, but about how those rocks are like the structure and you can only have the freedom of the lead. Because you built the rock you've created the rocks and what are those rocks come out and then we go into technique and such. So it is the intention to have that connection to the muse to something beyond yourself. So then we have ego spirit. Now we got to have ego we can't be that's the whole point is like, I'm going to be separate from you. I'm gonna have this ego you're gonna have that ego. We're energetic beings in bodies and how we identify we identify with ego, but we're really something much much, much bigger than ego, but we have no education. as to how to connect to that at all. So these great artists of inspiration, recognize that they are beyond ego, you have the actor who's all ego, it's all about being, you know, admired. And then you have the actor who sometimes accidentally trips into this space where they've entered a character, and they've created this life before your very eyes and really entered really gone in there. And they are living in those moments from the structure, they felt they're living in those moments. And they realized they are bigger. They're bigger than the personality. So then when somebody comes along and says, Oh, you, Alex, you're so great. They feel like an impostor, because I'm not that great explanation.
Alex Ferrari 15:51
It's it's really, it's really interesting, because that's a fantastic explanation of impostor syndrome, because you're absolutely right. And if you've noticed, you know, with some actors over the course of their careers, you know, the greats like a Meryl Streep can just walk in and walk out and tap into that at will, Steven Spielberg, as a director can tap into it, the great directors are great writers are great artists, they just tap in effort, almost effortlessly, at least it seems effortlessly from our point of view. And then there's, I love the way you say they trip into. So sometimes you see actors who trip into a performance, and they, they just connect with that character, but they're never able to get back to that place in their career, where they might even go all the way and win an Oscar, or get a lot of accolades, but it's whatever stops them from getting back there, whether it's ego, whether it's outside sources, but it's it happens in all all aspects of the business from directors, some directors make the most amazing film ever, you know, one of the most, and then they can't get back there. You know, and, and writers, writers as well, novelist and writers?
Jocelyn Jones 16:58
Well, you know, a lot of that's a lot of what the book is about. It's about it's about its intention, you have to intend it. So you have to kind of recognize this is what Spielberg and you know, Meryl Streep, and all these greats that you mentioned been like going to the painters, and Michelangelo, you know, they've recognized some sort of technique for themselves and what works for you doesn't work for me, it doesn't work for him doesn't, you have to give artists a lot of different colors of techniques and realize that each one is going to respond differently and make their own toolkit. But once you have that technique, you have to intend I want I intend to go beyond myself. And if once you've had that experience, two things happen. You either intend to have that experience again and chase what it was what combination that I put together that helped me do that, or you get lost in your own drums. So now I'm going to go to a really kind of woohoo word, which is vibration. You know, when you're around enthusiastic people, you're like, hey, you know, we respond to we are energetic beings and bodies and we respond to vibration, no matter how well you want to get about it. That's the deal. And so we want to be around the reason that audiences love actors is because they're looking at you know, and they go that guy's creating life when they do it right. In your in the theater. The audience releases from your own life and enters this parallel universes parallel story. And then when they come back to their seats and they walk out a theater, they go cheeses effect I can create that much life out of thin air. Maybe I could do a little better with my own. They are inspired to take control of their own life in some way. They recognize.
Alex Ferrari 19:05
Isn't it fascinating because I've I've had the pleasure of being in the room with some of the biggest movie stars in the world. And when you're in the room with them, you understand why they're movie stars. There's just something about their energy in the room and I've I've met in I won't name drop but I have met some and I walk in and just and just being around them you just go oh, oh I get it. I truly I truly get it. And in you know when you want and talking about the woowoo aspect of you know energy and vibrations of people and stuff. All you have to do is and I know everybody listening has gone through this. You've met somebody in your life. That after you got done talking to them, you wanted to take a shower because you feel slimy dirty could be a salesman, it could be customer a sales rep it could be it could be a teacher It could be anybody you know another just you just Feel? Oh, yeah. So whether you believe in the woowoo energy or not, I think everyone's had that experience at one point in life, and you just met somebody who just, oh, I just don't want to be around that person. And then vice versa. You meet somebody, you're like, Oh, my God, I, there's just so much fun to be around, there's so much energy around them. And it's, there's something about that conversation. There's no question about it, whether again, you want to get into the woowoo aspect of it or not. But I think everybody listening can agree that they've had that conversation. And if you ever do anyone listening ever does get to sit in a room and have a meaningful conversation. And even through my show, having conversations over zoom, you can sense why they are who they are some of these directors, some of these filmmakers, I've had the pleasure of talking to you, you just go wow, okay, I get it. I get it. You know, and I've had the pleasure. From the $5,000 first time filmmaker made this feature to Oscar winners, and everyone in between, you can sense where they're coming from. It's really interesting. One thing in your book I wanted to talk to you about is the stories that we tell ourselves, and as artists, you know, being an artist, and it took me a long time to admit I was an artist, by the way. That's another problem. A lot of times like, I'm not an artist, that's very pompous of you to say you're an artist, no, you got to admit who you are. And once you admit that you are an artist. I think artists, specifically artists have a special level of storytelling that they tell themselves because they are, especially people in the film industry and storytellers. Because we're so good at it. We're really good at beating ourselves up with these negative stories about what we're capable of doing, where we're going What's up and, and beating yourself up when you don't get the part or don't get the job or don't get the financing. And it's the stories we constantly tell ourselves, can you dig in a little bit about why we do it and what we can do to kind of rewrite that story to help us move forward on our path?
Jocelyn Jones 22:02
Oh, great question. Great question. Well, the way we do it is pretty, pretty obvious. And when I say it, I don't know if people will get it or won't get it. But we like sensation, you know, as people like strong sensations. So you know, you have drama, Queens, we call them drama queens. People who stir negative emotion, it's like an addiction. They're addicted to it. Why? Because of the sensations. Why do people take drugs because of sensations, we like sensations. So if you go, you know, just gonna keep doing it. And we'll keep bringing you back. But if you go to this aspect, that we are actually spiritual beings, of course, we like sensations. That's why we're here. We're here to experiences. Otherwise, we're out, you know, we're all spirit, we have no body, we have no tactile thing. So we're here for experience. And I think we're evolving and ascending, even perhaps. And so we're going from just any old sensations to, hey, wait a minute, maybe I can control this a little better. So some of the enthusiastic people you meet, they just seem naturally enthusiastic. They were well loved as kids, or they just most of the time, they were well loved as kids. And so they're settled in and they're confident and they're able to have just a more positive outlook on life and have more fun, and we enjoy them. And so it propels itself. But you can intend decide that you want more of that you can most of the people who are listening to your show right now, my guess is they're of an age where they have already let go of certain brands because they go, I want to take your power after I'm with that person. I can't do it anymore, man. You know, they never asked you about yourself. They're all complaint and the thing and most of it, you've heard a lot.
Alex Ferrari 24:07
It's energy suckers, energy suckers.
Jocelyn Jones 24:08
Yeah, their energy suckers, but we can we can also like not judging them and just say, okay, cool. You want to go but I'm not entering that. I'm not doing that. Because it's going to happen naturally in your life. I've discovered that most if you get my age, then the older people, you start losing your mom, you start losing your dad, you start recognizing the older people get, they will do this, they will kick up a lot of dust and a lot of negativity, because it makes them feel alive. You know, my mother could get apoplectic about butter. It was like this make no money here. You know, can we just go to it's very dramatic. And it was I would just so you know, I'm training myself. I'm training myself meditation. training myself in certain ways, and the biggest one is to observe people without judgment and to just look at what's going on. And then you kind of expand and you go, Okay, well, this person is doing this thing, and it has nothing to do with me. And I actually be kind of come have some compassion, understanding work, because I've done the same thing. We've all done everything. We've done all those things. So did that answer it?
Alex Ferrari 25:30
It does. It's fascinating, because, you know, we all look in our business, we run into very unique characters, to say the least. And I've had some of the most toxic human beings I've ever met in my life I've met in this business. And some of the most beautiful people I've ever met in my life, I've admitted this business, and everyone in between. And I've gotten to a place in my, my elder years, as I called, I have a little gray, I have a little gray, I'm not I'm not a kid anymore. But. But in my years walking the earth, I've realized that the more times when someone is blowing up on you, or something like that, nine out of 10 times, it has nothing to do with you. When you have a business partner or producer on a project that is egocentric, or wants control, or wants this or that or wants tension, or this has nothing to do with you. You know, it's unfortunate because you're involved with them in a project that is both of yours. So you have to figure out how to maneuver that world. But it nine out of 10 times, it's not about you. And I've gotten to the place where I feel most empathetic for people when they are acting that way. I'm like what happened to them that they feel that they need to act that way? Because that doesn't just come up like that. There's some if you start looking back, there's some deep seated stuff in there when their children are in this business, like this business can chew people up and spit them out all day, every day. It could destroy the lives it has. I mean, if you go down to Hollywood Boulevard, it's literally shattered with souls of Broken Dreams down there. It is. So it's it's not I think was David Chappelle. I was watching David Chappelle the other day. And he said, I think it was in the Actors Studio interview with Lipton, and he's like, there are no weak people in this business. If they're sitting on this stage with you, they are not weak people. It takes a special level of strength to make it in this industry at whatever level that is, and it doesn't have to be Oscar winning. It could just be making a living. He goes, there are no weak people in this business that that sustain themselves. And I thought that was such an interesting and profound comment, because you don't think of it that way. But it's absolutely true. You know it and I know it. If you're if you've made it in this business in any way you can, if you're making a living in this industry, you're not weak.
Jocelyn Jones 28:03
Yeah, yeah. Well, it goes back to story, which that was the part of the question we didn't quite answer is what's with the stories that we hold on to, you know, the stories are there to, you know, to stimulate all this negative emotion to have these experiences. But the stories are also hurt trapped pieces of self, you know, we're trained, you hurt my feelings, particularly if you're from New York, it's like, I don't care. As well, I learned that very early, but you do care. And that and artists care more than anybody. They're highly highly sensitive. We'll get into that, because my definition of artists are out there, they're more sensitive, and so they can pull this stuff out of the air. But in that sensitivity, they push a lot of things down and then people have experiences that are also horrific, and they push those things, they overcome them. But there are pieces of lost soul lost parts of themselves, that they've shoved down underneath. So people do therapy, why to let some of that out. And you know, this shaman call it soul soul retrieval, where you just create a space for a person to say out This hurt, this is what happened. Here are the tears I didn't cry, you know, and, and in so doing when you just can listen to a person, which is very rare in this day and age, people haven't been taught how to listen, you just listen to a paper person and intend to create this space for that part of themselves to be released, so to speak, you know, you create a home space and to grow and understand that, you know, you're more than yourself. When you're writing your book, Alex and it's that fluid, it's you and you, it's you and your higher self that connection. Wow, you know, I have trouble. I don't like to call this my evil. You know, I call it the book. Because it's a little weird. Just my book. You know, it's like, I feel like we just had a wonderful movie with the fish that in the seagull one's mine, mine
Alex Ferrari 30:58
Jocelyn Jones 30:59
Yeah. Finding Nemo mine mine my book. It's not these are, you know, you want to help? That's a branding thing. You know, CB was asking, what is your brand? What is your brand? You went on two minutes, I loved it. About I was one of the two people I didn't know, I was one of many people listening? Because that's what we all want to do. We will we all want to contribute in our way, you know?
Alex Ferrari 31:23
Well, that's the that's I feel that's the goal of life is to find out what that that thing that you were put here to do, and then do it. And we're so afraid of walking that path, especially as artists, we're afraid of walking that path. Because, you know, there's been such a abuse of the artist over the course of millennia, that you know, the whole starving artists mythology, and that you have to struggle to be a good artist, and you have to be broke. And, and all of these kinds of the stories that are been told over the years. And I had I had an author on years ago, who said real artists don't starve. And it was and he was, he'd go back to like Michelangelo was extremely wealthy. And in DaVinci was extremely like these were wealthy artists of their time. So it's kind of like a myth about that you have to be a starving artist, and so on and so forth. But we as artists do, do truly have trouble walking that path. Like I told you earlier today, like earlier in this conversation, I took me a while to figure out that I was an artist, even though I was working in the business, I'm like, no, no, I'm just director, I don't have an artist, you know, because I didn't want to admit that to myself, because there was a lot of stories associated with being an artist. So once you accept that you are an artist, and you want to express yourself in a another big problem I've seen in the business, and it's something I struggled with for a long time is that so many artists believe that if they do not reach the highest pinnacle of their craft, they have failed. And that is such a horrible story to tell yourself, like, I didn't direct my first feature until I was 40. Not because I didn't have the skill set, or the ability to do so is because it had to be Reservoir Dogs. It had to be Pulp Fiction, it had to be clerks, it had to be Ilmari, it had to be a movie that exploded. And you know, I've arrived, kind of, and I think every filmmaker goes through that that you have if you haven't won an Oscar, he really hadn't made it. And it took me years to realize that oh, no, no, are you making a living? What's the definition of success in your and that's you have to define that for yourself. And those are those moments in your career where you let's say win an Oscar winning an award or work with a certain actor or work with a certain level of budget or so on and so forth. They're great, but they're fleeting. They're you win the Oscar, and then what? And now you got your back, you're back to it Monday morning. You know, so it's about that journey and about really defining what success is for you as an artist. And that could be used the analogy, if you're living in Kansas, making $50,000 a year and that's puts food on your table pays your mortgage and support your family as a filmmaker. I hate to tell you, you are a raving success rate because you're at the top top echelon of filmmakers. Yeah.
Jocelyn Jones 34:22
Well, let's define artists because, you know, that's everybody. So we're very exclusive about what as an artist, were so exclusive about what as an artist that you didn't want to admit that you were an artist, right? You know, well, I don't know that's an artist but not you said it beautifully. The stories we tell ourselves, but what is an artist? An artist is a guy who wins the Academy Awards. I don't think so. So, you know, in my teaching, I was always like, I looked for definitions, and I love dictionaries, and I looked in a lot of depth, you know, looking for this quintessential definition of artists, and I couldn't come up with it. So I came up with my own which is Basically an artist, you have to discover an artist, it's the expression of your own discovery. So the artist, if he doesn't discover something, he's going to express something that somebody else already discovered. So as to have happened to you, there has to have been an aha moment. You know, if you talk to painters, painters are fantastic, because they look at things differently. They don't look at the tree, they look at the space in between the branches, they look at the space, they look at the negative space, you know, so you have to have discovery, before you can express something or it's going to be you know, what is it called, when it's a copy, there's a wonderful word for that came from, yeah, not a representational, but there, you know, it's gonna be a clone of SO and there's nothing wrong with that we kind of have to imitate things for a while before we get on our own feet. But you want to intend discovery. So all technique and my techniques, usually in the form of questions, you know, where am I? What do I want all those questions, but there's a way to get in there a little deeper. You're Wait, you're asking the same question. And most people stop at the intellectual clever answer. Because they think, Oh, that'll look good. So they're operating from their ego, right? That'll look good, that'll sound good. that'll sell, you know, that'll be this.
Alex Ferrari 36:31
So you're telling me that there's ego in the film industry. Stop it,
Jocelyn Jones 36:40
That we really admire, you're not going to get rid of ego, we love our personalities, we spend our whole lives on them. But there's something beyond that. So even like I saw the, the, the interview did with Ed burns, and you know, look at his love, look at the size of his passion. And then look at the size of you responding to his passion. And talking about these, or you weren't in this kind of camera, or you weren't in the in this, you know, the the level of enthusiasm if you had, you know, one of those Geiger counters, it was just charts, that is beyond ego, you have elevated into joy, joy and creativity go hand in hand. So what is an artist, okay, an artist is someone who's discovered something and has the desire to express it, period. Now, and I, there's art in everyone, this is not popular, because we want to have the artists club. Here's the deal. We're not a club, you're in a body, you're creating a life you got here on the planet, however you got here, you got here on the planet, and now you're running a life. And that life is either happening to you, you know, you're just going with the flow of what's coming in. Or you are beginning to get the reins of your own life and say, you know, I'd like it to go like this. If you look at that interview with Ed burns, he has a lot of I'd like it to go like this that's out ahead of yourself that is creating it yourself. That is a story of you know, the big woohoo word is manifestation. But that's a real deal. And you manifest the best at the highest vibrations, joy, enthusiasm, joy and creativity. And the guy who's not running his life is the guy who's taking hits, you know, right, left and center life is happening. It sucks. It's terrible. I hate it, I guess. But I'm so emotional. I hate you all. That's life happening.
Alex Ferrari 38:50
It's fascinating that I agree with everything you've said. But one thing I would add to the artist aspect is that that definition of being an artist is the courage to walk the path. And that is something that we as artists don't have, you might identify as an artist. But to walk the path of the artist is difficult to it took me a long time I did everything else around myself. I was in the I was editing, I was doing other things, but not walking the path that I wanted to walk, which was being a director being a filmmaker, but I surrounded myself and was working in the in the orbit of others following their path. And I was helping them bring their art to life. And I thought that that was enough for many years for me, until I realized I was so unhappy doing that it was so scary. So it's finding the courage to walk the path and I'll go back to what you said earlier, that being an artist I think every soul on the planet is an artist because they are creating their own lives. Now I know that might be woowoo and a lot of people like oh what happens with life happens To you, and all that kind of stuff, I get all of that, look, we've all gone through stuff. But we I do truly believe that we create what we want in our life, you know, and it's all about, it's just like Henry Ford says, If you believe you can, or you can't, you're right. And it's you know it regardless. And then we're not talking about the secret here or anything like that. But whatever you believe you achieve it, it's if you're out of ego, if you're out of ego, and that is something that it's so interesting, because again, having the pleasure of talking to all these people, I ask these questions have them and, and I love listening to people's stories about how they made it in the business and how, and it's so random. Yeah, it's so random. Not one story is like another. I had an I'll drop her name, Eva Longoria on the show a few a few a few months ago. And her story was the most ridiculous story to get into the business I've ever heard in my life. She got walked got into a beauty contest, which she didn't want to do. But the first prize was books for school. So she just got in, she won it. She got the books, but because she wanted, she had to go to like the state competition. And by the way, all her all her life, she was called left Ada, which means the ugly one, her her mother, that was her nickname, The ugly one. So she was considering her own story in her own mind that she was the ugly one in the family. And the parents like don't do the beauty. Obviously, that was a fluke don't do. So she goes to the State wins, this wins the state finals. And then the winner the winning prize for that trip to LA. So she gets to LA and she goes, Hey, I like it here. I'm going to sit knows nobody. I'm going to stay. I'm going to try to be an actor. I think that'd be kind of fun. Literally, that's it. And then she got an apartment, got some roommates hustled it out for a handful years. And then one day at the end of like a 10 or 15 audition day, she goes in for Desperate Housewives. She's so pissed off. She's so everything. She's like, Whatever, I'm not gonna get this part anyway. And because of that attitude, she gets the part and her life changes. There's no logic to that. But she did have intention. And she didn't. And
Jocelyn Jones 42:24
Very high vibration of very high. You know, when you say you meet these movie stars, and there's something going I mean, it is true you meet different people that it's like this one's been around longer. This one maybe it's brand new, I don't know how many lifetimes here. People are different. People are different. And those people have a they're like you are you feel it. You feel struck by I mean, you know, it's science, we have a vibration extends about eight feet, there's a, I don't know, four feet, eight feet beyond our bodies, right? And those people even more so you know even what kind of room and you go like phone what's happening there. And it's also different. That's tricky for them having worked very intimately with movie stars, who have not trained because generally they come on the scene in a very young age, they don't train now everybody's powdering their nose and blowing air up their ass. And they get a little lost. And one of the reasons I was successful is because I really because of all those people at the dining room table, I really don't care who you are, I think in mind, I only swoon over one guy ever, which was Cary Grant. I mean, come on, you know, Grant, Cary Grant are like, Oh, well, what? But these other guys, you know, they're lost. And they're getting powder puffs. They have this big energy, but they get sucked up into their own ego because everybody's treating them in, in, you know,
Alex Ferrari 44:05
And you see it again and again. You see these stories of artists and every level director writer, they just kind of fist they burn out. A lot of times, they'll just, they're like a star, they'll burn out. I mean, I mean, a great example of it was Lindsay Lohan, who was such an amazing actress. You're such an amazing actress and to see what happened to her over the course of her career was tragic to watch. But I mean, you see some of her early work and you're just like, she is a powerhouse like she could have oh my god, the things that she could have done. Tom Sizemore. Yeah, another one who worked with every Spielberg Scorsese camera like every big director in the world, and he was an amazing actor, burned out.
Jocelyn Jones 44:56
What happened? What was the burnout, the burnout was by Lost in ego?
Alex Ferrari 45:02
Well, yeah, but that's what we that's what that's the main problem that we have as artists is I think as human beings we have to get, get a hold of our egos. We all have it, you know, and it's very, I always say that we have an MMA fighter on our shoulder. And he's quiet, they're waiting for the moment of weakness. And that's when they just pound you because you just like, you're like, I got you under control. I got you under control, I got you under control. And some someone goes, Hey, you look really good today. I think you could be the next this or that you're like, Huh, what, boom, there it comes. Just comes and knocks you out? There it is. I gotcha now, so it just waits there, it waits
Jocelyn Jones 45:40
To tell my students that, you know, they talk about their talent, which I you know, always kind of flipped my stomach a little bit. Well, you know, my challenges and my talent. And now, I'm going to tell you something very unpopular here. I don't believe you are your talent. I don't believe the actor's talent is the actor's talent. I believe that artists are the most sensitive people on the planet. And that level of sensitivity allows them to connect with our higher selves, allows them to connect with us, allows them to connect inspiration allows them to connect to the ethos and things floating around that need to be expressed on the planet right now, without acknowledging that when you do have a kind of inspiration taking on Lindsay Lohan and you don't acknowledge that, and you take it all to yourself and say me, it's me, it's me. Not good. It's like you're not acknowledging a very high conversation and a part of you knows that, and a part of you will begin to destroy yourself, because you are letting go of the most important that you were given, which is that connection.
Alex Ferrari 46:53
That connection. It's so funny. I have a great story. I don't know who told me this story, but it was a Michael Jackson story. And that Michael, I think it was either Michael or no was a prince story, excuse me. It's a prince story. And Prince called up his, you know, he he obviously famously has recorded 6000 songs that never got released, we will have a new prince album every year into the year 3000. That's how many songs are in his vault he was the level of genius is beyond what he was able. And I had the pleasure of working with some people who were very close to him. And I heard all these amazing stories. But one story always stuck out in my head was he would just call you at three o'clock in the morning. As a singer, a backup singer go, Hey, meet me at the studio. I have a song to record. And like But Prince can this wait till six or eight in the morning? It's three o'clock in the morning. He was like, No, we have to do it now. Because if I don't record it, it's gonna go to Michael Jackson.
Jocelyn Jones 47:53
Yeah. I know the story on several fronts. Hey, talk about?
Alex Ferrari 48:01
Yeah, he's like if Spielberg does it to Spielberg has said this publicly in interviews. He's like, when I get an idea for a movie, I understand that if I don't act on it, it will go to someone else within a month or two. And he's like, it's never failed, that when I've let go of an idea, three months later, I'm reading about that idea in the trades. And I've told nobody about it
Jocelyn Jones 48:26
Yes, it's in the air. It's in the ethos. My favorite of those stories is about a poet, a woman poet. And I can't remember her name, because that's my age. And she's she lived in the Midwest. And so she's out in the field, in her gardens in her fields. And she feels this poem coming on, like a storm would roll in this. And she knows it. And she knows that feeling. And so she takes off toward the house. And she's tracking for the house running running to chase because she knows if she doesn't get back to the house and she doesn't get a piece of paper and she doesn't get a piece of paper pencil that coin is going to go right by her and onto that another poet. And so she gets home and she gets her message, she grabs a paper to grabs a pencil, and she starts writing and she said she grabbed it by the tail and hold it in oh my god, out backwards. And then she had to reverse the poem.
Alex Ferrari 49:25
Jocelyn Jones 49:28
Ethos that's you know, and so let's talk about how because this is what I wanted to do in the book, how do you optimize that? How do you make your chance of being able to be in that space? And so here's all the technique and the questions and you have to have that as an actor because to teach you someone to know that they know how to go about it and so that that way, you know they don't do a great big movie of it's fantastic and then they have to reinvent the wheel every time so you have to give them some you No structure, so they know that they know. But how do you get to that place where you can intend and experience that opening more that inspiration more that flow. So you know, as a writer, my nose writer will probably do certain things every time we go to right. And those things kind of set up a certain thing. And then we hope that flow comes in and we start, right? Well, I guarantee you, when you look at those things that you are doing, you are in the present moment, you are not thinking or you are intending to get away from those thoughts about all of that stuff. So you can be here now in the moment. So in the book, I talk about this stuff that's been around forever. Meditation is not woohoo, it's just a really simple way to just settle in, we have so much noise going on, between, you know, I mean, come on with the television, and the media and the screens and the phones and everything, there's so much noise, and everyone wants our attention. And we don't even know what the truth is anymore. So my whole book was about, there is only one truth. And that truth is your truth. That's a connection to yourself, you have the perfect barometer for knowing what's true, if you can only connect to I call it your heart, you call it abuse, you can call it your soul, you can call it just that space, being in the present moment, it's all the same thing. You can get there from many different kinds of meditation, from meditating to sports, to you know, people talk about all kinds of different meditations for themselves. You can get there, I teach actors system, greatest exercise in the world, it's great for the planet. Just to observe life without judgment, use your intention to just observe what's in front of you, without judging. And then when you judge it, just like meditation, you're judging it. So then you become aware that you're judging, and that flexes a muscle. It's like going to the gym, you know, nature, you know, you can stay away from the ocean and think too much, you know, because that thing's going to come in and go, Hello,
Alex Ferrari 52:25
You know that, you know, that wave is fat, I could tell that wave. That wave, that wave is ugly, it didn't crest the right way. You never do that. You never go looking at a tree and go, Wow, that tree was ugly. Ugly tree. Like I have actually done that once or twice. But the tree was pretty gnarly looking. It came out of a Tim Burton movie. But um, but but but generally speaking it when you're in nature, you don't judge a bird. Or, you know, you generally don't judge that you just it is what it is. And, you know, in my, in my work, I've realized that things don't have a negative or positive charge. We are the ones who apply the negative charge or positive charge to it. And I love using the example of a fender bender. When you get into a fender bender, the person who you're driving everyone's safe, but you're getting a fender bender, you're like, oh my god, this is gonna cost me like $1,000 to get this repaired. So for you, this has been an absolutely negative experience. You take it to the mechanic and the mechanic in the body shop and the like, this is fantastic. I got more work. So the exact same event. Yeah, two different perspectives. So when you're looking at life and looking at certain things that happened to you, especially on your artistic journey, it is what it is. You can't it's not personal. It's not like you know, oh, I didn't get the fight and financing fell through. It is it is what it is. You being depressed about it or angry about it doesn't help you doesn't help the situation. If there's something you can learn from it, learn from it, grab those, those new those new lessons and move on, and to keep going but but sticking and hold. And this is something we do. I like so I did as an artist, you hold on to like I didn't get into that film festival. I didn't get that agent. I didn't get that actor attached to the project. And it just throws you for a loop and you start telling yourself these stories is that you they don't want to work with me. I'm a fraud.
Jocelyn Jones 54:29
This it's all in your head. Because trust. There is the possibility when you get into the fender bender and the guy's like hat because he has more work and you're pissed off because you've spent, you know, $1,000 however, there's also the added element of by the way you were about to cross 96th street and there was a huge accident right in the middle of 96th Street that you would have been directly hit or Oh you didn't get that Hopefully, but then if you've gotten that movie, you wouldn't have met your wife, or, you know, there is this beautiful thing of trusting. Because this is part of creating your own life, I'm in exactly the right place to learn that next thing that I have to learn to get to this goal that I'm trying to get to. And that element is trust.
Alex Ferrari 55:26
You know, it is so funny because I have written about this before where I was, I got into the top 25 of a show called Project Greenlight. Project One, green light, the old green light. Yes, Project man I was in second season, I'm in the first 30 seconds of the show. And they just use a clip of me, but I made it to the top 25 That year, I almost made it and I had like, I went through this far as you could get until they chose the top 10 or whatever it was, and I didn't make it. And I was devastated. absolutely devastated. Because you're like, Oh, my God, this was such a great opportunity, I missed my shot to be on this amazing show. And every filmmaker that made it out of that show didn't do anything. And it pretty much torpedoed their careers. Then I did another one called on the lot, which was Steven Spielberg show, which was about directors, it was on NBC for a season, I got flown out, I was right at the tip end again, didn't get in, devastated me who the guys who made it through that show, destroy their careers never got to do anything else again. So I was so just grateful that I didn't get on the shows. But that's only in hindsight. That because at the moment you feel like it's the worst thing that could ever have happened to you. But most of the time, and this is just me talking about my own experience. Most of the times when bad things happen in, in life to you, generally speaking, and this is again, my my personal experience. When you go looking back, you can see the dots are how you connected the dots. What happened because of this, what happened because of that. I'll tell you one other story. When I was coming up when I was coming up I did, I spent about $50,000 to for my directors reel shattered on 35 millimeter because there was no digital yet. That's how old I am. So I shot the whole thing, my whole commercial demo reel, and the the the DPS that I hired, and I use the word DPS because it was two of them on one show. How many times have you seen that ever happened and in the business, but I didn't know any better. And they were horrible. And I shot like a $50,000 commercial, it looked horrible. It was it was bad. And I wasn't having to play some money to get more money. So I was like, oh my god, I guess I'm gonna have to deal with this. Well, so happens that in the lab, the lab broke down and burned all of that film. It just just, it sat in the it sat in the in the in the chemicals and burned, it broke down just on my commercial. And only like a few things sort of like like, like a quarter of real survived. And I was like, This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me. I've lost $15,000 I went back reshot the whole thing with a real DP. It came out beautiful got me work as a director and I moved forward. It was kind of like the universe was saying, we don't want this out there. We need to burn this because this is not going to be good for you and your career, we need to get rid of this. It's going to be a little painful right now. But in the long run, it's the best thing that could have happened to you. So these are the kinds of stories you again, as you get older, you start looking back at your life and you just start going, hmm, that girl that dumped me probably the best thing that happened to me, that girl that that girl that I didn't get to go out with probably the best thing that you know, because then you hear other stories of like, oh, yeah, she turned into a cycle with one of your friends. You're like, Oh, God, thank God, I dodged that bullet. These kinds of things, you start seeing these things. And you just start realizing, oh, there's something, there's something and this is me getting a little woowoo I believe the universe is that good universe, I believe the universe is here to kind of guide you in the direction that you are supposed to go on. Because I've just seen it so many times. Like if you would have told me 20 years ago, you're going to be a podcast or talking to some of the greatest filmmakers of all time. I'll be going first of all, what's a podcast? Secondly, out of your mind, you're out of your mind. And look where I am today. And then all and it's so funny, and I've said this on the show before. It's fascinating that for so many years, all I would have done was the kill that speak to people like yourself to people that earn my show, to have that kind of connection to people that quote unquote, helped me make it in the business let's say and then without Trying. Now they're calling me. And the funny thing is that I have a fairly decent Rolodex. And yet I don't ever call anybody,
Them for my projects or anything, because it's just not something I want to do. It's not the kind of relationships I'm building with them. If it's organic, it's different. But it's not like when I was like the desperate filmmaker, I would have like, called up. Hey, Ken, can you can you connect with your agent? It's so fascinating to me is that that's the reality that I'm in right now. And, you know, and people listening to the show who've been with me for seven years can see the transition from my very first episode, to where I am today and what we're doing. But anyway, we've gone off tangent A little bit here.
Jocelyn Jones 1:00:44
And not really, because I love the way you say, that's not something I wanted to, because in some way, or in you, that's what you wanted. This is a really important thing. The first indicator, you know, my dad asked me when I was like, literally just an acting out terrible teenager, my dad asked me this question. He said, you know, jossey, if you could have anything in the world, barring all obstacles, what would that be? And at the time, I said, Well, I don't want to go to boarding school, I want to live with you at the beach, and, you know, go to public school. And, you know, we could, I couldn't do that. At the time, because he was an actor, and he was on location. He was terrified of me, I, you know, he was he was a single parent, and my mother had sent me to live with him at 13 and said, you take her, she fears me. So he said, You got to go to boarding school. But then I got kicked out of boarding school. So I got what I wanted. Not in the best way. But we get what we want. So the tree careful. Be careful. The trick is to listen to what is that to be able to ask yourself, somewhere along the line to get to this podcast, you had asked yourself and you'd answered the question, and you'd move toward that podcast and you discover that, hey, this thing makes me really happy. More than oil and vinegar is the podcast, I'm really you know, and I can contribute here. And this is a real purpose, we get what we want. So the trick is to like, ask that question, wait for an answer that moves in you, not an intellectual one, but one that's exciting to you. And then you know, move toward that with actions every day and trust, you know, and that's what actors do. That's why I could take all the lessons that I gave actors, and plug them into people and say, Look, you can have a more artistic life, you can have a more joyous life, you can have more control over your life, using the same techniques that actors use to create a life people use those techniques to create your life.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:50
It's so fascinating, because so many, you know, talking to so many different filmmakers over the years and analyzing my own career, there's moments that you are creating a project, let's say, because you believe that that's what the market wants, whether that's going to take you to the next level or you are trying to intellectualize the craft. Not one successful filmmaker, or writer, in my experience on the show has ever done anything substantial, when they chase the market, or when they're trying to intellectualize their craft. When they do something that is meaningful to them, and is truly coming from inside of them. It's something that needs to come out of them. That is the key to success, but to have the courage to do it. And that's what these great artists do is they have the courage to go out there and fail. They have the courage to go out there and make whatever they want to make. And that might be ahead of their time. Every single Stanley Kubrick film did not hit their audience when it came out. It took generally it's about 10 years later, every one of his films about 10 years later, is when they really go back and go, Holy crap. That's the definitive film in that genre. Yeah. And to have the bravery to do that again, and again and again. And, you know, it's funny, because if you if you study Spielberg's career, and I love I mean, who doesn't love Steven, but he had such a run in the 70s, from Jaws to close encounters, and then he's like, I can do that. And then you could see where it went wrong for a second. 1941 if you remember 1941
Jocelyn Jones 1:04:40
I do I liked 1940 Well, I know but and I enjoyed it as well.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:45
But it wasn't it wasn't something that was obviously one of the biggest failures of his career. And he does not talk about what he learned a lot from that. I mean, don't get me Don't feel too bad. He did Raiders right afterwards. So he's okay. but it was something that went astray. Something went off. And I think and I think he said somewhere in an interview once. At that point, he felt that he could do almost no wrong because at that point, there's so many people's like, You are the greatest, you are the best thing since sliced bread at a point and he's like, Hey, I can't do anything I'm going to. I'm going to do my Doctor Strange. Dr. Strangelove. That's what it was. It was his Dr. Strangelove. You wanted to do Dr. Strangelove,
Jocelyn Jones 1:05:23
Do that movie. You know, it's always the question is did you make a movie you wanted to make? I mean, I've asked more filmmakers. Sometimes they say yes. And it was a fit, you know, and it makes them go. Yeah, it was. But I wanted to internalize that go and actually not really go back to courage because there's a wonderful definition for courage, which is, you know, what is courage? How do you get create, so you think you kind of like to have to get courage up, you know, it's like, Okay, I'm gonna get the courage, there's even an expression, when I get the courage to do this thing, you don't get courage. You actually, if you think of a doorway, if you think of a threshold, you walk through the threshold, and courage shakes your hand on halfway through and pulls you in, you know, you have to, you have to move toward it. So I'm, you know, because of 30 years of teaching, I believe, like this one has courage, just one doesn't have courage. You have you. Certainly, I'm not successful with all of them, there are certain ingredients that you can't teach. You can inspire courage, though, you can inspire it, sometimes somebody's just waiting for that one person to kind of make it go click in their head, and now move toward it. It's a tricky one, courage, your
Alex Ferrari 1:06:35
Courage, and then also just dealing with fear, and dealing, I mean, I think fear in general, as, as people walking the planet, we all deal with fear and having, it stops us, it stops us from moving forward, it stops us in directions that we need to go to. And I'm talking about fears of a tiger, that's fine. Fear of a bear in the room. Definitely good. I'm talking about I'm talking about that other fear, that stops you from going down the road to write that script to make that movie to go to that audition to whatever that paint that painting, whatever that fear is of ridicule, fear of not being accepted, fear of your family, not accepting you or your peers, not accepting you, all of that kind of fear. When you can break through that. That's when that's when the breakthroughs happen. And Tony the longtime
Jocelyn Jones 1:07:26
Alex, but channel it, you know, great actors talk about, you know, they're great actors, and they talk about I thought I was gonna throw up I mean, opening nights are Yeah. But in what happens is you kind of collected and channel it. So when you teach young people about fear, or sometimes as you said, I've had seven year old people come and say, I want to be an actor, which is wonderful, that's awesome, and created acting careers for them. But when you tell them, these fears are absolutely natural, you know, those fears. Now, what you want to do is accept them and channel them into the work. They're just your talent looking for an avenue, because once you step out on stage, you're fine. Once the camera rolls, you got some place to go with it.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:15
There's this great story of Peter Fonda, who would go on on stage every night and right before every performance, he would throw up in the corner, every performance and he's Peter Fonda. So if Peter Fonda has issues, and is nervous before performance, yeah, that's a natural part of life. That's a part of being the artist. I remember having a panic attack on my first day directing my first short film, that I was arguably one of the bigger things I've done at that moment in my career. And it was, and I literally had a panic attack. I was like, it got into my own head. And I went to I'm like, I didn't do it on set, thank God. I said, Hey, guys, I gotta go to the bathroom, went out for about 10 or 15 minutes while they set up a shot and had my own panic attack quietly in the bathroom, quiet and started breathing, started meditating and I didn't even know what meditating was. I was like, I'm just gonna do whatever I've seen on a movie, close my eyes and started deep breathing and then slowly calm myself to the point where I got back out on on set because it was just so overwhelming as a director. A SEC can be a very overwhelming place for an actor, a sec can be a very overwhelming place. And having to deal with that kind of pressure. It's takes a special set of skills, experience and person to do that's what I've seen. Directors make one and they're done because they're like, I can't go through that again. Or an actor who goes through. I can't do that again. It's it's a special like I love being on set. I love it. I absolutely love being on set I love working with other people. I love all the the insanity that goes along with it and trying to figure out the day and figure out the performance and creating its art at the highest level I feel because there's a your company Finding with so many other great artists to come together to make one piece of art. It is, is one of my favorite places to be. But I can see where people just don't have it. They just don't have that thing. That and like you said, it worked itself out. If it's about how bad do you want it? Is this for you? And maybe you just have to test it to see, look, I had to open up an olive oil vinegar store and go down that path for three years to figure out you know, what? Retail? Not for me?
Jocelyn Jones 1:10:32
Wow, I mean, you do and and all of it adds up. It all adds up. But you are right. The filmmaking industry is very, very special. That you know, my husband was the director and director a lot of episodic, our long episode, and dramas. And then he taught at USC, and he was from USC. And he taught at USC. And he just the greatest thing about USC is you have to do everything those young filmmakers, oh, but except they have brilliant equipment. But they're all little gorilla filmmakers, and you put them in pods of three and five, and you have to do the sound and you have to be the cameraman, you may not think you want to do that thing at all. And then suddenly, you realize, I mean, one of his best friends from film school ended up being an Academy Award winning sound man, he thought they all think they want to be directors. But then when we're differently, everybody wants to be a director, everybody wants to be an actor. But he brought that it was wonderful syllabus that he brought to our acting studio. And we had actors, you know, making these films to discover what it's like. And we made directors, you know, out of the 30 actors who took that film course, maybe five of them are now professionally directing. So you have to be exposed to this, that you know everything because, you know, so you might want to costume or you might want to be the cinematographer. If you've never picked up a camera? How are you going to know? And we won't go into you know, education? Because I'd really you know that it's true with all education. What if we just talked to little kids and said, What is it that you think you want to do? Well, let's try that out. And what you know, the big question, if you can have anything wanted barring obstacles, what would that be? What do you think?
Alex Ferrari 1:12:22
I mean, I wanted to be an astronaut, but that's fine. I wanted to be an astronaut probably wouldn't have worked out really well for me. But, you know, that kind of made its way it worked? Why are you flying? I'm not particularly good in math, I don't have that kind of mind, I'd be a very creative astronaut. Wouldn't have been an astronaut to say the least. But yeah, you're right, you have to be exposed to some things. And just think and also, and this is a very difficult thing for some people to hear. Let's say you've had a dream of doing something, and you've had it since you were a child. And you go down the path, and it doesn't work out exactly the way you want. Because it nothing ever works out exactly the way you want it because that's just life and you real and then to come to grips with like, you know, maybe, maybe this is not what I want. Maybe it's I want to be a sound guy, or a girl. And maybe I want to do that maybe what I really want us to write, maybe that's where I find. But for the last 10 years of my career, all I wanted to do is direct but that's not working out the way I want it to work out maybe I really enjoy the writing process. Maybe I should be that's a difficult crossroads for artists to be cool.
Jocelyn Jones 1:13:37
But if you accept the fact that you're better at what you do, because of what you did, oh, so you may have wanted that thing and you did all that extra stuff and you learned all that stuff. But then you came to this thing and if you just come to this thing you wouldn't be just
Alex Ferrari 1:13:55
I wouldn't have a show today unless I would have gone to the 25 years plus of of shrapnel that I've gone through in this business. And you know, I direct when I want to direct I make my movies when I want to make my movies but I'm so happy doing what I'm doing. Everyone's like when you're going to make another movie like when I'm ready. What I'm good when I'm ready to do it, and I'll do it and you know, I like writing books now. I like doing this I like building companies. These are things that make me happy and I'm helping people so like, I It's okay, I have never given up on my directing. I think it's always going to be something I want to do because I love its addiction. It's a beautiful illness as I call it. Because we can't get rid of it. It's an it's an illness.
Jocelyn Jones 1:14:39
But then you go back to what is the definition of success. It can't just be the Academy Award. It's too small. So it's in that exclusivity that ego that says you are not if you haven't she's better than he is because she had a series for seven years and he's just starting out. It's just can't be that way That's not success, success. But the girl who has the series for seven years isn't nearly as happy as this guy who just booked his first, you know, five lines on a show. And he's like, I set out to do it. And I did it. And I'm 70 years old, and I'm acting for the first time in my life. You know, it's really about how are you doing day to day? Well, up in the morning, do you? Are you making as many grown choices, I'm living where I want to live, I'm seeing who I want to see I'm married to I want to marry two of my kids are doing great. You know, this are the components of successful life. And all of those are under our control.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:44
Yeah, absolutely. Without question, now, can you tell me where people can find your amazing book, the artists awaken the spirit within.
Jocelyn Jones 1:15:51
You can find it on Amazon, or any place that books are sold. Also have a website Johson Jones studio.com. And we are coming out with a 15 part documentary series on a masterclass that we shot with three cameras, that is amazing, that has actors who've studied with me for 2025 years, and brand new people, because that's what I like to do. And they are extraordinary. I've never seen anything like this when we went in with three cameras and shot an acting class. And, you know, we did that in eight weeks. And it's really quite beautiful. If I do say so myself, I didn't know what we were doing. I just thought, Well, why don't we and you know, just like all filmmaking, I thought, you know, your director, miles, my husband, and we did this film class, let's put some cameras in these people's hands and wear it out and figure it out. And now we've been editing it for three years, and discovered, oh, this is really a celebration of actors and acting.
Alex Ferrari 1:17:01
That's amazing. I'm gonna ask you, I'm gonna ask you a few questions. I asked all my guests. What advice would you give a, I would normally ask a filmmaker, screenwriter, but artists trying to break into the business?
Jocelyn Jones 1:17:12
An artist trying to begging the business, I would really find a way to get in conversation with yourself, I would find your own autonomy. I would take counsel from one person and one person only, particularly as an artist, and that is yourself. And so meditation can help doing that. Just taking in nature because nature will stop your thinking a little bit because she's just you know, you go look at this, and create that space. To ask yourself these questions. What do I want and believe that you can have them but they have to come from you. Nobody can tell you.
Alex Ferrari 1:17:52
What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?
Jocelyn Jones 1:17:57
I judgment Judgment. I came from a very, very that's a great question. Ah, maybe emotional. I came from a very judgmental family. And then very proud of an artists are very judgmental. proud of the fact that I practice that every day in every conversation, just creating space for that other person to be to listen to them and let them be who they are.
Alex Ferrari 1:18:26
And three of your favorite films of all time.
Jocelyn Jones 1:18:29
Well, it's interesting, because you've said you mentioned Spielberg and my favorite Spielberg film is Empire the sun. So beautiful. What that film just knocks me out. And then you know, for some reason, I mean, there's so many but for some reason, I'd have to say To Kill a Mockingbird because that as a child is one of the first films I just entered into a world and didn't come out of forever. And third one, God gone completely. Oh Truffaut. Oh, you know what, it is merely the film. I think it's a loose word. The couple doesn't meet each other. He has a life and she has a life and see them in the restaurant and they pass each other tickets Happy New Year, Happy New Year. And anyway, at the end of the film, they get on the airplane, you go oh my god, they're finally going to meet and you see their luggage go up that you know this dome I'm talking about.
Alex Ferrari 1:19:24
I'm familiar with it. Yes. Yeah, I forgot the name of it. But yes, beautiful. Beautiful.
Jocelyn Jones 1:19:30
I would say that my third alternative.
Alex Ferrari 1:19:33
Jocelyn, it has been an absolute pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much for for coming on the show in writing this book. And hopefully this episode has helped some filmmakers, some screenwriters, some artists out there, look inside themselves to figure out what they need to do to truly be an artist to truly make a living in this business and connect them to their to their true purpose of what they're trying to do here on Earth. So I truly appreciate you my dear, thank you so much.
Jocelyn Jones 1:19:59
Thank you, Alex. So it's been a tremendous honor to be on here. I love your show and I thought, wow, he's interested in this book. I love that. So, always a pleasure to listen to you and even more pleasure.
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