Village Building with Jacquelyn Joyce
Jacquelyn Joyce is a force to be reckoned with. She is a young, 30 something on the verge of something revolutionary and ground breaking. Not only has she created a Web series that has caught the eye of Issa Rae, but she also fell into home ownership and as we know, manages her mother's life. She spared a few minutes with me to sit down, and talk about her current lifestyle and the legacy she wants to leave behind.
Where Did You Grow Up?
As A Child, What Did You Want To Be When You Grew Up?
I definitely wanted to be in entertainment. Anything to do with entertainment. I felt like when I was younger it was more performance based; singing and dancing, but as an adult more writing. I thought more about how could a person perform if there were no roles written for them.
What Inspires You?
When I was a child, I stuttered severely. Watching TV, I remember seeing the characters created for people that stuttered and they were all stupid or goofy and uneducated. There were no real roles that depicted people with a speech impediment in positive light. I also thought about young girls with my same issue and how they felt watching this type of representation on the screen.
What Means The Most To You Right Now?
My mother's happiness. I feel like everything else for me will fall into place, but her comfort and happiness are the most important to me now.
Why Did You Create The Web Series "Crescendo"?
I needed something that I could send to people to represent the work that I could do and everything I am becoming. I also wanted the feeling of "making something from scratch." I literally built this project from the ground up, and it's amazing.
What Is Your Favorite Life Lesson?
All it takes is faith of a mustard seed. You have to feed it everyday, and watch it grow slowly. Whenever you are having a challenging time, you just have to have that little bit of faith. Faith has also taught me how to work with friends, and being okay with different perspectives.
Currently, What Is Your "Why" For The Pursuit of Your Career/What Keeps You Going?
Financial Freedom. Also, wanting to leave a positive affect on people that look like me; by creating support and stories for them. The media can subconsciously transform the thought of a people; so it's important for me to be a part of that conversation.
Why Did You Opt To Do Home Care vs A Nursing Home For Your Mother?
I wanted to take care of my mother. I just couldn't fathom her being in a nursing home. Not only that, but nursing homes are expensive if you want the options that really take care of your loved one. There were a lot of racist homes, and with my mom being Black American only in her 60s, they would say they were afraid she would become combative and out muscle them. Although, I didn't believe that, I didn't trust them with her.
What Advice Do You Have For Someone Struggling in Your Situation (having to take care of an elder)?
Surround yourself with a community. The first two years, I took care of her and my grandmother by myself and it was tough, because you watch them slowly start to forget common things; which makes more work for you as their caretaker. When my best friend moved here; it helped out a lot, because I got to have breaks and focus on some of my goals more. That helped me tremendously.
What Is The House Like Living With Your Best Friend?
It's fantastic. We are definitely closer than we've ever been. I also rent rooms out downstairs because the house is so huge. Everyone has their space. It's also helped me learn that community living is extremely important. "It really takes a village" and I can see that now.
What Do You Want Your Legacy To Say About You?
I want people to remember me as someone who influenced people and encouraged them to be their most raw self; like I really want them to say, "she helped me live in my true element." My goals are to empower people to live as the person they were born as, not who this world socialized them to be.
Final Words Of Advice/Thoughts?
Be good to your caregivers. It is really challenging role and they deserve all the respect and pay they need. Ultimately, if you go above and beyond for them, they will do extra for you. People who are adequately compensated for what they do will do more than what's required.
Jacquelyn Joyce is a woman on the rise. Catch episodes of Crescendo with the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-vcBNTcIGk.