Jessica Vosk shared her origin story, networking advice when planning on taking a leap towards your passion in a recently available bout of Entrepreneur’s ‘How Success Happens’ podcast.
Jessica Vosk doesn’t have an average relationship with stress.
It usually is tough, however the Broadway actress — currently starring as Elphaba in Wicked — said she uses it as a motivator.
“When I give master classes or speak to kids relating to this business, I usually say the main thing I can inform them is this: You’re the CEO of your company,” said Vosk. “I’m Jessica Vosk, and I play Elphaba in Wicked . I’m an actor. That is my company. I’m in charge of the press and how I put myself out there on the globe.”
Vosk’s business philosophy has helped her remain motivated to attain her dreams. At age 27, she left a “safe” job at a boutique investor relations firm to pursue her imagine acting full-time in NEW YORK — and it’s safe to say this exercised. Her past Broadway credits include Fiddler on the top, Finding Neverland and The Bridges of Madison County . Now, night after night, Vosk stars in the next highest-grossing Broadway show ever (behind The Lion King ).
In a recently available bout of Entrepreneur ’s How Success Happens podcast, Vosk shared her origin story, her networking advice for how exactly to take the leap towards pursuing your passion full-time.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Reveal about as soon as you decided you couldn’t take it anymore and had a need to change course to pursue your passion.
I was working at a boutique investor relations firm in Manhattan for nearly three years, and in those days I had type of climbed the organization ladder of what you might call success for the reason that field — I’d been promoted and was successful at the job. But I also had a whole lot of clients which were around the world in various time zones, so furthermore to employed in Manhattan, I was up at 4 a.m. with Portugal or up late during the night with California. My own body clock was off.
Despite the fact that I was proficient at my job, if you are not doing everything you love and you are not doing what you’re passionate about in virtually any capacity in your daily life — that i wasn’t — the body will let you know. And my body began to tell me by means of major anxiety, worry attacks. My palms were sweating, or my heart would race when I got eventually to work each day, and I couldn’t find out why. Then, 1 day, a lightbulb type of went off, and I thought: I’m not doing what I really like. It has to have something regarding that. I had abandoned singing, which is something I’ve loved doing my expereince of living. Once I talked myself off the ledge of, Oh my God, I believe I must completely change my entire life and plan of action , it became just a little easier to think of a idea. But it’s still not for the faint of heart.
And an email from your own grandmother inspired you?
Yes, I had gotten promoted to my very own actual office from a cubicle — that’s “big fixins” in the organization world. An email from my grandmother who had passed fell out of my desk, and it said, “I wish you luck in all you do.” I thought: Okay, there’s some type of universal intervention happening here, which is an indicator .
How did you cope with naysayers?
I believe it could be silly of me to state that I simply powered through and said, “Screw you all,” because it isn’t how it happened. At that time, when I left the work, I was just a little insecure because I hadn’t experienced the audition room in years. The nerves, the questioning yourself and the allowing of negative comments to infiltrate you — that totally happened certainly to me. There have been days when I was sad or depressed — I was babysitting or doing other side jobs to settle the bills while I was auditioning. I thought: I simply left employment that was financially secure with healthcare and a 401(k), and today I’m babysitting this random child and likely to an audition each morning. Dear God, did I make the incorrect choice?
My parents weren’t unsupportive, however they are logical, so they asked me about how exactly I’d cover this. I experienced some rough patches to getting down on myself, spending excess amount or making the incorrect decisions. However they were all learning experiences, and I must say i believe that easily hadn’t had that business job for all those three years, I’d never be where I am at this time.
You took the best leap of faith to follow your dreams to be onstage. What’s your advice for those who are also considering risking everything to pursue their dream?
You merely live once, and life is pretty short. From a logical standpoint, easily didn’t think I had what it took to pursue this field of musical theatre and entertainment, I wouldn’t did it. Many folks have reached out if you ask me after learning my story because oftentimes people assume I visited theatre school, but I didn’t. There is absolutely no right path, and if you’re sitting there questioning yourself, understand that it is absolutely completely your decision. As hard since it is, you cannot pay attention to what anybody else must say.
There are way too many people out there doing something merely to manage and going home not feeling fulfilled. You can get a way to unstick yourself from being in times that you don’t love. Even if it requires living a double life to do one thing throughout the day and something else during the night to satisfy yourself, do it. After all, you will want to? It’s honestly the very best decision I available, minus the a down economy we’ll all proceed through. It’s about having a support system and believing in yourself. EASILY had never done it — had never sat within an acting class or had never attended each one of these auditions — I wouldn’t be where I am at this time.
It’s like business. In starting a business, a whole lot of entrepreneurs cope with going for a leap — having just a little spark of a concept and making it something.
Image Credit: Michael Hull
You’ve said previously that you utilize your business brain to keep up relationships and become someone people want to utilize again. How come that so important, and what’s your very best advice for folks listening who wish to emulate it?
When you’re a business owner, you’re your own business. Regardless of what business you’re in, if you’re an excellent, kind, empathetic person — someone that others feel they are able to speak to, have a conversation with and trust with their ideas, thoughts and insecurities — you’ll get the job over a person who may even be considered a bit more talented.
So far as my business — and I suppose there’s a whole lot of overlap — when you head into an audition room and there’s someone sitting at a sign-in desk, if you are not nice to them, you then might not get the work. I’ve known monitors to head into audition rooms and present a director a sit down elsewhere, and the director asks what they considered someone. If the monitor says someone was rude, they’ll get scratched quickly the list.
There’s grounds why you see many well-known Broadway directors hiring the same creative teams and the same actors. For just one, they’re super talented, however they also think they’re really fun to utilize.
I don’t ever desire to be the individual that walks right into a room with a trustworthiness of being the difficult one because nobody will need a diva mentality. If somebody enjoyed dealing with me and I get hired to accomplish a concert or show predicated on my reputation, I believe that’s a lot more gratifying than saying, "Well, Jessica can sing up to high C, but she sucks as a person.” I believe it’s the same for just about any business.
Before you quit your task in finance, every Monday you worked 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. before going to an open mic night at a jazz club. That took courage and lots of drive. How did you motivate yourself even on days when you didn’t feel your very best?
Look, I don’t even prefer to awaken early. I don’t even understand how I had that finance job realizing that I hate getting up early. When I visited open mic nights, I recall thinking to myself that there is no other way that folks were likely to see me. I didn’t have a realtor, I didn’t have a manager, I didn’t have anybody who I was networking with and I didn’t even understand the proper actors to network with.
I then found out relating to this open mic night called Cast Party — it still exists. I put my name on the list every Monday, as soon as I got chosen to move up. I sang “My Funny Valentine” or something similar to that with a whole lot of liquid courage, and it had been so scary.
Though within my day job I was pitching clients, keeping clients in or from the news and sitting at a big conference table with a few of the most successful businesspeople on earth, it was waking up there to sing “My Funny Valentine” that made me totally shake in my own boots. But that was a precursor for me personally to know it had been the right move to make. If you’re nervous about something, I believe it’s a marker that you ought to leap. You’d better do it because you’re likely to regret it in the event that you don’t.
I understand your first professional gig came as an indirect consequence of networking at those industry open mic nights. How will you get your name out there and make connections without feeling fake?
I really like that question because a lot of people are fake. I understand what it’s prefer to kiss ass because I’ve done it, and you understand you’re not actually likely to get a telephone call or message from see your face. There’s a skill to networking, and the only path to really do it in an effective way is to seriously be who you are. I could say that I’m now completely okay with who I am — 2 yrs ago, I was still just a little confused.
When I head into an area, I am quite sure not everyone is likely to like me. I’m not said to be everybody’s cup of tea. The great thing I could do is be myself, and the changing times that I have already been myself unapologetically will be the occasions when I’ve booked the gigs, met the proper people or was in the proper place at the proper time.
People can tell if you’re trying to produce a connection because you want something, and that’s only a B.S. way to communicate. They are able to smell it.
It’s another story in the event that you say, “Listen, I’m really thinking about starting my very own business,” or, “I’ve followed your business design for a really very long time and I’m completely inspired by you.” I’d much prefer hearing that from somebody since it doesn’t feel fake.
It’s the art of saying hi to everybody rather than coming off as if you don’t care or you have someplace else to be. Personally i think very lucky to be where I am, and easily acted any other way I’d be performing a disservice to myself. Everywhere I go, I make an effort to let people understand that I’m pleased