There are women in this world who give of themselves in order to inspire, encourage and empower others on the road to success, they provide the framework for greatness and recognizing them has been my great honor. Carnetta Jones is one such woman and she is my December 2012 "Women of Your World Highlight."
Her skills as an actress/ acting coach have provided a foundation for many of Hollywood's brightest and rising stars. She has been instrumental in the careers of entertainers such as Meagan Good, (Waist Deep) Tasha Smith (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse) Kim Whitley (Next Friday) Kirk Franklin (Music Icon) and many more......
Among her many accomplishments she is also a proud wife, mother and spiritual leader within her family and community. Carnetta Jones has experienced her share of trials and setbacks but through it all she has held firm to her faith in God and the belief that her success will ultimately be defined by the lives she's touched.
From College professor to inner city activist to author of a new book; she has coached over 40 feature films, over 100 commercials, television dramas and comedies by major studios and independents. It was my great pleasure to sit down with Mrs Jones for an interview and to hear from the woman herself...
So how did the Dream Journey begin for you?
I started out acting at a very young age and was fortunate to meet people who believed in me, they helped me to get jobs in commercials and other things so I was very blessed to be in the right place at the right time. I decided that I wanted to be that opportunity for others, so I started teaching classes at a small performing arts school in my community. This is where I encountered so many talented young actors and actresses including Meagan Good who was 10 years old at the time. She was a young actress I began to nurture and pour into and as it turns out her growth and success has opened the door for me to coach other celebrities as well.
Pursuing any dream is both time and life consuming, what would you say was the drive behind your desire to set aside “time” so you could give back so much of yourself?
God would be my primary reason for doing what I do. To the young people back then I was their acting coach but also their youth minster, after classes I would pile my students into my van and head out on ministry business. I think it’s important that in developing and connecting with people you instill more than just techniques for their craft. There is a spirituality I feel I can impart and also draw from my students; this is also the case with Meagan and her beautiful family, who have both received and given holistically to our experiences over the years.
As an Actress/ Coach Do you feel like it’s your responsibility to locate the talent in people and If so how hard is it to make those determination with students and people you obviously care about?
I feel that it is my job to help people discover themselves, I don’t tell people they are not meant to do this or that if they feel they are. Having experienced that in my past I consider it much wiser to locate what is special in each person and cultivate it. Too many people have either been wrong in deterring someone or have seriously scarred people for life and that’s not my style.
You seem like an unstoppable train headed for success, so what is it that makes Carnetta tick?
That’s a really good question; my number one goal in life is truly to fulfill the purpose that God has designed for me. The best gift I can give myself, my family and the world is a legacy of wisdom and achievements that outlive my time here. Once again this is a holistic concept for me, so it covers what I achieve spiritually, socially and financially. A legacy that I hope will live on in my children, students and anyone who feels I’ve inspired them in any way.
As a Wife and Mother how do you balance your family life and your career life?
I balance it all through integration; one of my main goals is always to be a living epistle to my children that is why I allowed them to witness my journey. I needed them to understand the beauty as well as the hardships, so as much as I could I took them with me on auditions and classes to teach them firsthand what to expect and how to deal with life. I also follow the family model set forth in the bible ministering first to my family (Husband, children) then taking it to the world.
Living in the world of Entertainment of course has its negative and positive effects on people how has it changed you?
I’ve always believed in drawing my strength from Christ –Jesus, in this field of entertainment it can be difficult to separate what I call “Character from Character.” There is a lie you must portray on screen a character we call it, you have to develop the strength to divide that from your personal moral character and that strength for me is drawn from my personal relationship with Christ. People learned that they can trust me and that means a lot in my business, they look for someone to call who will drop everything because they care and as a friend/ coach I try my best to be that person. I’ve been blessed to work with everyone from Nick Cannon to Amber Rose and many others..It doesn’t matter what people think or how they perceive this business, even “entertainers” are looking to surround themselves with people of honesty and integrity.
So looking back is this where you imagined yourself at this stage in life?
Honestly no, when I began this journey I imagined that by now I’d be on the silver screen receiving awards and accolades but God and life have a way of changing things. I can say that I didn’t do everything I could have done as far as "making all the right choices" at points in my career but you live and you learn. I obtained my degree, taught college for awhile and then I continued my journey up to the present, believing that no matter what God has been in control the entire time. Opportunities and doors open for me and I do my best to take full advantage of them, building relationships and building my legacy.
So speaking of your legacy, tell me about the awesome new Book?
The Book is called “Secret to a sigh: A Poetic Memoir” it is a reflection of my life in all its many phases. They are poems that capture the essence of my deepest thoughts and feelings and how I wish to express them artistically. In addition to being a writer I’m also an artist so when the inspiration hits me I try to manifest it to the best of my ability. Even the artwork on the cover is reflective of a time when I sought to merge Christianity with the other aspects of my life. This book represents the whole of me, providing my readers a window into my soul, it is an open invitation to the world; my only hope is that people are inspired by what they see when they look through that window.
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