Give us some background on Jocelyn, the actress?
I’ve performed all my life; literally, I have the tapes to prove it. I danced a lot since high school and once I got to college, something felt like it was missing. I applied to a few extra jobs and realized on set is where I wanted to be. Within a year I shot several short films, appeared numerous times on MTV and landed a spot in the off Broadway play “Platanos and Collard Greens“.
How important is acting in your life?
I love acting and just being on stage. It really is the highlight of my week knowing that every weekend I’ll be on that stage performing for others.
Do you have a preferred genre to watch?
I love horror films and cheesy 1970 films.
Do you prefer stage or film acting?
Its two different worlds – on stage you get the response immediately by hearing the audience laugh or what have you; on film and TV it’s like your moment lives on forever. Plus you can actually see your work (which is something I am still not used to). I love them both.
How much of an influence do you think actors/actresses have on the public?
Unfortunately instead of appreciating the work these actors and actresses do, we now get into their personal lives which, as we know, usually aren’t the best especially to model ones self after.
Have you ever collaborated with any mainstream actors/actresses?
As of yet no, but my best memory was on set in a Burger King commercial directed none other than Spike Lee. Though I didn’t have a major part just being able to speak with him however brief that was, was really amazing.
If you had a choice of all actors/actresses in the world, who would you prefer to work with? Why?
I think Shia Labeouf is an amazing actor. I chose him because he is of my generation and his films and TV work appeal to me. He seems to take his work seriously which I appreciate because sometimes it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to be able to work in this industry.
Who are your influences?
I love Eva Mendes, not because she has done any monumental roles but the fact is, I feel she represents the Latin community really well. She doesn’t hide the fact that she is Hispanic but she doesn’t use it as “yes I’m Latina now put me in a movie because of that”. I also admire Nicholas Cage, John Travolta, and Rachel McAdams from The Notebook. She really is an amazing, versatile actress.
How do you describe yourself to people?
I think I am an honest, smart, super funny, caring, sometimes blunt person.
Do you find it hard to “convince” people when adapting a role?
As of yet most of the roles I’ve done have been comedic so that’s pretty easy. I am currently rehearsing the lead in the Platanos and Collard Greens which has been a bit difficult but she represents my vulnerable side.
What effect, if any, do you think pirating has had on movies?
I honestly feel that the movie experience is now a luxury. At 12 bucks a ticket, families can’t go to the movies how they used to, especially low income families. Maybe if movies were more affordable, pirating wouldn’t be such a huge business. It’s really an insane cycle.
What effect, if any do you think the internet has had on movies?
Same as above. Now with the internet people can watch whole movies or new media for free.
How would you define the word “success”?
It’s def not about money or fame. To me success is being at a place in your life where you are able to do something you love and be surrounded by people that you love; being able to meet goals that you set for yourself all mean success to me.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done on stage?
I was on tour in Platanos and Collard Greens playing a character named Nilsa. In one scene she does this silly rap and starts dancing. I started doing the robot which was the most fun ever because I am obsessed with doing the robot. It took me a while to stop and get back to my lines. Lol.
What are your short term acting goals?
I am currently looking for representation (i.e. an agent) which is necessary to audition and progress to bigger projects and def needed if you want to go to LA which is where I want to go within a year.
What are your long term acting goals?
I would love to be on a TV show. Just being able to go to work everyday and make something that people look forward to watching every week would be my dream come true. I know this will happen which is why I am working hard to reach it as quick as I can.
You are currently in Platanos and Collard Greens. What is that experience like?
First off it’s a really good, hilarious and educational play so I suggest everyone go see it. The cast is really amazing and talented and I can honestly say everyone is a true character. I like being able to play multiple characters and also travel around the nation to colleges and so on so they can be able to see the story as well.
Does that play resonate more with you being that you are Hispanic or do you think its themes are universal?
I am Puerto Rican and the play revolves around a Dominican and Black couple; however it does bring to light an issue in many Hispanic homes which is that some traditional families will not accept a relationship between a Hispanic woman and Black man. My family is very accepting but the play doesn’t bash; it really does educate audiences as to why this is the thought of many traditional Hispanics.
Would you ever do reality television?
I would love to do The Real World (MTV) – it’s been my childhood dream lol. As of now I don’t think I would really do a reality show.
Aside from acting, have you ever pursued any other career path?
Marketing and advertising is passion of mine. I would love to get into the advertising business.
Between dance and acting, which of the crafts do you prefer? Why?
I love both but I find in my acting I can utilize my dancing background which is the best of both worlds for me.
What is your performing philosophy or words to live by?
If for any reason I don’t love performing I will stop because I will not do this just for the money. It’s too important of a craft to disrespect.
As long as you love it, do it.