We had the good fortune of connecting with Jalen Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jalen, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I chose to pursue an artistic career as a result of my upbringing. I have been passionate about the fine arts since I was 2 years old! I grew up watching movies, mimicking characters and people in my family, dancing, singing, and acting. I’ve always had an affinity for fine arts because it brings people together by sharing laughter, excitement, and joy, but overall entertainment. I love to entertain! As I continued through performing arts magnet grade school and middle school, I auditioned for film and theatre roles and was technically trained for dance. After I graduated from Stephenson High School in 2019, I enrolled at Kennesaw State University. I am now a third-year student majoring in theatre, with a concentration in musical theatre, which focuses on acting, dancing, and singing. Also, I am minoring in Spanish.

At the onset of the pandemic, I decided to create, write, and produce contemporary and experimental short films which led to the creation of my business, Blue Jay Production Company LLC. The purpose of my company is to highlight independent artists and creators, like myself, who want to showcase their talents to the world, and not wait for their debut role in the film industry. I decided to create my independent films with great quality cinematography, writers, directors, and actors. I not only aspire to create my films, but bring something new to the film industry and leave audiences shocked and in awe while at the same time wanting more. I believe my purpose is to leave a legacy in this new generation of filmmakers, producers, and actors with new, fresh faces; bring a creative spirit; and inspire others with powerful cultural storytelling.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider myself to be a contemporary and experimental filmmaker because I want to offer a different aesthetic in the film world. My goal is to create a cinematic universe with original characters and stories in different genres. What sets me apart from others is my ambition and I want to leave a legacy of work through films and storytelling, especially with people of color because unfortunately, it is rarely seen on-screen and I want to create different narratives and messages with my body of work. I am most proud of owning and operating my film company, Blue Jay Production Company, LLC. Whatever we aspire to achieve, we make it happen by any means necessary. The slogan of my company is “thoughts become things.” I am on a mission to become the best at what I do with great quality work from new, young creators, writers, actors, directors, and producers! I am in the position I am in today due to years of preparation, practice, professional development, and prayer. The reason I have been successful thus far is because of my hard work, dedication, and a village of loved ones and friends who all believe in me and support my endeavors. I have faith that I will achieve all that my heart desires. I believe nothing in life comes easy. Everything comes with a sacrifice. A quote by F. Matthias Alexander that always resonates with me states, “People do not decide their future, they decide their habits and their habits decide their future” which means we have to change our ways in order to become the best version of ourselves. As I have grown and matured, I now realize what my mother meant when she would tell me, “You have to apply yourself.” Now I get it, life is all about transformation and application and that is exactly what I am doing to become not just a great and successful filmmaker, actor, producer, and director but an overall great person. What I want the world to know about my production company is we will create our own cinematic universe starring BIPOC characters in various genres.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take my friend on a day trip to downtown and Midtown Atlanta. We would hang out at Piedmont Park riding electric scooters, take a plethora of photos and cool shots at the Selfie Museum, go see a movie at Atlantic Station and eat dinner afterward. Also, I would take him to the World of Coke, Georgia Aquarium, and the Civil Rights Museum.

As for food, we would check out Fox Brothers BBQ, Ponce City Market, the Belt Line eateries, and Krog Street Market.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I would like to thank God for giving me the gift of creativity and inspiration. Also, I want to dedicate a shoutout to my family and loved ones; foremost to my mother Nina Climes, grandfather James White, my aunts Crea White, Kristina White, Ashley Smith, and Bridget Lewis, and my father, Morris Smith for all of their love and support in everything I have done since I was a child! Additionally, I would like to thank the Blue Jay Production Company’s creative team, Keith Douglas (actor/co-producer) and Ethan Green (gaffer/co-producer) for believing in my goals and visions for the company and films. You all believe in my ambitions and life/career goals and you support my purpose and passion. Thank you all and I love you!

Instagram: _J.maurice_ and bluejayproductionco

Image Credits
Micah Ford Jose Navarro

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