We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica De Maria and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessica, life can be so busy as an adult, and for many, especially those who’ve moved to a new city, making friends can be hard. We’d love to hear your thoughts?
This does feel like such a challenge sometimes doesn’t it? I’ve always been a person who has been open and willing to form close connections quickly. I crave intimacy and honesty in all relationships I build. I think the biggest revelation that I’ve experienced though is thinking of forming new friendships with more of an eye toward longevity. Not falling into the habit of close and quick connections that seem powerful and meaningful in the moment-but have a transience to them. Those friendships most certainly have a beautiful place and purpose-such as the tight bonds you can form with a cast of a play or project you’re involved in. But understanding that it’s ok to let those go. To let those relationships exist in the time and the space the exist in and value them for that-but not push things to last beyond what they need to. To form lasting friendships as an adult, the most important thing to me is finding people that are going to grow with me, that value the same things I do, that keep things fun and interesting and are open to going on the rest of the journey together. I think once you, as an individual, are secure in your own values-whether they be the core values that build you, or simply the things you passionately enjoy-you gain a confidence in reaching out to others about those things, that may share those values, or even expose you to knew ones. Valuable friendships to me have become less about comfort in the moment and more about loyalty and trust and FUN in the long term. I read a quote once about some of the greatest romances of life being friendships. And I couldn’t agree more. Thinking of building friendships with the same passion and desire and importance we give to romantic partnerships truly has, in my experience, lead to the most trusting, the most compatible, the most meaningful connections with the squad of people I’d like to have by my side at the beginning and the end of all things. As far as how to find those people? Well-just like with finding a romantic partner-you have to brave, you have to be up front-and most of the time…you have to make the first move.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would absolutely take them to my two favorite bars-The Porter and Yacht Club in Little 5. I love a good dive bar, and Yacht Club is it. I have so many great memories there! The Porter has the best beer list…kind of ever…and the food and the staff are one of a kind. I’d make sure we took stroll on the belt line and maybe grab a sunset cocktail at LadyBird and we’d hit up a show at Actor’s Express for sure. Depending on how they’re feeling? A little 90s Night at The Basement in East Atlanta Village is a great way to close the week out!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate my shout-out to Ben Silver. Ben is an actor and improv instructor and has been my friend for 10 years. We’ve helped each other grow professionally and personally and he is the epitome of loyalty and unconditional love. He has supported me in every endeavor I pursue with honesty, tough love, and a lot of hugs and phone calls. I wouldn’t be who I am without him.

Website: www.chaseandjessica.com//www.jessicademaria.com
Instagram: @Jessica.demaria
Twitter: @LooktotheLady
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb3Z4hs3KHXN4xi6psHrZHg?view_as=public

Image Credits
MAIN PHOTOS: all by BreeAnne Clowdus OTHER PHOTOS: Production Photo by Casey Gardner