We had the good fortune of connecting with Joya Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joya, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
My balance between work and life has changed drastically throughout the years. However depending on the stage in your career it varies. In the beginning, I took every opportunity that I felt represented me in a positive light for my brand and my own moral code despite the pay. It was important at this stage to make sure I was meeting as many people as possible in my field considering I had moved from out of state. As my resume started building I became more selective with the jobs I would accept due to structuring and developing my brand in a light that is parallel with my end goal. Currently I decline more jobs than I take because of the knowledge, experience and respect I’ve gained for myself through the lens of a creative. After seven years of molding and structuring it becomes easier to navigate exactly what you want and I don’t accept anything outside of those perimeters. I also believe its very important to have firm boundaries on your rates. Never lower your prices to accommodate others unless you deem its truly worth it. I’ve noticed that setting that boundary completely changed the type of work I was receiving. When you set standards for yourself, you also set standards for everything around you.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I began entertainment at the age of 4. I started with tap and ballet then branched to jazz, acrobatics, and hip hop. I attended both BAK Middle School of Arts and Alexander W. Dreyfoos High School of Arts in West Palm Beach, FL. In high school I realized I could make a career out of my hobbies when I landed my first national magazine campaign. After graduating high school I moved to Atlanta, GA to pursue acting and start college. In the last 6 years I’ve been blessed to work with networks such as BET, STARZ, TV ONE & National Geographic. I’ve also been in many videos with people such as Jeezy, Dababy, Summer Walker, Lil Baby, Future etc. It wasn’t easy but I stayed persistent. During the pandemic I learned my heart truly lies with academics, healing and teaching. I spent so much time building my resume that I completely forgot I was an honors student who has a borderline obsession with learning new things. Although I will always pursue my hobbies I’ve been thinking about my life globally and how I can really affect people in a way that matters. I’ve started 4 businesses over the past year along with a non-profit organization while still pursuing entertainment. I’m very busy however extremely pleased with myself thus far and I’m looking forward to the future.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a friend visiting I’d take them to Roswell Mills, Little 5 Points and Ponce City Market rooftop. My favorite restaurants are Gusto if you want something fast, Cafe Intermezzo if you want to sit. I also love finding open mic nights, spoken word poetry spots and live jam sessions.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my manager Evan Owens. From day 1 he’s treated me like family. He’s aligned me with mentorships, opportunities, jobs and he’s overall an extremely pure influence that keeps me grounded.