We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Harrison Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, what’s the most important think you’ve done for your children?
The most important thing my husband and I have done as parents to impact our children was to instill in them a faith base. We believe that as parents, our primary duty is to raise children who are loving, generous, compassionate, constructive contributers to society. This belief stems from our faith in God. My husband, Nathaniel and I have also instilled the importance of entrepreneurship and following one’s passions at a young age. We believe that merging the two is that sweet spot we all desire in life. As a result, our oldest daughter, Chandler obtained her degree in Art and Graphic Design from TWU, while our youngest, McKinley, a senior in high school is pursuing her interests in filmmaking. Both have started their own businesses.
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.
First let me say that I believe that every artist brings a unique contribution or perspective when it comes to her work. With that said, I have been blessed with an ability to tell a story that touches people both in a spiritual and therapeutic way which aids in a healing process or both the audience and the cast in my stage productions. I believe this is a special gift from God. I didn’t realize it at first until various cast members began sharing the special connection they had with the characters they were portraying. They were able to relate to the characters who were a reflection of their own lives. In the casting process often times actors come in wanting to read for a particular character, but that inner voice tells me to have them read for a different part. It ends up being the perfect role for them in the end. The connection that an actor has with a character allows for a performance that stems from an intimate place of experience. As a result, I am able to get the best emotion out of them to bring a level of delivery that cannot be achieved no matter how much an actor studies or prepares for a part. In turn, they are able to confront that issue in a safe place and begin their own healing. That is why it’s important for me to listen to that inner voice. I would say that the journey to this level in my career did not come easy. I believe all roads to one’s purpose aren’t always paved with gold. There has to be setbacks and roadblocks to test our faith. You have to put skin in the game because then you will have more respect and appreciation for your gift, and won’t give up when challenges come your way. I don’t believe we ever reach that point in our careers or ministries where we can lean back, kick up our heels, and declare that we’ve made it, God deals with us in levels. Each level is a promotion and He is the Trainer. One great lesson I’ve learned is that He has to remain in the picture to see me through every level so that I can remain on track. Every project is handled through prayer and faith in Him. I want the brand of Lisa Harrison Jackson and Up High Arts & Entertainment Group to be defined by one which operates in integrity, faith and a fight to never give up.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m an old school girl who cherishes history. So my itinerary would include making rounds in some of the most historical sites and landmarks in and around the city including Dr. King’s home and gravesite, Ebenezer Church, the Freedom Center, AU Campus, Centennial Olympic Park, World of Coke, CNN, Aquarium, Varsity, tone Mountain Park etc. Some of the most fun, interesting and exciting people to hang out with are my friends who are like family to me. Each of them have a special quality that makes me happy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Along my journey, there have been several people who’ve shined their light in different ways and in different seasons in my life. Their offerings have blessed me in many ways, and I honor them. The first people that I must recognize, for their patience, love, and encouragement are my parents, LG and Shirley Harrison who’ve instilled a strong work ethic in me and my 10 siblings, and who raised me to appreciate the unique qualities in myself and others. Secondly, I honor my family which is made up of my husband, bestfriend and hype man, Nathaniel Jackson, and Chandler and McKinley, my daughters and cheer squad. The support that they give to me comes from the values that we share as a family. I also give a shout out to my former elementary teacher Mary Fisher, who inspired and challenged me to pursue writing as a career; my former pastors, Melvin and Sharon Milon who were the first to recognize my gift in theater and supported my first productions. Finally, I have several special friends who have touched my life one way or the other: Ginel Turner, Rose Benjamin, John Samples, Howard McGee, Joyce Parker Valerie Washington Mahone, and Cathy McIntyre Simms.
Linkedin: Lisa Harrison Jackson
All photos were taken by my daughter McKinley Jackson who gave me permission to use them.