Elyse Jackson: Mother, Film Director, and Production Manager

Elyse Nicole Jackson born to Timothy and Doris Jackson in Newport Beach, California.  Thereafter, she and her father moved to Columbus, Ohio where she will be raised.  During this time, Elyse faced many challenges regarding the best of three worlds: black, white and being bi-racial.  She was born to a Black American father and a Caucasian mother, and lived in a predominately Black neighborhood.  Talk about confusion, that’s what she definitely endured.  Black people thought she was appearing white, but they didn’t understand she was half part of them.  Many times she would ask God the BIG three letter word “Why” and then tag-a-long the additional question “Did you make me this way?”  She thought she was cursed, and didn’t realize the plan that God had for her future.

When Elyse was growing up, she always had a dream of becoming an actress.  She definitely had a joy of pleasing people and it was natural for her.  She knew that by building relationships with people would give her the opportunity to share her gift by becoming a Film Director, which was her ultimate passion, and one day be able to showcase and communicate God’s plan based on true stories that would make people break-down and then show a break-through. 

Elyse decided to transition across the country from Ohio to California with her 2 sons and 1 daughter: Maxin (5) and Cam’ren (1 year), and Aliyah (7), as being a singled-mother, with lack-of-funds and had no means of child-support.  She didn’t know where the road was going to take her and her children, but she took a leap-of-faith and did it.  She and her children were almost homeless, but God kept them.

While in California, Elyse was suddenly awakened 3 times over the course of 3 days around 3:15 am to 3:17 am, and didn’t understand the reason.  Her close friend advised her if she has the same dream again to get a “Pad of Paper,” and have it next to her.   She took her friend’s advice; thereafter, she no longer had that dream.  She then remembered taking a shower and how she was then flooded with ideas, and they were coming rapidly that she couldn’t write them down quick enough.  The next person she shared her experience with was her eldest daughter, Aliyah (11), and she advised her mother to create a movie about it.  Eventually Elyse saw a commercial for L.A. Film school, took a tour, had a sense of connection with the school, and decided to matriculate to it.  She never seen this commercial before, in her dreams about the school, and didn’t see it anymore after her matriculation.  

When Elyse started film school, she was afraid someone would find about her learning disability.  She had difficulty retaining information, and had to find a way to be successful in school so she found a solution by asking her professor multiple times to either repeat an answer or a question.  Overall, she didn’t allow what others may have thought about her disability; instead it ended up as her victory.  She refused to be sorry for herself, and knew God will show her the answer.  She knew how her face felt with having waterfalls of tears flowing down from her eyes, and couldn’t stop the pain she felt inside from the harassment and from the ridicule she received in school.  She worked on various film projects and received negative feedback, but took what was mentioned in consideration and did better with her films.  She explains, “I faced many challenges in film school, it is definitely a man’s world, and the men I came across made sure to let me know that.”  On the other hand, the only opinion that really mattered to her the most was from her professors.  Overall, she graduated with Honors, and was the Salutatorian.  In addition, her short film was the only film that had made it to the viewing on her graduation: but God.

After graduation, she was able to receive her first career advancement as a Show Runner for Mr. Bill Duke.  She remembered him asking her one question, and that was to tell him about herself.  She effortlessly shared her passion and goal about spreading God’s word through film.  After her interview with Mr. Duke he looked to his assistant and called Elyse “family.”  Thereafter, her career really took off.

Elyse has directed commercials, several music videos, one being number 6 on the top music charts in the United Kingdom, and briefly seen at last year Cannon’s Festival.  She has also managed to be the Script Supervisor for Danny Trejo film in 2014, and now she is the Production Manger for a T.V. Series, Sangra Negra.

Her words of wisdom are: now she understands her purpose of being biracial.  She states, “it was necessary to be this way so that I could relate to both sides.  Life can seem so chaotic, but God is in full control.  I thought I was alone, but He has been with me the whole way.”  She also states, “being a singled-mother, and putting myself through school was quite difficult, and when you don’t receive child support of any kind, one must get creative.” 

Elyse encourages everyone to Trust God.  She also encourages everyone to follow their dreams, she believes that, “If you can see it, you can be it.”  She also states, “if you really are serious about whatever it is you want to do in life then you will need to put in the work to make it happen.  It is not impossible.  Do your research.  Find out what all needs to be done to achieve your goal and do it.  It takes planning.  Write out all that you must do then start checking things off, and before you know it, you will be where you want to be.  Always remember that sometimes God will not allow you to go in the direction you want, because He knows what is waiting for you in the end.  If what you do does not align up with His purpose for you it may not work out the way you wanted.  It happened to me many times, but I guarantee once you find your purpose it will be hard to believe how great you are at it, and how much of an impact you will have on others. “

She has done an outstanding job accomplishing her goals, following God’s plan he has for her, and still being mother to her three beautiful now adult daughter and two growing sons.  She never stopped following her dreams in spite of her situation, but she trusted God and kept moving forward.

Elyse is our next CEOMother, and if you were inspired and you were able to relate to her story, you can follow her on Facebook http://m.facebook.com/elyse.n.jackson.

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