INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA CAMACHO | Creating My Own Reality
All human beings are given a beautiful gift to think thoughts and feel emotions. It’s astonishing that regardless of the circumstances around us, our thoughts have the power to evoke emotions depending on what we decide to focus on. Our habits of thoughts also become the bases of our belief system which in turn creates our perception of the life we are experiencing. When we put our attention on things that we appreciate, we feel good, and everything is in balance. Negative emotions are valuable as well. They indicate an inner sign to tap into our innate power to re-focus. By being aware of that, we will always be able to seek those emotions that feel the best to us.
Actress Jessica Camacho who can be seen as Emily Lopez-Berarro on CBS legal drama All Rise says: “What you think, you become. Thoughts lead to actions, which lead to the circumstances that create your reality.”
In this inspiring interview with Jessica, you will be uplifted by her thoughtful answers and powerful outlook in life.
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Jessica Camacho?
Hi! My name is Jessica Lisa Camacho, and I am one of the beings inhabiting this particular space and time, doing the best I can to make this journey as beautiful and meaningful as I can.
- With the introduction of online streaming channels, social media, and the rapid development of technology, the entertainment industry has drastically changed in the last few years. What is the most exciting part of working in the industry today?
I’d say the most exciting part of working in the industry today is that there is so much amazing content to experience and so many platforms from which to create art. We have a ridiculous amount of options now when it comes to what kind of experience we want to plug into and it’s all literally available at the click of our finger. It’s astounding, really, and sometimes overwhelming. For an actor, however, it feels like the possibilities to create exciting work and inhabit interesting roles are seemingly endless. It’s amazing to live in these times of enhanced technological advances and to see things become possible that were once deemed unrealistic. Exciting and interesting times indeed.
- On the upcoming CBS legal drama All Rise, you portray Emily Lopez-Berarro, a public defender. Emily is dedicated and strong-willed; have you learned anything new about yourself by becoming this character?
What I have learned from inhabiting the character of Emily thus far is that I am capable of much more than I give myself credit for. The amount of focus, clarity of mind, and dedication that it takes to put together a persuasive, cohesive case for a defendant is staggering. I cannot pretend to know what that reality feels like. Playing her, however, means that I must handle a hefty amount of dialogue, and that I present it in a realistic and polished way. This means that I have had to learn to quiet my mind in order to really focus on learning the material and make sense of all the facts and points that Emily is using to support her case. It has been an exercise in discipline for me, which is starting to seep into my own personal habits, thoughts, and actions. She is making me better, by teaching me to hold my own self accountable and to really be self-sufficient. I appreciate her very much.
- Public defenders must trust their clients to defend them well. How does Emily connect with her clients even when there seems to be evidence against them?
I think Emily wholeheartedly believes that she is in the position of upholding justice, in that her job is to ensure the prosecution concretely PROVES that the defendant is guilty. It’s her job to ensure that her clients are given a thorough and fair trial. It’s about her understanding that the constitution declares the RIGHT to a fair trial, and the commitment to ensuring that people are sentenced on an inarguable and direct proof. It is not her job to judge her clients morally, or even to believe in their innocence, but it is her job and passion to ensure that people be sentenced based on undeniable proof as much as possible. She connects to the belief in her work, and that, to her, is unshakeable.
- You will be featured in HBO’s Watchmen, a series based on a graphic novel where superheroes are treated as outlaws. Why do you think superhero shows are so popular, and what is most exciting for you about the series’s storyline?
I think superhero shows and movies are so popular because they appeal to some of the universal desires in human beings across the board: wanting to rise above evil, wanting to save the day, and wanting to have super-human abilities with which to achieve justice. I think a part of the human experience is feeling helpless to a great extent, and I think we use superheroes to fill in that gap for us; to fix what our mere mortality leaves us unable to. With “Watchmen,” I love seeing the tables turned on the typical superhero prototype and playing in a world where those that wear a mask are treated as the undesirables. I love the darkness and grittiness of this particular world, and the deeper messages that are woven within the storylines. I think fans will have plenty to dig into with this show.
- On Netflix’s sci-fi drama Another Life, you play Michelle Vargas, a blunt and to-the-point communications expert. How would you describe the dynamic between Michelle and the rest of the crew?
I was actually quite scared to play Michelle! She is by far, one of the boldest, most in-your-face characters I’ve played yet. That girl had a mouth on her, haha! I definitely expressed my trepidation to my directors, as I didn’t want the audience to absolutely despise Michelle. It was hard for me to connect to a character that could be so biting with her tone and words. However, the creators of the show explained to me that it’s not so much that Michelle is trying to be mean, it’s simply that she’s blunt, and doesn’t suffer fools; she smart as a whip, and thinks fast and hard, and she expects everyone else to function on the same plane. So, I surrendered, and actually ended up having a blast playing her. It went against my own personal, overly self-critical approach, which I found to be quite freeing. Also, despite her jagged edges, we all get to see how much she actually cares for her crew and how much they, in turn, respect her. She redeems herself, which actually made for a very cool character journey.
- Another Life takes place in a sci-fi setting in which an alien artifact has been discovered. How do you make this fantastical setting feel real for yourself and in consequence the audience?
My job as an actor is to believe in and play in the truth of the circumstances. If the script dictates that an alien artifact landed on our planet, then I approach both my character and the world we are creating as if that was the absolute reality. That’s actually one of the things I love most about my job; using my imagination to build this other reality and moving inside of it as if it were real. The only way the audience will allow us to suspend disbelief and play in this seemingly fictional world is if the actors act truthfully within the imaginary circumstances.
- If you ever feel resistant, do you have any practices to realign with yourself and your innate sense of creativity?
I am constantly having to recalibrate myself in order to get back in line with my higher purpose, creative freedom and intention for my life; I mean… constantly. I can find myself in a really great groove of waking up early, journaling, meditating, and exercising, and then, without warning, find myself slipping back into habits that don’t necessarily benefit or strengthen me. So, a big part of my approach to my life is practicing to not be so hard on myself and to not automatically feel like a failure for being misaligned with my highest functioning self. I think it’s an important, unavoidable part of being a human; being flawed, and having weaknesses. I think quite a lot of lessons, realizations, and growth can come from grappling with those flaws or weaknesses. So, when I feel myself too out of balance, I try and just take a step back and slow things down a bit, and allow myself to take stock of where I am. I’ll retreat to a safe space for myself, count my blessings, give thanks to my creator for everything I have, and trust that I am right where I am supposed to be. Then, I get up again, put one foot in front of the other, and just do the best that I can.
- Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?
I absolutely love the dog rescue group The Sato Project. They are dedicated to rescuing the abused and abandoned stray dogs of Puerto Rico, a task made ever-more important due to the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria. You can find them at:thesatoproject.org
**some of my other favorite charities are: Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection (liberiachimpanzeerescue.org), Best Friends Animal Society (bestfriends.org), New York Billy Crew (nybullycrew.org), Humane Society (humanesociety.org), Humane Society International (hsi.org), The LA Mission (losangelesmission.org), and Lava Mae (lavamae.org).
- The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?
I feel so lucky that I work within the industry that I do. Film & Television is such a collaborative medium, and being an actor is only one slice of the whole pie. I have to rely on the sound department, lighting, wardrobe, set builders, and a whole host of other people who are essential to this art form. If I am tired or grumpy, and I bring that energy to set, it can negatively affect all of the other people I am co-creating with. I want to create from a place of joy, and for that joy to be felt by everyone else involved, so that we feel inspired to continue creating. I believe that the energy that you put into something dictates how the finished product will come out, so I try and push away any negativity or doubt that obstructs the flow of creativity. If you’re blocked by negativity, you cannot be open to receiving the inspiration that the present moment can provide. Actors are nothing without their instincts; without being able to access their emotions and instinctual reactions. If you’re not operating on a positive, open frequency, then those beautiful and sincere moments of inspired action, can be lost by the wayside. And that’s a damn shame.
- When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words from the Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?
“You can be, do, and have anything you want.” To me, this speaks to manifesting your own reality. What you think, you become. Thoughts lead to actions, which lead to the circumstances that create your reality. I think when you make a decision that is rooted in your truth, and that is aligned with your highest calling and purpose, that the universe works with you to help you along your path. I absolutely think that once you decide what you want, you also have to put in the necessary work to achieve it. While it’s true that life is not always fair and that a lot of people enter this world with the odds stacked against them, it is my belief that through faith, clarity of mind, sincerity of heart, and hard work, you can have a damn good shot at making your dreams your reality. I really do believe that.