The first time I had heard of Jennifer Lopez was when I was really young and listening to her song “Let’s Get Loud” on the radio. But as I’ve gotten older and seen her career change and evolve, I realised how she is much more than just a recording artist. She’s a producer, actor, dancer, songwriter, businesswoman, fashion designer, the list goes on. Frankly her career is pretty inspiring to read about and is why I wanted to write about her for my people post.
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York Lopez began her career as a dancer for New Kids on the Block, as well as on the tv show In Living Color as a fly girl, also working for Janet Jackson as her backup dancer after that. Although originally planned to go on tour with Jackson in 1993, Lopez decided to try other avenues and was later cast in her first direct to DVD film.
This lead to many other acting appearances, notably playing the lead in the biopic Selena, a role that allowed Lopez to not only showcase her acting but also her dance and performing experience. A critical success, Lopez’s acting career took off and it was reported that she became the highest paid hispanic actress in history following Selena’s release. She later starred in the Crime Thriller “U Turn” as well as “Ought of Sight” opposite George Clooney and received excellent reviews for them.
In 1999 Lopez had again changed her focus to music, releasing her first single and later her debut album “On the 6”. This was a move that some critics believed was a make or break moment for her career at the time. She had become a very well known and respected actress, so should the album flop, this could have created a negative influence for the name she had already made for herself. But due to her hard work and dedication, the album was a hit and Lopez went on to balance both her acting and music careers over the next decade.
Looking at all of the different careers she has ventured into such as producing films and television shows, creating a clothing line, fragrances and other paths, she is a great example of how it’s important to take risks and really give things a shot. In an interview with her for Time Magazine, she spoke about her much of an influence her mother has been in her career and how she pushed her to work hard on her passions and do the best she could, regardless of what people thought or tried to make her be. Being a producer and getting involved in producing many of her own projects quite early in her career grew not out of a hunger of wanting more, but rather a want to make better projects and see how many different things she could try and really pull off. Yes failure is something that can happen, but it’s important to see how far you can go, and if it doesn’t work out then you pick yourself up and decide what you are going to do next.
Even though I have no interest in being an actress or recording artist, I still count Jennifer Lopez as a really cool role model. She seems to get involved in so many projects and is able to have the attitude that trying something new is important. It opens up your brain and makes you think differently and see yourself in a new light. I know that whenever I’ve done something I would have never imagined doing (usually a physical activity that scared the crap out of me…), it shocks you a little bit but then you realise that you’re stronger than you think and often better at something than you first assumed.
I think this is something we all need to remember to do a lot more. And yes there are many other women in the world and men as well who are creating great things and doing just as good work as Lopez, but credit where credit is due, she’s killing it right now.
Have a productive week xx
(Photo Curtesy of Pinterest)