I Was Told I Was Too Old To Be An Actor

I Was Told I Was Too Old To Be An Actor

Jasmine Lobe, thirties

Writer, actress and producer

Although Sex and The City may have romanticised the term “sex columnist,” for actress Jasmine Lobe, it was a difficult career path to accept. “Often what you are most afraid of, is where the gold lies,” says Lobe, who pens “The J-Spot” in The Observer [Candace Bushnell’s former “Sex and The City” column], despite her initial hesitations. With the goal of opening up honest dialogue for women everywhere, Lobe has now set her sights on producing. And, like the illustrious Carrie, she’s optioned her writing for a TV show.

1. What made you choose this career path? What has been your greatest achievement?

It sounds cliche but I didn’t choose to be a sex columnist, it chose me. I was an actress in Hollywood and wrote about my crazy experiences to stay sane. I showed my writing to a good friend of mine who took a shot on me and gave me my first column in an online magazine called New York Natives. Shortly thereafter, the Observer approached me to be their new sex columnist. The Observer is where Candace Bushnell’s column “Sex and the City” originated so I had big shoes to fill.  But I couldn’t think about it that way— I had to make it my own, otherwise, I would have freaked out. I called my column “The J-Spot”, for um, you know, Jasmine.  I’m very proud of my column. And then, just recently I optioned the “The J-Spot” to Universal Studios through Full Fathom 5 Productions.  So now “The-Jspot” may be a TV show!

2. What’s the biggest criticism/stereotype/judgement you’ve faced in your career?

I was told if I didn’t make it as an actress by the time I was 25, I should find another career. Of course, now it looks like I’ll be producing, so when the time is right, I’ll produce shows or movies to cast myself in.  Also, I always knew in my gut I was a writer as well as a performer, and thinking back, it was the harsh words I told myself that hurt the most.  How could an actress in Hollywood trying out for parts like “hot blonde #2 in push up bra”, break into the media / literary world from her studio apartment in West Hollywood? 

3. What was the hardest part of overcoming this negativity? Do you have an anecdote you can share?

One of the biggest stereotypes of being a sex columnist is a lot of people assume you’re into orgies or are always up for having sex. One guy accused me of being a prude and a bad sex columnist because I didn’t want to have sex with him. “Do it for research,” he said.  As a woman, if you don’t have enough sex your labeled a prude and if you have a lot of sex you’re labeled a slut.  It’s really hard to “get it right” if you’re in the habit of pleasing men.

4. How did you #SWAAYthenarrative? What was the reaction by those who told you you “couldn’t” do it?

It took courage to sway the narrative or at least my own narrative. I’d walk into a party in Hollywood as the sweet, pretty girl, maybe even on some producer’s arm, and only when asked,  I’d say,“ I’m an actress.” But inside I was dying. I knew I was so much more than getting rejected from so many ditzy, blonde acting roles.

I was sick of feeling powerless and not honoring the tiger within me. But I was also afraid to write about my inner most feelings about sex, power dynamics, social status, money and all the issues I felt compelled to unravel. I was afraid to show my anger. I was afraid people wouldn’t like me anymore and that I’d shatter that passive, sweet girl image I had cloaked myself in. Well, I think I shattered that and thank God!

5. What’s your number one piece of advice to women discouraged by preconceived notions and society’s limitations?

I think my number one piece of advice is often what you are most afraid of, is where the gold lies. It can seem safer in the familiar, but the joy is in the expansion. So don’t be afraid to find your joy. I’ve always loved Elizabeth’ Appell’s line, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

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