Former Summit local Jessica York went from interviewing actors to being one
Colorado native Jessica York has come a long way from her first role as a journalist, reporting on what was happening around the family home as a kid. Her television career has taken her from her hometown of Littleton, Colorado, through a brief stint in Summit County as a morning show host, to exotic locations all over the world as a travel reporter. York now lives in Los Angeles and works for DISH Network as a red carpet reporter and studio host, where she interviews celebrities.
Last year, York crossed the red carpet, so to speak, when she accepted the role of Leslie in the independent film “It’s Not You, It’s Me.” The film was chosen as the Opening Night feature for the Breckenridge Film Festival, and both York and writer/director/producer Nathan Ives traveled to Breckenridge for the screening and to answer questions from the audience. The Summit Daily News sat down with York before the showing to learn more about the film, what it was like making it and how she feels about becoming an actress.
SUMMIT DAILY: What drew you to your reporting career?
York: “When I was little, I just loved it. I would, my dad was a big gadget guy so he always had the coolest cameras and video cameras, so when I was really young I started doing little news stories in my house, like ‘what’s for dinner mom? Inquiring kids want to know’ (laughs). I love all aspects of it, I love to edit, I love to match the music with the movement, so it’s always been in my blood, since I was really little.”
SD: What do you like most about being a red carpet reporter?
York: “I love talking with people. l think people are fascinating and I think that you find out that celebrities are just like everyone else — they just have a stylist and hair and makeup (laughs), but when it comes down to it, usually they’re pretty friendly. I haven’t run into too many bad celebrities. It’s fun to talk about the projects that they work on, the projects that people are entertained, (that) they’re captivated by. I can think of many other worse jobs to have than talking with people. … You always find some sort of golden nugget that you never know just watching a movie or just watching a TV show; there’s so much more than meets the eye.”
SD: What were some of your favorite celebrity interviews?
York: “I’ve been really fortunate to interview a lot of great people. I think my favorite was Paul Newman. … It was a great interview, he was really charming, and like a really great guy, everything you would hope that Paul Newman would be.”
SD: What’s been one of your most nerve-wracking experiences as a travel reporter?
York: “The scariest thing I’ve ever done is forecasting the weather (laughs). … When I’m working, I don’t realize the danger because I’m so focused on ‘are you getting the shot? Do you have sound?’ So skydiving didn’t scare me, shark diving, racecar driving, (etc.). … I did trapeze school in New York, and that was kind of scary, jumping for something that’s 6 feet away, intangible, was a little scary.”
SD: How did you get involved in acting, particularly with the ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me’ film?
York: “I do a lot of commercial work, which is a form of acting, and I think, everybody does a little acting in life in general, but how I found this film, is (director) Nathan (Ives) and I have mutual friends, and so he called me up one day and said, ‘Hey I wrote this screenplay, you know, I’d love to see you come in and read for this character Leslie,’ — because on top of what I do for my regular career, I also teach group fitness classes and I work out a lot — so he said ‘I think you’d be really great for this character.’”
SD: What was it like? What was the most challenging or surprising thing about it?
York: “My character was opposite Vivica A. Fox, who is a force! … She was awesome, she was so generous; she’s just a lovely human being. For me, I guess the biggest shock, my biggest intimidation (working alongside the likes of Fox) ended up being my biggest ally in the film.”
SD: Is acting that much different from reporting?
York: “It’s totally different!”
SD: Do you think you’ll keep acting?
York: “I definitely wouldn’t turn it down if it came my way. I learned a lot. I learned that the people who do it really well make it look so easy, and it’s not, at all. There is a gift to people who make you really buy into (the fact that) those people are in that situation and having those emotions. I would love to do it again. I don’t have a ton of time to audition; … I was so thankful that this one sort of fell into my lap.”
SD: What are you looking forward to most to being in Breckenridge during the film festival?
York: “For me it’s really exciting that this festival is in my kind of former home town and my home state. My mom’s coming up for the showing (Thursday), and I haven’t seen the film with her, which could be a little embarrassing, but I’m really excited to have her here. … It’s fun to have this movie be at a festival in a place that I am so connected to.”
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