SB: Tell everyone a little bit about yourself briefly.
JC: Well I am a 27 year old full time model & aspiring actress. Born in Jersey But raised in Bushwick Brooklyn so that’s what I will always know as home.
I grew up very close to family and still am till this day. I grew up in one of the tougest neighborhoods but I never let that get the best of me. I made sure to finish school on time, work, and stay out of trouble.
SB: Was it hard growing up in Bushwick being quiet and timid as you were?
JC: Growing up in Bushwick definetly was easy, I was that very timid girl and so people took advantage of that, I was actually teased as a kid but I eventually learned I had to stand my ground because if not people could eat me alive.
SB: Now most of your life was working retail and then office work 9-5, did you ever think “this isn’t for me” like you wanted to do more?
JC: Only knowing the 9 to 5 schedule, that’s what I did but for a VERY long time I knew I wanted to do more than just serve or sit behind the desk. I most definetly wanted more. I am such a hands on kind of girl, not the type to just sit behind a desk and answer phones.
SB: Tell me about being a certified make-up artist, how did that come in to the picture?
JC: And so that’s where being a certified makeup artist became about. I was, at the time, working for a marketing company and was very bored with that. I started to look into make-up school and found that there was one of the best right here in NYC, so I went for orientation and the next thing I knew I was a certified make-up artist. I truely loved makeup all my life and as a kid that it would always be cool, and so now I’m cool LOL 😉
SB: Now the big question is how did you start modeling and getting over a dozen fashion shows like Sean John and Apple Bottom; a dozen videos with like Redman, Nina Sky, Lloyd Banks; you’re in the new movie “Fighting”; a couple of MTV shows; promo stuff for Budweiser and Ciroc; . . and all only within a couple of years?! Lol
JC: At the age of 18 I entered myself into a beauty pageant. I grew up watching them and thought oh I wanna do that. I didn’t place anything but it definetly was a good experience. I was always told “omg ur so beautiful & tall & thin, you should consider modeling” so I did just that. I got my first comp cards done and it all began from there.
I knew someone who had connections in the urban world with music videos. I did my very first video “Cake” by Lloyd Banks and boy was that an experience, lol. I quickly began my connections and started doing more and more videos and then runway shows. I finally signed to my first agency and that’s where i got the opportunties to do promos and some commercials.
I’ve been lucky to be able to do so may different things in this industry, learn the industry and meet amazing people along the way.
SB: If you had to choose one field to stay in from make-up artist, model, actress, doing movies, videos, etc, what would you choose and why?
JC: My main goal now is to be able to do more films. At the moment that is my main goal so I am taking classes to improve that skill.
SB: People say you have to sleep your way to the top; it’s not talent it’s who you know; how has your experience been in dealing with this industry and what would you change?
JC: I’ve definitely heard of girls in this industry sleeping their way to the top, and I think its a shame. If you have talent, you can make it far, that’s how I see it. For me I’ve been very lucky not having to deal with anyone taking advantage of me. I don’t play that, when I’m on set to do a job I’m there for just that and when its time to go, its time to go. I don’t hang around. My professional level is very high.
SB: What advice would you give a young woman who wants to do what you do?
JC: Growing up wanting to model, I never had anyone give me advice on the industry I just kind of learned on my own. I surrounded myself with great people that had the experience and I found what exactly it was that I wanted from this industry and that was respect and for people to see that I was talented.
So my advice for any young women in this industry is be yourself & don’t try to fit in with what you THINK you have to do. If you don’t feel comfortable shooting lingerie then don’t. Stand up for your beliefs. BE YOURSELF!
SB: Where will I see Jessica Castro in 5 years?
JC: In five years I see myself and all you guys will see me in various films. My ultimiate dream would be to be leading lady in a funny romantic film.