How many times have we been to McDonald's and no matter what time, location, or manager on duty, chances are, the ice cream machine still isn't working? Pitiful. Well, for Jessie Woo, a broken McDonald's ice cream machine ignited the spark for a new direction in her career. What are the chances?
An artist at heart, the Miami native had always had plans to become an all-around entertainer from hosting to singing and acting. But unfortunately, after graduating college and taking her talents to NYC, the universe had other plans. "I fell on really hard times. I lost my job a couple days after moving into my first Brooklyn apartment and I got so depressed. I didn't even have enough money to take a flight back home so I was just like 'Lord what am I going to do," Jessie expressed.
Her disappointment, fear, and anger all led her to release her frustrations on social media, not knowing she would be opening the door to a brand new career. On an ordinary stop at McDonald's, Jessie bantered with the drive thru cashier while discussing her frustration with the ice cream machine being broken...yet again. Thousands of her fans shared her exact same sentiments and moments after posting, the video went viral, opening a new social platform she never expected.
"I would be walking around Brooklyn, and people would be like 'you're the McDonalds girl' and that's when I realized ohh, maybe there is something here. So I just kept pushing, kept uploading some things hit, some things didn't," Jessie shared.
With her signature Haitian accent and personable persona, Jessie has now garnered over 400 thousand followers in just one year since being discovered online. Her supporters, who she's labeled her "seesters," tune in daily for the rants and outspoken conversations we all secretly wish we had the guts to speak out loud about.
Jessie is a testament that our plan may fall through, but God's plan is the most important plan of all. The rising comedienne recently chatted with xoNecole to talk about her career journey, being a female in the comedy game, and her desire to not fit in anyone's box.
How has your life changed since being discovered online?
Jessie Woo: Well, I don't think I've been "discovered" yet (laughs), but my life has definitely changed. This time last year, I was on EBT cards and unemployment. A year later, I work for BET as a TV Host for BET Breaks, Black to Life, [and] I hosted the red carpet for the first ever BET Her Awards. I'm a stand up comedian now, and I get to travel all over the country doing it. I'm working on various TV projects - life has changed drastically for me. I have a lot on my plate and I'm very thankful because I remember being so hungry this time last year; hungry for food and more opportunities. Here I am now, I'm really doing more than I imagined I'd be doing in a year.
"This time last year, I was on EBT cards and unemployment. A year later, I work for BET."
What has your experience been like as a black woman entering the world of stand-up comedy?
It's hard, especially coming from the Haitian realm of comedy. I get backlash all the time for being my real true self, for actually BEING a woman. I'm a "bitch" cause I say what I wanna say. I'm a "bitch" 'cause I demand things like better payment, travel costs being covered - the basics. For some reason, the men think, as a woman, I should look at it as a privilege to be around them. No sir. It's the other way around.
As a woman, you have to work ten times harder to gain the same respect the men get for complacent work. I've performed at comedy shows where the men had no real routine! No routine, just a bunch of nonsense and dancing on stage. Then, here I am wracking my brain for a bombass standup routine because if I do what they do, I'll get booed.
"Men think I should look at it as a privilege to be around them. No sir. It's the other way around."
You're a singer, an actress, comedian, host and more, how do you continue to pursue your passions without letting society box you into one category?
I just continue to do me. I can't fit into anyone's box because I refuse. Jamie Foxx is my entertainment idol. He does it all, sing, tell jokes, play instruments, act, host… he's everything in one being. That's what I hope to emulate. God has blessed me with so many talents. For the longest time, I thought I'd just sing. I recently realized I could do stand up comedy, I'm only 10 months in. I'm an entertainer. As an entertainer, it's my duty to perfect all of my talents because God can use any of them at any moment to catapult my career places I've never dreamed of. I'm just gonna continue to do me.
For all of the women who aspire to do what you do, what would your advice be for them?
I always tell them that there's room for them. The grocery store's milk section is filled with options like soy milk, almond milk, non fat milk, etc. I say that to say that you are someone's preference. Someone is waiting to hear YOU sing the way only you can sing. Someone is waiting for YOU to start that hair company with the hair and packaging they prefer. Someone is waiting for YOU to write that book the way God gifted you to write it. You are someone's preference. Your talents will bless this world. Don't compare yourself to anyone. Own your gifts! Don't look left or right, look above! Let God guide you into your destiny.
"You are someone's preference. Don't compare yourself to anyone."
To keep up with Jessie on her journey, follow her @Jessiewoo_ or catch her as a host on BET Breaks. Also be sure to keep a look out for our "Sister-In-Chief" as she continues her Seester Talk Live events in a city near you.