We all have heard about the power of visualization and manifestation, sometimes in the form of vision boards, journaling, prayer or a combo of the three, but it doesn't become real until we—as human beings with the need to survive and thrive—see tangible results.
For Felicia Joseph, Vice President of Casting at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, the power is definitely real, and she has receipts. She has made it all the way up from intern to assistant to an executive wearing several hats, working on hit shows like Queen of the South, and embracing both the creative and business sides of entertainment.
"I grew up going to church, so faith has always been really big in my life and in my family's life," she told xoNecole in an exclusive interview. "I'm really big on setting goals and affirming things for myself. I try to recalibrate and check-in with myself and lately, I've been able to do it on my birthday every year. Instead of New Year's Resolutions, I usually will set goals around my birthday and check-in with myself on finances, on my mental state, on my health, on love—on all of those kinds of things. It has helped me continue to see the good and [keep track of] what's happening in my life."
The Hampton University graduate has set intentions through manifestation and prayer and has enjoyed a fulfilling career ever since. As a college student, she studied business management and was almost tempted to switch to mass communications to feed her creative side. After advisement from her father and a strong weighing of pros and cons, she decided to continue learning the nuances of business and nurture diverse creative aspirations through internships in the entertainment industry, which ultimately allowed her to move through the trial-and-error journey during her undergrad and postgrad experiences more seamlessly. "Being able to really map out my destiny—my goals and dreams in a smarter way—I feel like I was more in control of it," she recalls. "I think it really helped me. By being deliberate, I didn't look [at life] like it's happening to me. I looked at it as I can create [my future] and I feel like I've done that in most areas of my life, if not all."
"Being able to really map out my destiny—my goals and dreams in a smarter way—I feel like I was more in control of it. I think it really helped me. By being deliberate, I didn't look [at life] like it's happening to me. I looked at it as I can create [my future] and I feel like I've done that in most areas of my life, if not all."
Taking the time to consider all aspects of a decision as well as aligning skills with aspirations in a way that lead to action helped Joseph forge a path toward the knowledge and training that was required to create the life and career she wanted.
Early in her career, she had a desire to produce but she also wanted financial stability and more job security. She ended up landing internships at companies including MGM, and knew she wanted to work for a major studio or network.
"I thought if I have to go work for somebody, I want to work for someone who I can learn from, someone I respect, and someone who is going to help groom me into the executive that I see myself becoming. I needed someone who's going to be supportive of my growth. I wanted to be at a company where, not only could I grow, but also add value so that my strengths matched up with the opportunity and I could really add value where I was going. I wrote that down in an email to myself and it was called 'My Next Career Adventure.'"
She got just what she desired after that thoughtful and intentional email, gaining the opportunity of a lifetime in TV entertainment. She told xoNecole, "I was fortunate enough to have a really close friend whose sister was the VP of casting at ABC at the time, and she was looking for an assistant. I just learned about [casting] from there. I knew I wanted to do something more creative and I knew if I was going to go produce at the time, I would have to be a freelancer. I just didn't think I was ready for that. I didn't know what in-house casting really was until I kind of really got into it and then, you know, just fell in love with it."
Joseph got a chance to learn more about what's involved in choosing actors for a show, ensuring fiscal success and handling budgets, and serving as a liaison between departments that keep TV shows going. Turns out, the purposeful decision she made back in college was a good one.
"Having a business background and acumen really helped prepare me for my current role. For example, I'm really good at Excel spreadsheets—I kind of nerd-out over those things—and I really do love finding ways to save money and organize the money we're spending. I like that I don't have to always rely on other departments to tell me certain things, and I know our bottom line. Going through B-school helped with that because one of my classes might've been statistics and I was kind of introduced [to how to effectively use] Excel—how to use the formulas and all that kind of stuff."
Fast-forward to becoming a mother and wife: Joseph relied on the power of positive thinking, deliberate intention and manifestation yet again. In spite of the typical pressures placed on women—especially when they've reached their 30s—she confidently chose her own path and believed that things would work out for her good. When she met her husband, actor Amin Joseph (Snowfall), they developed a friendship before becoming involved, and she affirmed for herself that she'd meet her match.
"You know, [people always talk about] the biological clock thing, and I always try to stay really positive about it. I combat that with knowing that there was someone there out for me that would be a great partner, and that I would be OK—I would be a mother and I would have it all. I had to believe that, you know," she said. "I've kissed a few frogs. (Laughs) I've had challenges in relationships. I kept faith, and mapped it out in my mind and heart to know that God wanted more for me and that I deserved better. I knew that the person I saw as a good partner for me would come into my life and it would happen. And I had to believe that."
"I've kissed a few frogs. I've had challenges in relationships. I kept faith, and mapped it out in my mind and heart to know that God wanted more for me and that I deserved better. I knew that the person I saw as a good partner for me would come into my life and it would happen. And I had to believe that."
Even with today's current challenges in terms of strong, ambitious black women finding a suitable mate, Joseph put negativity to the side to hone in on authoritative self-awareness and the law of attraction.
"People can say, 'Oh, it's too hard to date in LA or New York or whatever.' But all in all, if your intention is to find certain things in a person, whatever those characteristics are, you can attract that," she said. "I think that as long as you feel that way, as long as you believe that, then it is possible. I recognize that what I want for me and what makes sense for Felicia, you know, may not make sense for somebody else. So I'm not competing with anybody for anything. That gives me peace."
"I recognize that what I want for me and what makes sense for Felicia, you know, may not make sense for somebody else. So I'm not competing with anybody for anything. That gives me peace."
As a new mom and wife, Joseph has managed to find her own formula for life balance as well, one that works for her and her family in the moment.
She has found that being deliberate in shifting priorities and habits to accommodate life as a new mom and wife has been good for her, especially with a busy schedule at work. Prioritizing what's currently important and what she feels she needs to invest more time in is something that has been a saving grace.
"I just always continue to have a positive attitude and find the silver lining in a situation. So, even if there's a tough time for me, I always feel like a lot of things, looking back on it in hindsight, it all made me sharper, smarter, and stronger. It helps you figure out what you're really made of—what you can handle—and it just pushes your limits a little bit. And so I'm thankful for all of it."
Featured image courtesy of Ashley Nguyen.