PHOTOGRAPHER VIRGINIA KLUITERS
First of all, we would like to thank you for doing this interview with us. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? How is a day in the life of Jarry Lee?
Thanks for having me! I’m lucky that most of my days are very different, so it completely depends on what I’m working on! Sometimes I have a photo/video shoot, sometimes I’m recording music or painting and sometimes I’m going out to auditions, etc.
I’m a full-time model/actress, musician, and social media influencer based in Manhattan, New York City with over 875,000 followers across my channels. I used to work as a journalist and was a deputy editor at BuzzFeed for 3.5 years, covering books and culture. Before that, I did some digital marketing work for book publishers HarperCollins, Random House, and Simon & Schuster, and graduated from NYU and Choate Rosemary Hall. I live with my boyfriend and our Bengal cat Potato (@ potatobengal), and enjoy long-distance running, painting, and cooking, and baking for my food blog (@cookingwithjarry).
Your first big break in your career?
My first major music video role was for the song “Ignite” by Alan Walker, and my first major TV role was portraying myself on the Netflix series “Dating Around,” and people still recognize me from both! As for modeling, I was asked to walk in a NYFW show in honor of the #MeToo movement in early 2018.
Your biggest inspiration?
My parents’ values of hard work and perseverance have stuck with me my whole life. I’ve also always been inspired by the frenetic energy of New York City — there are so many deeply passionate creatives here, and it’s amazing to be immersed in that atmosphere.
Something about you that stands out?
My intense drive to continually grow is definitely my strongest trait — I aspire to always stay “hungry” by learning and expanding into new fields and industries. I want to do everything!
You are busy with so many inspiring things like acting, modeling, writing, and making music. You even started a cooking blog. How do you keep up with everything?
I’m a very type-A perfectionist overachiever so I’m very used to juggling too many things at once — I sometimes feel guilty if I’m not working on multiple projects! I definitely have a tendency to over-work and should probably prioritize sleep more, but I’m a stereotypical Aries.
Projects you currently are working on?
I’m launching my jewelry brand later this year (hopefully, if the pandemic doesn’t continue to delay everything) — it’s called PSYCHO KITSCH and celebrates unconventional career paths and creativity.
I’m also working on writing and recording new music, and a new acrylic painting.
Did the COVID-19 Pandemic affect you in any way?
The pandemic had a surprising positive impact on my career actually! Because so many productions shut down and there were no in-person auditions, I pivoted to learning how to produce content in my home, and set up a studio with professional lighting equipment, backdrops, green screen, etc. With the extra time I had last year, I was able to hone my photography/videography and editing skills to better work with brand clients — and had more time to produce music, paint, and start my cooking blog as well.
Do you have any advice for young women who aspire a career like yours?
Take advantage of social media to market yourself — it’s a free self-branding tool that can help you grow in any industry. And in general, there’s no better time to pursue whatever you’re passionate about — if your perfect job doesn’t exist, there’s space for you to create a unique career path that really fits you. Don’t be afraid to pursue something non-traditional, and don’t forget to embrace and emphasize your quirks to stand out.
What’s next for Jarry Lee? Can you share a little about your future plans and goals?
I’m planning to pivot to focus more on film/TV acting and would love to get involved with more indie films. I’m also looking to explore the e-commerce space, and perhaps start a beauty or skincare brand in the future in addition to my jewelry brand.