Meet stand-up comedian Jessica “It’s All Good” Williams — not only is she one of the most unique, genuine and fun loving people you will ever meet, but she also hustles on her dream harder than anyone I know.
If anyone knows what it takes to turn a dream into a reality, it’s this girl.
After graduating from the College of Charleston in 2008, Jessica moved to Atlanta with intentions of becoming a “famous actress” but instead found herself unemployed and living out of her car. Today she’s a stand-up comedian, actress and public speaker.
I caught up with Jessica in her car last month on my whirlwind visit to Atlanta. While Jessica no longer lives in her car, we had a nice visit in it after she picked me up at the airport. Jessica inspires me to work harder, not give up and keep laughing all along the way.
Ladies and gentleman, without further ado, let me introduce my friend and fellow dreamer Ms. Jessica “It’s All Good” Williams!
Jessica, tell the Sooner Not Later community a little bit about yourself.
I am currently pursuing life as a professional entertainer, specifically comedy. At the age of 12, I decided I was going to be a famous actress, and I came to Atlanta at the age of 23 to start working on the whole actress thing. I did some modeling and had a ton of crazy jobs, things that made me realize if I mix all of this with my bad dating history, I could have stories for days. So I became a comedian.
Other than dating, where else do you find inspiration?
I have a thousand different gigs and jobs but my weekend hustle is birthday parties, children’s birthday parties. I entertain as clowns, princesses, mascots, all kinds of characters.
I also teach a lot of after-school theatre, so I have a ton of kids that I work with, and I make the mistake of letting them express themselves freely. So, really, my comedy started by talking about my kids and my birthday party job, and then a ton of other things that made me realize this is funny. I can do this.
I know you’ve had your share of obstacles. I think it’s really important for others to understand that, especially for those who just think, “Oh, she’s made it.” Will you share about some of the struggles you’ve had?
One thing a lot of people don’t know is that I was actually homeless for a little while because of this dream.
After college, I came to Georgia to chase this thing, and I thought I had all my ducks in a row. I did not.
So a lot of things came crashing down immediately. I ended up living in an art gallery with a friend of a friend.
I couldn’t shower regularly. Just trying to get a shower was crazy, going days until I found someone to help me out, or someone came along or a homeless shelter… I spent a lot of time on people’s couches and things, it was really rough.
People would think I didn’t give up, but I really did give up. I went back to my parent’s house (in South Carolina) and thought, “maybe I moved too soon.”
Because I had already made some contacts someone called me to come back to Atlanta. When I got back, I had a very low paying job. It was enough to be here but not enough to sustain.
Someone I had met, barely a few weeks prior, let me stay on their couch for three months. And once I was finally able to get a place, it was about trying to maintain living on my own because I didn’t have a real, legit job. So I just knew for a year that I was going to get kicked out of my place, but something always worked out.
What advice would you give someone struggling in that same type of situation?
You haven’t really failed until you quit.
Would you say you’ve made it or are you still in the hustle?
From the outside looking in, everybody thinks I’ve made it, but the reality is, in my opinion, I don’t feel like I’ve made it exactly to where I want to be yet.
Do you have any haters or critics?
I’m sure I do somewhere, but I don’t focus on that kind of stuff. I think that’s what’s wrong with a lot of people in the world.
When it comes to that, I know there’s a lot of those people out there, but my comedy and my work is very positive. So most people who are around me are going to get some level of positivity, but if there is somebody who has a problem, I literally do not allow them to be in my life.
Anything negative is removed because I’m so positive. I have to have positivity to survive. That’s really the only way I can say it.
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