Ossa Featured Podcaster: AJ Joyce, Host of She’s So Reel
AJ Joyce is the host of the She’s So Reel podcast, a show focused on women’s empowerment in the film and entertainment industry. AJ brings actresses, directors, and other industry experts on the show to talk about their journeys, perspectives, and stories.
AJ elevates the conversation in the entertainment industry by taking a deep dive into women’s experiences with inclusivity standards and trends. Women in the entertainment industry are so skilled at telling other people’s stories, and AJ wants to make sure they have a chance to tell their own as well!
Read on for more from AJ Joyce, and listen to her show at the links below (leave a review, too!):
Tell us what your podcast is about in 3 sentences or less!
The She’s So Reel™ Podcast shares stories from female creatives in film and entertainment. Hostess, AJ Joyce, delivers a fun dose of down to earth conversations to get the REEL deal on the inclusiveness of women in the industry.
What’s a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
Always bet on yourself.
I am trying not to bolster but I am a social butterfly. I have the ability to connect with many people, some who now my greatest friends.
One thing on your bucket list:
My bucket list is to interview Beyoncé or Michelle Obama on my podcast.
“Bigger” by Beyoncé
Last text message you sent:
“Girl, you betta!”
What was your first job?
Student Program Board Cinema & Novelty Chair at University of Houston
Any unusual hobbies?
I love to play Hide & Go Seek with my Frenchie, Elton John.
What inspired you to start your podcast?
I wanted to see more women on and off screen being the lead character, director or in general, the head honcho. I wanted to cover that aspect of “Hollywood” that some are not aware of. So I decided to make a podcast about it and this is where She’s So Reel was born.
Tell us more about your work/life outside of your podcast.
My current career track is working to become a full-time podcaster and working with my fiancé’s business as an executive assistant. After working tons of hours in the backstage catering world, I have realigned my goals for work remotely to be more present for my family and to focus on my new podcast aspirations.
What is your show’s USP?
Everyone thinks I am an actor, director or some type of creative in the entertainment industry. However, I am simply where a movie buff and pop culture nerd meets quirky female talk show host. That’s where one twist is.
Another twist on the show is I try to have my guests go deeper into their stories and expertise as a form of inspiration for my listeners. I welcome not only those aspiring to be in the film and entertainment but those who are like me — rooting for girl power but in these industries in particular. That’s the wonderful part of it all!
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced with your podcast?
One challenge I have faced is being a one woman show who wears all the hats. I am the creator, producer, marketing director, social media manager and all of the above. It’s hard to juggle all the hats especially when you don’t have tons of money (especially during COVID-19) to splurge on additional services or people assisting you.
I do my best to organize my content planner to make sure I am on track with all my responsibilities. I also ask tons of advice in my podcasting groups to find new resources on outsourcing and other podcast management services.
What was one of your favorite episodes you’ve ever done? Why does it stand out?
I would say all of them but I think my favorite is with actress Christine Horn. We really gelled very well together. Her energy and inspiration alone gave me hope to keep investing in female creatives in film and entertainment.
The hope she left me with has given me the power to push forward and keep working at it, even if I don’t see all the ratings or download numbers right now. Christine reminded me to love the craft. That episode made me feel like I am walking in my purpose.
What is one thing you have accomplished with your podcast thus far that you are most proud of?
This podcast has opened the doors for me in entrepreneurship. For a long time, I have always wanted my own business but I never had any foundations to start with. When I started taking podcasting seriously, I realized this was the opportunity to become my own boss.
After launching my LLC and the podcast at the same time, I have thought of other business ventures like starting an independent movie theater more concentrated on the fan experience, online podcast courses, physical products, and events. Everything is still in the brainstorming stage but it’s an exciting start!
What is one major milestone that you would like to accomplish through your podcast in the next year?
I would really like to get to the point where each episode has about 1000 downloads or more. I have not necessarily reached that at this moment, but my hard work, work ethic, and adaptability have proven me wrong many times over and over again. So I am trusting myself to get me there.
What is a trend or development in the podcast industry that you foresee happening in the next few years?
I see more diverse voices behind the mic in the podcasting world winning. The tide is changing everywhere. It’s only a matter time to see it on the podcast airwaves. I am happy to be apart of that change.
What is one of the best pieces of podcast-related advice you’ve ever received & why?
What I love about podcasting is you have full control over what you do and say. The best advice I’ve gotten is “You are in charge of your message. Be bold about it. That’s when your tribe will find you.” Ever since then, I do my best every episode to live and breathe the message I am sending through my airwaves. It’s been some game-changing advice for me.
What is one of the worst pieces of podcast-related advice you have ever received & why?
Someone told me in a Facebook group to not do my podcast because I am not an expert in the field. I disagreed wholeheartedly because although I am not a director, singer, comedian, or anything of that realm, those women work hard to share their stories and art for people like me— the audience member who craves more of their work because it resonates so deeply with them.
Also, there are plenty of podcasters who do research and bring folks on their platform for the sake of learning along side their listeners. There is nothing wrong with that. I consider myself a talk show host in my own right on my own platform!
What are some of your favorite women-hosted podcasts?
Can you tell us about a time when you took a huge risk/did something you were scared to do, and it totally paid off?
Pitching to guests can be…um…difficult at times, especially when you are just starting in podcasting and don’t have the numbers to show. I paid for a few podcast courses, and it helped a tons. I am sure that it’s a little easier to reach out to guests for other shows, but my guests are in entertainment and film, so I want to handle each guest with care and professionalism. So far, my pitching has really paid off.
Are there any great podcast-related resources you love that you would like to share?
Buzzsprout is an awesome podcast hosting platform! ShePodcasts and WOC Podcasters Facebook groups are the best free podcast resource group I’ve ever been apart of. I also took the Podcast Moguls class with Nicalia Matthews Okome and it helped make my podcast legit.
Is there a charity or cause you care about that you would like to share?
Array Now — Director Ava Duvernay started a non-profit organization that focuses on sharing underrepresented voices and talents in the film medium which include people of color. With the current climate of America, I stand with Black Lives Matter. In the entertainment world, I stand with Black Stories Matter. Ava’s organization aligns with my fight for justice. I support this organization full-heartedly.
How do you feel you’re making a positive impact and generating change through your podcast?
Women are incredible human beings. I feel like we don’t think we are enough at times, which is completely not true. We are more than enough. We are superb.
I integrated my passions together to create this brand — girl power and film and entertainment. Things are changing from where they use to be when it comes to women’s rights, but there is still tons of work to do.
My podcast gives women in the entertainment sector a chance to share that they are enough to their own expectations. This is where I feel I can make a positive impact and generate change in the world. I am creating a space for inclusivity on my own terms.