Jesse Reynolds wakes up Ottawa with their daily dish of celebrity gossip as 1/3 of the JUMP! Morning Crew with Jesse, Jenna & Gord on JUMP! 106.9 FM.
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
Ottawa’s Acid Tongue. I specialize in celebrity gossip as 1/3 of the JUMP! Morning Crew with Jesse, Jenna & Gord on JUMP! 106.9 FM! Professionally trained in theatre, but wound up doing stand-up and now I’m in radio. Go figure.
What was the inspiration for your career route?
I’m a middle child who didn’t get enough love in his childhood. Why else would anyone get into show business? 😉
As a child, I was always into playing dress-up; Halloween is my favourite. My mom recognized that early on and signed me up for drama camp (among other awful sports) and as soon as I realized there were people who would watch me on stage and I could actually make them laugh – I was hooked. What set me on my path in radio was stand-up comedy. No acting auditions were coming through so I decided to make my own show, got my six-minute act together and hit the ground running. Within months I landed the gig on the morning show. I guess my plan worked?
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
By far, winning JUMP!’s Greatest Gig talent search. Before JUMP! 106.9 came along, I was working a dead-end, high-tech job by day and at night, grasping for stand-up comedy spots while constantly hunting acting auditions.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
I just want to keep working in the business. I think 20 years from now will look a lot like my five years from now anyway because I plan on being Botoxed and pulled so tight that when the doctor asks me to give a urine sample, I’ll just have to blow my nose!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Yes, sit down because I’m not finished yet! 😉
The advice that’s gotten me through the most is this: RUN YOUR OWN RACE. Don’t look to the left and don’t look to the right. There’s always going to be someone better and always someone worse, so the only real competition you have is yourself.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I’m passionate about organizations that help the environment and victims of domestic violence. I also support The Arthritis Society because I have a close family connection to the cause.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
At the end of my last year studying theatre performance, each of the students had a meeting with the instructors to discuss his/her future. They told me I’d never make it as an actor because I was “too commercial” and not versatile enough for the theatre. Basically, they were calling me fake as hell and I sat there sun-soaked with my bleach-blond hair, taking it as the biggest compliment ever! Truthfully, I was crushed. I returned to Ottawa, defeated, thinking it was over, and that my grandparents had been right…I should have become a teacher or lawyer. I got a boring job in retail before realizing I didn’t have a choice; theatre was a calling. I started getting involved with community theatre and hosting local nightclub events. I was still acting, just as myself. Years later I got into stand-up comedy.
What does the word notable mean to you?
Over six-feet with washboard abs? 50 per cent off? Extra chocolate?
For me, notable means people who are true to themselves and stand for their convictions even when they are standing alone. It’s people who believe in their dreams even though sometimes that means waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
For dinner – Town on Elgin. For brunch – Gezellig in Westboro. For beer – Central Bierhaus in the Kanata Centrum.
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
TMZ.com, and I can actually say it’s for work! Most played song is Slumber Party by Queen Britney Spears.
Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I’m ashamed to say the only country I’ve been to outside of Canada is the U.S.! I would love to visit Ireland or somewhere old and haunted like that.
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
When my PVR fails to record The Wendy Williams Show – she knows celebrity gossip! Also, running out of wine before a holiday weekend.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
I like to read real books with the fireplace channel on while listening to classical music and drinking tea. I also waste way too many hours watching the Real Housewives of anywhere.
What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Chocolate! My sweet tooth is a problem. If I see chocolate on sale, especially the pricy stuff, I get anxiety if I don’t buy it. I wish I spent more money on fashion! I’m so cheap and wishy-washy that when I see something I like, I always think it’ll be there later and it never is – guys with a size ten shoe and medium shirt know what I’m talking about.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success looks like a full calendar and a full glass of wine. I love being busy (I love downtime too, I’m not unhinged) and I am so lucky I get to wake up every day (albeit at 3:30am!) and wake our listeners up telling jokes for a living. To be successful, you have to love what you do. You also have to be healthy, because if you don’t have your health, nothing else matters. I am very lucky to have all of that and a great family too. To me, that’s already success… But I still want to be syndicated and have a house with a pool and a fully-stocked wine cellar.