On today's episode of On The Spot, we sit down with Jillian Bullock, a filmmaker, president and CEO of Jillian Bullock Enterprises, a film and video production company based in Philadelphia. Jillian works to bring change through producing, writing, and directing shows that are empowering, educational, and entertaining.
When Jillian was a child, her mother married a white man in the Italian mafia. Jillian and her siblings were the only black kids in their neighborhood and were surrounded by mobsters growing up. Her stepfather introduced her to film and they often watched movies together. His dream was the be a filmmaker, and Jillian took on that dream as her own after he passed when she was only 15 years old.
Her mother eventually remarried, but her new husband was physically abusive. Jillian was kicked out by her mother and lived on the streets at the age of 15 after defending her. In order to escape homelessness, Jillian was forced to get involved with prostitution to get off the streets. After getting pregnant at 16, Jillian went back to Philadelphia, went back to school, eventually graduated from high school, and got a college degree.
”You have to have some resilience inside yourself to fight and come out of the depths of hell.”
“There’s another side, and there’s reasons why people do what they do, so you need to explore that as a filmmaker. That’s what I try to do.”
As a black woman, Jillian feels very fortunate as she has not experienced much discrimination as a result of her race in the film industry. She believes it’s because of the way she carries herself, and being surrounded by mobsters as a child greatly contributed to this. Jillian often tells women that they need to teach their daughters to be confident at a young age.
Jillian recommends that women get mentors as it made a world of difference in her life. She learned the ins and outs of what was necessary for her to become a successful reporter. Jillian also watches many videos and looks up to motivational people, especially people who have struggled and lived a rough life. She sees how they overcame their struggles and built their own empires and learns from them. People should look up to people whose experiences resonate with them.
”Life is hard, but the thing is they have to find a path that works with them, meaning that they need to associate themselves with people who are positive and who can uplift them. And they have to get rid of people that are negative distractors, and haters, and people who are not supporting them. And that can be your family members. It could be your spouse. It could be whoever. You know, to me life is too short. It is just too short to be going through life unhappy and just not living your fullest potential and being successful and obtaining your greatness.”
”Just the fact that you opened your eyes and you’re breathing, that’s a great thing, a thing to be grateful for.”
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Tune in next Thursday when we sit down with Brooke Waupsh, Co-founder & CEO of Swoovy, a new mobile dating app.
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