Photo by Rob Daly
Jessica Matten (Saulteaux/Cree and Metis) currently lives in Vancouver (but is Toronto bound soon) and is an Actor/Model, Owner of the Pilot Aboriginal Youth Magazine – “Forward”, Creative Director for Lemon Cree – Aboriginal Fitness and Wellness Program that travels to communities. She is originally from Edmonton, Alberta and has studied Human Ecology at the University of Alberta, and Fashion Marketing at Central Saint-Martins. She tells UNG the ten things she can’t live without.
1) My iphone – its my alarm clock first and foremost. It is also one of the main things I rely on for business in acting and with all of my other jobs. It also acts as my music for the gym. ALL IN ONE, awww yeah.
2) My Mac Book Pro – I use it for everything to do with work – Researching information for acting projects, researching a character, for designing marketing material for work, communicating with clients and employees, and for photoshopping friend’s and family’s heads to David Hasselhoff’s rock hard body for birthday cards.
3) The Gym – Its my “Jess” time. If I ever feel anxious, stressed or simply feeling BLAH, its an immediate serotonin boost to the spirit. Sometimes if I’m feeling extra badass, I like to go down to what I call the “Juice Monkey” section where there are these MASSIVE dudes and pump my little 7-10 pound weights next to them as motivation to go that extra mile.
4) My Self-Courage – life can be a bit scary at times. Whether if its real, or something we conjure up in our own minds – fear can easily cripple. As a constant reminder I live by 2 mottos when I feel like I’m beginning Miss Scaredy Pants. “First you jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down” and “Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” – from the book The War of Art – this is how I remind myself that there is nothing to fear except what we create in our own minds.
Photo by Katherine Julia
5) Coffee – Like any addict, I deny this is a vice. This is my morning joy, afternoon delight. My partner is Swedish and the act of drinking coffee and eating a little dessert is such a part of the Swedish lifestyle they created their own word for it called “FIKA” (“pronounced: “Fee-Kah”). I have whole heartedly adopted this tradition. My favorite places to “FIKA” in Vancouver are Cafe Artigiano by the Vancouver Art Gallery and Melriches in the Davie Village.
6) American Cinematographer Magazine – my subscription to this is more than a toilet read. I have always had a fascination with film directors and their filming styles. I am always astounded how much brilliant talent and effort goes on with a crew of a film. This magazine provides me with insight into that world, and also answers alot of questions that I always end up having about how certain scenes were filmed. Some of my favorite directors are: Nicolas Winding Refn, Baz Lurhman, Joe Wright, Quentin Tarantino, Terrence Malick, Chris Eyre, Pedro Almodovar, Tim Burton, Martin Scorsese, The Cohen Brothers … ahhh the list goes on!!
7) Morrocan Oil – I have naturally very curly hair. I swear its a hardcore mutation since I have a Native mother and a Chinese father, but with my hair type it frizzes like there is no tomorrow unless I put something in it. This does the trick.
8) Marc Jacobs Nylon Tote Bag – This bag is huge and amazing. It fits everything! It was my university bag, my office bag, my audition bag, my laptop bag. Decently priced for a designer bag, hella sturdy and a great way to keep any outfit instantly stylish. I have one in black and one in blue. I’ve met amazing contacts for work simply by people commenting on my bag.
9) Pink Everlast Boxing Gloves – I do Muay Thai boxing. And without these babies, I have had multiple bruises, ripped skin and sprains. I got them in pink so if they ever got stolen in class, I’d know right away who took them as its usually 20 guys and only 4 of these awesome ladies in class together. (Not saying that a guy wouldn’t want pink gloves, because they are pretty awesome).
10) Lemon Cree – Lemon Cree is a big reason of how I stay connected with my family and my Aboriginal heritage. I have had such an amazing opportunity to meet so many successful, good-natured and strong people from the work we do in the communities throughout Canada. Working with Lemon Cree reminds me of what’s really important at the end of the day. Love, family, happiness, community, culture and really learning to understand why its so important to use this time on Earth to help others. I hate how that last sentence can sound like some cliche kind of Ghandi statement, but I swear that is what life is about – bettering this ugly, awesome, beautifully corrupt world.
Urban Warriors is all about Indigenous individuals from all over who represent what it is to be a Native person living in today’s modern world and how they decide to navigate it.