We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Jacques and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephanie, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
For most of my life, I have been very career driven. I would make life-altering choices based on what was best for my career (from staying in on a Saturday night to study, while in college, to moving across country for a job opportunity that would advance my career to not dating). In the past, I gave up a lot of my personal life in order to advance my career. Today, I feel that I have a much better work-life balance. With the changes I have made, including taking control of my personal life, I now enjoy my days off including the privilege of experiencing life in a whole new way. I’ve seen more aspects of Colorado in the past 6 months than I have in the previous 5 years that I have lived here. I now have the choice to work when and where I want to as I am not scrambling to find the next paycheck. I’m able to spend time doing fun activities around the area that have been on my “Colorado-To-Do-List” for a while. I like to think that balance is required for a happy life. From my experience, it was not fun to be in a position where I was living to work. Now it feels like I am working to live. I have more control which allows me to create a much better balance. Days off fly by because I am able to do things outside of work and am not playing catch up on my sleep.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am most proud of the steps I’ve taken in order to get to the places I have been. This, in turn, makes me excited about the future places I can go. I often look back at the contracts I completed and am sometimes amazed that I accomplished them. I’ve worked as a camera operator for my favorite artist. I’ve worked concerts and listened to good music or have been exposed to newer music I normally would not listen to. I’ve met so many incredible people along the way, each with their own unique story and experience. It’s never been easy. Although, I think it gets easier the further into the industry one progresses. Connections come easier and the knowledge gained becomes exponential. It’s the type of business that once you’re “in,” you can get far with those connections and the extensive experience and knowledge attained. It’s really been a learn-as-you-go process and if you are willing to learn and take on new challenges, you will get further and further. The biggest setback to date has been the pandemic. It has shut down the concert industry and the majority of the entertainment industry which has been the main focus of my business. Due to the pandemic, I found a permanent job to pay the bills. I am looking forward to the day the music industry returns to “normal.” Overcoming this obstacle is still a work in progress as the situation is ongoing and currently, there is not an end in sight. I’ll have to let you know when I find the answer. In the meantime, I have a stable position outside of the industry, which means more free time to enjoy life as I am not working multiple jobs. I have started new habits which include reading more and the exploration of new places. I have also spent more time focusing on my personal life. I am, however, looking forward to the day I can get back to working concerts. I think with the current situation, we have learned patience and just like everyone else – survival. It’s been a waiting game, but, we are hopeful. We’ve been working on updating our website and focusing more on the concert and TV/movie production side of the industry. We will still offer the services we have in the past (wedding videos, promo videos, graphic design, photography), but, we are shifting our focus to accommodate our larger clients.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this question because it happens so often that I actually created a list of things to do and see while friends and family are visiting. Activities are dependent on what my visitors want to do and then I plan accordingly. I also love supporting new or local places. My absolute must see is Red Rocks. I work part time there and live close by. Sometimes, I am faced with resistance until we walk into the amphitheater and then their eyes light up. It doesn’t matter the time of day, as long as the park is open. It’s a place where you can catch a good sunrise, exercise and push your limits, watch a concert, watch a movie (in theatre or drive-in), enjoy fresh air and hike many paths in the foothills – close enough for the city but also a quick escape to the mountains. The history in this place is incredible as well. Another perk, pets are allowed! It is one of my absolute favorite places and I am usually there on a weekly basis!  Food wise, I absolutely love Homegrown Tap and Dough in Wash Park. It’s hands down one of my favorite restaurants and I recommend it to any and every one. It has a neat mountain town feel inside with industrial architecture and phenomenal food. Referring to the “Butterfly Effect,” I stumbled upon this place to meet up with a friend. It was somewhere neither of us had been and half-way between our respective homes. It was the staff that brought me back every time and from those visits great friendships were built.  Other places I enjoy hanging out:   Downtown: I like to frequent the Blake Street and 20th Street areas. It’s close to Coors Field after a baseball game as well as walking distance to most of downtown Denver or the Pepsi Center. There isn’t one place in particular that I frequent; rather I visit many different ones whenever possible – that is, when the bars are open. Southglen (for dessert): I have to shout out to Heaven Creamery. I found this place randomly on Instagram. It has treats for everyone, vegan and dairy free treats too, with a presentation that will make your eyes widen with the excitement of a 2-year old in a candy shop or a child on Christmas morning.  Tours: For my guests that like to drink, we often hit up local spots such as Leopold Bros Distillery and Tasting tour, Stranahan’s, Breck Distillery (Breck) and Breck Brewery (Littleton) Wild Animals: For those seeking wild animals, I recommend Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Daniel Craig Park and The Colorado Wolf Sanctuary. At Rocky Mountain Arsenal, the buffalo will come up to your car if you’re there at the right time. We almost had one stick its head into the window. The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Sanctuary is an incredible place to be up close with wolves. They have always been a favorite animal of mine and it’s incredible to be able to have a up-close encounter with them.  Rocky Mountains: For those looking for the infamous Rocky Mountains, take a trip to Breck, Estes Park/Stanley Hotel, St Malos or Mt Evans. I called Breck my home for a year or so, so I’ll often take people there and show them some local favorites. These include Dillon Lake, walking a mountain town, dog sledding, snowmobiling, skiing/snowboarding, hiking or even partaking in the adventure parks that resorts provide to their guests. Also, there’s something about the view just over the hill on I70 where the mountains and the vastness is breathtaking.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many mentors that I thank on a daily basis; without them I would not be where I am now. I recently went to a conference and one of the topics discussed was the “Butterfly Effect.” I learned how each “little” decision, made every day, affects the outcome of your future. I think of my mentors this way as well. Some have made an impact by just one statement: “you can achieve what you set your mind to” or even the opposite, “you will fail.” Both gave me the drive to succeed. However, there are mentors that have made a huge impact in my life and career. These deserve a much bigger shout out. My parents, brother and family members: they have been my strongest support system. They have been my encouragers throughout the process called “life.” They are my resource for unknown answers, a fountain of information as well as for positive encouragement with the realistic dose of reality mixed in. Their constant help in building connections through people they know, including all of the introductions, help along the way. Cam Sale: without meeting Cam, I would not have found my niche in the industry. Nor would I have had the courage to build my website and start getting my business and name out to the public. He pushed me out of my comfort zone which resulted in a world of opportunities and different work adventures. We continue to work together and stay in touch. We always look for ways to help each other advance in the industry. The Opheim family: Mallory Michaels and Zach Opheim (brother and sister) have worked or currently work in the music industry. We attended the same high school; although we never met (big high school/age gap); I grew up watching them play basketball. My mom discovered they worked in the music industry and lived in a city that I call “my home away from home (Nashville).” Through mutual acquaintances, she helped build the connection. The level of advice and confidence that these two have given me has been incredible. I hope to one day be in a position where I can pay it forward and help others succeed just as they helped me. They have provided invaluable information which has helped me advance in the industry and define my niche even more. Julian Harig: although much more recent, he is one to push me to be the best person I can be both personally and professionally. He brings his own talents to this industry which has reignited my love and passion for the music industry. He has also provided me with balance outside of work. The amount of adrenaline-filled activities we have done together has been astounding from dog sledding to snowmobiling to kayaking among others, with more adventures yet to come!

Website: http://jacquedupproductions.com/

Instagram: jacquedupproductions ; outjacqued

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/in/stephjacques

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JacquedUpProductions/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzgtozU-zyg73SSd49aMiPQ

Image Credits
Curtis Devore, Ali Klos, Tony Caruana, Xavier Leandro, The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Sanctuary, Maria Hedrick, Charlie Sickles

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