“Weird and absurd.” That is how Janaé Williams describes this year. “The beginning was weird and absurd,” Janaé says. “The entire year has been weird and absurd.” And it is all too true. This year has been unique, to say the least. Janae has found that the best way to cope with the uncertainty is to “keep learning and be open to new experiences.”
Janaé Williams has worked as a producer on shows such as Let’s Fucking Date, MasterChef, and Craftopia, as well as the famous foody Instagram account, @tastemade. During the pandemic, Janaé produced the second season of Let’s Fucking Date with Serena Kerrigan, which takes place entirely on IG Live. “It was unlike anything I’ve ever done before but it turned out to be an amazing experience for me. I learned skills that I wouldn’t have learned in a “normal tv production” and I am so grateful that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and took this job!” Janaé said. “It’s a true testament to what you can do if you are inventive, resourceful and have a solid team behind you. I love what we made and it all came from being open to something new, even when we are living in such uncertain times that it would have been very easy to make a “safe” choice. I’m glad I pushed myself and I encourage everyone else to do the same.”
Through this pandemic, Janaé has learned to think outside the box and create new opportunities when other ones were taken away. At the beginning of the pandemic, her and her husband were both laid off from their jobs in the same week. Janaé said, “I was working at a place that I thought was going to be my dream job but, as it turns out, it just wasn’t in the stars for me. That was really hard for me to accept and neither my husband nor I were very used to sitting around for weeks on end.” As anxious as this time was for Janaé and her husband, they spent it enjoying the extra time they got to spend with one another, and also dedicating their time to helping others less fortunate. They spent many weeks volunteering at the food drive Janaé’s husband’s restaurant was providing.
There have been wins and losses for Janaé, and through it all, she has learned patience. “I’ve learned a new level of patience with this pandemic. I have learned that certain things just cannot be rushed and if something is meant for you, it will be, regardless of what’s happening in the outside world,” Janaé said. “I have learned to appreciate and be grateful for the things that I have and the people in my life. I feel this pandemic has made me a stronger person, more pragmatic and realistic in my thoughts but it has also cultivated a side of me that yearns to help others less fortunate and just be a better human being.”
Everything that Janaé has learned through this pandemic directly translates into her skill and prowess as a producer. She said, “This year has been completely transformative and all of the things that I have learned in my personal life, will all be skills that will translate into my professional life. A pandemic survivor and a good producer share lots of traits. They should be calm, reasonable, driven, resourceful, organized, empathic and good on their toes.”