Running your own business is no easy feat. It takes a healthy dose of passion, discipline, and commitment. Ever wondered what a day in the life of a creative project founder is like? We’re here to give you a glimpse!
Today we’re sitting down with Jenni Rudolph, songwriter, musician, and Creative Director of LUNAR: Asian American Film Project, where she and her team gathered 23 Asian American Jews to discuss their experiences. They put the results into a video series on social media. They got real about fusion food, cultural trauma, discovering their identities, and the impacts of racism and antisemitism on their lives. These authentic and compelling videos made big waves in their communities. People watched our videos over 35,000 times and they were selected for 2 major film festivals and featured in dozens of press outlets, including MTV News.
Read on to learn about Jenni’s day-to-day routine, and keep reading to get an exclusive Q+A!
12 P.M. I snooze my alarm a couple times, voice memo any creative breakthroughs or interesting tidbits from my lucid dreams, and listen to YouTube videos as I stretch, drink water, and continue to wake up. My favorite YouTube creators are mainly women of color across a range of content categories, including comedy, science, fashion, and gaming. The one category I generally avoid listening to first thing when I wake up is music, as music already fills most of my day and I want to keep my ears fresh for intentional listening.
1 P.M. I check my to-do list, post on LUNAR’s instagram, answer messages and emails, catch up on LUNAR’s slack, and eat breakfast. My go-to breakfast is key lime yogurt with peanut butter granola, raspberries and blackberries. Or if I’m in a rush, I’ll start with a banana and granola bar. As I eat breakfast and put on makeup, I listen to music – either new releases, or a reference playlist of whoever I’m writing for that day.
2 P.M. I warm up my voice, practice piano, and do a bit of lyric free-writing exercises to get into songwriting mode. On days when my schedule is lighter, I sometimes do crossword puzzles or other word puzzles to further warm up my lyric muscle.
3 P.M. I start digging through my freelance projects. First I start with my vocal recording and arranging work, then switch to my songwriting and vocal editing work to give my voice a rest, then back to recording when my voice is ready again.
6 P.M. I go for a walk with my sister and we eat lunch together, except for her it’s dinner. The food is whatever we’ve meal prepped that week – chicken salad sandwiches, pasta, soup, or if we’re feeling fancy, salmon with couscous and vegetables. On Wednesdays I have LUNAR team meetings where we discuss our video series, speaking engagement opportunities, funding opportunities, community building, and, currently, our Indiegogo campaign.
8 P.M. This is usually when I have co-writing sessions with other songwriters, artists, and/or producers. I work with musicians from all over the globe so sessions can be any time of day to accommodate for time zones, but this is my favorite time as it’s when both my creative and analytical sides feel engaged. Sessions are the most intense part of any day, but also the most fulfilling!
12 A.M. After my session wraps, I eat more of whatever we’ve meal prepped for dinner. I give myself an hour to unwind, shower, watch Netflix and/or call my boyfriend.
1 A.M. After recovering from my music work, I shift to video editing mode. Recently I’ve been editing episodes of LUNAR Season 2 (which debuted on October 6!) and content for LUNAR’s social media. Other times, I’m editing music videos or other music-related video content. LUNAR videos are so fun to work on because it’s such a contrast from my music work, so I really feel like I’m challenging myself creatively in multiple directions.
5 A.M. Before I go to sleep, I revisit my to-do list and prioritize for the next day. I queue up the next day’s Instagram content and review the music projects I’ve worked on. If there are certain things I want to address or explore in my lucid dreams, I set that intention before I fall asleep shortly after sunrise.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what Belinda’s days are like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with her below!
INDIEGOGO: How and why did you become a creative professional? Was it something you always intended for yourself?
JENNI: It was never a choice. I think most creative professionals would say the same — the creative path chose us, because any person with other viable options would choose a less challenging path. I’ve been envisioning a career as a professional songwriter since I was 8, and I was definitely blessed to commit to that path so early on. I had no idea just how well-rounded my freelancing journey would become – I always assumed I would have to just choose one of my creative passions, but now I get to split my time among music, video, writing, and other multimedia projects.
INDIEGOGO: What makes your Indiegogo project unique?
JENNI: We are LUNAR: the Jewish-Asian Film Project! We cultivate connection, belonging and visibility for Asian American Jews through authentic multimedia storytelling and intersectional community programming. We are currently fundraising for Season 2 of our series, after launching Season 1 this past spring and receiving such a warm response from our community.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to start their own creative project?
JENNI: Prioritize your creativity rather than minimize it. Really hone in on when, where, and how your creative mind flourishes and work with it rather than against it. Trust your instincts on who is worth working with. Be true to your values. Give yourself permission to learn as you go and let go of expectations of perfection.
INDIEGOGO: What tools (gadgets, apps, books, podcasts) would you recommend to anyone starting their own business, crowdfunding campaign, or project?
JENNI: Invest in a solid state drive in addition to cloud storage! Figuring out a good file-sharing system is crucial, and you can never have too many backups. Also, songwriter’s tip: the Voice Memos app is useful not only for jotting down song ideas, but also brainstorming ideas out loud while driving. So if you commute to work and you need to work out your business thoughts, or rehearse a speech or conversation, Voice Memos is an underrated tool.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign, or a campaign you’ve recently supported?
JENNI: Honestly, our campaign is my favorite – I’m so proud of my team’s hard work and grateful to our community and allies for showing up for us and rallying behind a second season!
Ready to learn more? Support LUNAR: Asian American Film Project today!
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