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Jazmyn Simon: Girl on the Rise

Jazmyn Simon: Girl on the Rise

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Michael Jordan has missed more than 9,000 shots, has lost almost 300 games, has missed the game-winning shot 26 times, and was cut from his high school basketball team. Despite these statistics, he has become one of the most celebrated basketball players and athletes in the world, boasting NBA championships, MVP awards and scoring titles.

The world likes an underdog who works hard to achieve their dreams, and Jazmyn Simon is all of these things and more. She has been relocated across the country more times than she can remember, her appearance has been scrutinized by casting directors, and she has been turned down for auditions over 200 times. She has slept in her car, changed in her car, and ate in her car between workouts, casting calls and acting classes.

Jazmyn Simon has heard “no” a couple hundred times, and has finally received her big “yes,” for an upcoming starring role in Ballers, a highly anticipated HBO television series chronicling the lives of NFL football players and their loved ones. She is starring with the likes of Dwayne Johnson and working under Mark Whalberg, and through all of her recent success, she has remained humble and down-to-earth.

When discussing her recent rise to fame, Jazmyn laughs when talking about family and friends reactions. “My sisters are obviously proud of me, but don’t think my job is anything out of the ordinary. Now, if I were on Nickelodeon, that’d be a different story. I apparently don’t have too much street cred with the younger generation,” she said jokingly, on the subject of her sisters who are 15+ years younger than her.

Born in San Francisco, and then relocating to Las Vegas for middle school, Jazmyn was raised by her grandparents and started her love affair with the arts early on. She cites the start of her career in high school where she was approached by a radio talent, where they asked her to come on the show. After becoming a full-time talent on the talk show, she stayed in Las Vegas for college where she graduated with a Communication degree as she was interested in production due to her radio experience.

Simon then moved to Chicago after graduating for a short while to do improv and star in small commercials when she realized that she wanted to be in front of the camera instead of behind it. Upon this epiphany, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of acting. Jazmyn says her career there started out slow, but she finally managed to land an agent after struggling to combat the demands of the acting industry.

“I’d be lying if I said there was never a time that I wondered if the dream I was pursuing was stupid. My agent got a lot of crying, frustrated calls. And about a month before I got the show, I just had a really bad day with it all,” Jazmyn said of her initial struggles. She continued, “My agent told me there’s pain in growing and pursuing your dreams and my time will come. It did, and in an instant, all of the tears, early mornings, sacrificed time- it was all worth it.”

Simon couldn’t be more excited that her big break happened on Ballers. The show, boasting the same producers as Entourage and a similar concept, highlights the world of NFL football. Jazmyn Simon is casted as a doctor and a retired NFL player’s wife, who is sassy, ambitious and kind; a role that mirrors many of the characteristics Simon already possesses. The show doesn’t just talk about the players, but the effects the NFL has on various relationships, and Jazmyn’s role will serve as a testimony to a marriage in the industry. She is also the only series regular female star in the entire cast, which she says has been a wonderful experience. “We’re becoming a TV family working together and the boys watch out for me,” Jazmyn said.

More than just the character she plays in the show though, Simon is ecstatic to be working alongside and learning from such incredible talent as Dwayne Johnson and Mark Whalberg. She recalls the first time they met as surreal, and remembers trembling as she was seated across from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. “He just casually strode over and introduced himself,” said Simon. “He asked if I needed anything and talked about how excited he was for this project.”

And despite her big name co-workers, HBO series expecting stellar ratings, and red carpet appearances, Jazmyn remains remarkably humble and thankful for her success thus far. She cites her upbringing for this.

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“I’ve had a supportive family that has sacrificed so much for me to get here. And they’re so excited for me, but at the same time, when I go home, I’m just Jaz. We eat food, hang out together, go to church. Grandma tells me to rinse the dishes, same as always. They have loved me every step of the way, and it’s not like they love me more because of the success. That’s important.”

And when it comes to following her dreams, Jazmyn is only just beginning. Her focus will remain with Ballers for the duration of her stay there, but is excited at the possibility of exploring the options of acting in a movie during the show’s off periods.

Clearly, Jazmyn Simon is a jack of all trades. She is is talented as she is humble, and funny and she is ambitious. She’s an actress, an on-air personality, a sister, a granddaughter, a friend, and through her own chasing of dreams, she’s also managed to help other’s achieve their dreams.

“200 is a big number. It’s a lot of times to be told no. But if I can do it, you can certainly do it. Work hard, stay humble and be thankful for the help you get along the way. You become good at something by doing it by doing it a lot of times. There’s success in standing up and trying again.”

The world is certainly standing up for Jazmyn and will always root for this beautiful and resilient woman who will stop at nothing to turn her dreams into a reality.

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