A very special thank you to Ms. Aba Luke of EtceteraBuzz for the awesome story in today’s T&T Guardian of a humble girl from Laventille Road, San Juan, that is paving her own way in the entertainment business.
Here’s an excerpt of the entertainment section’s featured article:
At 27, she’s a guru in the game. A Brooklyn chick with pizzazz and a natural knack for finding out what’s happening in and around her town; Jay Blessed is the Caribbean’s Wendy Williams, and some might even say, she’s as good as Oprah Winfrey. Born in Trinidad, the mother of one grew up in San Juan, moved to Morvant and then returned to San Juan before eventually journeying to the United States on her own. She explained that life hasn’t been easy but she’s managed to survive many tests. And now, her experiences have afforded her the wisdom to channel her energies positively.
You see, Jay Blessed—real name, Jamie Alleyne-Morris is just what the Caribbean Diaspora needs to show the world what lies within these parts. Her Trinbagonian heritage lends to her superb understanding of local culture, something that she strategically spreads via her channels. Growing up in T&T, Alleyne-Morris had been involved in various calypso and soca competitions and that, she said, stemmed from being surrounded by music.
“Everyone in my family was involved in some aspect of music and my father is a popular DJ,” she said, refusing to state his name or alias for personal reasons. Her decision to travel overseas at the age of 18 was inspired by God, she said, explaining that while she had secured a job in the public sector in Trinidad, the thought of a monotonous career was daunting to her. “I really didn’t know where I was going to sleep,” said Jay, explaining that all of her family was in Trinidad. “ I linked up with step-family and they connected me to other family and friends. These people have now become my family,” she thoughtfully revealed. “My whole life is really a testament of who I am. I am Blessed.”
Dubbing herself a super-blogger, the woman who is the brain behind www.jayblessed.com, told us how easy her decision to resign from her position at a US Immigration Law Firm came less than one year ago. She highlighted that it was there that she saw first hand, the struggles of many Caribbean nationals. It gave her added momentum to help showcase the good that lies within the islands. With no collegiate training, Jay has taken online blogging to a new level with daily, insightful pieces on Caribbean celebrities from T&T to Jamaica to Barbados and beyond.
Her wit when it comes to social media marketing is even more admirable, because it is through these social media channels that she pushes out a lot of her material. “My earnest desire is to see the exposure and global explosion of Caribbean culture and our Caribbean people. Through my online platform, I want the world to see just how educated, fly and how talented we are and also, how juicy our stories are,” she said. Amazingly, she juggles within the media, having honed her broadcasting craft. That too, started in Trinidad, where she had been professionally trained by Edison Carr. “At 16-years-old, I had been the youngest person in his class,” she admitted, indicating that she is very thankful for the skills she adopted through Carr’s broadcast classes.
In addition to that, Jamie says she reads a lot and looks at fellow professionals in the business. “I study people that I’m interested in, so I’ll study Oprah and I’ll watch Wendy Williams and study their techniques, and I’ll look at Dan Rather when he’s on 60 Minutes or I’ll look at Katie Couric. You must study your craft… so not having a college degree does not mean you cannot progress in a certain field,” she stated.
The best is yet to come
With plans of returning to T&T this year, after spending nine years overseas, Jay Blessed is thankful for the support she’s been receiving from the local populace. On social networking site, Twitter, she is intricately connected to a number of local media professionals. Her wisdom is appreciated, especially when it comes to entertainment news out of the Caribbean, so much so that many look to her for the latest in that arena. She thanks her husband of two years for his push, saying that she never thought she would be a blogger. “I had my domain just sitting there and he was the one who really pushed me. If it wasn’t for him being inspirational and encouraging, I may not have been doing this,” she said.
Jay Blessed is truly blessed with a gift of finding and spreading news about Caribbean people. With T&T’s Carnival in full swing, she’s busy dishing it out as it comes in. She recently reported news of US actress Tatyana Ali being in T&T for the filming of a new movie called Home Again. Her Web site is used by many and as she continues to develop, this young, ambitious Caribbean woman promises that the best is yet to come.
Photo credit: Ajamu Photography