Interview with Actress Jessie Camacho

ED- The Eerie Digest is proud to present the very talented actress and television host, Jessie Camacho, to all of our readers. Jessie, you first appeared in the ‘Survivor’ television show. Please tell us about this show.

JC- ‘Survivor’ was an amazing experience. It was the first time I had traveled outside of the country and to such a far location like Kenya. When I joined Survivor, reality television shows were non existent, Survivor was it, so it was a new experience in that aspect as well. As you all know I didn’t make it very far because I got sick due to the water. However, my experience after Survivor changed my life. I stayed in Africa long after all the participants left and worked in a community project called Shompole Group Ranch. I went without showering, shaving, brushing my teeth, brushing my hair, and many other of the amenities we have here in the States. I stayed in Africa close to three months and was there when the September 11th tragedy struck in New York. Getting out of Africa was not easy and after tons of convincing and my passport about to expire (you only get three months), I was finally back in the U.S., on my birthday out of all days, Sept 24. It was a life changing experience for me, one that I will treasure forever.

ED- How did this show physically effect you and how did the outcome help you persevere in other aspects of your life?

JC- The show is not only mental, but extremely physical. Our tribe “Boran”, went four days without water because we were unable to make fire. If you watch the show it seems we did not try due to the magic of editing. Trust me, we tried everything. We had to make fire rubbing wooden sticks together, exactly like the Massai. It was extremely difficult and we had plenty of calluses. We also had to drink cow’s blood, a challenge that although not tasty probably kept me going due to all the nutrients. What I learned the most out of this experience is being aware of how much we take for granted in the U.S. and how important it is to drink water. Something I always do nowadays. Since ‘Survivor’ aired I have visited Africa five more times, places like Botswana, Zambia, Morocco, South Africa and of course Kenya which is still my favorite place to visit.

ED- Was there some earlier influences that prompted you to pursue an acting career, and how did this show strengthen your resolve in pursuing it ?

JC- I wanted to be a model when I was younger but I opted to finish College and became a Police Officer instead. I was in the force for five years when I was selected to participate on ‘Survivor’. When I got back from Africa a lot of doors opened in both acting and television hosting. I pursued both and I do believe ‘Survivor’ was a stepping stone to it all.

ED- You currently host ‘Descontrol’ and ‘Desveladas’, tell us a little bit about that.

JC- ‘Descontrol’ is a one hour music show that’s been on the air with Telemundo for over three years. It airs Saturdays at 1:00 pm and can be seen nationally and internationally through Telemundo. The show began in Los Angeles, has taped in Tijuana, MX, and currently shoots in different locations throughout Miami. The show highlights live musical performances, interviews, dance competitions, fun games, sexy dancers, and the newest top rated music videos. ‘Desveladas’ is a one hour Regional Mexican television show shot at a studio in Los Angeles. The stage set is an apartment and I’m one of two hosts that live there alongside a comedian who plays our maintenance man, and our Chihuahua. We invite musical guests to our apartment, interview them and have the artists perform their latest hits. We perform comedy skits and our cameras go to the streets to ask our viewers questions based on the topic of the day. ‘Desveladas’ can be seen on Direct TV Mas, Channel 415.

ED- After Survivor you appeared in a number of productions such as ‘The Box’, ‘Protagonistas de Novela’ etc. How did these roles impact your career ?

JC- Well, any project impacts my career because you learn so much from each one. My first big project was “The Box” and I wish I could do that role all over again. My acting skills are so much better now than when I first started, but I am very blessed to have been given an opportunity and in acting that’s all you need, an opportunity.

ED- Can you tell us a little about these projects?

JC- ‘Protagonistas de Novela’ was a Telemundo production. It’s sort of Big Brother. Participants go to live in a studio (“house”) and compete in acting challenges and soap opera scenes. At the end of the challenge one house member gets put up for a vote based on their acting ability, usually the lowest score. There’s also a personal challenge, Face to Face (“Cara a Cara”), in which you chose who you want eliminated from the house by telling that participant in their face why you want them out of the House. At the end of the Face to Face those two participants get put up for elimination and America votes. The participant with the highest percentage of votes stays in the house. If you are wondering how far I got, I made it to the Final 4. ‘The Box’ is a film about how people’s life change due to the contents of a box. I play a reporter wanting to find out who is delivering the box, what’s in the box, and if it’s true what people are saying about the box. What I discovered will change everything. It was a fun movie to make and a great learning experience.

ED- ‘Cross Bones’ and ‘The Champagne Gang’ were the next productions that you worked in. Please tell us about them and the roles that you played.

JC- Funny enough both of these movies were directed by Daniel Zirilli. I auditioned for Daniel in Miami. ‘Cross Bones’ was shot in Key West. It was a horror film about a group of young people being videotaped for a reality television show, similar to ‘Survivor’. I play the director’s gold digging girlfriend who does not want to be living on an island. This film has sentimental value to me because we lost the D.P. while filming this film in a helicopter accident. In ‘Champagne Gang’, I play a detective trying to uncover a series of robberies. We shot this movie in San Diego, mostly at night. I remember being exhausted do to the jet lag. This movie is close to my heart because I played a character close to what I use to do, a Police Officer.

ED- Tell us about the following projects, ‘Curse of Alcatraz’ and ‘We Were Once a Fairytale’, that you performed in and the themes behind each of them.

JC- In ‘Curse of Alcatraz’ I play a Native American archeologist scientist who is trying to help solve a case of body remains found at Alcatraz. This case turns deadly when a curse borne illness attacks. We shot this movie in San Francisco inside Alcatraz and I had the opportunity to spend the night there. Everyone was excited because we had been hearing stories about ghosts and how Alcatraz is haunted, but sadly enough we didn’t see anything.

ED- Your next big step in your career has seen you in seven episodes of ‘Reno 911’. Tell us about this popular program and the other cast members in it.

JC- ‘Reno 911’ was my first time on a National television regular show. I had originally auditioned for a different role but the Casting Director asked me if I would auditioned for something else. I said “Sure” and it worked out better because my new role was a recurring role. “La Chupi Chupi” is the sidekick to radio host El Chupacabra. She hardly speaks English and El Chupacabra takes advantage of this during the episodes. Everyone at ‘Reno 911’ was very welcoming. I had the pleasure to work with all the original cast members and everything was improvised. No scripts, just a few lines of what we were to talk about and there we went. Each segment took approximately forty-five minutes, but you only see about a minute or so on the actual episode. It was so much fun. There was one scene with Lt Dangle (Thomas Lennon) in which an argument ensued and I really thought he was angry. Things got extremely heated but when they yelled out “Cut”, he resumed as if nothing had happened. It was crazy! Each episode focused on a different topic from bicycle safety, boat safety, blacks vs. Hispanics, etc. Funny a la ‘Reno 911’ style. I am on Season 6 and sadly the last Season of ‘Reno 911’.

ED- How did your character interact with those of the other cast members?

JC- My character of “La Chupi Chupi” is a very sexy Latina and she knows how to use her assets. My sidekick role was to make fun of the Reno Sheriff’s Department in Spanish so the Deputies would not know what I was saying and in turn El Chupacabra would translate it all for the better or a lie. There is one scene with Deputy S. Jones (Cedric Yarbrough) in which he is so into me that he allows me to grab his gun. Things like that of course would never happen in a real Police Station. There’s another scene with Deputy Travis Junior (Robert Ben Garant) in which I try to persuade him into talking about something else by showing him some “microphone” moves, if you get my drift. It was the funniest thing I have ever done because we were given the freedom to do whatever we wanted and they took what they needed from each segment.

ED- You were also in the production of ‘The Forgotten’. Please tell our readers about this exciting project and your performance in it.

JC- ‘The Forgotten’ was an ABC television series in which a group of civilians help solve cold case files with the help of a former cop played by Christian Slater. I played an undercover cop posing as a prostitute and I end up arresting one of these civilians, Tyler Davies (Anthony Carrigan) when he approaches me for information. Everyone on this set was amazing. The cast made me feel very welcome and working alongside Christian Slater was a treat.

ED- We have learned that you will be appearing in the upcoming production of ‘Treasure of the Black Jaguar’. Can you give us a behind-the-scenes look at this project, and tell us all about it?

JC- ‘Treasure of the Black Jaguar’ premiered in London this October and I’m so excited about this production. It was directed by Mike Bruce and it is a film about two friends trying to get rich fast by meeting a famed treasure hunter in a prison. They agree to go on a journey to a desert only to uncover a mysteriously cursed artifact, one that a Japanese industrialist really wants, and will stop at nothing to get. I play Julia, a Mexican gangster who has a psycho killer for a boyfriend. We go on a killing spree and our trip takes us to Mexico. What happens next you can only see in the movie.

ED- Jessie, thank you so much for letting us have this interview with you. We admire your style and beauty, and know that there is much more for you in going forward in your career. We hope that you will return to The Eerie Digest in the near future so that our readers will be kept posted with all your newest career moves. Much luck, and many thanks again !