Jessica Kizorek continues to receive critical acclaim for her work for two Parrot Productions, her film company that travels the world and provides to film services to NGOs so they can get their messages out. A leader of Landmark Education’s Self-Expression and Leadership program, Kizorek is a woman committed to making a difference all around the world. This interview took place with We Magazine for Women, a magazine whose stated purpose is to “focus on women who are making a difference in their part of the world – in many cases unsung heroines.”
Jessica Kizorek, Author and Co-founder, 2 Parrot Productions is a Woman on the Move
by Shenin Sachedina
Jessica Kizorek is a 20-something woman on the move. I met her during an event where she was receiving a Woman’s Hall of Fame Award from Vision Miami and knew she was someone to watch. Since then I have gotten to know her and she is one of the brightest, most giving young women I have the privilege of calling a friend. With Jessica and women (and men) like her, the world is in good hands!
This is her story (so far):
Q: Tell us about how you chose a career in Producing, Directing and Videography and what your vision for your company was when you started?
A: When I first went to college my plan was to get a BFA in Photography. I’ve always considered myself an artist, and cameras were my medium. There was point in time where my survival instinct kicked in and I changed my major to Spanish and Business. Two Parrot Productions was a vehicle to merge both my artistic and entrepreneurial tendencies.
Q: Please tell our readers how you came to visit 55 countries on all seven continents directing and filming video projects for charitable and humanitarian organizations.
A: I first started my international traveling career in my mother’s womb…then again at 6 months…then again at 9 months… I’ve been lucky to be raised by parents who wanted my sister and I to see the world and have a very global perspective on things. My father and I started the company as a way to be self-employed and make a huge impact on an international scale.
Q: What are some of the most memorable experiences you have had in your business?
A: I remember the first time we did an NGO project. We found the organization, booked the trip one week in advance, dropped everything we were doing, and took off to Moldova. My dad lives in Chicago and I live in Miami, so half the adventure is simply finding each other on the other side of the world. Three plane trips, one train trip, and 36 hours later – my dad and I got a taste of what it’s like to be on the front lines documenting the intensity of international humanitarian projects. It’s one thing to see that kind of thing on CNN – it’s another to be in the burn unit of Romanian hospital where a 23-month-old baby girl in pigtails is holding on for her life. It moved me on a profound level. It had me be clear that telling these stories is what my life is for.
Q: Are there any people in your field you would like to meet and/or work with and have not yet had the opportunity?
A: Of course! I am fascinated by the work of three powerhouse woman: Oprah, Madonna, and Angelina Jolie. I love that they use their notoriety and fame to spotlight such worthwhile causes and projects. They use their celebrity status to influence the hearts and minds of people who were not previously aware or invested in making a difference on a global level. It would be an honor to work in partnership with each one of them.
Q: Do you have a mentor – if so how did you choose one another? If not, is this something you think would benefit your career and is there anyone you would like to have as a mentor?
A: I got lucky – I grew up with one. My father owned a business my entire life, and starting at age 4, dinner conversations would range from taking care of demanding clients to effectively managing employees. I was born and raised to be a successful business owner, and am tremendously grateful for my father’s ongoing advice and influence.
Q: What have you learned from your mentor? What do you hope to learn?
A: I’ve learned to think big, to be fearless, to ask for what I want, and to be people’s ally.
Q: Tell us about your book “Show Me: Marketing with Video on the Internet.”
A: I’ve always been a smart cookie, but as soon as the book came off the press the people in my industry started treating me like one. I was no longer the young punk – people are hungry for my input and experience. It provided a tremendous shift for me as a business woman, and allowed me to play at the level that I want to play at.
Q: What do you do for pleasure/relaxation?
A: I’m one of those people who don’t sit still much. When I’m not working you’ll find me leading the Self Expression and Leadership Program for Landmark Education – I’m a HUGE fan of the courses they offer and now train leaders inside of their technology. I surf. I fight Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I write songs and play guitar. Then I get eight hours sleep every night before my puppy wakes me up a dawn.
This is an abridged version of the interview: To read the entire story, go to the We Magazine for Women web site.