Meet Jessie Hotchkiss!!!

2:15 PM

Of all the people I've gotten to interview over the last year or so, I would have to say Jessie Hotchkiss was one of the sweetest people I've gotten to know. I met Jessie on Twitter after entering the 2013 Acuvue Contest (see my entry here!). It turns out this 19-year-old, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota native happens to have a lot in common with me. Not only do we share a love for music, I also found out that she also has relatives that live near to where I live. Someday I hope to meet Jessie in person and jam out with her. In case you were wondering, Jessie happens to be the first out of seven people to be chosen as winners of the 2013 Acuvue Contest. To learn more about Jessie, her music, and her adventures with Acuvue, please follow her on her Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Ask.FM pages, or Youtube channel. P.S. While on YouTube, don't forget to watch Jessie's winning audition video for the Acuvue Contest or Jessie's Mentorship Episode with Demi Lovato!!!

Facts About Jessie
Favorite Musicians: Demi Lovato, Ed Sheeran, Skillet.
Favorite Movies: Mean Girls, Sleepover, Freaky Friday, Pitch Perfect.
Favorite Book: Hunger Games or Divergent Series.
Favorite Color: Blue.

Favorite Holiday: Halloween.
Mac or PC: Mac.
Twitter or Facebook: Twitter.
Blackberry or iPhone: iPhone.
Chocolate or Vanilla: Vanilla.
Winter or Summer: Summer.
Pancakes or Waffles: Pancakes.
Math or Science: Math.
Past, Present, or Future: Future.

Did you grow up in a musical family? What age/instrument did you learn first? Absolutely not! My sister was the first one to start learning an instrument in 6th grade. Once I got into 6th grade, I started playing the trumpet. So I was about 11 years old.

When you found out that you won the Acuvue contest, how did you/your family and friends react? I actually got a call around 7 am on a Saturday and ignored it because it said “unknown," so I ignored it and went back to bed. They called again about an hour after that and left a voice mail. But I woke up around 9 forgetting about the voice mail and checked my email first, and that’s where I saw (1) in my inbox and looked. I had to stare at it for a good 30 seconds before I realized that it wasn’t a spam! I literally started sobbing and ran into my mom’s room and told her that I won! She didn’t know what contest I was talking about because I enter a ton! So I explained and she couldn’t believe it! I then realized that it was Acuvue trying to call me and I listened to the voicemail. They told me to respond to the email to make sure I’m aware that I’m a winner. My friends didn’t really understand the concept of the contest. They were excited but they didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until the mentorship video came out. It still feels like it didn’t happen, but I’m glad it did!

What was it like working with Demi Lovato? Was she the mentor that you originally hoped for? What's the best advice that she gave you? It was pretty surreal. Its like, when you only see someone online and on TV, it’s almost like you don’t believe they exist (as weird as that sounds). But she is super sweet and genuine and a goofball. She had this aura that she gave off that immediately made me feel comfortable. I was nervous for about the first minute of meeting her, but after that I was totally fine. She honestly was the reason I entered. I told myself I’d be content with whoever was chosen for me as long as I overcame my fears by the end of the day, but I didn’t actually think I was going to be set up with her. It’s funny because I originally wasn’t going to enter just cause it’s such a huge contest and I thought, “What are even the chances?” but I’m glad I at least tried, because you have just as much of a chance as getting chosen as anyone else does as long as you enter. As for advice, I feel really dumb but I honestly can’t remember a whole lot…it was an overwhelming day overall. But something I learned that day is to just own it up on stage. You already know exactly what you’re supposed to do, so why be nervous about it?

Why do you think your video was chosen? For people who want to try out next year, what advice would you give them while making their videos? I’m honestly still trying to figure that out. The Acuvue crew has told me so many times that it really stood out and I was obviously chosen for a reason. When I watched it back when I was about to submit the video, I didn’t think it was all that great. But when I compared it to the others, something did seem a little different about mine, and I’m not just saying that, I truly believe that. For anyone who wants to try out next year, you really want to try to make it stand out. What I did is I watched the submissions for the 5 previous winners from 2012 and asked myself, “What is it about their videos that made them stand out?” I literally watched them about 5 times each. What I found out is they didn’t get off the topic of what they are trying to accomplish. I actually watched every single submission for the 2013 contest and what a lot of people did was talk about their pasts and how maybe they’ve been bullied or depressed (etc.) and they don’t focus on what their dream is. Acuvue wants to know about it and HOW bad you want it, they don’t want your life story and then only one sentence about what you want to do. They want to know how you got started with it and how much you want to progress in either your passion or how to get over your fears that are preventing you from taking your passion further. So I’d suggest that you leave out your life story and focus on your dream; THAT is what they want to know about. 

Has life changed for you much since winning the Acuvue contest? What does a current day in your life look like? As for just day by day, not really. Although since the mentorship I got to attend the 2013 Teen Choice Awards and got to walk the blue carpet (which was a guaranteed prize along with the mentorship). But I also got to do a separate event with my mentor that no one else got to do. So that definitely wasn’t expected. Being able to go to LA three times this year has been amazing; I just wish I could stay there, haha! I actually recently saw Fifth Harmony in concert and got recognized by about 15 people. They just congratulated me and/or told me how jealous they are, which is something I’ve been hearing a lot lately. A typical day for me consists of waking up and going to classes (it differs every day since I’m in college so it’s not the same schedule every day) and depending on what day it is, I go to work, come home and do homework. Then usually play guitar or keyboard till about midnight and may make a cover once a week or so. It’s not too eventful. Most of my friends go to schools far away so I don’t really have anyone to hang with here.

What was it like going to the Teen Choice Awards? Did you run into a lot of celebrities? I did! It was honestly one of the most crazy/surreal things ever (even more so than the mentorship). Our day started around 6-7 am (depending when we got called to the room to get makeup done) and it didn’t end till about midnight when we got back to our hotel and chilled on the rooftop. The day started with us all one by one getting makeup done. After, we went in the room next door to get our wardrobes (which we picked out the day prior out of a crazy amount of choices)! Then we had to go down stairs to do a photo shoot! I ended up being the last one so it was a big rush trying to run all over the hotel and what not. But the photo shoot was very interesting considering I’m so awkward on camera. But they played Demi in the background which made it better, haha! Once that was taken care of, all of us winners hopped on a little bus to go to the TCA site and film a commercial with Shay Mitchell. No one was there yet so we got to see everything while it was clear. Shay got dropped off and I think we all got a little star struck (except Olivia since she was her mentor). We took several takes of it and then immediately had to go back to the hotel because there was a party on the hotel roof with the mentors, out families and the CEO’s (along with their families) of Acuvue. Unfortunately, only Dwight, Joe and Shay could attend. But it was incredible meeting them all! After that was done, all of us (except Anthony and Olivia) got back on the mini bus and drove to the TCA site again. We were dropped off where all the celebrities were and it was the craziest site ever; I have never seen so many paparazzi in my life. We stood by the gate where everyone was dropped and saw about every single celeb that attended. I met Ed Sheeran and other artist and it was insane how close everyone was to us. Even One Direction casually walked inches away to get around us. But we went in, watched the show, got out and went to an after party consisting of free arcade games, bowling, and endless chicken strips and pizza! One of the best days by far. 

In 10 years you will be... Hopefully I’ll be in a successful band, whether it’s a new band, already existing one, or be a backup musician for a solo artist.

Besides music, what do you like to do in your spare time? I love drawing! I used to do it high school a lot, but since I’ve been in college, I don’t have as much free time as I used to. I’m also really into making bracelets. I can make them out of string and rubber bands so if you ever want one, Hit me up! 

What's your favorite quote and why? 
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” I really like this quote because I think so many people just act upon something, fail, and then give up. You’re going to be told “no” a lot in order to get where you want to be. I have, yet that doesn’t stop me. Even though I had this amazing experience happen to me, there’s a little voice in my head that likes to get at me and make me think that I’m not going to end up getting far with music, but I try to shove it aside. Don’t give in to the voices. Listen to your heart, not your head. 

Do you write your own music? If so are we going to hear it soon on your YouTube channel? If not, what's your favorite cover that you've done and why? 

I’ve been trying to write some original stuff lately. I actually do have an original song on my channel, but it’s a very rough version and has been touched up a bit over time since I posted it. I may end up deleting in the future and reposting the version I have now. I’m also working on another one now, but I can’t think of how to make it flow. I have lyrics, just not the music. So I’m working on that currently. I think my favorite cover would actually have to be “Not Gonna Die” by Skillet. I don’t sing, but I’m playing electric guitar and that’s originally what I started out on. I haven’t played one for a few years so it was fun going back to it and playing some rock!

*All photos belong to Jessie Hotchkiss and Acuvue.

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  1. Yea, totally loved that post! :) ALSO, I nominated you for an award on my blog! Check it out! :)

    Here it is:

    God bless,


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