Joanne Rose, 37, is from Melbourne, Australia, but based in Los Angeles, California. She started her entertainment company, Vegan Vision Productions, in 2008. The company creates original comedies for women. Joanne recognizes a need for more strong female leads in comedy with story lines centering on characters with an internal struggle who find inspiration to turn their lives around.
Starting the Business
Q: Where did the idea for your business come from? Where were you in your life and career?
A: While awaiting my break as an actor in Los Angeles, I decided to write, act and produce my own comedy projects. The book, Success Principles by Jack Canfield changed my life. After doing Your Life Purpose Exercise, I was able to connect the dots. As a vegan since 1994, I was always inspiring people around me and making others laugh with my wacky sense of humor, so I combined the two. I formed my own production company, named it Vegan Vision Productions and started creating my own work.
The company’s first project was the multi-award winning US sketch comedy series, Vegan 101. The series launched online in 2009 and ran for 3 Seasons. The show comprises highly exaggerated stories about vegans from all walks of life. Season 2 guest-starred Oscar-nominated actor, Eric Roberts with music by Keaton Simons. You can catch Vegan 101 on Youtube, Tivo, Hulu, Roku, Apple TV, iTunes and mobile devices.
I am currently in development on a TV pilot and Feature Film.
Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting out?
A: The financial side was definitely the biggest challenge for me. I made a lot of sacrifices. In the beginning I knew nothing about what it takes to run your own company. I did everything by trial and error. This is a great way to discover your strengths and weaknesses and get to know yourself too.
Q: What is the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you started the business?
A: Marie Forleo’s B-School. It’s an 8 week business training program designed to help you turn your online presence into a “money-making, world-changing machine.” I did B-School for the first time last year. Each year, they teach entrepreneurs in over 77 countries to leverage the power of smart and honest marketing while building their own unique and profitable brands.
Q: What would you consider your first big success in the business?
A: My multi-award winning US sketch comedy series, Vegan 101 and working with Oscar-nominated actor, Eric Roberts.
Q: What is the toughest thing about getting to the top / staying on top in your industry specifically?
A: There still appears to be discrimination toward women screenwriters in Hollywood but in spite of that, continuing to create good work, networking and building solid relationships.
Q: Where do you see your industry heading in the next 5 years?
A: I definitely see more artists creating their own work.
Q: What do you plan on doing / changing in order to keep growing in this time period?
A: I am moving in to writing female-driven feature films now.
Q: What does ultimate success look like to you? How will you know when you’ve achieved it?
A: Collaborating with Judd Apatow on a feature film would feel like ultimate success to me and working along side actors I greatly admire such as James Franco.
Q: What do you think will be the biggest challenge facing entrepreneurs in the near future?
A: Settling. You need to keep innovating.
Q: What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in your industry and wanting to make it to the top?
A: There are no short cuts. Start networking now, get referrals and learn everything you can.