Jesse Nobess is someone who is extremely passionate about what he does. Nobess is from Winnipeg, MB, and his father’s side of the family is from Pinaymootang First Nation. He’s also lived in Toronto, but currently lives in Winnipeg.
He has done quite a few jobs, including being an actor, videographer, a digital content creator for Much Music, and his current job, which is working as a multimedia creator with the We Matter campaign. For We Matter, he creates social media and multimedia content.
“So if videos are submitted for the website, for the organization, then I create and I edit, I film events. I edit footage together to create online engagement. I do online communications and media management,” said Nobess.
“I also do regional and community outreach. So I contact public figures, indigenous spokespersons, or entrepreneurs, actors, artists, to submit a message of hope for indigenous youth.”
On top of this, him and his brother Kyle started a YouTube channel where they created comedy sketches, skits, and parodies because they have a “wild and goofy” side.
And with everything he had learned from the past 10 years of his education, Nobess and his brother decided to teach it to First Nation youth across the country, with his brother starting an organization called Road to Freedom.
“We toured over 60 communities. We’ve taught over 500 youth on reserve about filmmaking, short filmmaking, YouTube, the business of acting, the business of filmmaking, pretty much the whole entire industry. So it’s been quite the ride and yeah, man, I’ve done a lot,” said Nobess.
When it came to school, for a small minute it seemed Nobess had no idea what he wanted to do even though he was passionate about acting and filmmaking.
He says it was one of these moments when he was upset at work where one of his colleagues asked him what was he doing and knew what Nobess truly wanted to do.
“It’s like just kind of that little push from someone that saw my talent in high school and they kind of knew I had it and it was just kind of, it pushed me to go look for schools. And then I found, I stumbled upon Toronto Film School,” said Nobess.
From there, he decided to do whatever it took to get the funding for him to attend there, and eventually did the groundwork and got the funding and resources for his goal.
Nobess says it was amazing, and he learned everything in the acting industry from being in front of the camera and being behind it, learning how to produce, how to direct, and how to create short films.
He also says he learned a lot about himself, and encourages others to take the leap like he did.
“I strongly encourage going, leaving the nest and going somewhere else to explore yourself and explore your surroundings, explore like your career choice or different ways to just learn the craft that you want to learn about,” said Nobess.
“It’s scary, but it teaches you a lot. Like to not be afraid and just to be fearless and go for it.”
And even though Nobess is doing well, he’s had to go through obstacles throughout his career including “lulls.”
Nobess noticed a difference between auditioning in Toronto and Winnipeg, where in Toronto there would be one or two a week and in Winnipeg it would be twice a month.
“When I was going through those lulls, hard times, struggles with acting and everything, I would try to get my ducks in a row and kind of get my hand into different hats. Like, you know what I mean? I would do a lot of other things like videography or take other classes, and that’s why I decided to apply for this multimedia creator position,” said Nobess.
And if there were anything he could tell his younger self, it would be to just go for it and do whatever. He says he would tell himself to not let anybody stop him from following a dream or passion.
“Definitely my message to younger Indigenous youth is to just go and do what you want to do. Like don’t hold back. It’s not going to bite you in the end.”
Special thanks to Jasmine Kabatay for authoring this blog post.
Future Pathways Fireside Chats are a project of TakingITGlobal's Connected North Program.
Funding is generously provided by the RBC Foundation in support of RBC Future Launch, and the Government of Canada's Supports for Student Learning program.