Jamie Clayton is a combination of fierceness and beauty, and a woman who can walk into any room, anywhere, with anyone, and steal the show.
I first met Jamie in NYC during long nights in dark clubs and she would always come up to me with a huge smile on her face. The SENSE EIGHT actress has had a storied career in the industry before and after her hit series and is working on, I think, three shows right now. I’ve been lucky enough to have Jamie as one of my “pods” (people i see during a pandemic) this summer and we have spent a lot of time hanging at my house by the pool, having a drink and contemplating the state of the world and our industry. And let me tell you, with everything going on, it’s been a breath of fresh air having sisters (also Rain Valdez next month’s spotlight) to get through this together. I hope you enjoy.
1. We want to know about what you’re working on now and how Covid-19 is affecting it.
As of now, schedule permitting, I will be returning to The L Word: Generation Q and Roswell, New Mexico. Covid-19 has shut down productions and all filming dates are being pushed. That means when production is allowed to start again, it will all happen simultaneously which might be tricky. Fingers crossed I am able to do it all!
2. What is your first performing or acting memory?
It’s totally dancing around my bedroom and lip-syncing to Stacey Q, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna!
3. Who are your biggest influences?
I’m really influenced by passion and talent. There are so many women who inspire me daily. A few examples are, actors Faye Dunaway and Taraji P. Henson, models Adut Akech and Claudia Schiffer, musicians Annie Lennox and Grace Jones. The list goes on and on!
4. What are your passions outside of work?
I really love fashion, architecture, and interior design.
5. Fashion is a big part of your life, how do you explain your fashion sense?
Confidence is such a big part of it. I don’t follow many trends either. I’ve always loved a mix of vintage and designer. Nothing beats my Re/Done jeans, a vintage Depeche Mode t-shirt with a Dries Van Noten coat and a Chanel bag. Wear what you love!
6. What advice do you have for someone getting into the business?
As soon as you can let go of your ego and caring what others think, you can really start to shine.
7. If you could pick one song as your theme song, what would it be?
“Girl You Want” by Devo.
8. Did you have fears about transitioning? If so, what were they?
Of course but, as soon as I found out that gender confirmation surgery was a possibility, and that I could be happy, I worked endlessly to achieve that goal.
9. What’s the best part of your work? And the worst part?
I think that finally being able to express all this creative, anxious energy that’s naturally inside of me in a productive way that resonates with people is really special. The worst is not knowing if I’ll ever work again. There’s that anxiety!
10. What does a normal day in the life of Jamie look like?
Currently it’s Chloe Ting home workouts, expanding my cooking knowledge via weekly “Purple Carrot” meal deliveries and therapy over video chat. Lots of facial sheet masks too!
11. What is your favorite colour?
Orange and grey for sure.
12. When you first moved to NYC, did you feel like you found your tribe?
YES. I think what I found first was freedom. The freedom to express myself like I’d never had before which led me to my tribe.
13. What do you feel most proud of?
Learning to accept, trust, and love myself. It’s been tough and it doesn’t stop but it’s so worth the work.
14. Who’s your dream man?
Ooooh! *blushing* A man who sees the value in my journey to womanhood and is proud of me and my accomplishments. And honestly, I like ’em funny, tall & hot.
15. Your part on Sense 8 was amazing and also influential. How did that character inspire people? And how did she inspire you?
Playing Nomi Marks was so special. She inspired so many people by unapologetically being herself. She inspires me to continue doing just that!
Photo: Eric Guillemain