Sarah-Jayne Gratton is what inspiration is made of. An accomplished writer, actress, producer and social networking queen! We are really excited to see what else she has to offer. Read more to find out how she got into acting, what drives and inspires her and how she became a major trendsetter in the world of social media!! This is a must read! #enjoy
Sarah-Jayne you started off as a theatre practitioner and television performer. What made you venture into this industry?
Performing just came very naturally to me! I first got up on stage and sung when I was six, on holiday with my parents. I later went on to attend stage school and I have vivid memories of waiting for lessons to end so that I could prepare for my evening theatre performances. I was twelve when the BBC first contacted me to ask me to perform in Rising Stars after having spotted me in a theatre production.
Out of all the moments you have had both on the stage and screen. What is your most memorable and why?
I think the most memorable moment has to be during my performanceas Cinderella at the Princess Theatre when the cast presented me with a birthday cake on stage and the entire audience joined in to sing Happy Birthday to me!
The entertainment world can be intensely cut throat as I am sure you know. Has there been any instances in your career where your have come up against any barriers. If yes, what steps did you undertake to overcoming them?
Yes, the entertainment business is certainly tough path, full of rejection, even for the most talented of performers. I think that if you can survive the NOs and continue on with a passion for your craft then the YESs will inevitably follow. As well as raw talent, it takes determination, support and a lot of self-belief, but if you can surround yourself with those things and steer clear of any negative influences (whenever possible) then you’re on your way to succeeding.
After acting you moved into the writing and production. Was it a natural progression for you and how different has it been to move from being in the spotlight, to being the main protagonist behind it?
Moving from performing to writing was absolutely the right move, given my need to settle down and find time for my family. Like performing, it has always been a passion of mine and it’s continually miraculous to see my words translated from paper to theatre and screen.
Who would you list as your biggest supporters and how vital would you say their support has been to your success?
My parents were incredibly supportive from an early age. I remember my mother driving me from rehearsal to performance and back to rehearsal again. She helped to drive my early work with her enthusiasm and strength of character, always assuring me of my abilities with her ‘can do’ attitude. Both my parents have sadly passed away now and I miss them every day but my husband Dean and my daughter Charlotte are incredibly supportive and tirelessly enthusiastic about my various projects. I count my blessings every day for having so much love around me.
Sarah-Jayne, you are ‘Gratton Girl’ and your husband is ‘Gratton Boy’ But, how did you gain these quirky names in the first instance?
I remember playing around with combinations of my name to use on Twitter and something about the simplicity of @grattongirl really appealed to me, so I stuck with it. Dean joined Twitter a few months afterwards and it seemed the natural choice for him go with @grattonboy as his Twitter name. Our followers seem to like our names and they make it easy to identify us as a couple.
What would you say has been the driving force behind your success so far?
My belief in myself, and what I am capable of achieving pushes me forward every day. I believe that the gifts and talents we are born with shouldn’t be squandered or ignored. They are there to make a difference to both our own lives and to the lives of others. I am continually seeking out new challenges and directions – I need to keep moving and can’t stand still emotionally in terms of what motivates me. This need is a driving force within me that has never waned and, hopefully, never will.
Within your career to date, what has been the best advice you have been given so far?
“Don’t take NO for an answer!” If you want it badly enough you can make it happen!
You are the European Host for the TV Show ‘You Are The Supermodel’ Can you tell us more about this?
I was approached by Media Knights Productions in the US to host a personal branding segment of their new television show, You Are The Supermodel. The show airs in the US from June 2011 and across Europe soon after (dates to be confirmed) I’ll also be European Correspondent for the show, giving it a truly cross-continental flavour and will be shooting a number of features across Europe, as well as hosting my ‘Influential Informer’ segments each week, where I’ll give my personal branding tips and recommendations to viewers.
You are the producer of a new channel called ‘Socialmediasuperstar.tv. Although, the name gives some of it away. What is the overall thinking behind this show and what can new and existing supporters expect from it?
The Social Media Superstar Channel will be launched in line with the release of my latest book, Zero to 100,000 (Autumn 2011). I’m very excited about it as it promises to offer a show packed full of social media advice, including interviews with celebrities who have made their name through social media, as well as personal branding cases studies and ‘how to’ podcasts. It’s a very exciting project but still quite hush, hush, so your readers will have to wait until later in the year to find out more.
Your latest book ‘Zero to 100,000’, which is already on the Amazon best-seller list, is due for release in the autumn. What is the book about and how different is to your previous offerings?
There are many books on social media out there but most are geared towards the big corporations with unlimited budgets and large marketing teams in place. I discovered that there isn’t much available for the small business or individual who really wants to embrace social media for the purposes of effective branding and that’s where the idea for the book first came to me. Zero to 100,000 isn’t written in technical jargon. It’s a book that anyone can pick up, immediately understand, make use of and, hopefully, enjoy! I like to write in an informal way that makes a reader feel special and involved and I think that this style has worked well in positioning me as a personal branding leader.
Having done my research, I have found that your books and overall writing style are highly relatable as it is quirky. How much or how little would you say your written offerings take from your life experiences?
I believe that you should always put yourself and your life experiences into your writing. Books that aimlessly reel off facts and figures, or one-dimensional characters with no personality are never going to truly inspire us. Ultimately, the things that shape us as human beings and affect our lives for the better are those things that connect with us emotionally. I never forget that fact and I hope it comes across in everything I write.
What or who inspires you?
I’m continually inspired by courage in the face of adversity (such as that witnessed during the latest Japan tragedy), by those who refuse to give up when the going gets tough and by the constant love and support I receive daily from my family and friends.
Within the entertainment industry who do you admire and why?
I greatly admire Stephen Fry, who has used his celebrity status to, not only publically confront his bi-polar disorder, but to inspire others to seek help and to find new ways of expressing themselves without feeling a victim of their depression – just knowing that you’re not alone can make all the difference! As a sufferer myself, I really admire his courage in coming forward to confront this illness in such a public way.
Do you have any positive mantras that you live by? If yes, what are they?
“Take the ‘t’ off the Can’t” – love that one! “I am what my thoughts make me”and “no-one can make your feel inferior without your consent” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Apart from Twitter, how can our In-spireLS readers keep up with you?
Readers can catch me on You Are The Supermodel TV Show (www.youarethesupermodel.com) , on my Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/grattongirl/112718372100151) and via my website: www.sarahjaynegratton.com
Thank you Sarah-Jayne for answering our questions. Please round them off by completing these sentences….
Life is… beautiful!
I am at my best when… I’m surrounded by people who love me.
Passion can… inspire.
Self belief can… turn a ‘No’ into a ‘Yes’
Confidence can… turn an idea into a masterpiece.
I am at my happiest when… I successfully complete a project.
Three words that best describe me are…positive, inspiring, creative.
I am a ‘Wonderwoman’ … because I embrace all the gifts that I have been given with gratitude and a sense of eternal ‘Wonder’ in my heart x
W| Interview by Sasha Shantel I| Courtesy of Sarah-Jayne Gratton