By the age of 12 Jeanine's story telling ability was already evident among her family and classmates. She had already (with guidance and encouragement from her mother), written and published her first book and been deemed a future writer by her teachers. What was also evident was her great appreciation for music.
Mirroring the eclectic taste and influence of her music industry executive father, a young Jeanine found herself stuck in the memorized lyrics of Ronnie Jordan’s “The Jackal” and Chaka Demus & Pliers’ “Bam Bam” and “Murder She Wrote”. Her dad recalls, “Jeanine just couldn’t get enough of those two artists. Eventually, I just gave her both CDs from my collection.” Jeanine and her dad didn’t stop there. The Australian based group Nomad was also one of their favorite listening experiences. Jeanine’s early and continued exposure to such a diverse collection of musical genres that included everything from African drum to Zydeco, from Celtic to Riverdance, and everything in between pretty much guaranteed that she would be tied to music in some way as she grew. As it was, her love for music developed right alongside her love for writing.
While transitioning from elementary to middle school Jeanine dabbled a bit with modeling. While auditioning for a fashion show she met two young actor brothers, Edwin and Aldis Hodge. The three of them bonded and have been supportive friends ever since. While the brothers have become successful actors in their own right, it’s not surprising that they have also appeared in some of Jeanine’s projects as well.
Jeanine attended Hamilton High School’s Communication Academy in Los Angeles with determination and purpose. Her steely eyed focus led her to participate in many writing and acting workshops. When challenged by her A.P English teacher to participate in “Write Girl,” a mentoring program that allows high school girls to team up with professional women writers in the entertainment industry, Jeanine jumped in feet first. Today, Jeanine’s work can be seen in three of the Write Girl’s published anthologies. She remains an active alumni member of Write Girls and is often asked to speak at events on behalf of the organization.
While still a senior in high school, Jeanine became an intern in the TV/Literary Department at Edmunds Entertainment. Soon afterwards she was accepted into Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. However, she decided to continue her internship well into her freshman year.
Before graduating from Pitzer in 2008, Jeanine was chosen among a few select students in 2007 to attend the University of Peking (also, known as Beijing University) for a semester of classes in her chosen discipline, Media Studies. This invaluable immersion in Chinese culture helped sharpen Jeanine’s perspective about the world, being a creative, and as Black women. She quickly picked up the Mandarin language and became quite adept at speaking at a conversational level.
Soon after graduation Jeanine began working at Los Angeles based PBS affiliate KCET. As Assistant to the Vice President of Program Planning and Development, she began to hone a variety of useful skills in the area of production, pitch meetings and development. Her ability to learn quickly and a strong desire to succeed led to her being offered a full time position; one in which she declined because of her personal goals, which were yet to be achieved.
It was while working at KCET in 2008 Jeanine met and began working with Dennis Dortch as a Production Assistant, producer and writer. She would later team up with Numa Pierre and Brian Ali to shape and provide creative energy to what eventually became Black&Sexy TV.
In early 2010 Jeanine’s affinity for cartoons helped her land the position of Animation Coordinator for Mad TV at Warner Bros. Studios. Spending as much time as possible in the writers room, Jeanine honed her skills at joke writing, comedic timing, script formation, and editing. Under the tutelage and direction of creator and producer Kevin Schinick, she gained valuable experience in all aspects of animation production, creation and design.
After a year at WB Jeanine began to turn her attention to working more with the Black&Sexy TV team. Taking on several jobs including, content producer and writer, Jeanine continued to seek work as independent animation producer and was able to acquire a number of valuable skills by accepting short assignments. One such assignment landed her a position in the Disney Animation department where she worked with creator and producer Tom Ruegger (Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures).
Since 2008 Jeanine has been a part of the brain trust that created Black&Sexy TV. Her creative influence on the organization can be seen in the characters she has created and her diverse approach to the production process.
Basing the storyline and characters from her life, Jeanine created a series "The Couple". Crafted and directed by Dennis Dortch, the series was bought by HBO. In addition, Jeanine created Black&Sexy TV’s wildly popular web series "That Guy" and its character spin-off “Becoming Nia”, co-created with Numa Perrier along with the talk show "Minute Man".
The songs and artists featured on That Guy have grown in popularity right along with the series. Near the end of season two Jeanine spearheaded and collaborated with various musicians to create two different mix tapes from the songs that were featured on the web series. Filming is also underway on a documentary about a group of these underground artists.
On Christmas Day, 2014, Black & Sexy TV released Jeanine’s first feature film, “That Guy Movie,” based on the popular web series she created. Distributed on the VHX/Vimeo pay-per-view platform, the film has garnered rave reviews and thousands of paid views, leading fans of the film and the series to launch an online petition to bring the beloved characters back for a third season.
As she did with the season-ending finale for the first two seasons of the ‘That Guy’ web series, Jeanine capped off the “That Guy Movie” release with a free downloadable soundtrack mixtape featuring some of LA’s hottest underground artists.
In March of 2015, Jeanine reluctantly agreed to do a third season of “That Guy” as part of the new pay-per-view business model instituted by Black&Sexy TV. However, the season was full of conflict and creative differences between Jeanine and her three partners which resulted in the final episode never being aired and Jeanine launching her own full service production company, nine27 Entertainment and resigning from the Black & Sexy TV partnership.
Under her nine27 banner, Jeanine wrote, directed, and produced a series of 5 Black History Month vignettes for TV One. “The Soulcial Movement”, was a series featuring African-American agents of change who use social media as their primary tool for imparting positive change within social movements. Also in late 2015, Jeanine received an Honorable Mention Award from The African American Women in Cinema at the Women of Excellence Awards.
Today, Jeanine is an acclaimed writer, producer, director, and actor (although, she would quickly deny the “actor” part). Yet, after all the writing, acting, directing and shooting of scenes, it is the music that goes along with scenes that she meticulously seeks out for the perfect fit.
Jeanine is currently creating original content and developing a digital platform that will highlight the voices and everyday stories of people of color. She will continue to focus on music and the art of storytelling through her production company, nine27 Entertainment.