Our member of the week is Jill Pakulski. Jill is a self-described “Nutrition edu-tainer,â€? doing what she can to make being healthy fun. A Registered Dietitian, Jill combines her knowledge of nutrition with her performance skills to put on entertaining fitness shows. Jill’s children’s fitness show, Jumping Jacks with Jill, travels to schools, WIC clinics, and hospitals teaching kids in groups of up to 1,000 the importance of nutrition and exercise. Jill is also a member of a rock band called Sunset West. You can get more information about Jill’s nutrition shows and see pictures of her in action at her website, and also find out information about Sunset West on her band’s website. Also check out Jill’s profile on our yellow pages and the interview below to learn more about her life as a freelancer.

pakulski-jill.jpg

1. What has been your most interesting project?

I work on two main projects: Jumping Jacks with Jill, an interactive kids nutrition and fitness show. I am hired by anyone from individuals to large companies to do the live show. I am currently working on launching the media, the dvds, the curriculum, and the website, to match up with the show's success. My other project is my rock band, Sunset West. We do the Warped Tour every year and will have our record released on Slugfest Records this May, our first non-indie release!

**2. Why did you decide to go freelance? **

I have been freelancing for my whole life. Being a musician really trains you for this. Any real job I've ever had has only been a temporary transition, or supplement, to my work now.

3. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance?

Use the structure you currently have to pursue your idea. You don't need to "cut the cord" of your current life. Everything you are doing now and the people you are working with now, can help you be a part of your dream career. Nothing you do is wasted--it is fuel to the fire, whether positive or negative. If you have an idea, pursue it. Don't be "that guy" who's always talking about "what they'd like to do." Finally, brand yourself: be the only one that can do what you do.

4. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live?

Central Park, hands down.

5. What is your inspiration?

All the scientifically researched nutrition education that is on paper looks great. Unfortunately, kids don't learn about statistics. They need to learn about health in a way that is FUN, FIRST AND FOREMOST. My other main inspiration is that I want to challenge the way women in music are either solo artists or portray a "slutty" image. There are very few women in actual bands. The fusion of these two projects is to develop characters that kids want to be like, that are ok to want to be like. We do not need any more Britney Spears in this world.