From Humble Beginnings to an American dream

Normita Joven and ICON STUDIOS

Normita Joven was born in a rural town called “Bayombong,” located in the province of Nueva Vizcaya in the poverty-stricken area of the Philippines, where the
town consisted of bamboo houses with no indoor plumbing, air conditioning or appliances. Food was scarcely available. Barely able to speak English, her father
brought his family to America in search of a better life. “When we arrived here, people in America would only hire my parents for jobs like pumping gas or working in fast food because they couldn’t understand their accent,” says Ms. Joven reflecting on her youth.

“My father eventually became an electrical engineer and my mother became a successful real estate investor.” Ms. Joven proudly proclaims. “There is only one
reason why I’m as healthy as I am today in every aspect of my life. That reason is God.”

After graduating SMU with honors in broadcast journalism and women’s studies, Normita pursued her dream of becoming an actress. With blind faith, perseverance and raw determination, she stepped into unfamiliar territory. “When I started in the entertainment industry I was the only Asian girl in the entire theatre program. I was told that it would be hard for me to pursue a career in acting because of my ethnicity.”

Without a mentor or proper guidance, she sorted through artist scams and lies, and was eventually “discovered” while performing at a community theatre program. Yes,” she exclaims, “I have 5 careers going on at the same time. Sometimes it is a bit too much and I take a break from it all,” she further admits acknowledging times when she’d given in to the excitement and glamour of the industry. “I always pray each night no matter how exhausted I am. I try to stay focused. I know with God, there is nothing in my life that I can’t handle.”

Normita’s hectic schedule foremost includes being a single mother. “Personally, it’s easier being a single mom than it was being married. First of all, you don’t have to take care of another child (the man).” Her soft laughter is etched with signs of sadness. “You don’t have anyone holding you back from your dreams or giving you extra stress in your life.”

Her independent nature refused to depend solely on a man for anything. “When a woman thinks she can’t make it in this a world without a man, that woman destroys something inside of herself, that is so crucial in achieving greatness.”

Her struggle for independence ultimately surmounted over hardships and setbacks, yet she doesn’t pretend there weren’t moments of self-doubt. “I did ask why God
was allowing me to hurt so much. Later I realized that everything does happen for a reason. We need to know what suffering is about in order to enjoy happiness.”

With a life starting from humble beginnings, Normita now resides in a five bedroom 3000 square foot home in Texas. Her list of credits have grown to include
columnist for ‘Beauty & Fashion Magazine’, an international trade magazine; marketing manager for “Kare Distribution” as well as a supporting role in the indie film ‘Nemesis’ which has received several festival awards.

Normita has been featured on the top-rated Fox TV Series, ‘Prison Break’ which filmed its 2006 in Dallas, Texas. She garnered a lead role in the independent production, “The Death of Mr. Tootlesworth” which is still being submitted into film festivals. In the past, Ms. Joven ranked in the top ten for competitive karate and trained with Texins Karate Club, a respected martial arts school in Texas. “I’ve lived through some incredible suffering especially during my pregnancy.”

A moment of silence passes before she continues, “It was a difficult, emotional, and lonely time of my life. Pregnancy really makes you take a hard look at yourself and how the decisions you’ve made in your past truly shape who you are today.”

Bringing her daughter, aptly named ‘Jrnie’ {pronounced ‘Journey’} into the world gave Normita a new perspective about life. “Always be true to your heart and
keep your faith in God strong. Believe in yourself and your dreams will come true. Christian women entrepreneurs need to find something they are passionate about
and go for it Just keep going forward, ignoring any negativity that comes your way. Expect that there will be hardships in your journey and that you will be strong enough to overcome them.”•

As of 2010, Normita is now the Founder and C.E.O of Icon Studios, a talent agency, based in Dallas, Texas. Her passion to help artist establish themselves in the television and film industries prompted her to create ICON as a gateway into their journey.

Video: Normita and Icon Studios

For more on Normita and her company, visit: Icon Studios

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