We had the pleasure of speaking yesterday with Janah Brooks Golden about her unusual path from Spanish River High School to a successful career in Hollywood. We thought her story might be helpful to local youth and their parents.
Known as Janah Brooks Adickman when she was at Spanish River, is now a casting producer in Hollywood, California. She contacted us about a show – The F Word with Gordon Ramsay – she is working on right now for Fox Television. The show will feature families of four (or teams of four) who are amazing home cooks with no professional experience.
The original purpose of our contact was her effort to get the word out to those who might want to be on the show. You can apply directly on their The F Word Casting website. The deadline to apply is April 7th so move fast if you’re interested.
Her path to this career is not what we would have guessed. Ms. Brooks Golden graduated from Spanish River High in 2003. She went to University of Florida, completing a Master’s degree in Special Education in 2008. She thought she wanted to be a teacher but along the way she realized it wasn’t right for her.
She worked for a while with her father’s construction company (Ross Adickman is a founder and the CFO of Amicon). While doing that her love for food led her to start writing a blog about food, food shows on television, and cooking. Her sister was living in Los Angeles and invited her to come out and “see what it’s like.”
Two days after she arrived she found a job teaching cooking at Sur La Table. Then she got another job working as a personal chef for an celebrity she would not identify. She had various other jobs, sometimes three at the same time.
A friend was doing casting for a well known cooking show and introduced Janah to the world of reality TV casting. That led to doing casting for 13 seasons (two a year) for the show Cutthroat Kitchen, and for other shows including NBC’s Biggest Loser, Bravo’s Recipe for Deception, Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games and Iron Chef Gauntlet (airs in April).
That friend who helped her get started became her wife in 2015 and is also her business partner in their company, Front Foot First, which does reality TV development and casting.
Of course she’s only getting started, now in her early 30s. She hopes to have a longstanding career creating groundbreaking content. And she still has a passion for food.
I asked her where she likes to eat when she comes back here. One restaurant stood out in her mind – Mario’s Osteria. She ate there a lot while she was growing up – then it was closer to Town Center. Other Boca favorites include Sushi Ray, Trattoria Romana and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. In Miami she likes Alter with Chef Brad Kilgore and Eating House (Giorgio Rapicavoli).
Janah’s advice to kids (and parents) is simple: If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, move on to something else and find your path.