The Signature Q&A: Jana Haynes

Jana Haynes, 35, from the small town of Amory, was born with a gift and a destiny far greater than the dirt roads she grew up on could offer. Haynes struck out searching for that destiny at 18. She attended Northeast Mississippi Community College, Mississippi University for Women, and Mississippi College, where she studied Communications and Mass Media. Her first love is writing.She has written in an array of capacities. She is the CEO/founder of Infecting Change Productions, LLC. Her most contemporary undertaking is Selma The Musical: The Untold Stories, which she wrote, directed and produced. Selma is currently on tour and was most recently featured on Good Morning America.

What is your idea of happiness? 
Watching lives transformed by words that I have written or spoken and the process of writing those words and watching the vision for those words unfold is pure happiness.

What is your greatest fear? 
Dying with purpose left inside of me.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? 
Yikes! I’m too hard on myself and others at times.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What is your most prized possession?
 My ability to dream in spite of what situations around me appear to be.

Which talent would you most like to have? 
Oh, that’s easy! Singing! My cast will not let me sing! But if I could, I’d be like a young Whitney out here!

What is your favorite quality in a woman?

What is your favorite quality in a man? 
Seeing a man’s strong vulnerability is pretty great.

What do you most value in your friends? 
Allegiance, generosity, humor and ambition to name a few.

What is your idea of misery?
Living, working and/or being outside or inside of anything that confiscates joy, peace or purpose from your life.

Who is your favorite fictional hero? 
Black Panther! #wakandaforever

Who are your heroes in real life?
Jesus! And my Grandmother, Dezzie Ann.

What was the worst day of your life?
 I’m 35. That’s totally relative to what I’m going through. I could name so many times situations appeared to result in “the worst day of my life.” But hey, I’m still here!

What was the happiest day of your life? 
Am I too complex and over thinking these? Again, all so relative to where I am in my life. I can name so many remarkable moments!

Who are your favorite authors?
Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, August Wilson, Terry McMillan, Audre Lorde and myself of course!

Besides the Pine Belt, where is your favorite place to be? 
By the water. Find me a body of water and you will find my happy place.

What do you hate the most? 
I hate getting out of the shower and there’s dirt on the floor. I hate when people question my personal motives. I hate the lack of perfect effort from anyone towards anything. Oh, and glass half empty perspectives; definitely hate negative thoughts ideas or energies.

What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I competed in Miss Mississippi back in the day (way back) and was in the Top 10. Those who know me, but don’t know that about me, will be floored by that fun fact.

What is your greatest regret? 
This is kind of like the worst day question. I don’t want to be cliché but honestly, I look back on times that were once regrets and find the growth opportunity in them. There’s no way I’m where I am today without those mistakes, poor choices and shameful and idiotic moments. Glad there was no social media in my heyday!

If you could have dinner with anyone - dead or alive - who would it be? 
I think dinner with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be pretty legit!

What words would people use to describe you? 
I believe the people who know me best would describe me as passionate, ambitious, inspiring, straightforward, dependable, gifted, motivating, insightful and a visionary. Well, I know because I asked them!

What is your motto?
 “It is our primary purpose in life to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Dalai Lama XIV

What would you eat for your last meal? 
Steak or Pizza! Total toss up!

How would you like to die?
A legend.