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+LIFE LOCALISH GET ACCESS

GET ACCESS: Jonny Cota, winner of Amazon Prime Video’s Making The Cut

Video Transcript of Karl Schmid’s GET ACCESS interview with Jonny Cota, winner of Amazon Prime Video’s Making the Cut:

KARL SCHMID

Welcome to Plus Life, the show that is all about inspiring you to live your best life, and turning positive into a plus. In this episode, we’ll hear from the winner of Amazon prime videos Making the Cut Johnny Cota, about his big win and how he’s helping his local community.

He beat out 11 other contestants to win the $1 million prize on Amazon prime videos Making the Cut. I recently sat down with Jonny Cota, to chat about his experience on the show, and his vision for his company.

JONNY COTA

Hey, how’s it going?

KARL SCHMID

It’s going well. I imagine it’s going quite well for you too. Congratulations on the win. How has life been since you’ve been allowed to talk about the secret you set on almost a year?

JONNY COTA

I mean, what’s crazy is like the whole world is in crisis including like myself I’ve been locked down, but I’m kind of having like the best month of my whole life. So it’s been awesome to finally be able to like share the secret with the world and celebrate with everyone. Because before I could share with everyone, it wasn’t real. It didn’t really even feel like I had won, and even watching the finale I’m like, did I really win? Like is that the tape they’re gonna roll? So now I’m having a great month, great week, I’m stoked.

KARL SCHMID

Well, let’s talk about the brand, Skingraft. This came out of you being a circus performer and all of that well known story costume designer. Give me a bit of the origin of skingraft.

JONNY COTA

I mean it’s like an adult circus. Sort of like nightlife and like kind of risky and over the top. And I learned how to create costumes and design costumes while I was on tour. So that turned into a business with my ex who we started the brand with and we just made things for other circus troops and that turned into Skingraft. So for years, Skingraft has always made things for popstars, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj. It’s like if you’re on stage, that’s the vision of Skingraft. But as I got older, and as sales became more important to keep a business running, became more and more ready to wear and more accessible to a wider audience.

KARL SCHMID

Let’s talk about what you’re doing with the LA LGBT Center.

JONNY COTA

I love streetwear Japanese style and they’re wearing the mask. So we’ve been doing them for awhile. And the Tom of Finland store reached out and said hey, can we do something? And I was like yeah, it’s an interesting time right now. Of course we wanna give customers access to masks, but like there has to be something more there’s such a crisis. So I reached out to the LA LGBT Center and they said yeah, totally we would love, we could totally use the mask and we would love a donation. So I said okay, let’s make a donation. But every mask that’s purchased, we’ll donate one to the LA LGBT Center. They can do what they see fit with it. I mean, in my head they’re arming their front line with these masks, the people they’re dealing with the public and the community still so they’re safe. But also they can donate them to whatever they want. Like just like support the community that has supported me so much indirectly and it feels good. We did it kind of before Making the Cut finished. We didn’t realize it would be a thing we just kind of did it kind of silently and then kind of turned into this moment. And I think it’s special and I’m really proud to be a part of that.

KARL SCHMID

If people wanna get those masks and contribute how do they?

JONNY COTA

So we totally oversold. We are sending out final ship-

KARL SCHMID

That’s good!

JONNY COTA

To LGBT Centers this week. And once they get those, we will restock and we’ll do it with Tom of Finland store again. And we’ll announce it on my social media, and on their social media. And we get emails every day, like can we get the masks? And I feel so silly that we didn’t create enough but we are working as fast as we can. And hopefully by next week we’ll have them available.

KARL SCHMID

I certainly appreciate that, I’m sure everyone does. Tell me about here at Plus Life, we’re all about living your best life and trying to find the authentic you in you, if that makes sense. What advice do you have for people who feel that they’re a little different, a little maybe out there and feel that it’s better to stand in the shadows than the sunshine? How do you encourage people to live their true selves?

JONNY COTA

Well, I wouldn’t put pressure on everyone to live in the spotlight, but I would put pressure on everyone to live their genuine authentic self. And something that I have struggled with my whole life. But as I found a creative outlet, like Skingraft or designing, I also DJ at some like local gay bars. Like you get these like little moments of affirmation that your weirdness, that your uniqueness is special, and is cherished and is good. So, not only would I encourage people like really do some soul searching and realizing what makes you different actually makes you incredible. But also I would stress to everyone, to let all the people around them, that are different, that are seeming on the fringe, to compliment them and to raise them up. Because we really… ‘Cause these positive affirmations are gonna make these artists or these people who are different all around you, into the most incredibly talented people in your life and in other people’s lives. So, raise the people ever around you.

KARL SCHMID

Well, I appreciate you giving us this time. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much.

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