Body by JAM
Wwest News Service (WNS)
William A. West
New York City_The beautiful blonde’s image of health and fitness has appeared in ad campaigns and magazines throughout the world. She has worked for magazine clients Shape, Runner’s World, Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, Fitness, and Women’s Running. Other clients include Nike, Champion, Puma, Under Armour, Speedo, CBS, Nordic Track, Everlast, Rollerblade, Kohl’s, Beachbody, Skechers, Gap Fit, Anvil/Gildan and Amazon.com.
Jamie Alexandra Murphy’s sights were set beyond the limits of Ashtabula before she graduated from Saints John and Paul High School in 2005. Jamie left for California that summer to pursue her dreams. The idea of becoming a personal trainer appealed to her physical nature.
“Athletics has always been a big part of my life so the decision to be a personal trainer came organically,” Jamie said. “I grew up with my mom and dad who always worked in the health and fitness industry, but they were never strict about diet or exercise.”
Jamie’s parents are Louis Murphy and Cathy Serif. Murphy is a physical education instructor and tennis coach at the Jefferson Area High School and Serif is a book author and health/fitness expert in California.
“My parents lead by example,” Jamie said. “It was never something I had to do, it was something I want to do.”
Jamie started her business Body by JAM in 2007 and began privately training clients in Los Angeles. Her work was noticed and a casting director for NBC’s The Biggest Loser contacted Jamie in 2011.
“I auditioned for a spot on the show as a trainer,” Jamie said. “It turned out I was too young for the show, but the director asked me if I was interested in getting an agent for similar jobs. Of course, I said yes!”
The agent was Topher Des Pres with modeling agency Wilhelmina Models.
“My agent, Topher, started the fitness division at Wilhelmina, so he signed me with the agency,” Jamie said.
After working six years in Los Angeles Jamie made the move to New York City. Jamie’s parents were anxious about her move to the Big Apple, but were happy that Jamie would have a job when she arrived there.
“We have gone through so many things together and gained wisdom from the process,” Jamie’s father Louis Murphy said. “Jamie has taken that wisdom and learned to make things calm.”
“We were nervous, but she had a plan,” Serif said. “She sold her car, found a place to live. She did her due diligence.”
The city of New York has features that Jamie appreciates.
“There are so many places I want to visit,” Jamie said. “One reason that living in New York appealed to me so much was that I would be closer to more international destinations. I think it’s really important to get out and see how people live in other parts of the world.”
Israel has fascinated Jamie since she attended grade school in Ashtabula. She and one of her best friends spent time in Israel last summer. They did not adhere to a specific itinerary. The best friends’ interest was in the lifestyle of the local population. The trip was “well-balanced” in Jamie’s words.
“We rented a flat for the week in Tel Aviv and then rented a car, drove to Jerusalem and went bar-hopping with cute soldiers,” Jamie said. “Guns and Roses happened to be playing so I pulled some strings! One day we’re back stage with rock stars and the next day we’re praying at the Western Wall.”
The duo used their shekels to take a bus trip to the Dead Sea.
“I got enough mud to use as a face mask once-a-week for the next year,” Jamie said.
Jamie lives in New York City with her faithful companion Preston, a 4-year-old Yorkie-poo.
“He has adjusted very well to big city life; he rides the subway, frequents Central Park and isn’t bothered by the crazy weather too much,” Jamie said. The apartment next door to me has scaffolding that covers the sidewalk so when it gets bad outside we go under there. It’s like we have our own tented playground.”
One of the toughest job demands on Jamie is being separated from Preston.
“I wish I could bring Preston to work with me,” Jamie said. “Apparently it’s not professional.”
Jamie said one of the things she enjoys most about her career is the work schedule. Her favorite shoots are the ones that include a trampoline. Jamie believes her success results from the power of good.
“Encouraging others is a passion of mine so I think that I’ve found the success that I have is because my intentions are good,” Jamie said. “At least I hope that has something to do with it!”
Jamie’s mother has her own ideas on why her daughter has achieved success in her career.
“She is a go-getter,” Serif said. “She goes out and gets it done. I never underestimated her. When Jamie wanted something she obtained it.”
“Jamie has a feisty personality, but she is very professional and polite,” Louis said.
Jamie sees more adventure on the horizon.
“My plan has always been to follow my heart and trust my instincts,” Jamie said. “After six years in Los Angeles and one year in New York I see a bi-coastal life in my future. I would say my big break is yet to come.”
Jamie has fond memories of the small-town life she had in Ashtabula.
“Ashtabula is a beautiful place, my favorite things are Walnut Beach, Capos Pizza (yes, even after having lived in Brooklyn !!), the Mount Carmel Bizarre and no traffic,” Jamie said. “ I love coming back to visit the Murphys. BUT I love the big city life, for now….who knows.”
“Jamie is living a dream,” Serif said. “She has really blossomed and makes me so proud. We are tickled pink.”
Jamie’s advice for the youth of Ashtabula, “Eat your fruits and veggies.”