Meet The Men Behind The Cover Of The February 2021 Issue Of GEQ Magazine: Jojo Sebastian & Quintin James

Quintin James

Quintin began his career at the age of 15 dancing in a charity performance for The Cancer Council and hasn’t looked back since then. Working in theme parks, cruise ships, musical theatre (A Chorus Line, West Side Story), tours(Kylie Minogue, Human Nature, Bardot, Scandalous), TV, and fashion he has cemented his place in both the creative arts as a performer, choreographer, and director as well being involved in the production of creative works and fashion shows both nationally and internationally.

Working closely with modeling agencies, fashion houses, and models for more than 20 years has given Quintin an insight into not only understanding the inner workings of the industry but also what it takes to make it in an ever-growing and competitive market. Whether it be choreographing a fashion parade, directing models, pageant contestants, or working as a runway model coach, Quintin’s creative and unique perspective is what has made him a sought-after professional in high demand.

As a well-known and respected Confidence Coach. Quintin works on building a greater sense of natural confidence with his clients, no matter where they are in their confidence journey. GEQ magazine recently sat down with Quintin and here’s what went down:

1. How did you get into the pageant industry?

I got into the pageantry industry by being asked to judge then asked to run workshops for the contestants on walking, posing, and poise as well as overall performance coaching.

2. What do you like most about being a pageant coach?

What I like most about being a pageant coach is that I get to contribute to the overall success of the person not just in the pageant system but in life as they take the skills I teach into everything that they do.

3. Downside to being a pageant coach?

I personally don’t think there is a downside to being a pageant coach. My goal is to focus on the person I am working with and what their individual goal is. I don’t worry about anything else except improving my client.

4. What has been the most memorable experience of being in the pageant industry so far?

I like all areas of the pageant industry, whether I am judging or coaching it is great to mentor and be an educator for those wanting to get ahead in their chosen field both on and off the catwalk. Memorable moments for me are all the time because I consistently see change and development and to me that’s great.

5. Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Overall working with Kylie Minogue and Baz Luhrmann would have to be the most interesting people I have met in a work environment. In saying that I have worked with many talented famous and not-so-famous people that impress and interest me.

6. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the pageant industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

The most valuable lesson I have learned in the pageantry industry is to be honest and true. Be memorable and be kind.

7. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

My most valuable lesson is to always be true to yourself and embrace yourself as uniqueness is the best quality. Also to listen and absorb what people are teaching you.

8. What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

My future plans are to work as a Confidence and Performance Coach as well as to continue my work as a Runway model coach and Fashion Choreographer. I am currently writing a book and look forward to the opportunity to help many people around the world.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: Sicario

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? Beauty is embarrassing yourself and being kind to others.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? I want to appear on Ellen.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” swim with sharks.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? I am a perfectionist, even though I know perfection doesn’t exist I put high expectations on myself and always strive for perfection. That can create extra stress on me.

Jojo Almazora Sebastian

Jojo Almazora Sebastian is a devoted and compassionate nurse in the Operating Theatre at a busy Metropolitan Hospital in Sydney. However, on weekends, this orthopaedic nurse transforms into a charming and dashing tuxedo attired singer-entertainer and master of ceremony. A veteran of the United States Military Forces, he could be seen regularly in concerts where he performs as a front act for artists both locally and internationally. He is the main staple in the Local and International Pageant in the last 17 years.

Jojo was named the Australian Best Pageant Host in the Australian Golden Sash Awards for both 2019 and 2020. At the beginning of 2020, he was named as the Most Influential Person of the Year and Musician of the Year in Ava’s World Magazine Awards. In the same year, this former University Professor participated in Sydney Sings for Hope Concert for the benefit of the front liners for the Bush Fire that happened in NSW. He also lent his voice in the Heroes of the World Album recording the song “Walang Mahirap sa Buhay” written and arranged by Oliver Gadista.

In July 2020, this former disc jockey of Brother Joe and Pinoy Love Crew represented Australia in the First Virtual Edition of the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA 2020). Furthermore, he will be representing Australia once again in the 25th Year of the World Championship of Performing Arts to be held in California USA in July 2021.

Recently, Jojo was nominated and awarded in the Inaugural Sydney’s Best Dressed due to his good dressing sense and confident personality. Moreover, he released his debut Christmas Album entitled: “Christmas Ain’t Christmas Without You” released 30th October 2020. Furthermore, he has received a nomination for the Manila’s Best Dressed for 2020-2021 to represent Australia in the prestigious Annual Event.

In 2021, Jojo aspires to broaden his horizon as an individual and concentrate on his advocacies he has been helping in the past 10 years. His advocacies include the following: (1) children and (2) Volunteerism. For the Children, he continues to support the various charitable institution and fundraised for Sydney Children’s Hospital and Cerebral Palsy Foundation. He also provides scholarships for the less fortunate in the Philippines to continue a college education.

One of the projects he really wanted to concentrate on in 2021 is Community Service by Volunteerism. Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity where an individual or group provides services for no financial gain. Volunteering is often intended to promote goodness or to improve human quality of life. Volunteering may have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or community served. Jojo highly believes that if our community comes together and volunteer even for just a couple of hours a month under any charitable institution and non-profit organisation – it will make a positive difference in the personal and professional aspects of all individuals involved, especially oneself. He furthers state that he would like for the community to realise to volunteer is a social responsibility of all its member especially to the marginalised and disadvantaged.

Consequently, Jojo was just also declared a finalist in the Mister Diamond International Australia 2021 which will be held in April 2021. GEQ magazine recently caught up with Jojo and here’s what went down:

1. How did you get into the pageant industry? How were you actually ‘discovered’?

Pageantry is something innate in my family. I have numerous aunts, as well as both male and female cousins who are very active in pageantry back in the Philippines and Hawaii. I found myself interlaced with pageantry at the very young age of 7. Where I represented the country – USA in the Mr and Miss United Nations held at my primary school – South City Homes Academy, Binan, Laguna Philippines. I remember being crowned Mr. United Nations. That paved the way for me to be interested in pageantry. However, I actually just realised what impact pageantry had on me, in high school. Most of my classmates who joined pageantry approaches me and asks me to help them out with their talent. Normally it would be an interpretative dance or a national ethnic dance. An experience I can never forget was when a Filipino-Indian classmate approached me to teach her a Bollywood Dance. This was in 1994. I took the challenge and we won best in talent! That is how I got into pageantry.

In regards to discovery, I was discovered in male pageantry in college. When I joined Mr. Engineering 1996 at the University of Perpetual Help in Laguna. I represented the sophomore year. It was a very unforgettable experience because not only did I win 4 minor awards, I also placed 1st Runner Up at the coronation night. That experience got me started in pageants. And 20 years later, I am once again throwing my hat in pageantry – when I represent NSW and Australia in the Mr. Diamond International 2021 to be held in Brisbane this coming April 2021.

2. What do you like most about being a King/Finalist?

Besides the experience and the comradery, what I like the most whilst joining pageants are conceptualizing projects and undertakings that assist charitable institutions that I personally handpicked to support, fundraise, and contribute to during the pageant. The reason I like this the most is that I am able to use the platform that the pageant provides me to make a difference. The difference made is the most important thing to me because it could promote and assist change that I would like to see in the community.

3. Downside to being a King/Finalist?

For me, there are more advantages in participating in Pageantry than disadvantages.

One of the disadvantages is that pageants could be very expensive. However, one must be smart about this. I normally tend to go back to belongings. For example, Clothes to wear during any segment of the competition. I tend to get excited to be creative, imaginative, and resourceful with what I use which mainly comes from what I owned.

Another downside of being the Finalist in a pageant is the stigma of being self-absorbed and self-privileged. From my experience, this is normally the opposite. People in pageantry are very humble, charitable, and social.

4. What has been the most memorable experience of being in the pageant industry so far?

Honestly, the most memorable experience for me in pageantry is the friendship I have made so far. I have met the most incredible and empowering individuals in Australian Pageantry. This has motivated and inspired me to be a better person not just for myself but mostly for my community. Another memorable experience for me is, winning the Australian Golden Sash Awards – Best Pageant Host in 2019 and 2020 and the Most Promising Pageant King of 2020. These awards encouraged and stimulated me to be better.

5. Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

There are so many interesting and noteworthy individuals I have met in Pageantry in general. However, three of the individuals who had made a great impression on me are (1) Mary Rose Salubre – CEO of Australasia Official – empowerment and generosity, (2) Mark Baylon – Managing Director of Miss Earth Australia – compassion, never-say-die attitude, and creativity; and (3) Sue Turner of GEQ Magazine – Kindness and Love of Others. Amongst the so many individuals who shine luminously and dazzlingly in Australian Pageantry, these three individuals made a huge impact with me. I believe set the golden standard of empowering the various individual in the community in their very own beautiful way.

6. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the pageant industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in pageantry is to always be helpful to one another because we aim to reach the same goal. And if we help each other it is likely that we will achieve the mission and vision we set forth.

7. Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

I stayed grounded by reminding myself of my personal mission. However, this will not be possible without the help and support of my family – Josephine Sebastian (mom) and the whole of my family, partner, friends, and community. I dedicate and share my accomplishments with them.

8. Is your family supportive of you being in the pageant industry.

YES! They are my primary support and encouragement in all that I do. They never fail to make me feel that I have made a difference every day.

9.What are your future plans? Inside pageantry or out of it.

I would love to continue to support the charitable institutions that I have been supporting for years – Salvation Army, Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and Philippine and Australian Red Cross.

I also would like to continue to fund high school students and send them to University in the Philippines.

Finally, I would like to continue to fundraise for abused children.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: FRIENDS on Netflix

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? My mom – Josephine Sebastian. She gave me life and she is my life.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Become a foster parent.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I would…” not be able to challenge myself to do things that I would not dream of doing like pageantry…

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? Being a worrywart, because my partner mentioned how loving and affectionate I could be.

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