By Autumn Woodard
Not many people can say that they finished the third grade from a trailer on the set of a television show.
Trevecca student Aubrey Wessel can.
Wessel is the daughter of actress and comedian Victoria Jackson, best known for her six-year run on Saturday Night Live. Wessel’s generation would remember her as Mrs. Rogers from the Nicklelodeon show ‘Romeo’. Now, she’s making news in middle Tennessee as a candidate for Williamson County Commissioner.
As a child, Wessel said she never had a moment where she realized her mom was famous. It was something she didn’t think about.
“It’s weird, but it’s normal,” she said. “That’s the best way I can describe it.”
Wessel grew up Miami. When it came time to start applying for colleges, she only applied to one.
“I had it planned,” Wessel said. “I said, ‘I’m going to get a bicycle, get tan as heck, and I’m going to love my life.”
But beach-front Palm Beach Atlantic wasn’t where God wanted her. Seeing it as more of a ‘party school’, Wessel began to worry about what that would mean for her faith.
“I was concerned about my walk with Jesus,” she said. “I was a little anxious because I wasn’t peaceful with my decision.”
During her senior year of high school, Wessel attended a wedding with her mom. Dr. Joe Cole, professor of Exercise and Sport Science at Trevecca, also attended the wedding and began talking to Wessel and Jackson about Trevecca. On the way to visit her sister, Wessel decided to tour the campus.
“When I saw the Jesus statue, I was like, ‘I think God wants me here’,” she said. “I felt like He was saying, ‘Come on, this is for you’.”
Today, Wessel is a sophomore at Trevecca and said the campus is like ‘one big bubble of Jesus’.
“As soon as you enter campus, you feel safe,” she said. “Everyone I’ve encountered is so loving and friendly and it’s crazy to me. It’s like a big family, it really is.”
Wessel is studying to be a child life specialist. Unlike her mom, she as no interest in breaking into the entertainment industry.
“I saw a side nobody sees,” she said. “I saw my mom extremely stressed for auditions. I saw her upset when she didn’t get a part. I’m sadly just turned off by the entire industry because it’s just selfish. When you audition, they heard you like cattle. It dehumanizes you.”
But, she said, there is another side to the industry.
“When you get there, if you do make it, it’s magic.”
Even though she has no plans to be an actress herself, Wessel respects her mom for all that she did to achieve her success.
“The fact that she moved to Hollywood at 19 with nothing, you have to be a little insane,” she said. “She did it completely on her own and used just herself, who she was, to make it that far.”
Currently, Jackson is running for Williamson County Commissioner, something that Wessel said didn’t surprise her.
“She couldn’t do anything that would stun me,” she said. “If she wasn’t doing something crazy weird, I would be stunned.”
For people who just know her mom for career, Wessel said she wants people to know Jackson has a heart of gold.
“It sounds corny, I know,” she said, “She literally is insane but she always has the best of intentions.”
And for those who only known Wessel as being ‘Victoria Jackson’s daughter’, she said she wants people to know that she’s just like her mom.
“But I’m not insane,” she added.
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