Cherish

I had something else in mind for my post this week, but the atrocious gun violence in Seattle recently has made that seem pretty inconsequential. Seven people have been shot this week and five of them have been killed. My prayers go out to the victims in the hospital and to all of their families.

It boggles my mind that people will open fire in a public place to take the lives of other human beings. Not to say it is good to shoot someone in another location, but so many people get caught in the fray, are in the wrong place at the wrong time, and are victims to this senseless violence.

We only have a short time on this earth, why do selfish people have to shorten it? Life is a gift and we need to treat it as such. If you are in a dark place and want to hurt yourself or others, there are people to help you, just ask.

I pray you are all safe and surrounded by the ones you love.

xoxox,

Jess

Hair

Your hair is a huge part of your identity. It can shield you, or reveal you. It is a means of self expression- a permanent accessory. As an actor your hair often defines your “look”, and mine has changed A LOT over the years.

I started with LONG hair in college and played Shakespeare’s young ingenues.

Then I donated my hair to Locks of Love and rocked a short bob.

Then it was a pixie after it got long enough to donate again.

THEN came platinum. Something I always wanted to do, but was always afraid. It is a major commitment (root touch ups every four weeks, $$), but super fun. I’m really glad I went for it because it represented a major shift in my life: when I started living for me and not my career. It was interesting how the parts I got called in for changed- they were more edgy and closer to my own age.

Then came a pivotal moment for me. I shaved my head. When I found out my aunts had breast cancer, I knew it was something I had to do. When you shave your head as a woman it makes you (and everyone else) question your femininity. You don’t have hair to hide behind, you have to really put yourself out there. Although it’s scary, I recommend everyone shave their head at some point in their lives, especially the ladies.

I loved the buzz but I am having a hard time as it grows out. I want long hair again! Sometimes you just want to look like everyone else and feel pretty. But sometimes it is good to stand out a little bit (I was the only girl with short hair at the Grimm audition, just sayin). But now I am growing into a Princess Diana look, and my inner 10 year old self is rejoicing.

The important lesson is: style your hair as you want to and the roles will adjust accordingly (just make sure your headshots are up to date!) Live for yourself, not the work!

xoxo,

Jess

Ophelia

Hair Donation #3

Platinum Blonde Vampire Victim

After the buzz.

Your “Type”

I have struggled/been in denial about my type forever. What is it? Of course as actors you can play any part. It’s called acting for a reason! But when it comes to getting work, you are going to get cast a certain way most of the time. However much I would like to play a curmudgeonly old fisherman, it’s not going to happen.

So how do you find the TRUE type that is you. Not a caricature, but a true person. As I was sitting in frustration having an actors identity crisis this is what I did:

1. Make a list of the last few roles you have played most successfully. The ones where you really knocked it out of the park and got the most response for.

2. Make another list of the same roles, but this time describe them.

3. Now the hard part: look at those roles and find three or four qualities that all of those roles have in common. This is the essence of the roles.

Mine looked something like this:

  • Erma- Informed Consent,
  • Lola-Double Indemnity,
  • Thelma-The Trip to Bountiful,
  • Samus-Metroid: Other M

Then

  • Young cerebral palsy patient in a Nazi asylum
  • Rebelious teen
  • Young army wife
  • Social outcast/military recruit/bounty hunter

All these women were:

  • young
  • lonely
  • smart
  • just wanting to connect and belong

What I found most interesting about this process is that the qualities I came up with describe me, Jessica, almost perfectly. Yes it isn’t the best and happiest representation of myself, but it’s the truth. As actors we are just playing different versions of ourselves. In that sense, no acting is required and we can just BE these characters.

When I read my words I felt a sense of relief. I felt comfortable and at home in them. Nothing would have to be forced. Now I can approach my casting opportunities with a sharper awareness of myself and the characters I can play well.

Any brave souls want to share what they came up with?

xoxox,

Jess