SAG-AFTRA | AEA | Equity (UK) | Dramatists Guild

I've been extremely lucky as an actress.  My first job ever was starring in a prime time drama series The New People. It was still on the air when Leonard Stern offered me the lead in a comedy, Shepherd's Flock. For fifteen years I went from one job to another playing leads and supporting roles on television, in films, on Broadway on The West End and The Fringe in London. I played every kind of roll you can imagine from Nuns to murderers to Lucile Ball.  I did stand up at the Comedy Store … improv with The Groundlings, Instant Gratification and Mice…heavy-duty drama in waiver theatre as well as soap operas, commercials and voiceovers.

 

I love all of it. It's like being paid to play in an environment where people respect your work and treat you very well.

 

There's no better job -- except being a Mom -- that's even better.  

 

As soon as I got pregnant, I started writing feature films so that I could stay home with my baby and work out of the house. I found great joy in the process of writing. Again I was very lucky. Joan Scott, who owned Writers and Artists signed me on my first spec script.

 

My life was spent acting and writing and taking care of my son Matt.  It was a perfect mix.  At one point I was working on two films at the same time as an actress and one of my spec scripts was scheduled to go into production with Kushner Locke.  Nine days before principal photography was scheduled to begin the star dropped out. I kept writing and three more spec scripts were optioned but none of them made it to the screen. Frustrating.

 

So as soon as Matt went off to college, I began making my own films. I was obsessed with creating something from scratch and seeing it through to completion. Someone to Love was my first film; a short that went to Cannes and won eleven Laurels in additional festivals. Our next project is the full-length feature based on the short.

 

I wrote, produced, directed and starred in my second film 1 Nighter, which is in distribution now on all digital platforms. People in the business say you can't do it all but thanks to JP Pierce, my DP and Editor, I did all of those things and based on the awards it won, it did pretty well.

 

 

PS  Matt turned out great. The best son anyone could ask for.

Copyright 2015, Jill Jaress.