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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

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(Posted 12:30 p.m., Jan. 2)

2013 will be a big year for up and coming Orléans actress
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

2013 should be a big year for Jess Brown. The Orléans actress has four projects in post-production that are due to be released this year. Paul Smith Photography

Jess Brown has come a long way from her days with the Orléans Young Players.

"My first acting classes were with OYP when I was 11-years-old. I played the Earth Worm in James and the Giant Peach and I froze on stage," recalls Brown, who currently has four projects due for release in 2013. “I’ve come pretty far since then."

Brown was with the Orléans Young Players for about four years and enjoyed performing so much that she decided to continue her studies at Canterbury High School for the arts.

When she graduated from Canterbury she enrolled in the journalism program on a scholarship at Carleton University, but Jess just couldn't shake the acting bug. After her first year she decided to apply for the acting programs at Ryerson, York, Windsor and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan.

Although she was accepted at all four schools, she couldn't pass up the opportunity to study in the mecca of live theatre, New York City. So after taking a year off to pad her bank account, Brown was off to the Big Apple.

"I was pretty overwhelmed when I arrived. Honestly, I couldn’t even leave my dorm room for the first week," says Brown who quickly warmed up to her new surroundings, and continued to live in New York for the next 5 years.

"It was very exhilarating. I was learning from some of the best teachers and directors that New York has to offer. And on top of that, I was right around the corner from Times Square, watching high-end Broadway productions any spare chance I had!”

After graduating from the two-year conservatory program, Brown was then invited to become a member of the American Academy Theatre Company, to which she accepted. Brown performed with the Company, doing repertory theatre for the year following her studies, and continues to be a member.

After her year with the Company, Jess quickly attained an U.S. Artists Visa and began to work consistently.

Her breakout year came in 2012, starting with her being selected by Rufus Wainwright for his American premier of Prime Madonna at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

During her run at BAM, Jess auditioned for the part of Elaine Robinson in a stage production of The Graduate at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Connecticut, and won the role the following day.

"It was a very hectic day for me! I auditioned at 10 a.m. in Times Square for The Graduate, and then headed to Brooklyn for the opening matinee of Prima Donna, then back to Times Square for the call back! I was so thrilled when I booked the role that I actually screamed and cried with my agent on the phone.”

After The Graduate, Brown headed to Toronto for the summer season and immediately landed an agent. Soon she was auditioning for a variety of movie and television rolls.

Shortly after the move, she was cast in the action-packed, sci-fi series Omega, which will premiere on Machinima Prime on Jan. 25 as well as Netflix later in the year. Machinima, Inc. is currently one of the largest entertainment distributors in the world, frequently acting as an extension of Warner Bros and Lionsgate.

She will also make an appearance in the experimental feature film Audition (which filmed in NY) due out in February, and the Discovery Channel series Surviving Evil, which will premiere later this year.

Last, but by no means least, Brown won the female lead in the feature film Tapped, an adrenaline-packed "fight movie" in which she will appear alongside Michael Biehn (Terminator, Aliens) as well as UFC stars Anderson "the Spider" Silva and Lyoto "the Dragon" Machida. The film is due to be released this summer.

"This year has been a crazy ride for me with so many different projects on the go, and I am loving every minute of it," says Brown who is looking forward to the year ahead. "This is something that I’ve always aspired to do and I'm getting to do it. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

If 2012 was any indication, Brown can expect to be a very busy girl for a long time to come as her star continues to rise.

For updates, check out www.iamjessbrown.com or follow her on twitter @iamjessbrown https://twitter.com/iamjessbrown.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)



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