"Jen Danby is "such an actress. I mean a real actress. Like from the 30s when actresses had style."
"Acting with Jen is like acting with Meryl Streep."
This American Blonde Actress Jen Danby is a Theatre, Film/TV and New Media Actress, Director, Producer and Acting Teacher and Coach. She is the founder of Mississippi Mud Productions, a made in the USA theatre and film company working with artists from around the world, and of This American Blonde Actress™, Jen's nickname that came from her angel brother.
Jen was born in Southampton, New York and grew up in Wading River, and now lives in Long Beach New York, the "city by the sea," with her family. She has also lived in Texas and California.
She is a Pisces and Aries rules her day March 9th so that explains her loving the beach and the sun. Fire and water!
Recently Jen produced a staged reading fundraiser of "A Streetcar Named Desire" at the Martin Luther King Center in Long Beach, to raise money for the kids at the Center. Geoffrey Owens of Broadway's "Romeo and Juliet" with Orlando Bloom played Stanley, and it was directed by Peter Zinn. Jen played Blanche DuBois: "We had fun and it was good to see all the happy faces."
She was asked to bring her "The Blonde Bombshell Project: Marilyn Monroe" to Long Beach Public Library as a part of a hope project, and it was partially supported by public funding. Blonde Power!
Jen loves acting in all mediums, and a favorite role includes Nina in "SeaGull69", an adaptation by her company of Chekhov's "SeaGull". "I was working on Sharon Tate at the time we were bringing "SeaGull" into rehearsal, and I had this intuitive idea to set it in LA in 1969. Austin Pendleton, the director and also Dr. Dorn, got way excited. "The SeaGull" and Hollywood in the 60s clicked. I found inspirations for Nina, including a photo session for LIFE of actress Peggy Lipton, as I pictured Nina in this Mod Squad kind of series. The acting company was so brave and playful, I loved working with them all. And Chekhov is just gorgeous. I feel lucky."
Another favorite project is her original solo one, "Sharon Tate in Heaven", a love story. It is about 1960s actress, model, and style icon Sharon Tate, and a celebration of her as woman and actress, set as an imaginary TV interview in heaven. It has played in New York City, Lido Beach, and Los Angeles, and returns to LA this January 2015.
In October there was a special performance of "Sharon Tate in Heaven"for one night only in New York City, and it raised money for Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit sanctuary to help tigers, lions, and other big cats that are rescued from captivity.
Jen recently adopted a tiger named Alex through Big Cat Rescue. He was born January 1st and he loves to paint with his paws and of course run and play. "My boy!"
She loves movies, horseback riding, and chocolate ice cream in a sugar cone as a special treat. "Moderation is beautiful and not boring, fun is good."
Jen follows Bruce Lee's motto "Be like water." And This American Blonde Actress™ says "Rock yr Light."
Jen is an acting coach for theatre, film, and TV auditions. She started acting when she was 5 years old. She brings experience, sensitivity, skills, and a sense of play that empowers the actor to enter the room with confidence, artistry, and freedom. Drawing on the actor's own unique talents, presence, and skills, Jen sees coaching as a partnership, no matter what the level of experience, from beginner, to intermediate, to more advanced. As a coach, Jen brings her experience as an actress, director, producer, and artistic director and founder of Mississippi Mud Productions, where she also does casting. She also brings her experience teaching college and high school level students acting as well as voice and movement. Along with audition preparation and acting skills, Jen can coach actors in voice and dialects and also with the Actor Jump method of voice and body work to help ground and free the actor for performance and auditions. The name Jump is inspired by ballet dancer Nijinsky's gracefully powerful jumps that defied gravity so that people would say when he jumped he touched the stars. So actors let's touch the stars!
Jen's training is in American Method, Stanislavski, Suzuki, along with other techniques to get to truth and freedom. She also offers scene study gyms and her special Yin and Yang acting gyms for monologues and work on roles.
Jen coaches in New York City and on Long Island. She offers affordable rates and coaching packages that include Skype. For more information on coaching and acting gyms, contact Jen at email@example.com or 646-326-4370.
"Jen Danby truly knows her stuff as an actor and takes great joy in sharing what she knows as a teacher. I saw Jen in her performance of "A Streetcar Named Desire" where she played Blanche DuBois and I was stunned, it was a breathtaking performance, I could not keep my eyes off her. I said to myself "I want to act like Jen". Within a week I got a call for a movie audition and my mother immediately contacted Jen to work with me. I have been acting since I am four but, I have never been so well prepared for any audition before. Jen also coached me for an ABC soap audition and I felt super ready. Her level of experience is outstanding and greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your help." - Alex Brodsky, client, Generation TV Agency NYC.
Booked two national commercials and was accepted into a top BFA program.
• SHARON TATE IN HEAVEN - 2014
"There is a difference between breathless and frenzied. One can unquestionably be breathless for lengthy periods, yet not lose focus, intent or purpose. Jennifer Danby, well-respected for her lengthy resume with Mississippi Mud Productions and her heralded work on many Tennessee Williams classics, can testify to the difference. She takes Breathless to a whole new level.
As writer and star of SHARON TATE IN HEAVEN, Danby executes a breathless 95 minute performance as the tragically-murdered actress that was involved in one of the most heinous and well-documented crimes of all time. Tate, lover [and wife] of noted director Roman Polanski, and carrying their child at the time of her homicide, was an iconic, almost-mystical figure in the late 60s. Was she the next great pin-up and "it" girl or was she merely a beautiful face with nary a lasting thought? Danby brings her to life in an other-worldy breeziness via an interview setting. Sitting across from an empty interviewer's seat, Tate handles this after-life interview with a stunning conversation. It is relentless, punctuated by micro-pauses that seem to be the missing questions of her ever-shifting chat. It's a tour-de-force to be sure.
Another interesting aspect to the play is that Danby, barefoot, blue-jeaned and clad in simple tank top and bandana, winds up giving Tate her identity back. While her essence and life were robbed by the sensationalism of Charles Manson and followers (the perpetrators), Danby gives Tate her voice back in this final act. Clearly, Danby holds Tate in great reverence, and under the watchful eye of noted character actor/director Austin Pendleton, has carved out a piece that is equal parts informative, moving and respectful without even hinting at overblown or preachy. One comes away feeling they knew someone we had precious little time to absorb.
Due to return later this year (it's playing Los Angeles in the near future), SHARON TATE IN HEAVEN is an engaging, breathless ride through a show business figure's soul. Danby, who can command the stage with the best of them, can be seen bringing Marilyn Monroe to life as well at the Long Beach Library in December. It may not be a breathless, but I''m willing to bet it will be every bit as intimate, provocative, and enjoyable." --John Blenn, LIVE Magazine, Sept. 2014 on August 16 2014 show Lido Beach NY
"I could see my sister Sharon and hear her in moments watching this play, and it made me want to cry because it was like she was there again sometimes. Kudos to Jen Danby's ability as an actress to actually capture aspects of Sharon's personality, and for times when I could feel Sharon was saying something...This is a play well done. Jen Danby captures Sharon's essence, sweetness, and kindness. I was able to actually hear Sharon's voice in this well acted interpretation. Beautifully brilliant." -- Debra Tate, Sharon Tate's sister
"A haunting performance...poignant and moving" -- KudaGo.com New York
"Cleverly and brilliantly done. SHARON TATE IN HEAVEN. We were in Heaven." -- Sissy Gamache, "The Sissy Gamache Show," MNN Channel 56, Time-Warner
"Jen Danby completely disappeared inside the character. I saw Sharon Tate, not Miss Danby. That's the way. She was living it, being it." -- Jack Hofsiss, Tony Winning Broadway Director, THE ELEPHANT MAN; Film/TV Director: I'M DANCING AS FAST AS I CAN and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF with Jessica Lange and Tommy Lee Jones
"I love Jen's Sharon. Jen has found a whole new way of acting and working on a role with her work on Sharon. This is an affinity. This is a match made in heaven." -- Austin Pendleton, Obie Willing and Tony Nominated Director and Drama Desk Renaissance Man of the American Theatre award winner, director of SHARON TATE IN HEAVEN
"SHARON TATE IN HEAVEN is a unique and compelling piece of theater by an artist who is both a skillful writer and a talented actress. Jen Danby lets Sharon talk; she simply talks. Her talk, however, is filled with both the experience of a particular woman and the hopes, longings, frustrations and fears of all of us...Stunning." -- Geoffrey Owens, actor, Broadway's ROMEO AND JULIET with Orlando Bloom, THE COSBY SHOW
"I got the chance to see Jen Danby in SHARON TATE IN HEAVEN, and I am so glad I did. I didn't know much about the star prior to going, and this play gave me the opportunity to get an intimate view of the star and her tragic life. As an actress myself, I was so interested in learning how Tate's career unfolded alongside her very famous Hollywood love affair and marriage with Roman Polanski. She seemed like such a gentle soul who went through so much! I found her fascinating! Thank you Jen Danby for presenting her in such a likable fashion to peak my interest in the star and make me go home and do more research on her! Everything from Danby's voice to physicality was so captivating. Jen Danby is a true actress!" -- Gloria Garayua of GREY'S ANATOMY, COUGAR TOWN
"It was a brilliant performance. I saw Jen's previous performances many times. But this was a totally different character. I could tell she spent a long time investigating and investing. I could see Sharon Tate's life of joy, sadness and love through and in her body and the total experience of the acting. A must see." -- Toshiji Takeshima, TRUE BLOOD, HOW TO MAKE IT IN AMERICA.
• VIEUX CARRE - JUNE 2014 (Played Jane Sparks and Directed)
"Watching you act is like getting on a roller coaster I don't know where you are going to go each night and I like it"
--Ms. Waltrudis Buck, Julia Roberts' psychiatrist in "Everyone Says I Love You," on Jen Danby as Jane Sparks.
• SEAGULL69 - FEBRUARY 2014
"Constantly swaying about like she's high on life, Danby has crafted Nina into someone resembling Janis Joplin. Danby brings to Nina a fragile and mysterious quality that helps the character grow into a tower of strength. She embodies the happy hippie culture of the sixties in the first act, idealistic and full of dreams. But as the play fast-forwards in time, Nina's hard times show in Danby's face. Danby reflects the '60s generation as they start to feel the ravages of Vietnam. It's a striking image when, in Nina's final scene, she is full of longing for a time that she can never get back." - "SeaGull69" review by Ryan Hudak in "New York Theatre Review" February 7, 2014
As "the beautiful Nina, Jen Danby is sterling ...intimate, credible, real, moment-to-moment. Special kudos go to Jen Danby....Danby’s smothering of Nina’s light and soul by degrees is breathtaking. Her exploration of Nina’s polluted and tainted being exacted during the end scene with Konstantine where she paws and taunts him gives credence to Konstantine’s mortal response, making it all the more believable. - "'SeaGull69' by Anton Chekhov" Theatre Review (NYC) Carole Di Tosti
February 17, 2014
"Jen Danby's Nina in our SEAGULL69 at Mississippi Mud was, is, a revelation to me. A revelation about the whole play. It was Jen's idea to set Chekhov's THE SEAGULL in LA in 1969 (with Act Four in 1971, after LA had turned pretty dark). This idea in itself was very exciting to work with, and it was amazing what it did for the character of Nina, and for Jen's literally breathtaking performance in that role. Jen became a whole new version of Chekhov's Nina blended with an absolutely accurate portrait of a certain kind of lost, strong, drugged sometimes, lucid, ambitious, innocent, challenging girl that I met, in those days, in LA, all the time. It was exciting to me as director to be part of her work process in the show, and she and her work transformed the whole event for all of us involved with it." --Austin Pendleton
• CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF -OCTOBER 2013
"Jen Danby and Jamie Moore are electric as Maggie and Brick Pollitt respectively. Their scene is fraught with sexual tension and disgust for one another. No doubt that these two have chemistry and we follow their story without ever losing interest...amazing performances" - "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Sizzles" - Theatre That Matters, Nick Linnehan, October 21, 2013
• THE BLONDE BOMBSHELL PROJECT - JUNE 2013
"You found all the colors of Marilyn Monroe." --Olympia Dukakis, Academy Award Winning Actress.
• SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER - FEBRUARY 2013
"Danby’s unconventional take on Catharine is notable for the physical and mental disarray caused by her protracted incarceration in a Catholic insane asylum. Danby never lets that focus overwhelm the character, however, and she is riveting in Catharine’s long climactic monologue describing Sebastian’s demise. - "'Suddenly, Last Summer'" Has Some Fine Acting Going On." - Eric Haagensen, Backstage.com
"fine performances...Danby’s traumatized Catharine..." makes "vivid impressions." - Frank Scheck, New York Post February 19, 2013
• VIVIEN LEIGH: THE LAST PRESS CONFERENCE - MARCH 2012
"Danby captivates and charms as Vivien; she displays a poised effervescence. Her regal, rich voice is clear and confident. She easily oscillates between flirting, ladylike laughter, and startling crude language. Her grace lures the audience in, which makes her subtle shift into madness all the more disturbing. This last bit of the performance, which focuses on Vivien's madness, feels like a stone slowly and softly sinking in your stomach...I initially wondered why do the play today? Why do this production right now? After seeing the production, I found the answer: Danby. The piece showcases her excellent acting...she shines. " -- "Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference" - Ellen Joffred, TheaterOnline.com
"gallant...triumphs. If there's a theatrical equivalent of the Purple Heart, the medal is hers. Particularly notable is Danby's expert aging of Leigh, stretching from the high-spirited girl who believes that 'if you want something with all your heart and soul, you'll get it' to the tired and lonely woman who can see 'the mania coming on like on oncoming train'...even when she's in your face you can sense an innate reserve. The tension created underlines the dichotomy of a woman who wanted to be both just one of the boys and theatrical royalty." - NY Review: 'Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference' - Erik Haagensen, Backstage.com
"Breathless 95 minutes...stunning...tour de force" - LIVE Magazine review on SHARON TATE IN HEAVEN
|Representation: Ken Park Talent
|646-326-4370||Hair: Blonde||Eyes: Blue|
|THE WOOSTER GROUP DAILIES: "PAULA"||Paula (Lead)||THE WOOSTER GROUP|
|THE WOOSTER GROUP DAILIES: "BAD PICTURES"||Paula (Lead)
Opposite Jim Fletcher
|THE WOOSTER GROUP|
|TELEVISION & FILM|
|List available upon request|
|British & Southern Dialects; Drums & Percussion; Equestrian (English & Western); Ice Skating; Licensed Driver; US Passport, Founder Mississippi Mud Productions Theatre & Film Company and This American Blonde Actress™ as actress, producer, director and teacher/coach.|
"As "the beautiful Nina, Jen Danby is sterling ... intimate, credible, real, moment-to-moment...breathtaking."- "'SeaGull69' by Anton Chekhov"- Carole Di Tosti
Ken Park Talent