Jessica was born in South Africa and grew up in Minneapolis, MN. After studying Literature and Performance Studies at Harvard, Jessica worked in New York as an actress in film, theater and television. She was awarded the Bob Hope Fellowship for Outstanding Potential and Talent at Columbia University where she earned her MFA in Acting. Jessica has starred in the feature films ALL GOD’S CREATURES, CONDITION and INHERITANCE. She also played the baddie Rebecca Lewis in the long running ABC soap opera ONE LIFE TO LIVE. In 2008, she produced and starred in GARGOYLE, a SAFTA (South African Film and Television Award) nominated short film shot in Johannesburg.
A recipient of the Samuel and Lorenza Gary Memorial Award and the Harold C. Lloyd Foundation Scholarship, Jessica received an MFA in Film Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2013. Her short film ANGEL played at festivals and was bought and distributed by KQED TV. Her documentary, FABIAN DEBORA, A LIFE FOR ART, screened at numerous festivals and won several awards including Best Documentary Short at Cinequest. Jessica directed the branding video for one of Fast Company’s Top Ten Most Innovative Companies of 2014. She collaborated with Google Glass to create the short film, ‘TIL DEATH. Her most recent short film, SHORTAGE, was executive produced by James Franco.
Jessica is the co-writer/co-director and lead actor of the feature film INHERITANCE which will World Premiere at SXSW, March 2017. INHERITANCE was shot on her family’s property in Belize, where she was inspired by her personal connection to the place, the complex dynamics of post-colonial Belize, and the lush beauty of the environment.
Jessica is using her experience as a young competitive figure skater, and the access she currently has to Olympic-level rinks, trainers, and skaters, to develop a psycho-sexual coming of age story set in the high stakes world of competitive figure skating. It’s a story mined from reality that will push the boundaries of the real; unnerving, sexy, and sometimes humorous, it will explore how a very young woman must discover her own power in order to save her career.