Our mentor, Susan Batson, instilled in us the belief that stardom was not for the select few, anointed by the studios or media, but rather we are all in possession of a personal genius, an internal nebula that with love and attention can shine as bright as any star in the universe.
In appreciation of all of our collective inner stars, we are turning our gaze upon some of the amazing talents that grace our doors every day. We are pleased to present the New Collective Artist series.
New Collective Artist Series: Jackie Moore
Jackie Moore is an actress of great range and talent from Sparta, New Jersey who now calls Southern California home. She has enjoyed a dynamic career so far in such projects as The Black String with Frankie Muniz and Chlorine with Vincent D’Onofrio. I had the pleasure of speaking to Jackie about her career, her artistic process, and things that inspire her.
I asked Jackie what first made her want to be an actress, and she shared, “Actually, I was always interested in being a director and a writer. I was like five, and I was telling my mom and my teachers that I wanted to be a director. I always thought in my head, if I modeled first, that would be a good stepping stone to acting. I always loved telling stories, and I’m a hopeless romantic, so I enjoy love stories. I always wanted to be in a movie like that.”
She also told me about Grief, a groundbreaking film that she worked on in 2016. She explained, “I play the ex-wife, and we had lost a child. I had been trying to move on with my life, but he is not dealing with it very well. He has succumbed to the depression and has lost his mind a lot. It’s the last day of his life before he might or might not commit suicide. It’s really sad. It’s a heavy movie.”
Jackie learned a lot from this unique movie, stating, “I’ve lost people, and I think that what you learn from doing a part like that with a woman who I play has chosen the higher road even though the pain is very real and affecting her every day, she is choosing to live in a place where she is going to try to make the best of the situation, and I think that is really inspiring. When you work on a character that has gone through something traumatic and has come through on the other side, because I deal with depression and am open about that. I don’t know what it’s like to lose a child, but I know what it’s like to lose family members or friends of mine. We all go through grief, and times when you don’t think you can get through it, but we do. Life has to go on, but it is hard. When you play a character like that, it does inspire you, and part of that stays with you. In terms of how strong you have to be in parts of your life.”
Jackie even explained that she has a hard time watching it without crying. Of the director, she said, “He was channeling something when he wrote the script, and it is the first script I ever read that really embodies what that is to feel that way and to go through something. It is tough.”
“That’s another thing about the work. You can use your emotions to help people and inspire others who are also going through tough times. I loved the work that they do at The New Collective for that reason. Our emotions are not wasted. You use everything in your life. It’s all useful in telling a story and creating a character. It is so powerful. That is life-changing, I think. The part in Grief was not an easy one, but I worked on it with Greg. I’m really proud of it. I think it’s something special.”
She was referring to Greg Braun, actor and co-owner of The New Collective. She continued to sing the studio’s praises, saying, “I feel like what The New Collective does as far as storytelling and character work is so important, especially with a deep part like that. There are a lot of layers in a part like that. You do have to call upon memories you don’t necessarily want to go into, but you have to in order to connect with a character who is really going through something challenging. The New Collective changed my life.”
Ms. Moore continued, “The only work I really connected with was Susan’s and Greg’s teaching. That’s the way to get into a character.” Susan Batson is a one-of-a-kind actress and the acting coach extraordinaire who is Greg’s mentor. She coached many well-known actors in some of their most iconic parts, and she is also the author of Truth: Personas, Needs, and Flaws in the Art of Building Actors and Creating Characters.
Jackie mentioned Susan’s book, saying, “I met Susan right before I went to LA. It was the New Year’s Day class that she does. It is a workshop. At the end of it, she rewarded five people with a book, and I was one of the people who got rewarded. That changed my life. Just having her tell me to not give up. I thought, ‘Okay, she is someone I really look up to and am inspired by.’ It really pushed me. That’s why I found The New Collective. I absolutely love her. She is such a special person and just magical. I think Greg is the same way. I can’t thank her enough for that.”
When asked how her acting process has evolved, Jackie explained, “I mean, it is night and day. It’s funny. I worked with a teacher in New York. She is incredible as well. Elizabeth Kemp in NY is basically the first teacher I started working with. She uses the method technique, and it was the first time I was tapping into real emotions and creating a character using that. Then, when I started working with The New Collective, it kind of took it to another level where it’s all doable. I can’t explain it really. I mean, I guess it just took time for me to understand how the work can change your performance. I don’t even think I could do even an audition without it now. It’s the way you say a word. It’s the way you say a line. If I am not connected to a real emotion, I can’t do it now. You have to draw upon something real.”
Jackie has thought more about the type of character she would like to portray than choosing one specific one, saying, “I want to play a strong woman who I am inspired by and who has gone through some stuff in her life. Someone who has come through something very difficult and come out stronger on the other side. Whoever that may be, that’s who I would like to play. I’m very much into the idea of a light at the end of the tunnel and using positive thinking to get through things. I’m an optimist. I love stories of redemption, and the kind of character I want to play is someone who can inspire people.”
Jackie is inspired by several other actors, including Lucille Ball. Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marilyn Monroe, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Penelope Cruz, Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Forest Whitaker, Will Ferrell, Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, and Sandra Bullock.
If she could change anything about show business, Jackie explained, “I would like to see more competitions. More outlets for people that are starting out in the business. I love Project Greenlight. I thought that was really cool how they get a lot of new, upcoming filmmakers to submit their work. I think there are a lot of people with voices that need to be heard that are not always given the opportunity, or they come from places where it is just not something that is as easy as America. I think there are a lot of countries with kids who would really love the opportunity to get their stories out there and be able to act. I think something needs to change there. I would like to see more diversity.”
On what she loves the most about acting, Jackie was enthusiastic, stating, “I love being able to step into someone else’s shoes for a bit. I love the group dynamic that, when you do a movie or project. I love working with other people and that sense of community that happens. You get to meet so many people, and so many amazing, incredible people that change your life forever. They are always going to be important to you. That’s a very cool job where you get to experience that. Whether you are working on a play or a commercial, you meet all these people that you would never meet, and it’s just really cool.”
When she’s not working, she shared, “I hang out with my dogs. One was a surprise. Sammy I have had since he was eight weeks old. He was found abandoned. I saw his picture, and I was like, ‘That’s my dog.’ I knew it. Sadie I recently got because she was found in the desert as a stray. I love all animals. I want one day to have a farm with as many animals as I can have. That’s what I want. Animals are powerful and special creatures. I don’t know how people give them up.”
With a passion for film and storytelling, it may come as no surprise that Jackie is a lover of the cinema. Among her favorite movies are Moonstruck, The Princess Bride, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Big Fish Wild. Before Sunrise, The Graduate, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Stranger than Fiction, Mars Attacks, City of God, Closer Blow, Barney’s Version, American Psycho, Sideways, Cast Away, The Sixth Sense, 500 Days of Summer, and Jurassic Park.
Jackie also mentioned loving anything by Mike Nichols or Stanley Kubrick. She went on to explain, “I love movies where I really connect to the characters and the story, where it moves me. That’s important. My dad always says, ‘If you walk out of the movie and feel something, it’s a good movie.’ I agree with that. It’s something deep that you can’t really explain. You just connect what the character is going through, and you know.”
Profile written by Robin Raven:
Robin Raven is an author and actress. With over a decade of experience contributing to magazines, newspapers, books, and websites, she has a passion for sharing news and views. When she’s not writing, Robin often has her nose in a book and her arms around a rescued animal.