Name: Jessica Velle
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Current Location: Los Angeles, CA
TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Velle: When I watched “The Little Mermaid” for the first time when I was about four. My babysitter used to teach an after school program and I’d come along with her and always ask to perform Little Mermaid monologues for the class.
TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Velle: Yes, Lucille Ball. She wasn’t afraid to be silly. She’d take risks on making a complete fool of herself and didn’t care. I always wanted to be that brave, where I wasn’t afraid to embrace a character fully without worrying what it would look like on screen.
TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career as an actor? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Velle: My mom was very persistent at me pursuing acting and modeling at such a young age. She would see how involved and committed I was in plays or how I would prank call people and create the most strangest characters over the phone and I’d really run with it. It got me grounded a lot, but she really saw how much I loved to perform and really believed I was meant to be on TV and in film. I was really shy as a child at first and I could make a room laugh, but the minute I’d be in front of a camera (with me knowing) I’d get really nervous and freeze up. In the beginning it made it really hard for me in the audition room. Casting directors loved me but would in the end say, “She’s not ready.” After a couple years I started getting involved in acting workshops and worked with different acting teachers and it broke me out of my shell. I learned to love the camera.
TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Velle: I’m very lucky to grow up in Los Angeles. City of Dreams. LA Native, there’s not many of us.
TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Velle: I’ve been really lucky to work with some amazing projects, but I think the one that’s been most effective for me is the role I’ve been creating for myself. This industry can be cutthroat and sometimes you find yourself chasing roles that don’t really fit and I wanted to see my career grow in a direction that would make me take leaps and bounds. So I wrote my first comedy two years ago called “It’s Not Me, It’s You” and it really got a lot of attention and people started labeling me as a comedian and wanted to see more of my writing and acting.
TrunkSpace: Is there a specific type of role you’d like to take on or a specific genre that you feel more at home in?
Velle: I’m definitely more of a method actress… I can transition into anything. Lately, I’ve been really interested in some more fun action sequences and projects.
TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Velle: Having dignity and self respect. Be a good human. Do to others as you have them do to you.
TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Velle: I just want to tell really great stories and work with actors, writers and directors who have inspired me along my journey and in the end inspire someone who needs inspiration.
TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Velle: Know yourself. Know your worth. Know what you want. Keep your emotions in the audition room and invest in a back brace, you’ll need a strong back bone to survive.