Theater Jones Q&A Nnenna Freelon

Q&A: Nnenna Freelon

The Grammy-nominated jazz singer talks about a work she co-created, The Clothesline Muse, playing at TeCo Theatrical Productions.

The Clothesline Muse is playing at TeCo Theatrical Productions

Dallas — Nnenna Freelon is a Grammy-nominated jazz singer, performer and writer. Her latest passion project, The Clothesline Muse, is currently on stage at the Bishop Arts Theater Center in Oak Cliff, co-presented by TeCo Theatrical Productions and Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts through the National Performance Network.

Muse is a devised theater and dance piece that combines a narrative about an African-American grandmother (played by Freelon) and her granddaughter, using the idea of clothes and the clothesline as a metaphor for the human condition; along with dance that is inspired by African dance and classical ballet, choreographed by Kariamu Welsh. Freelon, Welsh and Maya Freelon Asante cowrote the work, which plays through the matinee on Saturday, April 4.

TheaterJones talked to Freelon about creating the work, its inspiration and the idea of taking a break from modern techology.

Click the link to read Lisa Ross’ (Theater Jones) interview with Nnenna Freelon below:

Also check out the gorgeous slideshow photos for Nnenna Freelon and The Clothesline Muse:


Review: TWO TRAINS RUNNING (Goodman Theatre)


Two Trains Running!! Wow! I wish I could have attended this production!! I love all things August Wilson. His themes, settings, stories and those characters who become  friends and neighbors for that short time on the stage! Most are set in Pittsburgh, though it could be any urban setting-Cleveland, Houston, LA, New York, Memphis or Chicago…the soul of his works and the voices ring true.

August Wilson did what no other playwright had done. He wrote ten plays in ten year cycles that took place in the same setting (Pittsburgh) and used the same people/neighborhood residents.

In historical order:

1904 – Gem of the Ocean

1911 – Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

1927 – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

1936 – The Piano Lesson

1948 – Seven Guitars

1957 – Fences

1969 – Two Trains Running

1977 – Jitney

1985 – King Hedley II

1997 – Radio Golf


I think you’ll enjoy NewCity Stage’s review of the Goodman Theatre’s current production of Wilson’s ‘Two Trains Running':

URSULA O. ROBINSON-From the Classroom to the Stage





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Ursula O. Robinson is the Drama Program Coordinator and a Tenured Associate Professor of Drama at South Carolina State University where she cultivates and molds young dreamers into accomplished artists. This award winning playwright is also the Artistic Director of Ursula O. Robinson Productions (UORP), a comprehensive artistic company that creates tailor-made works of art that heal, entertain, educate, and even set the mind free!

10710610_866228786743674_4089571357767906738_nUrsula O. Robinson is also chair of the Creative Spiritual Arts Department at Spiritual Foundation Ministries in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where she uses her God-given talents to uplift and edify. She is also a member of the  Board of Directors for the Urban Playwrights United, a nation-wide umbrella organization for urban playwrights and producer .  She is also an accomplished Toastmaster’s International award winning speech maker holding the title of District 58 Humorous Speech Winner for two consecutive years.  Recently she was awarded the Best Author Award for the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival.


This accomplished artist, is known for her one-woman shows, her hilarious comedy acts , and her prowess as a writer of personalized monologues. Ursula Robinson holds a BA in English, a BA in Theater Arts, and an M.F.A. in Acting. Blessed with the gifts of playwriting, performance, and practically anything artistic, Ms Robinson believes that the arts have the ability to change people’s lives for the better.


Let’s hear from Ursula:

You seem to have the best of both worlds. You not only get to write and perform but you get to teach others how to do it. Living and loving what you do!1.     Do you find it challenging combining the Creative Ursula with Professor Robinson? How do you manage to keep your roles a teacher, writer/performer separate?Sometimes they can be the same hat just a different location… Often my works are written to showcase the talents of my students and to offer them the opportunity to witness the transformation from page to stage. When I operate as an artist I am also teaching and preparing them for a future in the arts. Sometimes thee roles are very desperate because I work in a system that requires you to evaluate and give feedback in the form of a grade… Or if I have to generate reports or evaluate my own performance based upon a set of standards created by non- artists.. Then I am very aware of myself as a teacher.  For the most part I consider myself an artist/educator who uses art to birth other artist who change the world.1403068_10152854184372630_587693756250613622_o2.     Alternately wearing the hats of actor, writer and producer which hat do you find most comfortable?The least stressful in terms of the process to create a product is of course teacher because the audience is smaller and there is room for change and discovery while presenting ideas to students.. In performance there is more artistic stress in creating a three-dimensional character who conveys the playwrights intention effectively and in the moment that it is happening onstage. There is no room for mistakes or breathers once you hit the stage!

3.     With both the funding for and devaluing of the Arts significantly decreasing in recent years, how have you maintained the creative energy of ‘touching the future’ artistically and academically for your students?

The fuel for any artist is the art itself… I have created in abundance and in squalor but the conditions did not taint the art because the art was born out of the pureness of who I am as an artist. There is a saying that my professor use to use.. We create great theatre, at a loss if we must. At a profit if we can.. But always great theatre. I am not sure of the original author of this saying but it is true… The lean times have often created the best work because it caused me to dig deeper into my well of creativity.

4.     Explain to our readers why you feel it is so important that African Americans continue to use our voices and style to tell our stories?

We must tell our stories so we will not forget who we once were…We have made come a long way but we have not arrived… And like Hansel and Gretel who could not go back home and almost became supper for someone.. African Americans will be consumed by our past if we do not remember from whence we have come…It is our history that makes us strong because it built our muscles. Forgetting how you were developed opens the door for that past to attack your clean memory and put you right back in that same predicament.

5.     What can we look for next from the Creative Ursula?

Anything and everything! I am embarking on more adventurous works and in working with a wider audience. And of course.. a few laughs! I just want to continue to do what God has created me to be.. A voice!


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Tyora Moody is the author Soul-Searching Suspense novels in the Serena Manchester Series, Victory Gospel Series and the Eugeena Patterson Mysteries.  As a literary-focused entrepreneur, she has assisted countless authors with developing an online presence via her design and marketing company, Tywebbin Creations LLC.  Popular services include virtual event planning, social media management, book trailers and book covers.  She is also the author of the nonfiction book, The Literary Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, and the host of The Literary Entrepreneur Podcast.  For more information about her  literary endeavors, visit her online at

You are a woman with many talents. How do you manage so many different projects/businesses and maintain a ‘day job without stressing out?

Well, I can’t say I don’t get stressed out. LOL! Especially after a long day at the day job. I manage an entire department and I’m often called on to put out fires.  I have learned over the years that as long as I stay at my day job, I needed to let go of those services that were stressing me in my business. I decided to start to focus on only providing services that kept my passions alive and brought me to life when I started to work on them at night.


I do have a habit of being overly ambitious. What I have learned is to accept what I get done in a day or week is okay.  Maybe that’s what you were meant to accomplish. I have moved one step towards a goal and made at least one or two clients happy. The goal is to provide a quality service.

I also prefer to work a little bit on this project and a little bit on this project until I reach my goal. I have found putting these large projects on a to do list without any baby steps in between make you more stressed.

What made you decide to become an entrepreneur!  At what point did you consider yourself a professional in your new field?

I grew up with two entrepreneurs – my parents. My dad was a contractor and I watched him build houses, tile bathrooms, do carpentry work and even brick laying. He was a jack of all trades, but really good with everything he touched. My mother had a beauty salon for almost thirty years. So as a teenager I worked in her shop and watched how she interacted with customers. Her customers loved her and were incredibly loyal.  I take a lot of what I’ve learned from both of my parents and use those skills in my business.

So, I guess in the back of my mind I always thought I would do something as an entrepreneur. I wasn’t sure what… it came to be me over time.

I started to think of myself as a professional once I became more serious an established my LLCs, increased prices and really started thinking bottom line like a business.

No one succeeds alone. What type of team members do you require to meet your goals?

You’re exactly right! In the first couple of years I was very much a solopreneur. I had the skills so I did it mostly everything myself. The problem with that model is there are only so many hours in a day and you can easily burn yourself out.

When you need to hire a virtual assistant or outsource, you should carefully consider it and not let your budget deter you. I have used a virtual assistant for several years and still outsource some of my services. It helps to keep the business running on those days when you’re tied up on other projects or just flat out tired.

I look for people who are dependable and have the skillset that matches the quality of service I want to deliver. I also network with others who may or may not be in the same business as me and try to assist where I can. Collaborations and partnerships are very encouraging.

HOSTILE EYEWITNESS b2If you were offered a sound project but it didn’t fit into your career plans, would you accept it to finance your main interests even it meant delaying one or more of them? Why or why not?

At this point in my life. No. Maybe a few years ago I would have. I’m in my 40s now… rapidly approaching mid-40s.  I just flat out no longer want to spend my energy on what I really am not passionate about doing.  I’m okay with waiting on God to provide the increase when it’s time. Plus I’ve been there when I have taken on projects for finances versus really making sure that’s what God intended for me to take on. Those projects tend to give you the worse headaches and regrets.

How do you rebound when things don’t go the way you’ve planned?

Well first I evaluate what went wrong and what I needed to learn from the experience. Many times if a service doesn’t go right, I may review the workflow and try another process. I think an entrepreneur you have to take risks and be flexible. You can’t let fear of failure or even when something falls flat keep you down. It’s all a part of the growth process.

You have a recent Eugeena Mystery book release? Do you have plans to move your novels into another industry such as film or television?OvenBakedSecrets_FINAL

I would love to see Ms. Eugeena live in person either in a play or a web series. In the future, I can see casting auditions for someone to play her. A film would be great too!  Ms. Eugeena fits that audience who loved watching Murder She Wrote except Ms. Eugeena has a bit more sass to her style.

What’s next for you?

The first book in a new romantic suspense series will be released March 31, 2015. I’m pretty excited about having readers check out Hostile Eyewitness, the first book in the Serena Manchester series.

Also, I’m wrapping up the final draft for an anthology project, called When Women Become Business Owners. It’s been an exciting journey and I’m looking forward to introducing some writers who will be published in a book for the first time.  This book will be released June 9, 2015.

How can we contact you?

I encourage your readers to visit me at my website, You can find out pretty much about all my online activities with my businesses, Tywebbin Creations and Tymm Publishing.

Also follow me on Twitter – @tyoramoody  and Like me on Facebook at








Contact Tyora at:

CARLA NICKERSON – Creative Artist Extraordinaire Update


Carla Nickerson

Carla Nickerson inhales oxygen and exhales energy!!! Always on the go, I’m glad she took a moment to share with us!


2015 has been a very busy year for Carla…


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   Carla with St. Edward’s University drama students in To Kill a MockingBird Nov. 2015


Carla Nickerson Griot Design

(Griot Style) Designed this dress and hat for the cover of Occhio Appela Magazine, October 2015 issue


Carla in Satchel Paige & Kansas City Swing at Austin Playhouse (Feb/Mar) Carla Nickerson


Carla Nickerson Griot Melba MooreCarla’s (Griot Style) design for Melba Moore’s Listening Debut Party


You move seamlessly from acting to singing to painting to fashion. Are your skills in these various areas natural or nurtured talent?

I think “seamlessly” is very generous. I don’t really give either art form the focus I’d like to. Visual art is the discipline that comes most easily followed by acting, fashion design and singing, in that order. I have to work hardest at singing.


Looking at the difficult task of developing a sustainable career in the Arts, how have you managed to maintain your artistic level of excellence?

Austin is touted as some creative Mecca, but few Artists here earn a living wage by solely creating their own art. The hype is so persistent that I routinely have people say to me: “Hey, I’vm thinking about doing what you do (painting, acting, designing). I need contact info for people who hire you and when can I come check out how you do it?”

I get to create to my own level of standards by having a “day” job and working autonomously other than theatre/film. I love Austin, but no longer attempt to cultivate a market for my work in this town beyond (for the time being) performance.


 CARLA NICKERSON AS A COPYou have a very interesting background, can you tell  our readers what your previous career was? How  did you transition from that to what you do now?  How has it helped?

That question is usually comes when people hear about my career as a police officer. I was a sworn peace officer in Austin for seven years patrolling the streets and helping people in various ways including taking them to jail. The real ‘transition’ was going from Artist to cop–it took everyone by surprise and I can’t easily explain why I was so drawn to that line of work. Likewise, having been an actress and portrait artist made me a better cop. There were countless times when my well-honed observation skills saved the day and maybe my life a few times. I never drew my gun, never had a fight–other than ducking a fist once–in all those years. It also helped me tremendously working undercover sting assignments.


You are an equity actor. Can you explain to our readers what being an equity actor means? Its benefits and its challenges?

It means that you work for (at least a semblance of) a living wage and that you pay into a pension fund and earn social security and health insurance; it protects you from having to work overtime without pay; It also means especially in Texas that the roles are few and far between. I don’t recommend it in Austin until you’re WELL seasoned and not needing to accumulate more experience. I worked free and for very little for decades before joining equity. I’m comfortable with being labeled difficult to afford.

CARLA NICKERSON AND ME AT ABTF 2013 copyYou have won multiple awards for your talent. In deciding what roles to accept what do you consider the most important detail?

There’s not just one. Who’s producing it? What’s the storyline? Will it fit into my current time constraints? Is it something new, capable of stretching me into unexplored territory?

You currently hold the position of Program Coordinator at the City Of Austin’s Office of Arts & Cultural Resources. How do you manage to so many different projects/businesses and maintain a ˜day job?’

I’ll answer that if I ever figure it out. It can be difficult, but what a rewarding burden to bear!


What would you consider your dream role?

One that required me to travel to Cuba or Ghana/Anywhere in Africa or Asia. Short of that, my dream role is always the next one.

 What is next for Carla Nickerson in 2015?

I’m excited about playing the lead role in The Story of Six Tusks, a feature film being shot this summer. Besides that, have a book illustration project that will continue at least another three months, and I’m in talks about a small role in a film being shot this fall. I’ll also be working in behind-the-scenes roles with Spectrum Theatre Company, which I co-founded.


Mountaintop Marc Pouhe and Carla Nickerson


NAKIA LAUSHAUL-Faithfully Walking in Purpose


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About Award Winning Author, Nakia R. Laushaul

Nakia resides in Houston, Texas with her lovable teenage son. She is an inspirational poet, motivational speaker, novelist and entrepreneur. She stepped away from Corporate America to pursue a more creative life and hasn’t looked back. She is the CEO and chief designer of A Reader’s Perspective, which offers a wide range of literary services ranging from publishing consultations to typesetting.

Nakia is the author of, “The Truth As I See It: In Poetry & Prose,” “Locked in Purgatory,” “Running from Solace,” a 2011 USA Book News Best Books Award Winner and 2012 Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She has also penned two short stories, “After Wednesday” and “A Husband for Christmas.”  Nakia is featured in the Writer’s Digest inaugural publication dedicated to self-published authors: “2014 Guide to Self-Publishing.”

Nakia is committed to challenging everyone within her reach to find compassion and empathy in the differences that exist among us all. Nakia truly believes that by doing what you love, you become happy! She hopes that you will go find your happiness.

Let’s find out what’s going on with Nakia:


What was the deciding factor for you to become an entrepreneur and how difficult was it to make that change?

I quit corporate America because I just could not fathom another day doing something—anything other than what I loved. Of course it was difficult to make the change. Change is hard, but it was necessary in order for me to survive—to finally begin to live on my own terms—live on purpose. I’d rather eat ramen in peace than steak in chaos.

Even the best-laid plans can go wrong. How do you rebound or keep going when your plans take a sudden turn south?

The truth is…I am rebounding every day. I am operate a small business with an operations team of—one. Something goes wrong almost every day, but that just keeps it new and interesting and keeps me on my toes. I adjust my business to reflect the market, I stay on top of trends and I keep a ram in the bush. One more thing, I have found that the best thing to do to keep my sanity intact is to have no expectation that everything will go right.


What were the skills, knowledge and or abilities that you learned in corporate America that helped make your transition so successful? What do you consider the major benefit of working for yourself?

Organization. Professionalism. Attention to detail. But the skill that has gotten me over, gained more clients and respect for my craft has been to provide great customer service. Now, I’m no pushover—right is right—however, customer satisfaction is very important to me. Almost 80% of new business comes to me through referrals.

The major benefit of working for myself is that I finally have a peace of mind. The flexible schedule that I maintain is a huge plus as well. And when I work with a brand new author to bring their dreams to print, I feel like finally, I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

You are an award-winning author and a phenomenal poet or spoken word artist. Do you have plans to segue into other artistic areas like film or radio? Where do you feel most connected artistically?

I would love to bring my work to film and/or television. Just waiting for the opportunity to come my way and I’ll be all over it. Really, as long as I am being creative, no matter the outlet, I’m connected to my art.


You seem to be moving in another entrepreneurial direction in that you are  now helping authors or those who want to become authors. Was this part of  your overall plan?

 Helping other authors was not a new venture for me. I’d started  my company, A Reader’s Perspective, about two years before I  quit my job. I knew that if I quit, I could expand my services and  grow the business and leave myself with more time to write.

Other than the financial benefits of running your own business, what brings you the greatest joy?

Waking up every day doing what I enjoy. For the first time in my life, I am marching to the beat of my own drum. It’s so amazing.

If you could claim one superpower what would it be?

I would fly. I love to travel, so if I could take myself anywhere in the world I wanted to go, I’d be a real-life jetsetter.


What does 2015 hold for Nakia Laushaul?

I have no clue. That’s the thing about walking in blind faith and living on purpose—you never know where you’ll end up.

Nakia Laushaul performs ‘I Am A Tree.’




Keep up with Nakia at:

Website link/contact information:;
Running from Solace
2011 USA Book News Best Books Award Winner
2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist


ELISSA GABRIELLE-A Woman Making History



Elissa Gabrielle brings a whole new definition to a one-woman show! She appears to be doing it all!

Elissa Gabrielle has the uncanny ability to take newcomers and mold, shape them into literary superstars and has created multiple award-winning authors and best-selling books in the process and has taken her talents to new heights by cultivating and ushering in superstars under Elissa Gabrielle Entertainment.


Empowering, Enlightening, Engaging and Inspirational, Elissa Gabrielle is a powerhouse in the literary industry. Respected by many, revered in the highest regard, Elissa Gabrielle maintains a spirit of excellence in all she does. She is known to have the midas touch. The sky is the limit for this sassy, sundry and prolific author. Elissa Gabrielle has broken the ceiling of literary excellence with her gift in the skill of multi-genre writing. The author of multiple poetry books, numerous novels and contributor to several anthologies, Elissa has proven herself to be well-versed in artistic creativity.


Her colloquial and imaginative creations have lead to sensual and seductive inclusions in Zane’s Purple Panties, Erogenous Zone: A Sexual Voyage, Mocha Chocolate: A Taste of Ecstasy, The Heat of the Night, Historie Chocolate D’Amour, Pillow Talk in the Heat of The Night, Zane’s Busy Bodies: Chocolate Flava 4 and more.

As a Literary Entrepreneur, Elissa is the founder of the greeting card line, Greetings from the Soul: The Elissa Gabrielle Collection, collaborator and creator of The Triumph of My Soul, and publisher of Peace In The Storm Publishing. Elissa has managed to turn relatively unknown authors into household names and has molded and shaped the careers of some of today’s brightest literary stars. In addition to these innovative achievements, Elissa has graced the covers of Conversations Magazine, Big Time Publishing Magazine, Disilgold Soul Magazine and has been featured in Urbania Magazine and Black Literature Magazine.


Peace In The Storm Publishing has been nominated in several categories in the African American Literary Awards Show, and has won Independent Publisher of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In addition, Elissa Gabrielle won for Self-Published Author of the Year in 2010 for her explosive novel, “A Whisper to a Scream.” Elissa also won for Self-Published Author of the Year for the collaborative effort, “The Heat of the Night.” Overall, Peace In The Storm Publishing has garnered more than 30 literary awards and nominations.


Elissa Gabrielle won Female Author of the Year and Fiction Book of the Year for “Eye of the Beholder” and Erotica Book of the Year for the ground-breaking anthology, “Pillow Talk in the Heat of the Night,” at the 2014 African American Literary Awards.


Elissa Gabrielle was named Associate Publisher of Modern Flavor Magazine in 2014 and in 2015, Elissa Gabrielle became the Publisher of Real Life, Real Faith Magazine and the Producer of Real Life, Real Faith with Cheryl Lacey Donovan – a weekly radio broadcast.

Her writing and publishing passion is rooted in her desire to give a reader’s soul a rise, one page at a time and grounded in her quest to bring forth the Triumph Anthology series, an ongoing testament of faith. The first anthology in the series was the highly acclaimed The Triumph of My Soul, which will be followed by The Soul of a Man and The Breakthrough respectively. “I started the Triumph series because in life, we all fall down, but by the Grace of God, we get back up. There is always victory in tomorrow,” Elissa says about the Triumph series.Elissa Gabrielle Collage jwh newer

From the novelty of her writing, her innovative and triumphant spirit and the successful culmination of her publishing company; Elissa Gabrielle remains an ingenious and creative force to be reckoned with in terms of delivering distinct, fulfilling and entertaining literature. By pushing herself to stay a cut above the rest, Elissa Gabrielle brilliantly and consistently delivers Literary best.


Elissa Gabrielle

Elissa Gabrielle Entertainment



President & CEO, Peace In The Storm Publishing, LLC

2009 & 2010 & 2011 African American Literary Awards Show Winner

“Independent Publisher of the Year”



Modern Flavor Magazine


EXECUTIVE PRODUCER – “Real Life, Real Faith with Cheryl Lacey Donovan”


Join the Peace In The Storm Publishing Facebook Fan Page:

Join the Elissa Gabrielle Fan Page:

On Linked In:

On Facebook:

On Twitter:, 




THE 2ND ACT! Newsletter and Blog


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The Stage is Set!

Get Ready!

If you want to keep up to date about what is JWHill Productions is doing, this is the place to start!

Sign up for our blog and quarterly newsletter ‘THE 2ND ACT!’


You’ll find information not only about what JWHill Productions is doing but what is happening industry wide. We’ll give you the inside scoop on how we really create those great productions you see on stage! You’ll read informative articles from some of Black theaters best. Learn about what is going on in the Black festival circuit and how you can participate!

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We are a vibrant community!

Our Stories! Our Voices! Our Way!

Click below!




About Melissa Talbot:

            If you’re sitting in a room next to her, you may not even know that she’s there. Melissa Talbot, director and producer, lets her work speak for her. Her dual role as director and producer of Switchplay TV yielded the highest ratings for independent shows on the WB (now known as The CW Network). From that, she successfully birthed a gut-wrenching live comedy television show, Switchplay Live. Her work with world-renowned playwright and producer Angela Dunlap not only gained her local and regional recognition, but national exposure. Clientele, cast members and confidants know that Melissa Talbot is not going to give 100 percent—she’s giving 110.

Working with celebrities from across the nation in productions such as He Said, She Said and Cheaters opened many doors of opportunity for Talbot to hone her skills. In 2012, she partnered with executive producer Mark Hunter for the stage play Eyes of Deception. Her work with actors Royce Reed, Kym Whitley, Reginald “Bruh Man” Ballard, Hope Flood, and Christian Keyes led to even greater works. Talbot had the honor of directing and producing When a Woman Loves and There Goes the Neighborhood.

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Her collaboration with Chosen One Productions for the stage play Entangled landed a national DVD distribution deal, which releases in the early part of 2015, in addition to a feature at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival. As an official member of Urban Playwrights United (UPU), Talbot won the Two-Minute Play Competition in both 2012 and 2014. Serving as production manager for the stage play Idol and the movie, My Sister’s Keeper, she’s definitely left a mark on the industry that can’t be erased.

When she’s not making magic on the theatrical stage, she’s managing R&B recording artists Raw Voyces and Johnyce. A distinctive creative graphic designer, Talbot’s artistic skills are showcased on hundreds of fliers, book covers, magazines and other forms of mass media around the world. Shooting for her first film, Stay in Your Place, begins in early 2015.

Despite her long list of accomplishments, Talbot humbly acknowledges that none of it would be possible without the support and commitment of her team. While many business professionals struggle to find balance, she’s not only found it—she’s mastered it. She’s careful not to bad mouth anyone in business for she knows her commitment, her work, her delivery, will speak for itself.

So, Melissa, let’s talk!

You’ve done stage plays, music events and now film, at what point did you consider yourself a professional in your particular industry?

I considered myself a professional in the industry when I became producer/director of a local television show that went national in various cities/states named “Switchplay TV” in 2001.  When the ratings, fan mail and awards started coming in, I saw that people who I would never meet enjoyed our work and hard labor. I realized you could change the world through entertainment and laughter.

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How do you manage to so many different projects/businesses?

I’m able to manage so many projects because I actually have a TEAM that helps and supports me 100 percent.  They see the visions and we get it done.  I don’t want to start naming people because I know I may forget someone but they know who they are.  Also I schedule specific days and times for different projects and I still write everything down in notebooks, calendars to sync everything together.  I have to stay organized, if I don’t I will go crazy.

Where do you see the industry headed?

Everything is headed to digital and instant gratification. Actually, we are already there.  People have very limited attention spans.  We want everything fast, in a hurry, and mobile from tv, to stage, to film and shorter versions.  Stage production use to run 3 to 3.5 hours now it’s 2 hours max with intermission.  Stage plays are getting distributed on Netflix and online distribution companies for easier access.  And you have Web series with 7 to 10 minute episodes versus 30-minute sitcom shows.  Audio books, Kindle, Nook, etc., have people barely wanting to even hold a book anymore.  So I definitely think we need to start moving our mindset to how to get our productions to the consumer faster.

Because your work targets a demographic this is historically underserved and underrepresented, how difficult is it to expose them to quality theater?

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Quality.  That’s a word that is left to the consumer to define.  I ask people all the time who determines the “quality” of something.  I may not agree on certain a topic or subject matter or it’s demographic but if a consumer is buying it, does it not make it quality?  When I use the word quality it’s almost in the sense of the old school saying “putting your best foot forward”.  As a producer I’m picky about what I select to work on because I have to know how am I going to market this product. So my mind is on the finished product before I even begin working on it. On how I expose my productions to people, I genuinely care about people.  I try my best to make sure I support them and their endeavors; I drop a text, send an email, make a phone call just to say ‘Hey’ or catch up. I believe in staying connected to my audience and making them apart of every experience.  I’m currently trying to expand my audience by branching out and networking at other events and cultures.

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What is the biggest misconception that the general public has about what you do?

The biggest misconception is that I don’t need to get paid!! I must be paid (lol).  With business endeavors comes bills.  I have staff, production teams, food, venue, all types of overhead bills, bills, and more bills.  So it’s funny to me that after every production I get a call from someone- it never fails- the day after a show talking about doing something without any money and all I can say is I don’t have any either!! But when it comes to what I do I give my all, again I love people, good, bad and ugly, if we were all the same life wouldn’t be entertaining!


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For booking or more information, email or visit

Women Making History



Forgive the sports metaphor but I couldn’t resist!

Yes, I know! March is traditionally Women In History month! Believe me there will be an abundance of articles, blogs, interviews and press coverage about women who were trailblazers and I appreciate and respect them all.

However, I thought that I would put a different spin on March’s theme. JWHill Productions is going to spend the month highlighting contemporary women who are making history.

These fire-breathing, dragon-slaying, king and queen birthing women that we will highlight this month have each grabbed the torch, burned bushes, chopped trees and even spit fire to get to where they are now…and they’re not close to being finished! Check them out below ‘Women Making History’!

Women Making History.

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