On arriving at the audition, Brown had to get through a moment of self-doubt. "I started questioning my compatibility with Elaine's character, thinking I was too old, or my hair was too dark, or that I shouldn't have worn these shoes," she says. "When I got into the room, the butterflies had subsided and I became myself again. This is what I believe helped me book the part. Yes, you have to have the chops, and yes, you have to give a damn good audition, but it's not always just about acting ... I believe someone will hire you if they like who you are as a person."
Director Lawrence Thelen agrees that a likable attitude plays a big factor in his casting decisions. "When it comes to casting," he says, "I not only look for someone who possesses the role but also someone who appears to be easy to work with -- someone I want to lock myself in a room with for three weeks. That's more important to me than talent ... And you've got to be aware that you're creating an ensemble, so you want to pull together a group you think will work well with one another." He adds that Brown had the combination of skills that made her right for the production. "The role of Elaine is deceptively difficult. It requires an actress who can evoke pathos, be seriously dramatic, and at the same time have a good sense of comedy. A lot of actresses can do one or two of those, but it was difficult for us to find one who could do all three. Jess clearly possesses them all."
As far as her career path, Brown is open to working in all types of media. "I would love to keep doing what I'm doing -- working. And whether that means continuing to do some more excellent work on the stage, or working on a TV series or a film, that doesn't matter," she says. "They are all so different but at the same time, very similar. We are actors. We adapt. We pretend. I think it's important to always remember that this is a business, just like anything else, but to never forget that it is your passion that drives you. Just like any other job, you need to separate work from your personal life, or you'll just go nuts."
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