By MEGAN WARD
Jordan Parrish, a 24-year-old actress in Atlanta, just came off of her first multi-city tour and is gearing up for one of her biggest auditions yet.
Parrish has been acting since she was 18, learning many lessons along the way. Cast in a wide variety of roles, she has lived in many cities and has recently relocated back to her hometown of Atlanta. She is still learning a thing or two about the acting scene here, and how it compares to the last six years of her acting career, in many other cities.
“After I graduated from the University of West Georgia, I moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana,” said Parrish. “And then I traveled around New Orleans. Once I landed my first job on tour, I traveled to Cincinnati, Kentucky, Boston, and Columbus.”
Parrish said she always wanted to act.
“Growing up I did sports and everything in high school, I always loved entertaining,” Parrish said. “I loved making videos with my friends and playing all different characters. I went to my college orientation at UWG and walked into a theatre meeting, and knew I wanted to perform.”
Two days into her college career, she auditioned, and was cast in her first role.
“I was cast in 12th Night. It’s a Shakespeare show. It was a total blast and I knew, this was exactly where I wanted to be.”
Parrish studied and obtained a bachelor’s degree in theatre performance, at the University of West Georgia. After graduation, Parrish did four months of voice over training with Eileen Kimble, an Atlanta native, known for her work on the popular radio station, Star 94. After working for a few months in voice acting, Parrish hit the ground running searching for more theater roles.
Parrish landed her first postgraduate theater gig, a two person show in Baton Rouge called, “The Women.” Once “The Women” wrapped, she toured around New Orleans and Minneapolis in her first improv comedy show.
“Once I got into comedy, I knew that was the direction I wanted to take my career,” Parrish said.
Her most rigorous role yet, a multicity 10-week tour, is where Parrish says she learned the most. She traveled with the National Theatre For Children, teaching them about energy conservation. The show educated the kids through comedy, feeding Parrish’s interest for that realm of acting even more.
“The tour was hard,” she said. “Playing the same show multiple times a day, all throughout the week, it was difficult. But the playwright was the director, and we were able to improv a lot. We performed in schools. I played Captain Door Knob, and my tour partner Joey played a few different roles. That made it a lot of fun.”
Since moving back to Atlanta, Parrish says landing a job is hard. Her voice over experience has paid off, as she has been able to get work that way. However, she is now preparing for one of her biggest theater auditions yet.
In March, Parrish will audition in front of 20 directors who are looking to cast different roles. She will have the opportunity to stand up in front of them for two minutes, doing whatever it is she wants to impress them. She’s got a lot of strength standing behind her, she says her support system in unwavering.
“I have a really strong support system. Family and friends, a few of them are actors too,” Parrish explained. “I have never been discouraged. My parents have been really great. They never asked me what my back up plan was, I mean they were a little unsure at first, but every time they see me perform they have the nicest things to say. They are very, very supportive.”
Close friend and tour partner, Joey Boos, says he has no doubt in her ability to take her career further.
“Audiences love and adore Jordan,” Boos said. “She is such a wonderful and talented performer.”
According to Parrish, the acting scene is quite different in Atlanta compared to other cities. Los Angeles is typically considered the film and TV hub for actors to hit it big. When branching out into theater, New York City holds the most promise for those roles. Chicago has a theater on every corner, but in Atlanta, the need for actors is definitely growing.
Tyler Perry is opening a new studio of his own in Atlanta; work on it has already begun. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Perry plans to get a 330 acre site and build upwards of 16 soundstages. A news release about the opening stated that the project could bring more than 8,000 jobs to the city.
“It is much cheaper now to film here in Atlanta,” Parrish said. “The opening of his studio is something a lot of actors are looking forward to, it has the potential to bring a lot of new opportunity here.”
As for Parrish, she may have plans elsewhere.
“Right now, I am living in Atlanta for a year or two. I want to build up my resume,” she said. “When I feel ready, I plan to make the move out to L.A., I feel that is where I ultimately need to be.”