Jessica Glenn Rookeward is originally from Sydney Australia, now living and working in New York, NY as a performer in Musical Theatre, Film and Tv. Miss Rookeward has been performing since a very young age and since the has accomplished a rather impressive resume.
Since moving to New York to study at AMDA – the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where she graduated in 2017 with a degree in Musical Theatre, she has performed in NYMF – The New York Musical Festival in UNITED WE STAND as a soloist; FREDDIE – as Stacey, a new play; Equity stage reading of MARGIE DITCHES THE EXPANDABLE PIG – Louise; THE DIVINE MISS BETTE (American Tour) – Harlot (Neil Gooding Productions); ASCAP/TDP Scholarship Cabaret at Don’t Tell Mama; FIREFLY: Bluegrass Cabaret (Inara). She has also done a few tv appearances as extras on THE GRAND TOUR add for Amazon Prime; and an extra on LOVE IN NEW YORK – a Chinese tv show. Highlights of her career thus far have been playing the lead role of WENDLA in the prestigious ATYP’s Australian production of SPRING AWAKENING, with which she was nominated for two Sydney Theatre Awards – Best Newcomer and Best Performance by a Female in a Musical.
2. What are you currently working on right now?
Right now, I am shooting a mini series for the History Channel in New York. A part from that I am constantly auditioning daily for musicals and plays as much as I can, plus still sending in audition submissions for project in Australia and London. Working three jobs and also working on my own scripts I am writing.
3. What visa are you on right now?
Right now, I am on my O1 work visa.
4. Tell me about any difficulties you may have faced while applying for the visa?
The main difficulties I have faced is rejection of jobs either theatre or film based on the old VISA I was on (OPT) or the fact I didn’t have one (the limbo time when my old visa had finished and I was waiting for my new one). No agents or managers would take me since I “wasn’t a guaranteed thing” due to not having a visa, but now on my O1 I can get an agent, work on more tv and film networks and be available for the next three years, not limiting me to projects.
5. Do you have any advice for people who might want to apply for the same visa as you?
Get started early, collect as much information on yourself as you can, even if you don’t think its useful it is better to have more than less – be open to your credits or information not being enough, there are other ways. It is possible, even If you can get a sponsor or petitioner - there are options out there. One thing for me that I found hard was the emotional stress and worry it had on me, worrying “will I get it”, “What more can I do to get it”, “I’m not ready to go home”. That was the hardest part about the process, the stress it created. But thanks for Marcus Yi, he led me through this so well that I believed he could get me there to the best of his ability and made me feel as confident and calm as I could going through the process. A lot of the time my school and casting people would tell me to go home since I wouldn’t work here on certain VISA’s but that’s not true, it can happen, it will happen, it is happening. Go with someone who you feel completely confident in to handle your case, that’s how I felt with Marcus.
For more information about the O1 / Artist visa check out our O1 / Artist Visa Application Guide and O1 / Artist Visa Immigration FAQ.
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