SAMANTHA JONES is an actor and director originally from NYC.
Jones' recent credits include Bess Johnson on Bull/CBS, Christie in the premiere of John Cariani's Cul De Sac, Sheryl Bennett in the upcoming feature Skin, Sonia in Vanya & Sonia & Masha 7 Spike, to name a few. Her 4th solo show Butterfly Suicide was an official selection in the Solo Nova Festival at PS122 in NYC.
Early on, Jones established her reputation as an actor with hilarious original characters in all four of her solo shows and her work as an improvisational comedian. It began after completing 10 years of acting training which included college at SUNY New Paltz. She returned home to NYC and her mother, award-winning writer Debbie Jones, suggested stand-up comedy be the next logical step for the budding comedian.
Though stand-up sounded terrifying, Jones already had plenty of experience hosting variety shows in college. So it was then that Jones began an exciting journey into professional stand-up comedy, improv and sketch comedy.
In 1995, Jones managed to find herself a place in a weekly live sketch comedy show which required new material each week. For three years Jones wrote new musical acts and sketches for the cast each week. With only a few days each week to write and rehearse, Jones discovered writing solo pieces was much easier to squeeze in between her work and gave her more time to prepare for the show. This is where her work as a solo performer was born.
Jones created monologues and characters based on her life growing up in NYC. These characters eventually were put onto her first solo show, I’M IN CHARGE OF THE COATS at HERE Arts Center under the program run by NBC.
Jones continued to collaborate with her team and family which was DORA MAE PRODUCTIONS. Three more solo shows came out of Jones and her team and the writing expanded to included original pieces written by her sisters, Jeannine Jones and Rebecca Lally.
Adding singer songwriter to her list of credits, back in her sketch comedy days, the weekly need for brand new materiel often made Jones turn to her guitar. She created a ridiculous sketch about a brother and sister folk-goth singing duo called CRAZY POTATOe (the E was intentional). Jones along with actor/fireman, Adam Lake, became sort of a cult duo and sang several original songs by Jones in comedy clubs and colleges. Today she and her sister Rebecca are an award-winning comedic, folk-rock duo - THE SISTER'S ROCK!
At her core, improvisation has inspired all of Jones’ work as a performer. Along the way she had founded, performed with and directed dozens of troupes including FAUX SHOW, THE MUG SHOTS, THE OUTRAGEOUS INSTINCTS, THE HEADSHOP GUERILLAS, THE BAKER'S DOZEN, THE FREE ASSOCIATION and PLEASE STAND BY Her years of work in improvisation have led her to featured opportunities with Comedy Central, MTV's RUN'S HOUSE, The Uprights Citizens Brigade and Jack Black's ACCEPTABLE TV. In 2015 Jones founded Hudson Valley Improv and in 2017 her production company Mimi Entertainment.
Jones began her own improv classes back in 1993 after being taught by well known professor Beverly Brumm and since has taught hundreds of people how to get back to who hey are instinctually. While her preference is short-form improv for performance purposes, Jones has developed her own unique form which she has become known for. While she combines theatre games, Meisner technique, brain games, physical challenges to her group events, its her intuition people come back for. Jones knows how to tap into people to find their blocks fast. She then creates original games to break those blocks down. Her method is called Improv Empowerment.
All of her work on stage and off eventually lead her to directing more and more. Solo shows directed by Jones have appeared on 3 continents and several festivals all over the world. She has co-created and directed solo vehicles for other performers including stand up comedy, talk shows, solo shows, and story telling. She also has directed full-length plays and rock and roll concerts.
She has donated her empowerment work through improvisation to the New Perspective Theater Company, The Momentum Repertoire Company, Esther Ashkenas Central Park Early Learning Center and recently was an honorary guest in the Think Tank at the Endangered Species Women's Conference in NYC.
She has worked as an independent producer on ARTISTS FOR THE CURE at Carnegie Hall, and WIGSTOCK. She has represented Screen Actor's Guild on the board of the NY Coalition of Professional Women in Arts and Media. She was a founding partner of Dora Mae Productions, a member of SAG, AFTRA, AEA, and Alpha Psi Omega. She has studied performance at The LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, HB Studios, Neighborhood Playhouse and SUNY New Paltz. She loved to go back to her Alma Mater to speak to young theatre students about career and creativity challenges after graduating.