Every journey starts with a single step, through, or in my case, a single note.
I am Jessica Martin, a 'seasoned' multi-faceted entertainer with a thirty-year career of many twists and turns. I have gone from teenage jazz singer, to television impressionist (in the days when light entertainment was at its Saturday night best!), to cult Doctor Who guest star, leading West End musical theatre actress and now, in the last four years, a comic creator and published graphic novelist.
So I feel that I have, in the words of the great song, definitely lived a life that's full!
However, the glitzy, glamorous, showbiz journey is underpinned by a more unconventional family history...
I was born in 1962 to an Irish mother and Singaporean father who was a successful band leader in 50's Soho, London... long before interracial relationships were par for the course. And this relationship was filled with silences, secrets, and some surprises that shook the very foundations of my childhood.
In telling this story, I hope to capture some of the sultry spirit of Soho, and the heat and intensity of standing on a stage, singing your heart out, all from the perspective of someone who has never quite… fit in.
It is the story of someone who comes from an unconventional background, where nothing was quite as it seemed, and who would escape into the world of musicals and performance.
It is the story of a woman seeking to bring together the strands of living a creative life and having a home and hearth.
It is the story of the knocks and setbacks that befall anyone seeking to express themselves fully, and searching for the way to do it.
Being a born entertainer I want to create an all-singing, all-dancing, all-drawing book to delight the senses. With a cast of diverse characters, and guest appearances from some very recognisable personalities, this graphic novel will be 152 pages paying tribute to a creative life.
Hello... remember me?
A hiatus in the ebb and flow of my progress. Apologies for that. There was the family hols in Greece. Won't bore you with that but I will say that Halkidiki is my dream destination should I ever be fortunate enough to be able to take time for a dedicated writing retreat.
Meanwhile, work is seriously underway on the 'word' part of my graphic memoir. And now that I've come…
The sun is shining outside and in my heart! Two days ago we reached 100% funding and today we're at 101% so the exciting adventure continues! The work itself will take quite a few months to complete the book. But there will be regular updates on progress and little vlogs showing how it's all going.
Don't worry.. you haven't got rid of me that easily!
Meanwhile here's a…
Ahoy to all my trusty supporters here on board the good ship "Life Drawing". I'm happy to say that progress has been so amazing since my last update that we are now very close to the target. And sorry for the lack of updates but my real life has also been going at a rate of knots (so many seafaring metaphors but at least it evokes the sense of exciting adventure!)
Some photos attached of…
Reflections in a Mirrorball
At the time of this update, I am about to open in the revival of a cult Broadway classic musical "Ballroom" at a bijoux fringe venue in London, Waterloo East Theatre.
The multifaceted mirrorball spinning in the Stardust Ballroom is like a metaphor for my quick change life as actress, singer, artist, writer, wife and mother. In the show I employ the skills of acting…
A few lovely things to report. So now we've got to 34% funded in just over three weeks since the launch. I am overwhelmed by the generosity and willingness of you all. Some of you I met just last week at the fabulous Stoke Con Trent where I was signing Doctor Who memorabilia. Now, of course, you have been introduced to my writing and illustrating identity. I hope you'll be able to…
Thank you to everyone here here who has made this first week of campaigning a memorable and successful one. Almost 25% funded! I am over the moon. But of course, this is only the start. I'm sharing an article adapted from an interview I've just completed for the small press comics website Broken Frontier. It clarifies my intentions and explores why I'm doing this book now. I know you're all with me…
These people are helping to fund Life Drawing: A Life Under Lights.