Interview with Joy Yvonne Jones 06/16/2020
Originally from Houston, Texas, Joy Yvonne Jones attended The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and went on to study at the University of Minnesota in the Guthrie Theatre BFA Actor Training Program. Joy is an actress, playwright, and teaching artist. Currently, Joy is working on a collaborative project called Dinner and a Zoom which is a series of live virtual plays in partnership with Black-owned eateries.
What projects are you currently working on? Most recently, my play Ode to My Mothers was read for the Old Globe’s Juneteenth virtual celebration, hopefully, to be developed for a live performance next year.
How has the pandemic affected or shifted your practice? When things began to shut down because of the pandemic, I was in Louisville Kentucky working on a production called Flex for the Humana Festival. We unfortunately never had a chance to perform it. Once it became clear that my artistic focus for this year would have to shift from live theatre, I focused on my writing.
What has your journey been like as a creative/artist/small business owner? I first discovered my passion for Acting at the age of 10, when I was given the role of Harriet Tubman in the Black History Program at my church. I believe that every story has a purpose, and as an actress, I am responsible for giving it breath. Since graduating from college I have been traveling with my husband who is in the US Marine Corps. Our nomadic lifestyle has provided an opportunity for me to form a creative tribe that spans the country. I have done episodic television in Minneapolis and North Carolina, Shakespeare in Texas, and award-winning theatre in California. Every time I work in a new place its an opportunity to learn something new and for the tribe to grow.
Do you have any tips for up-and-coming, or rising artists/creatives? My advice you young artists is to create your own path to fulfill your purpose and be kind to yourself. There is so much pressure to be seen and to make money that we can forget about the art. Also, have fun creating art only becomes a job when you stop having fun.