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My True Love For Film And Acting by Lillee Jean


My True Love For Film, And Acting by Lillee Jean

I have always been a girl who loves the camera—having fun, performing, dressing up. It didn't matter, I just LOVED to be all flashy, dramatic, and, be a part of something big! My love of the arts goes way back, and I am so grateful for the opportunities that have posed themselves in my path to guide me where I am today. From being in several school performances to my first stop-motion film, the arts in my life have always been a vibrant guiding light.


Stop Motion Film

From a very young age, I was fascinated by acting and film, it's no secret. I used to create stop-motion videos of my American Girl dolls on my blog. It was my dream to film, direct, and produce segments starting from the age of 8 onwards. I knew this was "it", the "a-hah" moment of what made me feel SO happy, and lit up inside. I could create anything! I mean, I created an ice skating competition scenario for the girls, and, even had an intense magazine competition between them, too. They were unstoppable!!


Each photo segment I would patch together, to form the stop-motion, and add my voice on top of it. I had no formal training, but the benefit of growing up in a digital age, and watching others in my favorite films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, in outtakes, to show the process. I shared the segments with my friends, and, teachers at school! I grew a bit of a following with people excited for what would be next! There was NOTHING my dolls couldn't do. I mean, Ashley had a barbell weight-lifting comp. That was everything! Being a girl from Flushing, Queens, I felt always inspired.


Performances


Growing up, I did many school shows, including The Nutcracker and Wizard of Oz. It was fun to see modern dance, jazz, and storytelling through movement in the performances. I had the opportunity to learn so much, and I seized it!


I was dealing with bullying and people being less than nice, around this time. I just started to lose the extra fluff, and grow more into my features. I suppose now as a woman, I realize 6th grade is when people change. Not to accept that, but to cope with that. Performing was that escape, however, and that way I could express myself, and forget the terrible feelings inside. I performed in a traditional Korean Fan Dance, and for several months got to work with a hanbok, and, a gorgeous fan. Due to my experience from performing in elementary school in Chorus (I was in a Mary Poppins musical), this was just a total surprise to me! I enjoyed every living second.


My True Love For Film, And Acting by Lillee Jean


Photography & Beauty

Around that time, in 5th grade on, I started my blog for beauty and fashion and I got into photography. It made me realize how much I loved creating stories through visuals and movement.


My original blog was full of creative looks I photographed on my mom's BlackBerry. Blue eyeshadow, red, it didn't matter. I blogged extensively, and, felt "pretty" about myself. Just because I was an A+ student, and was performing, all glitzy, it didn't erase the bullying happening in person. It still happened, I still felt like crap. The makeup added another layer of "escape" from that treatment. It helped a lot as a coping mechanism.


"The Makeup Bloggers" was a pivotal moment for me. After school and homework, I spent most of my time on BeautyLish and Sephora Beauty Boards, sharing countless looks. Photographing them, and writing about them, too! My English teacher was impressed, and encouraged the blogging, as she felt it made my writing a step up and put me on the path to being college-ready in the future.


I wasn't permitted to have a YouTube or Instagram account as my mom considered them unsafe. So, I had to get creative and keep blogging, sharing, and repeating my passion for makeup.


When I was finally able to create a private Instagram account, I transformed my beauty blog, The Makeup Bloggers, into Thaeyeballqueen. I received many compliments about my eyes in the past, and so "The Eyeball Queen" was born! I decided to focus on becoming a makeup artist for models on the runway. I started creating online tutorials and had instant success, with people commenting, sharing, and even brands taking notice. At the age of 15, my St. Patrick's Day makeup look went viral on Pinterest, which was an incredible feeling. It confirmed that I was on the right path, so I thought.


My First Short Film Ever



When I was 17 years old, something in me changed. Makeup now wasn't enough. I posted to YouTube a short film I wrote, with the encouragement of my friends! I had not done that in YEARS! I even posted myself on Backstage as an actress, among Voice 123, and more. Women's Makeup Throughout History was dramatic and thoughtful! A juxtaposition between what we think of women, vs the reality! It was an ode to women.


By 17, I kept changing and changing. Having bright blonde hair didn't seem necessarily "me" anymore. Makeup caked on didn't feel "right" anymore. I AM NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE. That is what felt right. Career-wise, I thought like this: Makeup is makeup - it's a thing to use. Do I want to be a makeup artist? But, theatre is LIVING...so differently.


I was attending Keystone High School by this point, and I took Video Development, and Art & Music Appreciation. The year prior in 9th grade, I took a Shakespeare Sonnets class at Bayside High. I also in Chinese I Honors (9th grade), performed in an original short film, where my character Taylor dealt with saying no to drugs! I think these classes attributed to my full-circle moment back in film!


I participated in Mandy Actor's monologue challenge at 17 performing a comedy segment from Charlie Brown (the theatre show), and put myself out there with a demo reel, and everything!


I decided to pursue acting as my career path. However, I faced a challenge as I didn't have any connections or a fortune to invest in it. Meanwhile, I continued to expand my online presence as I knew people could "make money" this way to support other careers. I thought it could help me achieve my dream since I had already gained a significant following by doing makeup for years.



Webseries


Lillee Jean talks live don most

I started experimenting with web series when I was just 19 years old and it was loads of fun! This experience gave me a deeper understanding of how films work. It's great to know acting, but having knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes and understanding what to look for while wearing the director's hat was invaluable. New Media has definitely opened the door for actors and actresses alike!


19 is actually when I came up with my show Lillee Jean TALKS! live. I was just coming out of "LILLEE TUTORIALS", ending that reign of makeup, and moving on. LJ Talks was born out of casual conversations with friends. From Donny Most on Happy Days, to Lady Clegg, Neil D'Monte, Shelley Wade, Jen Eagle, and Shiah Maisel, it was just wonderful. There was no script, just friends talking to friends! Through this show, I was fortunate enough to have conversations with many people in the Hollywood circle. I am grateful for this experience, especially during COVID-19 times when there were no consistent opportunities for auditions.


The Now: Acting & Training


Lillee Jean acting


I am back full circle, and I love it. Things such as my dramatic side, my ANY side, flourish so much. Acting has helped me with many obstacles, and this is why, this piece, is my ODE to acting.


At the age of 20, I made a huge life decision to quit content creation and influencing (I was in between auditioning trying to continue a social media presence). I said in one statement earlier this year,


“I am done with the influencer/beauty guru period of my life. I don’t want to be stuck behind a computer screen making content daily. I am not a YouTuber, nor an Instagram model..what kind of future life is that? The internet breeds a different batch of people. It ignites a parasocial relationship, where people online feel connected to you in an invasive way. The acting and theater communities drive you to be your best, and unleash an exciting fire for me. I love to filmmake!” — Lillee Jean

I think that said it all. Why be in a spot I didn't like, that had people so mean, when I could at 20 years old GROW SO MUCH away from that culture?


At 22, I have invested in myself. I have trained at the prestigious T. Schreiber Studio for Meisner Technique with Nick Landry, and Dialects with Page Clements. I also have my own productions including my web series Lillee Jean TALKS! Live, with award-winning Hollywood actors, such as Donny Most, and two films I directed, and wrote including Miss Roxie, and Peony and Violet.


My only goal now is to keep training in school and class, and keep auditioning and getting better each day in my craft!


by: LILLEE JEAN TRUEMAN.


WEBSITES: 


Recent Films:


Social Media:



Representation

Manager (NYC): Laura Trueman: Hello@LilleeJean.com


©2023 Lillee Jean. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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