About Me

First of all, if you are visiting this page, I owe you a thank you. I could not be the artist, person, and Midwesterner turned New Yorker I am with out the support of my amazing group of collaborators, family and friends around the world. As an artist and educator, I have a profound belief in finding and supporting your community. Thank you for being part of mine.

I am an actor, singer and voice teacher (who moves well!) hailing from the great state of Iowa. I have found myself in many states since – literally and figuratively – but am immensely proud of my “Iowa Nice” roots. Since 2007, I have called NYC home while working as an actor and musician both locally and regionally. Over my years of performing and workshopping, I’ve realized my underlying and overwhelming passion is for collaborative storytelling.

I love working with other artists as a performer, teacher, or pianist to reveal and unlock a piece of music or theater. My first profound collaboration was in Des Moines, IA with now Dallas-based pianist/composer/arranger Rebecca Cordes. We still work together today, most often on her original works, or rearranging and interpreting everything from Sondheim to Led Zeppelin. More occasionally than I’d like, I make it to Dallas to sing with her jazz combo Plus One.

I have had the remarkable opportunity to help develop new work with an array of amazing artists. In New York, I appear regularly at NYU within The Department of Dramatic Writing, working behind the scenes on script development with the graduate and undergraduate writers. I am also a company member for the class Loving the Living Playwright, taught by Susan-Lori Parks. I’ve worked with a number of NYC-based companies such as Horse Trade, The Eagle Project, Stage Left, The Lark, Axial Theater Company and Hard Sparks. Recently I spent a week at the O’Neill institute helping develop Kate Tarker’s Laura and the Sea, having first worked on the role of Laura in Salt Lake Acting Company’s annual Playwright’s Lab. You can see my resume for a laundry list of roles I’ve played in NY and regionally, but the roles that taught me the most about myself are Jo/Mae in Dirty Blonde by Claudia Shear, and Grace Grady in David Parr’s Pluto is Listening. I highly encourage you to read either play.

Musically, I have worked frequently with a wide range of composers developing new work in all styles, as well as a number of different jazz combos in the city. My background in opera and legit singing has given me a strong technical base that allows me to sing a variety of styles including musical theater, pop, jazz and the blues. I maintain a private voice studio in Manhattan, specializing in providing a similarly strong technical foundation for my students, enabling and empowering them to sing in any number of musical styles. I also hope I empower them to face the daily challenges of being an artist with strength, grace and kindness to themselves and their community. Over time, I’ve developed a strong faith in knowing the rules of this NY game and knowing exactly when to break them, and I’d like to think my students are getting the hang of that, too!

Things that make me happiest are Bikram Yoga, the NY Philharmonic, Iowa Hawkeye Football, and being surrounded by bright colors. And yes… the adorable creatures pictured here are my dogs, Nollie Kinnick and Gigi Pearl. They are for hire, as well.

Thank you again for stopping by!

Please performing or general information, please contact me at Joleen.wilkinson@gmail.com. For more information on voice lessons, please contact jwvoicestudio@gmail.com.