Written by Delain Nightingale
We got in touch with our Canadian girl to watch, Jill Maria Robinson, since her last spread from our October, 2013 edition to see what is next for her busy acting and producing career. J.M.R is a nickname she has been branded in the last last year, it’s just a lot shorter than saying her full name, also it’s a brand that recognizes her many roles that weaves in and around the film world. J.M.R is a Canadian Actor we love supporting, Alwazy Therro has been keeping an eye on the movement Jill is creating with the many projects she and all of her friends in Calgary, Alberta are a part of. We learn more about this talented actress and how she has makes it with in Calgary Entertainment Industry. Touching on her tough European roots we find out how she is bringing this strength of determination to her career.
J.M.R’s childhood was not like your typical Canadian girl story; she has a very different past than most us. Jill was born Roxanna Maria M. in Romania and was adopted by a Canadian family in 1991. She was in an orphanage from birth to 3 ½ years of age and was on the verge of death from malnourishment. Jill was the youngest child of Romanian farmers who had 12 children. When asked how she came from her humble start in Romania and endede up as an media entrepreneur, Jill explains, “ it all started with my folks,” Ian and Kathleen Robinson they are both journalists for the Calgary Sun News Paper in Alberta. Both Ontario born, they wanted to save a baby from Romania, because being in the newspaper industry they kept seeing news stories about the President of Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu, and the end of the Socialist Republic of Romania. Both were open to adoption and saw the perfect opportunity when adoption in Romania was opened up for a few years.
Jill’s journey out of Romania was not an easy one. Her father, a writer, risked his life to bring home a baby safe and sound. When Mr. Robinson found Jill through an interpreter who knew about her in the mountains, he thought she was 1 from her size, and only later after settling in Ontario, did did she become happy and healthy. However, Jill still had a long way to climb back from the sever neglect left from Romania. The Robinson’s could tell someone was “still home,” compared to so many, to use the words of Mr. Robinson. She worked her way into a strong and determined youth. Later her father would write a novel about his travels to find his daughter, it’s an emotional and crazy story. They were both lucky to make it out alive from the sketchy people and life threatening experiences Mr. Robinson faced to change a life and create his family. “It would make a great film.” says Jill. Romania after the fall of the Soviet empire was home to a sever repression we can hardly fathom in Calgary’s current wealth and prosperity. The real secret Mr. Robinson has cleverly stole away from the adventure in Romania is Jill who was worth every bit of the trouble.
With care Jill later grew up into the happy sports enthusiast youth we are familiar with in Canadian culture, doing everything from karate, to swimming, to soccer and more. “I was always one of the more” ethnic” kids in my schools growing up and did get picked on for looking different but sports gave me the mentality of the importance of a team and everyone prospering together, that I to this day like to live by. I am a Canadian but I still do have that European passion and fire in my belly. When you meet her she still caries around that strength and confidence you can see in Eastern European women.
J.M.R’s start in the film industry, like many was a little bit of chance and a lot of work. Only two years ago in 2012, she first met Ghazal Alnahas a famous Syrian Actress through very interesting circumstances when a con man was trying to pull one over on both of them but tended well with the
two meeting in the mix and became good friends and the con artist left the city with his tail between his legs. This friendship is set to blossom again this year as the two will be working together for a feature being filmed in Calgary and out of the country. That experience meeting Ms. Alnahas to Jill really sparked her whole movement into building a career as an actor. J.M.R has been a part of a dozen projects in 2 years that she has, acted in, did the make up artistry, hair styling, and marketing for. She wears many hats and has a very achieve-it-yourself mentality. Calgary has a fairly small professional film market, Jill in the last year has had many amazing experiences to grow from being a part of the circle that she and many others think of as, helping changing things in Calgary.
One major boost in J.M.R’s career was staring alongside 5 actors on the Comedy TV series “Go Fish,” which was nominated for multiple awards for the 4th annual award show called The Nollywood Awards in Beverly Hills, California. “It’s very exciting to be invited to L.A and be a part of a project that started it all for me. In September 2014 the cast is set to venture into Los Angeles and they are excited to enjoy the warm weather and beaches,” share Jill. “I’ve been through so many ups and downs in the last two years, paying my dues as they call it.” says J.M.R. After talking with Jill it is clear that she is very serious and all in when it comes to working in entertainment. It’s the only industry she wants to pursue to work in for the rest of her life. The people she meets and get to learn and grow from make her even more inspired to get her own stories out there.
She has a few projects in the very beginning pre-production stages. “I think we all have a story that’s worth hearing, you just gotta tell it the best way for people to be able to connect with the story”, says Jill, “I have worked and met as many respected and known actors and production crews”. Quickly learning as she jumps from the sets to marketing meetings to the makeup studio. “I love being immersed in all the action from the beginning to the end of production I like learning how the professionals do it and understanding the industry.” Doing indie films in Calgary, sometimes everyone has to pull together and do multiple roles with minimal or sometimes no pay. J.M.R does this for the love of the business and craft of acting. “It’s been a busy and crazy ride since I started but it’s my path and I know I’m meant to be here.” J.M.R says.
Jill also does a bit of modeling and event planning on the side when not acting. She doesn’t like listing off her resume to show she’s built herself to be able to gear up for a real go at a serious career. Jill will bein a few features and shows she will be showcased in airing this year and next. We have seen Jill in a few TV shows and big features as background but this year she has transitioned to doing only acting roles for future projects taking on more work in and around the industry. “To me, when someone can do their passion and live off that whether in big or indie productions is my view of success in this industry. Everything I do is within entertainment; it’s where I like to be.”
The major factor that Jill seems to have in spades is the ability to gather those around her and let them work together to open up possibilities in the industry. She doesn’t so much bring them behind her but beside her so the work can be done and the production can be a success. From working on the sets to making connections in and around the Calgary community “I really appreciate everyone in my life who has been on this ride with me and all my friends who work with me. We will see where it all goes I guess. I’m curious myself”, laughs Jill. It takes a lot of people to come together in this industry and community J.M.R seems to love the challenge.
J.M.R continues to fight hard in the industry because it isn’t work but a way of life and she is very thankful that she was one of the lucky ones to survive Romania. Jill comments, “The way I look at it for my life, I’m already on borrowed time and I want to make something of myself for the ones who couldn’t. I want to give back and to one day make a big influence on as many people as I can, in recognition of the gift of lif, which is something we tend to loose focus on..” Not everyone is so fortunate though Jill explains, “My ultimate goal is to eventually host a show that helps families in need in Canada and helps give them a voice and tell their stories. I have a very vivid dream of me and a film crew in a ladies new home and we were all congratulating and crying with her, it was similar to a home makeover show idea. I want to make that a reality.” Jill will be using her passion for working in the film industry to achieve this dream to try help people get empowered.” shares J.M.R. There is no doubt in our minds that Jill will become a positive influence in her Calgary culture or where ever she goes.
Currently she has a reality show she is helping produce in the works, about her and her network in Calgary. Jill has also teamed up with Gail Nicholson of Nicholson Naturals and they have created her a sweet scent that will be in stores and marketed for this year! Send us a sample J.M.R! Congratulation to our busy Canadian gal, we can’t wait to see you in all you future projects! Always Therro will see you down in L.A soon!
Do you see a struggle being in Canada vs LA?
Yes, because there is a smaller professional film market here, so it’s harder to pursue acting as a career. But I am happy to grow and learn here and see where I can end up. I try to be realistic.
What is your biggest dream?
To leave my mark in this world as one who helped a lot of people.
What advice would you give a young model looking to get in the game.
Be professional and make your own opportunities if they don’t come.
Explain how you stay positive.
I think of all the people who rely on me and it makes me feel motivated to keeps me moving forward and happy.
Growing up did you have any mentors?
Fresh Prince, just kidding, my Grandmother and Mum.
What do you like about a man?
Height. I like that most men are taller than me, I’m short so I need someone who can reach stuff lol jk. I like that men have a different out look on everything it keeps life interesting.
Favourite Songs right now?
Gold on the Ceiling by The Black Keys, I Need a Dollar by Aloe Blacc, I Don’t Know by The Sheepdogs, Werewolf of London by Warren Zevon, I Did It My Way Frank Sinatra.
How can we connect with you online?
You can find me on my jmrfanpage on twitter and instagram, J.M.R on FB. Also on a site I frequent for modeling and promoting designers and photographers, http://strangefive.com/category/clothing/