A Starring Role On and Off the Stage
by Stephanie Struyck Elgin
Her days of stardom date back to the womb. Yes, actress Jordana Capra made her behind the scenes debut in her mother’s belly some 50 and a half years ago.
“Before I was even born, I was on stage,” states Jordana.
Talent just happens to run in the family. Jordana’s mother, a theatre actress, and her father, an artist…well let’s just say the world of arts is all she’s ever known.
At the age of three, Jordana did tap and ballet. “I was a tap dancing tulip to the Mexican Hat Dance in New York. I guess you could say it was the beginning of my career path.” After living in New York, Jordana and her family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. At age 6, Jordana was cast as the lead thief of the Emperor’s New Clothes. “I was the only thief with lines,” states Jordana, “then again, I was the director’s kid!”
Jordana continued to take the stage in various plays throughout grade school and high school. Eventually, she made her way to the University of Minnesota where she earned her degree in theater.
“Acting…it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Jordana has been all over the world, shooting over 200 commercials, voice overs, television and film. She recollects filming Hired to Kill in Greece with José Ferrer and Oliver Reed. “José was so much fun to work with. He was 80 and I fell madly in love with him.” Jordana has also worked alongside Peter Gallagher, Brad Pitt, Shaquille O Neal and Britney Spears.
Jordana has graced the small screen and made appearances on Beverly Hills 90210, ER, Strong Medicine, Saved by the Bell, Desperate Housewives and House, M.D. to name a few. “I even played the role of the angry lesbian psychologist on Night Stand,” states the smiling actress.
You may recognize the Santa Clarita resident as she recently took stage at the Repertory East Playhouse in The Graduate. Jordana played the iconic role of Mrs. Robinson alongside Reid Gormly, who played Benjamin.
“Mrs. Robinson was quite a character,” states Jordana. “She’s fascinating and I was physically and emotionally run down after playing the role. I had to understand her history, what brought her to this place, how she saw other people, how she looked at the world. It is such a fascinating process.”
After meeting Jordana, it’s no surprise what an amazing woman she truly is. Jordana has a certain presence that makes you feel alive and want to smile. She has a zest for life and she lives it.
Just 14 years ago, Jordana beat cervical cancer. “Thankfully for me, cervical cancer is a slow growing cancer. I discovered I was at Stage 3 and they needed to remove my cervix.”
Just three and a half weeks later she had surgery. Those three and a half weeks had changed her life. “In those three and a half weeks between diagnosis and surgery, it was like a light hit me. Suddenly I enjoyed the smell of coffee, the green of the trees, the blue of the skies, the bucolic state of mind. It’s as if I was going to walk to the edge of the devil’s abyss and I was going to turn on my heel and the devil wasn’t going to get me…at least not today. I felt so alive, and I knew I was going to beat it.”
And beat it, she did. After her cervix was removed, the once biopsied cervix was cancer free. “In the three and a half weeks, I cured my own cancer being particularly happy. I had the power, I beat it, but the surgery confirmed it.”
Jordana’s mother died from pancreatic cancer, her aunt, from lung cancer that went to her brain, and her grandmother from breast cancer. “Four women, four different cancers, one line of family members,” states Jordana. The only survivor, “It has since been my life’s work to eradicate a cancer from this planet.”
Jordana is one of the founding members of Circle of Hope. “Colleen Shaffer, a two time breast cancer warrior, is an amazing woman who, with her own money, brains and effort, really got Circle of Hope created, and surrounded herself with the people that supported her.” Jordana began as a volunteer at Circle of Hope, joined the board and soon thereafter became president. She continuously volunteers her time and efforts to finding a cure.
Bright eyed and beautiful, Jordana is a survivor. Her determination to be the best she can be on and off the stage is remarkable. “I encourage people to find joy…whatever brings you happiness, I say, do more of it.”
To learn more about Jordana, visit www.jordanacapra.com.