Hi and welcome! I'm Jillian, a Louisville, Kentucky native who got my start onstage when my second grade teacher realized that the Kentucky Opera needed an outgoing kid for a production and that she had a student who could use an outlet for some performative energy.
After that first taste onstage, I was hooked. I received my bachelor’s degree in Classical Voice from Belmont University & went on to Oklahoma City University to study for my Masters in Musical Theatre, which was a perfect fit.
In grad school, I met Michael Schafer - a classical tenor and pure joy in human form. A year into our relationship, he found a sore on his tongue that was diagnosed as cancer. On May 29th, 2015 we got married and 11 days later, he passed away only 8 months after his initial diagnosis.
The Mikado with The Kentucky Opera
Graduate recital at
Oklahoma City University
Until then, I had always considered myself an upbeat person who was primarily strong at comedic acting. In the wake of Michael’s death, however, I took my first Meisner class and it upended up my emotional world. Meisner helped me to break through the defenses of faux brightness and laughter to find acceptance for all facets of myself - light and dark.
Annie at the McLeod Summer Playhouse
It allowed me to realize that I had been pushing down so many parts of myself for fear of being "too much" emotionally or out-of-control vocally. I knew that, of all artists, singers needed to know about this technique.
I created Meisner in Music and the work spoke for itself. We have served artists ranging from Broadway professionals to recent college grads and have had consistently sold-out classes since 2019. It is my greatest joy to be able to teach the Meisner technique in song, helping singers to feel safe, trust in their voices, and know that they are enough.
Meisner in Music workshop
I am currently singing & teaching out of New York and live with my two cats and sweet husband, Wes.
I would love to stay connected with you!