An established stage, TV and film actress; writer, producer, director, voice-over artist and frequent frontwoman for television commercials, Miami Beach native Jill Melody is admittedly “driven” in her chosen pursuits.
“I have a Type Triple-A personality” says the lengthy-tressed, strawberry blonde who bears more than a passing resemblance to actress Laura Linney and/or singer Celine Dion, depending on who you ask.
A performer since age 10, Jill Melody (yes, that’s her real name) has succeeded in virtually every corner of the entertainment world. She notched a role in the iconic ‘90s TV series, “Friends,” and became both a friend and admirer of actor Martin Sheen during filming of the made-for-TV biopic, “Kennedy,” which starred Sheen as the nation’s 35th president.
In fact, Jill’s early training at the North Carolina School of The Arts and The New York Film Academy in Los Angeles helped her nab awards for stage portrayals and prepared her for appearances in “Friends” as well as TV films such as “First Affair,” starring Loretta Swit and “Spraggue,” with Michael Nouri, along with “Kennedy,” which was filmed in Boston while Jill was living there.
During her Hub habitation, she happened to catch comedian Jay Leno at a Bostonian comedy club before he took the reins of “The Tonight Show.” She fell in love with the comedy genre – a style that is found a permanent site in her repertoire.
Jill also called Memphis home for a time and won accolades for work in that community’s theatrical venues. The Memphis Arts Council presented her with “Best Ensemble Actress Award” for her characterization of Yvonne in Charlotte Delbo’s play Who Will Carry the Word? She took on the challenging role of a French Resistance fighter who was captured by Nazis and perished in Auschwitz, the notorious concentration camp.
A sampling of Jill’s other starring stage roles includes Antigone in the Jean Anouilh adaptation of the eponymous classic and as Jill Tanner in the quirky comedy, Butterflies Are Free. The latter role solidified her affection for humor.
Fast forward past a variety of other Melody-driven projects and you will come to a recent effort, a TV movie she created while enduring two weeks of COVID quarantine in Israel while waiting to work on an indie film.
Called “Just My Type,” the comedy is “best described as ‘30 Rock’ meets ‘The Office,’” she said. Her company, Punch Line Productions, created the film which was released in the Spring of 2023 on Amazon, Tubi, Google Play and YouTube Movies.
"Just my Type,” she said, “portrays the hilarious antics that happen behind the scenes at a fictitious Miami television station” where a variety show is being produced. It was filmed in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton using a bevy of local actors and tech folks.
Jill hatched the idea of “Just My Type” during the pandemic. “While in Israel, I was preparing to perform in an Israeli film and I was required to quarantine for two weeks.” She made good use of potential downtime by “writing every day.”
“When the Israeli film project began, I met a group of private film investors on set, pitched the idea and secured funding for the movie.” Jill is delighted that “Just My Type" employed so many talented local Florida performers as well as a stellar crew. Many had experienced long- or short-term unemployment because of COVID.”
“Shooting the show during the pandemic was quite a challenge. However, our COVID compliance officer kept everyone safe on set by ensuring PCR tests were taken on time, and masks are worn up until we called ‘action.’”
“But make no mistake, shooting a comedy is always fun. We do not let anything stand in the way of the creative process. We need more interesting film projects to be shot in Florida, especially comedies, and I am proud to bolster that process.”
Jill is the creator, writer, co director – and more — for “Just My Type,"
With an ensemble of idiosyncratic characters, the show features Jill as Pat Walker, the head writer, “a quirky, motorcycle-riding, Emmy winner, who has seen and done it all.”
What is it like working with Jill on “Just my Type?” Gaby Tortoledo comments: “Jill is not only a joy to work with, but an absolute inspiration – a strong, smart, beautiful woman with an exemplary career who does it all from acting, to writing, to producing.” “She’s also very generous with her time,” added Gaby, a Miami-based singer/actor with experience on stage and in television. “After shooting last month, she’s been there to give me advice as well as help me connect with key figures in the industry. She’s incredibly supportive.”
Performing comes naturally to Jill Melody, whose father found his calling in the entertainment arena. While other kids her age were swimming and playing, 10-year-old Jill spent summer vacations singing and dancing her way through the south with the prestigious “Show Biz Kids” troupe. While in high school, she was approached by a production company to appear in three educational films. “It was a completely different experience from the stage,” she said, but Jill rose to that challenge.
As she grew in the performance field, both chronologically and experientially, “I began to frequent comedy clubs. Not to appear on stage. I never wanted to be a standup comic. But I appreciate smart comedy.
As if she were not busy enough, Jill founded and is executive director of the Florida Comedy Film Festival, which “provides innovative perspective to connect modern independent films and filmmakers with a unique audience.” The five-year-old event last held in 2020 (COVID cancelled the 2021 edition) at the Willow Theatre in Boca Raton included an appearance by Fran Drescher, known for acting on Broadway and in several TV shows, including “The Nanny.” She received the Comedy Legend Award.
Jill is also involved in philanthropic initiatives which include being on the Executive Board of "Community Elevators" which helps women rise above adversity in their community. It was through her commitment to this cause that Jill became an Executive Producer of "The Taking Innocence Project Docufilm" which tells the stories of sex trafficking survivors and brings awareness to this heinous industry. It also inspired Jill to write and direct her upcoming TV special "Trapped" which also addresses the wide spread issues of sex trafficking.
In 2024 Jill will produce "Hidden Motives" a psychological thriller full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
In addition to writing, directing , producing films and appearing on stage and in film, Jill has been featured in numerous television commercials. She portrayed the popular singing waitress in a nationally broadcast TV ad for the Ground Round restaurant. She also pitched Park Eight, Georgia Bank & Trust, Continuum Games and Zayre through on-air ads.
Jill is also a popular voice actor and has been the female spokesperson for dozens of Genesis Diamonds commercials in the mid-South. She was featured in several Timberland Boots holiday ads, many tv commercials for Electronic Express and numerous internet campaigns including for Funk & Wagnalls.
Ms. Melody works in many entertainment genres and affirms that while comedy comes most naturally to her, she is excited about her latest endeavors which take her into fascinating areas of the entertainment arena, which she predicts will have astonishing outcomes.
To send a message to Jill's Production Company-Punch Line Productions, go to
Visit https://www.floridacomedyfilmfestival.com for exciting updates about Jill's Comedy Film Festival.