Jess worked her Alexander magic with me prior to performing Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. I needed to find much greater physical and vocal ease for the role, as you know. Over numerous sessions in the months leading up to the show, she nurtured (the most accurate verb I can come up with) away so much of my physical tension and guided me in embracing a deep sense of ease, self-acceptance and awareness. As you even noticed, it had an extremely positive impact on me, helping me to forego forcing my breath through tight vocal chords and to relax and expand in the role. I believe Alexander coaching is a calling for Jess. She’s very knowledgeable and articulate, but more than that, she is extremely positive, receptive, gentle, patient, compassionate, and very moved when her students/clients make progress.
working with Samantha Ma, The Boston Conservatory at Berklee Alum
Many, many, many years ago I studied acting in London at the London Academy, and the Alexander Technique was being used then with all the students. Perhaps then it was a brand new technique (yes, I am that old). But I remember it as being relaxing and energizing at the same time. With each new session, I began to walk differently and feel more centered. It didn’t hurt—it just felt simple and rejuvenating. Then, of course, life took over and I began to study different things. I never lost the memory of those times, though. And when I worked with Jessica, the session brought it all back to me. The feeling of concentration and of letting go and, finally, relaxation. She was absolutely focused on centering my body without overpowering me with rules or regulations. I felt warmed and accepted (we can do no wrong with Alexander—there’s no judgment involved). The technique itself is individualized, so we all get something that we need. It’s so gentle and yet so strong. I was having trouble with my shoulder at the time, and I walked away standing straighter and feeling less burdened. And I could move my arm—that was the real point! I can’t recommend her highly enough. It’s not that pain has to bring you to this technique; it’s that we all need to step into the world stronger and more centered. The Alexander Technique can do that for us, and Jessica is an invaluable resource!
I started working with Jessica after a bad fall that prevented me from walking without assistance for several weeks. At that time, my mind and body were compensating with tension and holding to make up for the injury. Jessica brought the Alexander Technique to me primarily as a means to accept my injury and begin to say yes to my own body’s healing wisdom. She came to me as a life long student of her own work; as a partner in exploration. A remarkable listener, Jessica is intuitive and wise. She brings to life a space that is completely accepting of ‘what is’ and has a magical ability to create pathways to a trusting relationship with one’s own body. Jessica is a guide, she follows rather than imposes. And in each moment, she gently suggests, by her presence, her hands and her spirit; that we all have exactly what we need in every moment to live in awareness and compassion, for others and ourselves.
Far as Jessica -She heard what I didn’t.Saw what I couldn’t.And gave my voice the power it needed for what I wanted to say.Then she taught me how to do it, too.I’d hire her if I were you.
Before I began to explore the Alexander Technique with Jess as a guide I knew a little about it. Once upon a time I worked in theatre and it was something actors did. Not me. Flash forward several years and Alexander Technique was suggested to me as a method of managing panic attacks. I’m pretty open to alternative things, so I did some research and reached out to Jess. That’s when I fell down the proverbial rabbit hole, and became an Alexander Technique convert. And boy am I glad I did. Working with Jess has led me to a whole new understand of myself in relation to the world. I see and feel things more completely, and I am more aware of myself in the world. For the most part I can also feel a panic attack coming on and am able to take control of the situation. I can’t always prevent them but I can put everything into prospective and be better aware of what and why it is happening.Most importantly I credit Alexander Technique with changing how I relate with the world and in such a way that when I entered into a relationship with my now fiancée I was a more present partner and our relationship is as strong as it is because I could give her more of myself.Jess is a wonderful teacher. She is open and warm and is able to find the perfect balance between guiding me to find myself and showing me where my self really wants to be. She is a caring teacher and it is clear that she absolutely loves what she does.
Working with Jess is an experience that I highly recommend. As a college student, life was often hectic- Jess ALWAYS met me from the exact place I was each day. I learned so much about the way my body moves through the world. Jess’s “corrections” were not that- she always encouraged me to realize that my body was moving the way it was for a reason and move rationally towards change. Never did she try to “fix” something- instead, we focused on bringing ease and mindfulness to what I had done before. A student may not realize at first that everything Jess says is towards the positive, but they will definitely leave feeling inclined to treat their mind and body with care. It is often difficult to understand the body but Jess always explains things in a tangible way. Because I moved, I haven’t worked with Jess for at least 6 months. However, I still think about and draw from the gold mines of information she gave me almost daily. Because of Jess, I am able to be mindful and free in my movement and in my thoughts.
When I started Alexander Technique lessons with Jessica I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d spoken with friends who had studied with her before and there was always a common thread – they could only say the work had “changed everything.” Going into my lessons I had my own goals – measurable and attainable, I believed, if I listened well and did my best. What Jessica helped me to find was a gift that is not so easily measured but reaches far beyond the short sighted goals I walked in with. Jessica was able to tune each lesson to what I needed and gave me the guidance and encouragement I needed to continue the work even after our lessons had ended. The Alexander technique has truly affected the way in which I live my life and that is in no small part due to Jessica’s guidance, patience, and generosity.
I’m listening to the quiet need I have right now to say the “perfect” thing and be the “most” articulate about just how immeasurably invaluable Jessica and the Alexander Technique has been in my life. But what is “perfect”? What is the “most” articulate? Instead, can I just speak honestly from where I’m at and trust that my experience (which transcends words) is not defined by this box and still has space to grow and blossom?That’s what this work is. It’s a pause. It’s a recognition of choices. It’s knowing I am constantly arriving and constantly becoming.In lieu of a love letter (I’m saving it for the coffee table book Jessica doesn’t yet know we’re writing together), I will say this:Jessica is an intuitive and insightful teacher and healer, and continues to expand my own understanding of myself through this work. In each lesson, Jessica creates an opportunity to meet yourself in the present moment to explore the functions and patterns in your body and thought, and teaches practical ways to implement the technique into your life. Working with Jessica teaches me the ultimate self-care: how to use my body and mind with ease. Because of her, I am able to walk forward in this world grounded in truth, movement, and my incontrovertible power to affect change within myself and on the world around me.
I don’t quite know how I can thank Jessica enough for bringing Alexander Technique into my life. It came at a point where I didn’t know it was what I needed, and has now become something that I use in my daily life 4+ years later. The minute you start a session with Jessica, you are greeted by the most warm and present person in an incredibly safe space. Jessica provides hands-on work that leads to dozens of helpful realizations and “light-bulb” moments. She demonstrates techniques that you can use at home and is always there to answer your questions when you have them. I always leave a session with Jessica feeling taller, more present and aware, unwound, and insanely happy! I started the technique with Jessica in the hopes that it would benefit my acting, but it has helped me become a more grounded and freer person. Jessica helped me create a practice that can be applied to any situation—whether it be waiting tables or performing a monologue. I cannot thank Jessica enough for all of her help! Thank you thank you!
Jessica is a gentle tsunami, an irresistible force of focused warmth. We worked together on a devised play: she was tasked with movement, voice and improv and quite honestly, I was at times in awe. I got to watch her open the students up to themes, moments and, most important, themselves in the creation of the piece. Her steady pressure moved them from their complacent, preconceptions of themselves as actors to making theatrical moments that could breathe with the audience. For me, in my work as a director, she is exactly the kind of partner needed for this kind of work.