by Jackie Jorgenson
Hayley Simpson is about to skyrocket in her career, and you’re going to want to make sure you know her name. But first, let me introduce you to her.
Hayley is a Canadian born, comedically trained writer currently living in Utah. Her style varies between the dark, extraordinary tales of those who have to fight for their lives and the irreverent goofballs who just do their best to get through each day. Her common thread is one of radical empathy.
Full disclosure, I’m not just a colleague of Hayley’s (I’ve written with her and performed her work many times over the years), but I’m also a dear friend. We go way back to the Comedy Writing and Performance program at Toronto’s Humber College where we first met. Through thick and thin, we’ve always been in the back of each other’s mind like some nagging earwig.
And I bring this up to rightly dispel any bias of my assumptions regarding her career. Of course I think she’s incredible. It’s my duty as her friend and industry peer. Yet, there’s more. There’s unbiased proof that her star is on the rise. So, let’s explore that.
Lucky is a short film, I co-wrote with Hayley, loosely based on our own experiences. It follows the story of two best friends and their murky, messy falling out. Despite finding a magical wish granting penny, they end up wishing for clarity on their friendship and seeking closure. Tale as old as time, am I right?
Lucky premiered at ArtPrize which the largest public art event in the world. It has gone on to be nominated for several awards and even won best LGBTQ Short Film at the Global Film Festival Awards. A large part due, in fact, to Hayley’s vulnerable and brave telling of her own life experiences.
While awards and recognition say a lot about her work, Hayley’s proof of talent is in the work itself. Open hearted vulnerability shines through in everything she writes. Whether you’re reading her latest script or perusing her social media pages, you’ll notice she’s not afraid of authenticity. She makes my work as an actor a complete and utter breeze.
Beyond this award winning short film, Hayley has original television pilots and feature films in her portfolio. She works tirelessly to create work that broaden the idea of what is interesting and valuable to watch. That includes both diversity in characters and a range of stories told. As any viewer will see in Lucky, love is worth exploring in friendship just as much as it is in romance.
What’s next for this award winning writer? And yes, I am going to be fitting in “award winning” as much as I can in this piece. You can watch her weekly writing series, The Writing Stream, where she pulls back the curtain and demystifies the writing process.
Lucky is online right now! So, go watch her award winning writing for yourself. Then, make sure to connect with her on social media:
Jackie Jorgenson is a classically and comedically trained actor who plays the “woman of principle” and the “goofy, emotional girl next door.” Learn more about her work at imdb.me/jackiejorgenson