Joanna Pickering

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Joanna Pickering is a British-born actress, writer, model and TV producer based in New York City.[1] She trained at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Method Acting.[2] She was first known for the lead actress for the trilogy films, written and directed by Dean Cavanagh and son Josh Cavanagh. The films are produced by music mogul Alan McGee[3] (the co-founder of Creation Records and pioneer for bands such as Oasis and the Britpop movement) with his new film company Escalier 39.

Early life[edit]

Pickering was born in the North East of England.[4] She studied at a convent school[5] where she received an academic scholarship[1] and then went on to graduate from university with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pure and Applied Mathematics.[6] During this time she worked as a model[1] as well as taking bit roles in UK television such as the Chris Morris show Nathan Barley,[7] underground radio shows, and theater work.[8]

Pickering was accepted into the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City where she trained in method acting for stage and camera.[9]

At this time Pickering was considered an integral part of the Libertines rock and roll scene that emerged in London in mid 2000s[8] and went on to DJ and front the international club night Death Disco in Los Angeles[8] in 2007 before returning to acting.


Pickering's first significant role was playing the lead in the London produced play "The Thief" which aired on independent UK radio for Resonance FM in 2007.[10] "The Thief" was written and directed by the playwright Johny Brown, who is also the founding member of rock group The Band of Holy Joy.

Pickering's following roles have included many low budget independent films, such as "Party On Ice" with award winning Swedish directors Fabian Svensson and Jens Klevje[11] for Conjunction, as well as smaller roles in major films such as Svengali written by Dean Cavanagh and Jonathan Owen and starring Vicky McClure and Martin Freeman.[12]

After this Pickering was offered to perform as lead actress for the trilogy films, written and directed by Dean Cavanagh and son Josh Cavanagh. The films are to be produced by music mogul Alan McGee (the co-founder of Creation Records responsible for Oasis and Britpop) with new film company Escalier 39. The first film in the trilogy "KUBRICKS" was completed on location in Wales in 2012.[13] It is set to screen worldwide in 2014. The film is considered to be influenced by the Dogme method of filming, and pays homage to the craft of Stanley Kubrick.[14]

In an interview in June 2012 for Zani Magazine, shortly after the completion of filming Pickering stated, "I don't know how it will turn out, a genuine experiment it seems, but the experience was absolutely positive."[2] Pickering also declared they had "broken every rule of film making by the end of the first afternoon."[2] In a February 2013 interview Pickering considered it the most experimental work she had undertaken to date describing it as "a working metaphor for quantum (mechanics)."[15]

The second film is called The Dogstar. It films on location in a church bought by Alan McGee in Wales.[16]

At the end of 2012, filming on location in Berlin, Pickering portrayed the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven[8] an avant-garde Dadaist artist and poet who lived from July 1874 – 15 December 1927. This filming collaborated alongside "The Filmballad of MamaDada" which was shown at The Whitney Museum, New York City, as a directorial collective film about The Baroness.[17][18]

2013 sees Pickering play the lead role for La Muse Venale production of "Mersey Boys" filming summer 2013.[19] The screenplay is based on the original "Mersey Boys" novel written by author Steven Farrell. It is centered around the rock band The Beatles before they reach fame.[20] Mersey Boys will also have Pickering cast for the off-broadway play and see her return to stage as she originally trained. The play will run at The Actors Temple Theater in New York City fall 2013.[21]

On 22 March 2013, Pickering began filming in London with The Band of Holy Joy in a musical feature film for "City of Tales: Volume 1 & 2".[22] It is produced by Inga Tillere and directed by Johny Brown.[23] To date Pickering performs in three sequential musical short films for "City of Tales" - "I traveled the buses late at night" "Empty purse Found in Hotel Lobby" and "It Just Beats up their heart." Scottish Actor Tam Dean Burn also films with the project.[23]

In April 2013, a UK press release suggested Pickering was preparing to work on a new project with "Please Kill Me" author Legs McNeil.[8] Pickering was also involved in the pre-production stage of a new USA TV series named Shanghai written by Mick Lexington (author of Mr Jack), and is set to play in the role[8] of the cunning femme fatale.[24]

In August 2013, Pickering pitched Shanghai (TV Series) at The Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival seeing her not only in place as a star acting role but also as an international television producer.[25]

Model work[edit]

Pickering's model work has included editorial, cat walk, and front covers for magazines such as UK's Who's Jack magazine and bikini model for surf company Rip Curl.[26]

She is also the front cover model for the album Spectorbullets which was released for worldwide distribution in November 2010 by the band Spectorbullets and includes ex The Fire Engines member Russell Burn and Gustaf Heden.[27]

Pickering cites in a 2012 feature interview with Zani Magazine that writing and acting is her preference over model work, as well as preferring to choose low budget, indie art, and experimental films, often with heavy use of improvisation acting work over many commercial avenues.[2][28]

However, on 11 March 2013, Pickering agreed to model/represent "See me not my label"- a company working with the Mind (charity) for removing stigma attached with mental disorders and raising awareness and funds.[29]

In September 2012 Pickering was the subject for portrait on large box canvas by Scottish artist Justin Robertson. The artist is renowned for his unique take on iconic musicians, movie stars and world events which he then paints in his own Pop art style. The painting exhibited for auction in Edinburgh in October 2012.[30]


Musically, Pickering has written and performed lyrics for the song "The Final Ending" for a Spectorbullets EP release, which was in fact only ever played once on East Village Radio in New York City in February 2012 due to a band split. The track was initially slated to be called "The Spectorbullet".[31] Pickering also wrote the lyrics for the song "Drop" which was released earlier on the album Spectorbullets in November 2010.[32] The album as a whole received 4 out of 5 in the December 2010 issue of the British music magazine Uncut.[33] In April 2011, in a Scottish magazine article written by Robert King, who formed the 1970 Scottish post-punk band The Scars, Drop was described as "lyrically essentially a recreation of Godard’s film A bout de souffle."[34]

On 13 March 2013, Pickering's short story "The Final Ending" was released on a single by Spectorbullets for world digital distribution.[35] It is entitled "a story about love"[35] and Pickering states in a 2011 interview it was inspired by Betty Blue's character from the Jean-Jacques Beineix film with Béatrice Dalle about a girl with a missing eye.[5]

On 22 March 2013, Pickering performed her own creative writing, airing it on live radio for "The Fall of Babylon" show on Resonance FM in London.[36] The piece was an adaptation of Pickering's previous writing published on her experiences living in Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York City, in the early 2000s, before full gentrification of the area.[37]

Personal life[edit]

Pickering resides in Manhattan, New York City.[1]


Year Film Role
2004 The King of Bollywood Wedding Guest
2010 The Beautiful Veil Girl at Memorial
2010 Lover's Discourse Herself
2011 There Is No Me Hannah
2011 Party On Ice Tuesday
2011 Upon Our Children Genevieve
2012 Burgundies Boys Elizabeth Dufrese
2012 Sour Girl Beth
2012 Svengali Horsey's Girl
2012 KUBRICKS Lucy
2013 The Baroness in Berlin[38] Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
2013 FilmBallad of MamaDada Baroness in Berlin
2013 Method Herself
2014 Latency[38] Jackie
2014 Mersey Boys Ginny Browne
2014 City of Tales Ophelia


Year Title Role
2005 Nathan Barley Art Critic
2006 Top Ten Ways to Contact the Dead Cleopatra
2013/16 Shanghai Simone Beauchamp


Year Title
2008 The Thief
2012 The Fall of Babylon


Year Production Theater Role
2013/14 Mersey Boys The Actors Temple NYC Ginny Browne
2013/14 Just a Few Hundred more Thespis Theater Festival NYC Mindy[39]


Year Production Event
2013 Sanghai TV series The Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival


  1. ^ a b c d Joanna Pickering.
  2. ^ a b c d Interview with Joanna Pickering, Zani Magazine (May 2013). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  3. ^ Kubricks (2013).
  4. ^ An Intermediate Exploration Of Life: My Interview with Indie Actress Joanna Pickering. A Southern Life In A Scandalous Times (11 February 2013).
  5. ^ a b Georgiou, Katy (May 2013) An Interview with Joanna Pickering,, p. 4
  6. ^ An Intermediate Exploration Of Life: My Interview with Indie Actress Joanna Pickering 11 February 2013[dead link]
  7. ^ Full cast and crew for "Nathan Barley" Episode #1.3 (2005).
  8. ^ a b c d e f Reekie, Innes (3 March 2013) "The Girl" - An Interview with Actress Joanna Pickering.
  9. ^ The Joanna Pickering website list of training. (11 August 2011). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  10. ^ Sunday Play: The Thief. (12 July 2007). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  11. ^ fedeora award 23rd edition 26 September 2012. Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  12. ^ Full cast and crew for Svengali (2013).
  13. ^ McGee, Alan (8 May 2012) Embarking on Making My First Movie 'Kubricks' and My Possible Return to the Music Industry.
  14. ^ Cavanagh, Dean (15 August 2012) Kubricks: 9 Go Mad In Tribute To The Great Director. Sabotage Times.
  15. ^ 11 February 2012 final question. Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  16. ^ Wilks, Jon. (4 February 2013) 4 February 2014 final question. Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  17. ^ Whitney Poster for Filmballad of MamaDada
  18. ^ Filmballad of MamaDada on imdb
  19. ^ 30 January 2013. Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  20. ^ 28 January 2013 paragraph 6. (18 June 2012). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  21. ^ 8 February 2013. (8 February 2013). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  22. ^ Music Monday: 30 years of Band of Holy Joy. (20 May 2013). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  23. ^ a b Band Of Holy Joy. (22 March 2013). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  24. ^ Simone Beauchamp. Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  25. ^ Shanghai on imdb
  26. ^ Joanna Pickering Website Model biography.
  27. ^ Music: Spectorbullets. Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  28. ^ Georgiou, Katy An Interview with Joanna Pickering, (May 2013), p. 2
  29. ^ Gallery, New York section. Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  30. ^ Justin Robertson fansite.
  31. ^ track 15 on radio playlist 15 August 2011. (15 August 2011). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  32. ^ Ahoy, Ship. (8 November 2010) Pleasures Of The Harbor, paragraph 5. Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  33. ^ December 2010 issue of the Uncut Magazine, p. 103 - 4 stars out of 5: "[A]lways exhilarating, particularly on 'Mayakovsky It Ain't', with guitar from Josef K's Malcolm Ross echoing the records copied by The Strokes."
  34. ^ Spectorbullets. (19 May 2011). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  35. ^ a b Spectorbullets | The Final Ending | CD Baby Music Store. Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  36. ^ Band of Holy Joy, Radio. Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  37. ^ Pickering, Joanna The Brown and Skinny, An extract based from the piece "Do or Die". (PDF). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  38. ^ a b Joanna Pickering Website. (11 August 2011). Retrieved on 4 June 2013.
  39. ^ Thespis Festival Production and Credits

External links[edit]