Joanna Pickering

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Joanna Pickering
Actress Joanna Pickering.jpg
OccupationActress, writer
Years active2007–present

Joanna Pickering is a British-born actress, playwright, writer, activist and model. She is known for her Trilogy Truth, Lies and Deception, her acting work in Pelleas starring alongside Alice Eve, and is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment.

Early life[edit]

Pickering was born in Northumberland, England.[1] She was awarded an academic scholarship and studied at La Sagesse School.[2] She was top in her exams and gained 10 A to A* at GCSE.[2] She was accepted into Central High School and studied mathematics, physics, chemistry, and general studies A levels.[2] She graduated from University of Stirling with a Bachelor of Science degree in pure mathematics.[2] After turning down a job in banking, she worked in Southern France selling yachts and high performance cars to fund acting school.[3] She trained in method acting in stage and film at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City.[4]


Early acting[edit]

Pickering began her acting career working in low-budget, cult, avant-garde, and experimental film,[3] making over 30 independent films. First, she worked as a fashion model[5] while taking bit roles in UK television, such as the Chris Morris show Nathan Barley, radio plays and theatre work.[6] She performed a minor role in the British comedy Svengali. In 2013, Pickering was cast as the principal role in an adaptation of the novel Mersey Boys centered around The Beatles, and in its Off-Broadway play.[7] Film news noted her as a "rising British film star"[8] and Down Town as "a standout talent."[9] However, the film ran out of post-production budget. In 2014, filming on location in Berlin, Pickering portrayed the dada artist, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.[10] The film contributed to The Filmballad of MamaDada screening at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City[11] as a directorial collective film about von Freytag-Loringhoven.[12] It had a world premier at Copenhagen International Film Festival.[13] Pickering then starred in a supporting role in Leave Yourself Alone selected for the 2016 official selection new filmmakers at Anthology Film Archives Theater in New York City[14] and released on VOD and Amazon Prime in 2017.[15][16]

Acting 2017–present[edit]

In 2018, Pickering was cast for stage in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues performing in New York to raise money for V-day organization.[17] In 2018, she performed on stage as Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth[18] sponsored by Pittsburgh Shakespeare in Park[18] in a televised series due for US Public-access television, as featured in British Shakespeare magazine.[18]

In 2018, Pickering was cast in a principal role in Pelleas co-starring alongside Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Benn Northover and directed by film maker Josephine Meckseper. The actors perform an adaptation of Maeterlinck's play from the Claude Debussy's opera.[19] In May 2018, Pelleas screened at Whitney Museum of American Art in The Incomplete history of Protest exhibition[20] featuring in Vanity Fair.[21]

In 2019, she completed shooting in a principal role co-starring alongside Emmy Award winner Blanche Baker and William Sadler (Green Mile) in a 1950s thriller Alice Fades Away with a United States theatrical release for 2020.[22] Pickering also filmed a day player role, as Mary, in Danny Boyle's executive produced movie Creation Stories, directed by Nick Moran and screenplay by Irvine Welsh.[23]

In 2021, Pickering performed two lead roles on stage in her own trilogy in sold out shows in Paris. Reviews were positive and that she played her role with "depth and sophistication."[24][25]


Pickering first performed her own creative writing airing on live radio for The Fall of Babylon show on Resonance FM in London.[26] She self-published her diaries from traveling nomadically between 2009 and 2012 under a pen name described as new beat in style.[10] Her pen name was exposed in press in 2012[27] and Pickering announced on her website she had removed her writing from the public domain.[28] In 2017, she published Nothing Dries Sooner Than a Tear with Burning House Press.

Pickering was selected for The Women in Film challenge as screenwriter.[29] Her short film Boardwalk was made with an all female cast and crew.[30] It screened at Anthology Film Archives Theater, September 2018.[29][31][30] It was described as "sensational, fluid and beautiful".[30] It was award nominated as best film and best mystery thriller at NY Web Fest in 2019.[32]

In 2018, her short play Beach Break was selected by Primitive Grace Theater to run at the Bridge Theater as part of The Duende Reading Series as a one act play.[33] It was a 2018 official selection by ScreenCraft Stage Plays.[34] As a radio play podcast it was selected as a top ten finalist for HBO's ITV festival broadcasting live in October 2018 with Pickering performing.[33] It aired in UK on Resonance FM in February 2019.[35] The full play Beach Break is awarded a scholarship from Rocaberti Writers to mentor with HBO's Vice President of Talent Development and Programing, Kelly Edwards, in an adaptation for screen in 2021.[36]

Pickering published a Trilogy of plays, Truth, Lies and Deception with Next Stage Press joining their catalogue of new and Tony award-winning playwrights.[37] The plays released worldwide in August 2021.[38] The plays as a trilogy first showcased at The League Of Professional Theatre Women, and included Beach Break, Cat and Mouse, and Sylvie and Sly. The readings were performed with Broadway actors Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) and Caroline Aaron (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). The plays tackle themes of sexism, assault and ageism.[37][38]

Truth, Lies and Deception ran at Le Pave d'Orsay Theatre in Paris in December 2021, with sold out shows and national press.[24][39] Pickering played a lead role alongside Robert Bradford, Koel Purie and Eugenia Kuzmina, directed by Christopher Mack and Pulcherie Gadmer.[25] Angela Mcluskey provided music.[40]The plays were described in Broadway World as "brave, masterful, suspenseful with comical dark interchanges."[25] Other reviewers described the plays as "Twist-turning, unsettling plays with pitch black humor." Cat and Mouse was reviewed as controversial as it approaches subject matter from a yet untouched angle. [24]

In 2022, Pickering's play The Endgame, as a 30 minute version, was developed and announced as part of the Woman's Work lab festival with The New Perspective Theatre Company to run on stage in New York City. The play takes place over a game of chess and addresses issues of reporting acquaintance rape.[41]


In 2018, she was a participant speaker and selected film maker at United Nations for Create2030, engaging artists in Sustainable Development Goals,[42][43] attending at UNNIGO 2018, and UNGA2018.[44] She has taught mathematics and English to asylum seekers and children with special needs.[44] She moderates the Imagine This Female Film festival,[45] Chelsea Film Festival,[46] and is on Female in Film panel for New York Independent Film Festival.[43] She was host and final juror for 2018 New York Web Series Festival[47][48]

Four Keys, a short film addressing issues of US immigration, in which she plays a supporting role as a mode of activism,[44] was nominated at the ITV festival, won LA shorts festival and Gold Award's best Independent short film.[49]


Pickering's modeling work has included editorial, bikini model for Rip Curl[10] and in Sweden for Ravishing Mad[50][51] and designer Cecilia Lundqvist.[28] Pickering has worked for Diane von Fürstenberg.[5]


Pickering performed as the lead actress for experimental feature film Kubricks directed by Dean Cavanagh and produced by Alan McGee.[52][53] She is mentioned in Alan Mcgee's novel Creation Stories: Riots, Raves and Running A Label.[54]

She is the actress for The Band of Holy Joy in a musical feature film City of Tales co-starring with Tam Dean Burn.[55] She is filmed as herself in Valerio Rocco's art film Lover's Discourse screening worldwide in museums of contemporary art.[56]

Pickering is the album cover model for The Band Of Holy Joy album City of Tales released in 2015.[57] For Spectorbullets she is the album cover model,[58] the actress in 2010 music video Goldmine and she wrote the lyrics for the song Drop on their album released in 2012[58] She has DJ'd with Alan McGee's club night Death Disco in Los Angeles and with BP Fallon, The Libertines, Lydia Lunch, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and Bella Union Records in New York City.[59]

Personal life[edit]

As of August 2017, Pickering resided in New York City.[4]


  1. ^ White, Alice (8 November 2017). "Joanna Pickering UK talent breaking in US".
  2. ^ a b c d Joanna Pickering, Alumna (Mathematics), University of Stirling, Computing Science and Mathematics, retrieved 15 July 2017
  3. ^ a b Forson, Kofi (1 September 2017). "What If Bond Was A Girl: The Transcendental Life of Actress Joanna Pickering".
  4. ^ a b Troester, Eva (23 August 2017). "Joanna Pickering talks Acting, Alice Fades Away, New York City, Much More".
  5. ^ a b Burnette, Emily (2016). "Picking Her Destiny: Interview with Actress Joanna Pickering".
  6. ^ "The Sunday Play, Podcast Archives". 1 July 2007.
  7. ^ Newsdesk (21 January 2013). "Beatles Film Mersey Boys Begins Production, Broadway world".
  8. ^ News Desk (20 January 2013). "Beatles film 'Mersey Boy' now filming in New York City, Film News".
  9. ^ "Beatles Novel Mersey Boys To Become Film Shot in New York". 30 January 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Forson, Kofi (1 September 2017). "The Transcendental Life of Actress Joanna Pickering".
  11. ^ "Filmballad of MamaDada, The Whitney Museum" (PDF). 1 May 2013.
  12. ^ "The Filmballad of Mamadada". 1 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Mamadada Screenings". 13 November 2014.
  14. ^ "New Filmmakers in New York". 21 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Thriller Leave Yourself Alone Due On Digital". 1 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Leave Yourself Alone to Release on VOD". 21 October 2018.
  17. ^ Newsdesk (5 June 2018). "Cast Of Women To Perform In A Production Of The Vagina Monologues in New York To Raise Funds For Women In Need".
  18. ^ a b c Reid, Pat (1 July 2018). "Joanna Pickering Plays Lady Macbeth".
  19. ^ "The Surrealist Film Noir Set in The Aftermath of Trumps Inauguration". 19 January 2019.
  20. ^ "An Incomplete History of Protest: Selections from the Whitney's Collection". 1 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Things to Do, Cultural To do List, Women's Work, Vanity Fair". 20 April 2018.
  22. ^ McNary, Dave (21 November 2018). "William Sadler Joins The Cast of Thriller Alice Fades Away".
  23. ^ Prestridge, James (19 August 2019). "Close-up: An Interview With Actress And Writer Joanna Pickering". Close-Up Culture. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  24. ^ a b c johnrobb (25 January 2022). "Theatre review : Intimate Theatre Returns to Paris with Joanna Pickering's Impacting Debut Trilogy — and Sell Out Dates". Louder Than War. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  25. ^ a b c Wild, Stephi. "Joanna Pickering's Trilogy TRUTH LIES AND DECEPTION Premieres in Paris". Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  26. ^ "Resonance 104.4FM Schedule". 23 March 2013.
  27. ^ Deleted (2012). "Joanna Pickering Actress and Legend A Fascinating and Wild Tale of Living Life To The Full".
  28. ^ a b "Official Joanna Pickering website".
  29. ^ a b "Women's Film Challenge". 5 August 2018.
  30. ^ a b c Nichols, Peter (3 January 2019). "Movie Review: Joanna Pickering, Rachel Kenaston & Becca Roth's "Boardwalk"".
  31. ^ "Boardwalk".
  32. ^ "The Sixth Annual NYC Web Fest Nominations Have Been Revealed". CelebMix. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  33. ^ a b "ITV Festival Podcast Selections 2018".
  34. ^ Admin (16 November 2018). "Announcing the ScreenCraft Stage Play Quarterfinalists".
  35. ^ Podcast Archive (22 February 2019). "Resonance FM Feb 22nd Schedule Archive".
  36. ^ BWW News Desk. "Joanna Pickering's BEACH BREAK Awarded Full Scholarship to Adapt to Screenplay". Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  37. ^ a b Wild, Stephi. "Playwright Joanna Pickering Inks A Deal With Next Stage Press". Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  38. ^ a b "Truth, Lies and Deception". Next Stage Press. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  39. ^ "Ouest France: l'actrice et autrice Joanna Pickering prend du recul par rapport à Hollywood pour France".
  40. ^ johnrobb (13 December 2021). "Joanna Pickering new play debuts in Paris this week!". Louder Than War. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  41. ^ Cutler, Grace. "New Perspectives Theatre Company (NPTC) Presents ENDGAME This August". Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  42. ^ "Create2030 Artist Roster: engaging in SDG at United Nations".
  43. ^ a b "Women in Film Portraits: Joanna Pickering". Independent Magazine. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  44. ^ a b c Sowa, Lauren (7 August 2017). "Women in Film, Portraits, Independent Magazine".
  45. ^ "Joanna Pickering Actress Writer on Independent Films Feminism and Surviving the Entertainment Industry". 1 March 2018.
  46. ^ "Our Town NY Chelsea Film Festival". 31 October 2018.
  47. ^ Currinn, Jonathan (23 November 2018). "CelebMix Joanna Pickering Jury NYC Web Fest Award Announce Winners".
  48. ^ Currinn, Jonathan (1 July 2018). "The Fifth Annual NYC Web Fest Has Announced Its Jury For 2018".
  49. ^ "Gold Awards: May 2018". 6 May 2018.
  50. ^ "Joanna Pickering in Ravishing Mad". 1 February 2013.
  51. ^ "Ravishing Mad ss-11 collection". 11 September 2011.
  52. ^ "Kubricks Premier Feature Trailer". 26 January 2013.
  53. ^ "Kubricks, 9 Go mad in Tribute to the Great Director, Sabotage Times". 15 August 2012.
  54. ^ "Creation Stories: Riots, Raves and Running A Label - Alan McGee". 2013.
  55. ^ "Band of Holy Joy, Album City Of Tales". 2014.
  56. ^ Lover's Discourse (2010), retrieved 30 April 2020
  57. ^ "Band of Holy Joy Interview". 22 February 2014.
  58. ^ a b "Spectorbullets Album Review". 10 July 2010.
  59. ^ "Jon Spencer Guest Dj". 27 August 2017.

External links[edit]

Media related to Joanna Pickering at Wikimedia Commons