J.A. Steel

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J.A. Steel
Born Jacquelyn A. Ruffner
(1969-12-12) December 12, 1969 (age 47)
Greensburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Film actress, screenwriter, director, producer
Years active 2000–present

J.A. Steel (born December 12, 1969) is an American writer, director, producer, editor, stunt person and actress best known for her role as C. Alexandra Jones in The Third Society.

Steel was born Jacquelyn A. Ruffner in Greensburg, Pennsylvania and raised in Harrison City. Her acting began at age seven when she appeared in numerous school plays (most which she had written) and continued until she received a scholarship of a summer theatre program at age 14.[citation needed]

Early career[edit]

Steel's career in the entertainment industry began at the age of 18 when she began managing bands and promoting rock shows, during the time she was attending the USC School of Cinematic Arts on a partial scholarship, and graduated from USC in 1992 with a degree in social science and communications. Shortly after graduating, she accepted a job as a production assistant for martial arts action star Sho Kosugi (Revenge of the Ninja, Black Eagle) Sho promoted her to vice-president development within six months.[1]

In early 1993, Steel left Sho Productions to start her own company, Warrior Entertainment. The company's main focus was on music management and in 1995, Steel negotiated the first contract ever between an American artist, Sasha Alexeev, and a Taiwanese record company, Rock Records. Alexeev's album, Wintertales, was released in 1996, as Asia's economy was on the verge of collapse, and record sales were slow.[2]

The Third Society[edit]

During her two-year hiatus, Steel traveled extensively in Asia and even lived for a brief time in Singapore. Upon her return to the United States, she re-entered the entertainment industry and began planning her first feature from a screenplay that she had written in 1996. The screenplay, entitled Triad, was about an ex-motocycle racer turned cop Cody Reynolds and his Asian partner, Michael Li. Cody's girlfriend in the film was a vice-detective by the name of Sanchez.

Steel sent out the script, but development executives claimed it was "too ethnic." Sanchez became Jones. The executives were still not satisfied and wanted even more changes. In protest, Steel got rid of Cody's character completely and changed the Los Angeles Police Department captain from the 50-year-old male stereotype to an African-American woman played by Sonya Eddy. Jones became the main character, the film title changed; and The Third Society was made.[3] She turned down several offers to buy the script, and produced 85% of the film herself.

Steel found herself both in front of and behind the camera writing, directing, producing, editing and starring in the film. She adopted the name J.A. Steel to direct, write and edit under. The "Jones" character in the final cut of The Third Society went uncredited, as Steel never originally intended to play the "Jones" character.[4] Steel was one of the first female directors who has written a nude scene for herself, as Jones spent a lot of time in the shower to wash away the grime from the fight scenes.[5]

Stunts and filmmaking[edit]

Steel races motorcycles, skydives, handles swords, competes in muay Thai kickboxing, is a Master Scuba Diver, and holds 22 marksmanship awards with various weapons. She spent two years in Army ROTC.[6]

Steel went on to write, produce, direct, edit, perform stunts and star in two more action feature films: the award-winning Salvation in 2007[7] and Denizen.[8] Steel also directed the short films Dive the Deep Blue and A Change of Plans. Salvation was shot using an Arriflex super 16mm camera.

Steel tapped into her music roots to write the song Angel Tonight for the soundtrack of The Third Society; and direct the music videos for Doesn't Matter Anyway and It's a Beautiful Day, both by the Emily O'Neary Band for The Third Society. She also collaborated with Edith Fung to create the music for the soundtrack of Dive the Deep Blue. Her third film Denizen was released in April 2010.[citation needed]


Year Title Role Character Note
2002 The Third Society Director, Writer, Producer, Actress, Editor, Stunts, Soundtrack C. Alexandra Jones Feature Film
2005 Cerebral Print: The Secret Files Actress Sexy Bounty Hunter Short Film
Cerebral Print: End Game Actress Sexy Bounty Hunter Short Film
2006 Dive the Deep Blue Director, Writer, Producer, Editor, Actress Self Short Documentary
2007 Salvation Director, Writer, Producer, Editor, Actress, Stunts & Fight Choreographer Gabriel Feature Film
2009 A Change of Plans Director, Editor, Story N/A Short Film
Denizen: Special Access JA Steel Actress Self Short Documentary
2010 Denizen Director, Writer, Producer, Editor, Actress, Stunts & Fight Choreographer Sierra Deacon Feature Film
Dive the Deep Blue: Tiburon Director, Writer, Producer, Editor, Actress Self Short Documentary
S.C.A.A.R. 1.5 Director, Writer, Producer, Editor, Actress Sierra Deacon Short Video
2012 Blood Fare Director, Writer, Producer, Editor, Actress Charon Feature Film


  1. ^ Gallager, Sirens of Cinema, pg. 34-35
  2. ^ Anderson-Minshall, Curve Magazine, p. 46[ISBN missing]
  3. ^ Watt, Femme Fatales, p. 51[ISBN missing]
  4. ^ Hansen, The Hollywood Reporter, p. 42
  5. ^ Anderson-Minshall, Curve Magazine, p. 59[ISBN missing]
  6. ^ Cater, Martial Arts Legends, pg. 81-82
  7. ^ Griggs, The Salt Lake Tribune (page E2)
  8. ^ Baisley, FilmSnobbery.com


  • "Anything Horror", Shoyer, Scott (16 June 2010). "Indie Horror Round-Up: The City (2009), Escape (2010), & Denizen (2010)". Denizen. Anything Horror.com. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  • "FilmSnobbery", Baisley, Nic (2010-04-30). "Review of Denizen (2010)". Denizen. FilmSnobbery.com. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  • "B Movie Man", "Review of Denizen (2010)". Denizen. 2009-11-25. 
  • The Salt Lake Tribune (USA) 8 January 2008, pg. E1-E2, by Brandon Griggs, "Woman of Steel"
  • Curve (USA) November 2004, Vol. 14, Iss. 7, pg. 46-47,59, by Diane Anderson-Minshall, "The Schlock Factor"
  • "The Gayly Oklahoman" (USA) 15 April 2004, Vol. 22, Iss. 8, pg. 10, by Andrew Hicks, "Bones of Steel: Muskogee Bare Bones Film
  • "Sirens of Cinema" (USA) November 2002, Vol. 1, Iss. 1, pg. 34-38, by Hugh Gallagher, "Jacquelyn A. Ruffner Interview"
  • "Femme Fatales (magazine)" (USA) January 2002, Vol. 11, Iss. 1, pg. 49-53, by Mike Watt, "The Third Society's Jacque Ruffner"
  • "Martial Arts Legends" (USA) October 2000, pg. 78-83, by Dave Cater, "A Different Kind of Fighter"
  • "Gateway Press" (USA) 28 June 2000, pg. B5-6, by David Smith, "Action Movies Get A New Star"
  • Los Angeles Times (USA) 26 June 1999, pg. C1, C3, by Michael Lucas, "Lights! Cameras! Copters! Remote-Controlled Mini-Choppers Offer Fresh, Edgy Aerial Footage"
  • The Hollywood Reporter (France) 17 May 1999, pg. 1,42, by Eric Hansen, "The Producers"

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