Jessica Blank is an actor, writer, director, and coach. With Erik Jensen, she is author of the play THE EXONERATED (45 Bleecker Theater; Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Ovation, Fringe First, Herald Angel awards; awards from Amnesty International, the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Death Penalty Focus) and its award-winning film adaptation starring Susan Sarandon and Danny Glover; as well as the plays AFTERMATH (NYTW; also directed; 2 Drama League noms; int’l tour), HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC (also directed; Kirk Douglas, Steppenwolf, Public Theater) and a forthcoming major commission for the Public Theater with music by Grammy-winning songwriter Steve Earle. She directs theater regularly Off-Broadway and is also active as a writer, director, and actor for film and TV: her first feature film, ALMOST HOME (adapted and directed with Erik Jensen), premiered in fall of 2018, and their second feature, HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC, is in development with Likely Story. They wrote the pilot THE NEGOTIATOR for Gaumont TV (Tom Fontana, EP) and have developed for TV with Fox TV Studios, 20th Century TV, Avenue Pictures, Sunswept Entertainment, Virgin Produced, and Radical Media. Her books include LIVING JUSTICE (with Erik Jensen; Simon & Schuster); ALMOST HOME (Hyperion); KARAM FOR BEGINNERS (Hyperion) and LEGACY (Penguin). TV acting credits include MADE IN JERSEY, BLUE BLOODS, ELEMENTARY, THE FOLLOWING, THE MENTALIST, HBO’s HIGH MAINTENANCE, BORED TO DEATH, RESCUE ME, LAW AND ORDER: CI, THE BRONX IS BURNING, and several more. Film acting credits include THE NAMESAKE (dir. Mira Nair), YOU'RE NOBODY TILL SOMEBODY KILLS YOU (prod. Spike Lee), SLENDER MAN, and over a dozen indies including CREATIVE CONTROL (Grand Jury Prize, SXSW) and ON THE ROAD WITH JUDAS (Sundance). As a story consultant, Jessica works with TV showrunners, Sundance-supported filmmakers, Off-Broadway playwrights, published novelists, Broadway actors and series regulars, as well as progressive candidates and numerous national and international NGOs. She was a founding mentor for the Writers Guild Initiative’s Veterans’ Writing Project, has taught writing and speaking to vets, wounded veterans’ caregivers, formerly incarcerated individuals, death row exonerees, and at numerous colleges and universities, and has a thriving private practice in New York and Los Angeles as a story consultant and performance coach for professional writers and actors. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the William Esper Studio.