You can’t spell Connecticut without “connect” and that’s what I hope to do with my new entertainment blog – connect you to our state’s entertainment scene and the people in the industry who have Connecticut connections.
My name’s Jessie Sawyer, a writer at heart. Previously, I was the editor of avon.patch.com more than three years and additionally edited farmington.patch.com for the last year with Patch Media Corporation. I started my professional journalism career at the Register Citizen in Torrington in 2010. I also interned for the Hartford Courant in 2007 and was a news editor for the Exception Magazine in Maine in 2009.
I’ve always been a features writer at heart, taking my first and only journalism class at Farmington High School as editor of the arts section for our school newspaper, The Voice my senior year. At Bates College, I started off as a sportswriter and then assistant sports editor for the Bates Student, our student-run newspaper. From 2008 to 2009, I worked as the arts and living managing editor, doing the writing I love to do best.
In journalism, I’ve covered the the gamut – news, police, courts, fires, government, politics, sports, business, real estate. But the genre I thrive in is arts and entertainment.
I’ve interviewed actor Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy) , Farmington natives and siblings Chion Wolf (WNPR producer for The Colin McEnroe Show) and Michael Gladis (Mad Men), Pete Francis and Braddigan from Dispatch, Doug Gray from The Marshall Tucker Band, Farmington singer James Chappell (contestant on NBC’s The Winner Is), author Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge), Gary Burghoff (the Connecticut native who played Radar in M.A.S.H.) Ben Sands (a Farmington native who was a contestant on The Bachelorette), and many talented local entertainers.
As a member of the theater community and a singer, I particularly enjoy writing about local plays and bands. I most recently reviewed Steve Martin’s stage adaptation, The Underpants at the Hartford Stage. As performers, we always find value in the reviews and features written about our work (and gets people to come to our shows). Entertainment gives us culture and escape. It also preserves history and teaches us something.
I’d like to keep our communities informed about plays, concerts and entertainment events that they might want to attend and educate readers about local people in the industry from actors and musicians to authors and artists. I’ll highlight nationally and internationally recognized artists with Connecticut ties, but I also want to introduce you to Connecticut’s rising stars in their early days. I’ll also include some movie reviews of films shown in Connecticut, as well as features on films with Connecticut ties.
Now that I’m looking for my next job, I wanted to start this project to focus on the type of writing I do best. On the way, I’ll be piecing together the mosaic of the Connecticut entertainment world so that you can live in it too.
Have a story idea or entertainment tip? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.