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Meet Elle Jae 


My PPD [post partum depression] was tied to unprocessed trauma, so I began to process, accept, and release. Now, my baby and I are thick as thieves. Her laugh, hugs, and trust in me are infectious and have given me a deeper sense of purpose. I am more than her mom and she is more than my daughter, we are each other’s everything and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As an artist, I decided to share my experience with PPD by writing a feature film about the matter. The film is titled, ABIGAIL and it is about a talented ballerina whose life is derailed by postpartum depression. I include my personal experience heightened by creative imagination and scary possibilities. Nikki Rowe said it best, “Art is my cure to all this madness, sadness, and loss of belonging in the world..”

As a filmmaker, I lead with a simple approach; to hold a mirror to society and show her-her true reflection. I like to focus on two essential elements of storytelling. To begin, I am very particular about the lighting of each scene. Its purpose is to set the mood and/or highlight a perpendicular performance that will entertain the audience and creatively challenge the “norm”. Secondly, I love to pull focus or heighten the tension on the power of vulnerability or any ruminating emotion during the absence of language. Oftentimes I achieve this by allowing the camera to roll in the opening of a scene before saying “action” and after a scene before I say “cut”. This allows me to capture the idiosyncrasy of the moment. 


Liz (known professionally as Elle Jae) developed a love for acting in high school and decided to follow her dreams to become a professional actor. Traveling from Mobile, Alabama to Montgomery, she landed at Alabama State University majoring in theatre. As fate would have it, this is when she met and fell in love with Thomas Stewart, who was earning his degree in technical theater. Fast forward a decade, graduate school, two kids, multiple awards, and a production company later and Thomas and Elle Jae are creating their own path in Hollywood.

I am an athlete turned drama geek. For years while on my journey, I would credit the woman who birthed me as the reason I became interested in the art of acting but that was a lie. I wish she was the purpose for my excellence but she is not, she is the opposite in fact. Therefore, my initial attraction to acting was under the guise that I could live in different worlds, and inhabit different perspectives from my own abusive-traumatized reality. That worked for years, but the necessary work in processing my trauma was detrimental to my mental health and to the quality of my artistry. So my beginning started out of fear and has developed into a lifeline.

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JUNIOR is about a mother’s journey toward a new normal after her teenage son is murdered by an off-duty police officer. The story takes place on the morning of his funeral as she recounts loving memories while humanizing his existence as a smart, funny, good kid in which the media attempted to vilify.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — When Elle Jae and Thomas Stewart moved from Alabama to central Pennsylvania, it was a risk, an opportunity, and a challenge. Today, from their Los Angeles production company, they say going to Penn State as returning students was the best decision they made.

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Meet the wonderful ELLE JAE! Actor, writer, human extraordinaire. Loved talking to her... about her time in the graduate acting program at Penn State, how mothering inspired her to jump back INTO acting, and the unique and beautiful reasons she admires Beyoncé!

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