Jill Morris

Jill Morris

Who I Am

Daughter | University Degrees in Theater Arts

Actor | Play Director| Director of a Theater School | Teacher

Wife | Mother | Grandmother

Who will I be tomorrow?

My Roots

I was born in London, England.

A dermatologist once told me that the color of my skin, which looks like I always have a suntan, comes from the Romas who have been migrating from continental Europe since the early 1500s. The dermatologist believed that I was descendant from a group of Romas who had arrived in Ireland, married people of Irish descent and moved to England.

The Romas traveled the countryside of England with all their belongings in covered wagons. Traveling was not a leisure activity for them, but a way of life. It is believed that their nomad lifestyle was a genetic part of who they were. If that is the case, I have not only inherited the Roma skin color, but genetically I have Roma blood, which would explain my wanderlust spirit. I have moved continually throughout my life and I am now grateful to finally be able to explain why. I prefer this explanation to the one I have received from therapists over the years. Therapists have suggested that I seek the geographical cure every time life gets tough.

My first travel adventure began when I was three years old.  My father came home from work because he was coughing up blood. The doctor advised him that he should be in the hospital. He did enter a hospital, but not for himself, he went to visit my mother who had just given birth to my sister. He walked into my mother’s room and announced, “Joycey, we are emigrating to Canada.”

The illness, whatever it was, never killed him. Instead, it spurred him into action and from that day on we became the family on the move. My father flew out first to Vancouver and found a job selling ads for a newspaper. My mother followed with a three-year-old and a newborn in a Pan-American propeller plane. My sister hung in a basket above our heads as we flew across the Atlantic.

Three months after our arrival in Canada my father had obtained visas for the US. The story goes that one day he came home from work with a bottle of champagne.

“Joycey, we are moving to the United States, and you are going to decide where we go.” He placed a large map of the United States on the dining room table. Took a kitchen towel and tied it around my mother’s eyes. He gave her a large pin and said: ‘Joycey, place the pin on the map!”

The pin landed on San Francisco.

It took us a few years to get there. My parents had to stop and work in towns along the way.  We carried our beds on the roof of the car, taking them down at each stop, tying them back up after a few months in a new town. Each time we arrived in a new town, my father and mother found jobs.  My father sold brooms, gravestones, life insurance. My mother sold Avon.

Since that event, I have lived in many homes in the United States, Germany and England and traveled extensively.