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Living the dream: Jensen is landing

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roles on TV and on the big screen

By Brenda Sexton

The Courier-Herald

Finding Jayme Jensen in Hollywood isn't hard. If you're looking for the 1997 Enumclaw High graduate in movies and on television, however, you have to look a little harder.

Jensen, who was involved in drama and cheerleading at EHS, recently played a human chandelier at a safe bondage party during a scene in the popular CBS drama "CSI: NY."

"All you could see were my eyes and lips, but I got some great body shots," she said with a laugh, during a phone conversation from her office in Los Angeles.

She can also be seen in "The Princess Diaries 2." She's the last person down the slide at the party and the girl in the curly hair wearing pink pajamas bouncing on the bed. "Getting paid to wear PJs all day is very cool," Jensen said.

It was also the first film where she saw her name in the credits (as "Stunt Princess"), had her name on a dressing room door and realized she was living "the dream."

Jensen said "Princess Diaries 2" was filmed at Universal Studios. It was exciting, she said, when the Universal Back Lot Tour would drive by and the tour guide would announce the film and everyone on the tour would wave.

"I'd wave back in my Princess PJs," Jensen said. "It was a very different feeling to be the one waving back at everybody, instead of the one on the tour - that was a special moment, as well."

She also appeared in "Haunted Mansion," playing the role of a ballroom dancer and had a spot in the graveyard scene (she's the one wearing the red wig, sitting in the tree, sipping tea).

"I love to play dress up and step into somebody else's shoes for a time," she said.

One of her smallest roles has become her biggest moment. She appears in the opening clip of country singer Brad Paisley's music video "Little Moments."

"That little non-union video that I got 90 bucks for is playing everywhere," she said.

And if movie-goers look close, Jensen will be driving a white Toyota RAV4 on the freeway in the upcoming "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" movie.

"I'm starting to feel a taste of it," she said. "I went to a premiere recently and walked the red carpet."

The small-town girl from Enumclaw, who didn't think she could make it in a big city like L.A., is making it.

After graduating from high school, she brushed thoughts of Hollywood aside, opting instead to study psychology and zoology at Western Washington University for two years. While in Seattle, the opportunity to be a film extra came along.

That led to work in an agent's office, which led to a spot in Stephen King's "Rose Red," filmed in Tacoma. From there she landed work as a production assistant, which eventually led to a move to Los Angeles and a job with Stunts Unlimited.

All were tiny steps toward the launching of her acting career, which, she said, would be great if it led to her goal to be a successful, working actress. However, she added, she gauges success by how happy she is - and right now, she's really happy.

"I feel like I'm being mildly successful," she said. "I'm paying my own way and making my own money."

She also earned her Screen Actors Guild card and she works for a stunt company. She's taking acting lessons, going to casting calls and works with an independent director regularly.

The support from her friends and family keeps her moving forward.

"I am extremely close with my family," she said. "My mom comes down to visit me all the time and I talk to my brothers quite a bit. It's the fact that someone else sees your vision for the future, someone else is putting money into your dream bank. Without their love and support it would make it a whole lot harder here. I am so thankful for them, they keep me grounded."

Jensen said she is also constantly reminding herself of where she came from, and her Enumclaw roots play a starring role.

"In high school, under the awesome direction of Ms. Somers, we did a traveling children's theater," Jensen explained. "We'd go to the various elementary schools and do our show for the kids."

Jensen's selection was Dr. Suess' "The Sneetches." Part of the costume for that act was a cut-out yellow paper star held onto a string with a paper clip.

"That star still hangs from my rearview mirror with a couple of additions," Jensen said. "An angel to protect me and remind me that God is in charge, a pin from my high school graduation to remind me of home and where I've come from and a pin that was given to all the stars at the Oscars a couple of years ago to remind me where I'm headed.

"I just know something is going to happen," she said. "It's a calling I feel in my heart. I know it takes time."

Brenda Sexton can be reached at bsexton@courierherald.com.

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