JOAN JAFFE, moon* of stage, screen & tv, is a three time MAC Award nominee and the MAC Award WINNER -Best Musical Comedy Performer- 2012 for her show Joan Jaffe’s MAN-ha-ha-ha-TAN. Joan was named one of The Top 15 in New York Cabaret 2010 by Kevin Scot Hall - edgenewyork.com. Her critically acclaimed cd JOAN JAFFE Sings Funny..., garnered tremendous praise from her family - exciting accolades from the press - and was presented at the Barnes & Noble (Lincoln Center) Any Wednesday Series. multi award winning Jerry Scott was Joan’s musical arranger and accompanist for her cd.
She recently appeared in Joan Jaffe - SOMETHING COOL at Pangea (NYC) and did her first concert SOMETHING COOL at The Concert Space at Beethoven Piano (NYC). Her concert also featured her musical director, the brilliant jazz pianist Matt Baker, and comic/actor Charles Baran.
On the small screen, she can be seen in the recurring role of Gail Abbot in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK - Season 6. On the large screen, she is featured in Alex Tressor’s award winning documentary 74th & BROADWAY. Joan and her late husband Hal Blankenship appeared as Burt & Lizzie (the low rent Steve & Edie) in THE SAVAGES (with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linnie). She played Mom in APPROACHING UNION SQUARE; Florence in PROOF OF BIRTH. Having started in show business as a dancer, she continues to take class (old dancers never die they just lose their tutu’s) and danced in disney’s ENCHANTED (gentle folk), THE PRODUCERS film (little old lady) and the Brazilian film, 0S DESAFINADOS. TV credits include SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O"BRIEN and New York daytime dramas. She has also appeared with Slovin & Allen on Comedy Central, as well as live appearances with them at NYC clubs, Comedy Below Canal (92y Tribeca), UCB and Here.
Ms. Jaffe, who has understudied some of the theatre’s healthiest women, has appeared on Broadway ,Off-Broadway, national tours, stock, dinner theatre, TV, soaps, films, commercials and night clubs. Her stage credits include the Broadway productions of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and BAJOUR; starring roles in off-broadway productions of CHARGE IT, PLEASE! and LADIES OF THE ALAMO and was featured as Mrs. Bucket in TROPHY WIFE - la mama; Nellie Cohan in GEORGE M. COHAN;IN HIS OWN WORDS and THE GEORGE M. COHAN REVUE.
While starring off-broadway in CHARGE IT PLEASE!, her agent advised her to stop everything and start doing stand-up comedy. the latter proved to be excellent advice. She's always had a flair for comedy, from her childhood days in Wilmington, Delaware, when she and Leonard Cutler (whatever happened to Leonard Cutler?) would collect and trade jokes while riding the bus to Hebrew School.
This "classy lady doing comedy" has played, produced and emceed New York's top rooms. She has produced and emceed many editions of JOAN JAFFE AND HER EVENING OF COMEDY ALL STARS for Stand-up New York and Carolines. For over three years, she produced and emceed joan jaffe’s comedy on sunday in New York City at Tequilaville, Houlihan’s, Nimrod and Chez Suzette.
It doesn’t stop there - Joan is the writer/director of Louisa Poster’s cabaret show Flash-bam-ala-ka- zam: a Tribute to Betty Hutton. other directing credits include: AN AFTER NOON OF SONG with Michele Zalkin; Bill Minifie’s cabaret show WMS; Corky's POTPOURRI..
Joan was the recipient of SAG’s Joseph C. Riley Award. Theatrical union affiliations are Actors' Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA. a past vice-chair of the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory, she was also an instructor of "On Camera Commercials". She was performance director of the Steps On Broadway Vocal Performance Workshop For Dancers and also performance director of the M&J Vocal Workshop. Joan is a member of the theatrical cooperative Polaris North.
She studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music, on a scholarship with the stipulation that she play second violin in the Boston Conservatory of Music Orchestra. She received a scholarship to attend New York University and also continue her dance studies in New York. During this time, Joan was already working professionally in theatre and tv and has been a working professional all of her adult life.
Married to the late actor, Hal Blankenship, they had their own act, THE JOAN & HAL SHOW, which had been performed in clubs around New York City and four times at the Friars Club.
*moon - not a star….yet