James-JelkinJames J.

Three Words that Best Describe James: Warm, curious, indefatigable.

Artistry and Special Skills: Actor, Dancer, fighter, free runner, teacher

James grew up on a farm in Nebraska. No, really! After studying 7 semesters at the University of Nebraska Kearney one semester abroad at Roosevelt Academy in Middelburg, Holland, he graduated from with honors and received a BS in Organizational Communications in 2010. He then continued his education at the University of Connecticut, earning a MFA in acting in 2014

Childcare Experience: James has been a trustworthy and sought after caregiver for most of his life. In high school he was a regular of a small families room, where he would be responsible for 3-5 children during the hour-long service. Also in high school, he team taught 4th grade Sunday school, toured a production of Cinderella (playing an ugly stepsister) to the local elementary schools, and, with his junior-level Spanish class, adapted, directed and performed in a show based upon a Spanish-language children’s book “El Gallo Rojo”. While also serving as an intermittent baby-sitter for family friends, James has spent the most time with his niece and nephew Madison and Mason. James Visits them in Iowa any chance he can. As a child of two teachers, James has grown up with a deep respect for children and the lessons they can teach us all. As an actor, James has grown even more interested in the tireless imagination that childhood provides. He views time spent unabashedly “paying out loud” with kids as a master class on what an artist should do. This joy, tempered with the need for structure and respect, both reinforced by his farmer/educator parents has made him a loving and firm childcare provider.

Personal Interests: James loves moving around and cant keep himself out of New York’s great parks. He loves team sports, especially football, basketball, sand volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee. Unafraid to get dirty, he is also experimenting in free running and enjoys the cuts and scrapes that accompany learning a new skill. Also, a bit of a nerd, James loves science fiction and fantasy, reading anything by Neil Gaiman and always looking for a good graphic novel. A recovering PC game addict, James can talk for hours about his favorites like Portal, Bioshock and Half-life 2. He also loves the movie theatre, sometimes enjoying a bad movie simply because he saw it in a good theatre. Believing that most things are better when shared, he also in endeavoring to make time to meditate and/or journal every day.

Personal quote: “I am fascinated by children and the purity of imagination they possess. The way a kid can open up, once he knows he can trust you, and just create is always inspiring. Is there anything more beautiful than seeing a few pieces of thought explode across a child’s eyes into an idea?”

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