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STRUGGLING ACTRESS DETERMINED SINCE AGE 5 TO STICK IT OUT.

Byline: GIDEON RUBIN Special to the Daily News

PALMDALE -- Jennifer Ross got the acting bug when she was 5 years old.

And although she has had several moments of doubt, she still hasn't developed a Plan B.

``I really don't remember wanting to do anything else,'' she said. ``It's just something I haven't been able to shake.''

Ross, a Palmdale resident, has appeared as an extra in several Hollywood productions, including ``Coyote Ugly'' and ``Charlie's Angels,'' both in 2000, and in the television series ``Felicity'' in the late 1990s.

Ross was cast in a leading role of a full-length feature film for the first time in her career in ``A Fine Line,'' an independent production that will debut Sept. 2 at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

In ``A Fine Line,'' Ross portrays a drug-addicted teenage mother whose boyfriend becomes involved in a murder. The story is loosely based on director and screenwriter Amber Dragoo's experience as a juror in a murder trial.

Dragoo is hoping entries into contests such as the Los Angeles Film Festival will bring recognition to all involved in the production.

``It would be really exciting if this takes off,'' Ross said. ``It started out small, but it seems like it's getting bigger.''

Dragoo said Ross stood out in auditions for a complicated and challenging part.

``Generally the roles she's had are `good girl' roles because she does have that wholesome look,'' Dragoo said. ``She creates this organic feeling of reality that makes you feel like you're there.''

Ross said she became interested in acting as a child watching her mother, Wendie, appear in theatrical productions near their home in Silverton, Ore.

She and her mother moved to Vancouver, Wash., where she finished high school. At 19, Ross moved to Burbank, where she lived with her father and started getting some bit parts in movies and television programs.

Some of the down periods have been difficult, she said. Ross was living on her own in Portland, Ore., when she nearly gave up on acting.

``I just remember I was so broke ... at that moment, and I just freaked out,'' Ross said. ``I just thought this wasn't going to work out.''

Ross has had to work in nonrelated fields to support herself. She now works at Starbucks.

``You have to pay your dues,'' she said. ``That's the thing about this business. You can't just go to college for four years. ... It's just one of those things where you have to really love it to pursue it. If you don't, there's no point.''

gideon.rubin(at)dailynews.com

(818) 713-3607

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 17, 2006
Words:437
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