Jana is a joyful spark plug, bubbly, happiness personified, contagious bundle of energy!!!
And that's pretty understated!
She was born & raised in Texas (which she thinks has a lot to do with it :) to Jerry & Ann Jay - both master teachers & skilled musicians. He older brother, Keith - the dancer & conductor of the family, welcomed her right into the family. He has Downs Syndrome & between the two of them, the Jays had quite the handful.
Her father Jerry grew up leading acappella congregational singing in church since Jr. High & her mom Ann was accompanying her church on the piano or singing in the choir. Then they were in the High School band together, Jerry on trombone & Ann on the saxophone, then as the drum major.
When Jana came along, they said that she sang before she talked! (And that's saying something 'cause the girl can TALK! Mercy!)
Keith & Jana took over the fireplace mantle and converted it to their tiny people stage, performing nightly for their parents and anyone else who happened along.
Her first musical was in kindergarten when her mom (also a talented seamstress) costumed her up as the title role in 'Mary Poppins. Lucy in 'You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" was next...
Starting in Jr. High, she joined the acappella quartet with her Dad, Mom & one other gentleman and they sang at all of the weddings, funerals, anything that was needed in that small west Texas town. She also began helping teach younger children at church.
More of the Jays' money went into voice lessons, costumes, and sports equipment - she loves softball & volleyball. She still is an avid gym attendee (she's found that most of the group classes are choreographed to music!) & clean eating enthusiast, but the stage definitely won out.
Jana attended Abilene Christian University & graduated with a degree in psychology and a minor in bible, even though she had a nice voice scholarship. At the time, she bought the lie that ‘you’re going to be a starving artist’ and didn’t pursue performance as a degree.
However, she performed her entire time at ACU: Acapella Choir, 6 member Vocal Jazz ensemble, various musicals, her own band, and solo concerts for the ACU Alumni Organization.
Since graduation, she has always been on or behind the scenes of a stage in one form or another. From teaching, marketing for companies (including her husband David’s award winning Farmers Insurance agency), singing for our armed forces & a president, voicing commercials & children’s shows, performing her one woman mini-musical ‘Mary’s Song’ – the story of Jesus as seen through the eyes of his mother & recording the CD to go with it, working various crew positions on movie sets, house managing & emceeing at her favorite live theater, to modeling for print & website ads – Jana loves the diversity of it all & opportunities to meet more people to hug & talk with!