Actress + Singer Jean Louisa Kelly on Cultivating Grounded Glamour

Jean Louisa Kelly

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the actress and singer Jean Louisa Kelly, probably best known for her role starring across John Candy in the film Uncle Buck and her role as Kim Warner on the CBS primetime series Yes, Dear. Kelly continues to take on film/tv projects like her latest role in the Yahoo web series Sin City Saints. Kelly’s career began on Broadway, so it’s no surprise that in addition to acting she’s been putting her musical chops to good use the past few years recording albums and several singles including my favorite, “Don’t Give Up.” Her latest EP of original music, entitled “Willing” will be released on April 14th.


Kelly wears long cowl gown by Naked Princess and pear shaped gemstone earrings and gold rutilated spear necklace by Sage & Stone

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SB: You’ve been in the public eye since high school, yet you seem to have such a grounded, yet glamorous quality, which in itself is an interesting dichotomy as the words “grounded” and “glamour” represent a kind of dualism. It’s almost as if two apposing forces have come together and exist harmoniously in your sphere.

What does “grounded glamour” mean to you?

JLK: When people think of glamour they tend to think of high heels, sparkles, makeup, dresses… to me, glamour is more about the definition of the word that centers on creating an illusion. The first definition of glamour in the dictionary actually means: a magic spell. I like playing with that definition. In the true sense of the word, glamour is actually casting a spell of sorts. When you couple that notion with the idea of “groundedness” it becomes something even bigger. It’s about focusing on your source and being intentional about the “spell you are casting” in life.

When I’m lined up with everything that makes me feel good, when I have my priorities in place, my intentions are about being positive and being helpful. When I’m focused on what I can bring to a situation, over what I can get out of a situation, then the “glamour” or spell that I can cast is a good one. So while I don’t consider myself a glamorous person when it comes to say sparkles and dresses, I do my best to pay attention to what kind of spell I’m casting in my life and on those around me.

SB: Wow! I love the idea of casting a positive spell in life. How do you stay lined up with the intention of grounded glamour, or a positive spell, that you cast in life?

JLK: I meditate daily. I actually started my meditation practice because I was experiencing chronic migraines, and a friend suggested trying TM (Transcendental Meditation). That has been huge. Everyone says, meditation, meditation… and people say it for a reason because it works! Life’s so busy, and I need meditation to keep myself together, and if you are wondering, it really helped with my migraines, too.

I really try to take care of myself. Honestly, if I don’t I’m not much good to anyone else! I eat well. I attempt to get enough sleep. I practice my singing daily, which is as important for me as my meditation practice. When I sing, I’m grounded in my body and, on good days, in touch with my creative source.

Another way I practice self care is staying connected to family and friends and also being of service to the larger community. I do my best to remember to ask myself, how can I be helpful? The idea of being of service is just as much of a mindset as an action.

I’m no saint, I don’t do these things all of the time, but when I am working towards them I’m more grounded, peaceful and just happier.

Jean Louisa Kelly

Kelly reads Deep Winter by Sam Gailey.


What do Jean Louisa Kelly’s thoughts on grounded glamour spark inside of you? I’d love to hear your reflections and the ways in which you anchor this concept in your life. Please feel free comment and or send me a note!


*Editorial strategy by Ayn Gailey, photography by Peter Lin Carrillo of Coventry Automatik